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Cook Your Way to Gourmet Perfection With These Easy Lamb Chops in 20 Minutes

Learn how to choose your cut and pro searing techniques

I used to think lamb was reserved for fancy restaurant dinners but let me tell you—it’s super easy to cook at home. And with summer here, I figured now is the perfect time to serve up some lamb chops for an outdoor feast. So, I put together the ultimate guide for making restaurant-quality lamb that’s charred, juicy and full of flavor with a decadent sauce and fresh herbs. And you don’t even need to fire up the grill. Plus, I’ll share the internal temp to look for when they’re ready and storage tips. This is how to master lamb chops.

Choosing your lamb chops

The most common are rib chops and loin chops. Rib chops, which look like lollipops, have tender meat and great marbling. Loin chops, which look like smaller T-bone steaks, offer a bit more meat and a slightly milder flavor. While both work well, loin chops are more flavorful and beginner-friendly when pan-searing. Additionally, opt for chops that are at least 1-inch thick to ensure they cook evenly and stay juicy.

Love lamb? Learn How to Roast a Leg of Lamb or try our Lamb Meatballs.

Tips for cooking the best lamb chops

Cooking lamb chops to perfection involves a few key steps:

1. Season generously

Lamb has a robust flavor that pairs well with bold seasonings. Use a mix of salt, pepper, garlic, rosemary and thyme (or use this secret ingredient for a flavorful crust).

2. Preheat your pan

Get your pan nice and hot before adding the chops to ensure a nice sear. This locks in the juices and creates a flavorful crust. Additionally, don’t overcrowd the pan, which can cause the chops to steam.

3. Monitor internal temperature

The USDA recommends cooking lamb to a minimum temperature of 145°F (medium-well), but most restaurants prefer medium-rare to preserve its tenderness, which is 125°F. But lamb can dry out quickly, so use a meat thermometer for accuracy.

4. Rest the meat

Let the chops rest for about 5 minutes after cooking. This allows the juices to redistribute, ensuring each bite is tender and flavorful.

Pan-seared lamb chops recipe

I loved following this simple pan-seared recipe from The Kitchn with fresh thyme and a simple pan sauce. They can also be prepared and refrigerated up to 1 hour in advance.

Ingredients:

  • 8 lamb loin or rib chops (1-inch thick)
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme leaves, plus 1 large sprig
  • ¾ tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 Tbs. unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, smashed
  • ½ cup dry white wine or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest

Directions:

  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 chops (4 servings)
  1. Firstly, massage the chopped thyme, ½ tsp. of salt and pepper into the meat. Set the lamb chops aside at room temperature for 5 minutes.
  2. Melt 2 Tbs. of the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the lamb chops and cook until a rich, brown crust forms on the bottom, 4-6 minutes.
  3. Flip the lamb chops and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers the desired temp, 4-6 minutes more.
  4. Transfer the lamb chops to a plate and cover with aluminum foil. In the pan, pour off all but 2 Tbs. of the rendered fat and reduce the heat to medium. Then, add the shallot, garlic and thyme sprig and cook for about 1 minute. Deglaze with the wine or broth and lemon juice, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  5. Cook until reduced by half, 1-2 minutes. Stir in the lemon zest, remaining 1/4 tsp. salt, and 2 Tbs. butter. Cook until the sauce thickens slightly, then pour over the lamb chops and serve immediately.

Storage instructions

Wrap each chop individually in aluminum foil or plastic wrap so they don’t dry out. Store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.


More restaurant-style cooking techniques made easy:

Reverse-Searing Is the Secret to Restaurant-Quality Steak at Home: Easy Oven Recipe

Sous Vide Is the Chef’s Secret for the Juiciest Pork Chops — So Easy to Do at Home

Steak Tips Are Tastier + 50% Cheaper Than Rib Eye — Champion Pitmaster’s Recipe

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