These tender Lamb Loin Chops are marinated in a simple garlic and herb paste, then pan-seared to perfection. It’s an impressive main dish that requires very little effort!

close up on 2 seared lamb loin chops in a white pan.

Disclosure: this recipe has been created in partnership with Awaken180° Weightloss and it is compliant with the program rules and recommendations. For more information please visit Awaken180° Weightloss.

These Garlic and Herb Lamb Loin Chops bring restaurant-quality flavors right into your own kitchen. The loin chops are marinated in a simple 5-ingredient marinade, then pan-seared until crusted, golden, and delicious. The best part? The juicy lamb loin chops are ready to eat in under 20 minutes!

Much like my Tuscan Salmon recipe, pan-searing is my favorite method for cooking lamb loin chops. The high heat seals in the flavors of the garlic and herb marinade and forms a golden crust around the outside without taking away from the natural meatiness of the lamb. Plus, it helps you get it on the table faster.

Why this recipe works

  • Pan-seared, golden-crusted lamb: Pan-searing is the preferred way to cook lamb loin chops because they contain very little fat. It’s also the best way to seal in flavor and form a gorgeous crust around each of the three sides of the triangle-shaped loin chops.
  • Minimal ingredients and simple seasonings: The lamb is lightly seasoned with oil, herbs, garlic, salt, and pepper, complementing and enhancing the meat’s natural flavors.
  • An elegant, yet easy dinner: Lamb is an impressive, elegantly flavored, and easy-to-prepare main dish. After a short time in the garlic and herb marinade, it’s pan-seared to perfection and ready to eat in under 20 minutes.
4 raw lamb loin chops on a white plate next to lemon, oregano, and small white bowls of herbs.

What’s the difference between loin chops and lamb chops?

Lamb loin chops are compact and meaty cuts that come from directly behind the ribs. Available as both bone-in and boneless, they look just like mini steaks and have a savory, almost gamey flavor.

Lamb chops (or rib chops) are cut from the ribs just behind the shoulders and along the spine. They’re sold in a rack of seven to eight ribs and are almost always frenched (where the meat, fat, and connective tissue are removed from the end of the rib) for an esthetically-pleasing presentation. 

marinated lamb loin chops on a white plate.

Ingredients and substitutions

  • Lamb loin chops – Also known as the saddle, lamb loin chops are a tender and savory cut of meat with very little fat and a ton of flavor. I used bone-in loin chops, which take longer to cook, but contain more flavor compared to boneless.
  • Garlic – Fresh garlic cloves are mashed into a paste and mixed with the herbs and seasonings. This garlic paste is also used as our marinade! It highlights the lamb’s natural savoriness without overpowering the flavors.
  • Olive oil – To season the lamb and help form a crust on the outside.
  • Salt, pepper, and oregano – Just like the garlic, these seasonings and herbs compliment the lamb’s natural flavors. Fresh oregano is best, and remember to save some extras for the garnish.
  • Lemon – A spritz of fresh lemon juice brightens up every bite.

How to make pan-seared lamb loin chops

Step 1: Pat the room temperature loin chops dry with a paper towel to help the seasonings stick.

Step 2: Mash the garlic, salt, pepper, and oregano in a mortar and pestle to make a paste.

close up on a spoonful of garlic herb paste.

Step 3: Massage the olive oil, then the garlic and herb paste onto all sides of the lamb loins. 

Tip: You can cook the herb-dressed lamb right away or let it marinate for extra flavor! Let it marinate on the kitchen counter for 30 minutes or place it in the fridge overnight.

Step 4: Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once it’s hot and starting to smoke, add the loin chops. Sear on all sides until nicely browned.

Step 5: Transfer the chops to a plate tented loosely with foil. Let them rest, then season them with fresh lemon juice and thyme or oregano. Enjoy!

Lamb cooking temperatures

Use these temperatures from The Kitchn to cook your lamb loins to your desired doneness:

  • Rare: 115ºF to 120°F.
  • Medium-rare: 120ºF to 125°F.
  • Medium: 130ºF to 135°F.
  • Medium-well: 140ºF to 145°F.
  • Well done: 150ºF to 155°F.

Investing in a good professional-grade kitchen thermometer is a must because it’s the only way to tell that your lamb is cooked to perfection and safe to eat. 

Remember: The lamb will continue for a few minutes after it’s taken off of the heat. For this reason, it’s important to transfer the loin chops to a cutting board to rest when they’re about 5 degrees away from your desired temperature.

hand holding a cooked lamb loin chop with kitchen tongs.

Tips and tricks

  • Always take the loin chops out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking. This gives them time to come down to room temperature, helping with even cooking and an irresistible crust.
  • You’ll know the skillet is ready and hot enough if the lamb sears and sizzles as it hits the pan.
  • Don’t move the lamb once it’s in the pan! This is the best way to form a golden sear around the edges.
  • Letting the loin chops rest for 10 minutes after cooking is the secret to sealing in their delicious flavors and juices. Don’t skip this part!

Serving suggestions

Complement the natural tender and juicy lamb with healthy and flavor-packed side dishes, like Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes, Garlic Butter Mushrooms, Roasted Vegetable Salad, and Cauliflower Fennel Soup.

Frequently asked questions

Can you use frozen lamb loin chops?

Yes, frozen loin chops will work in this recipe, but they’ll need to be thawed in the fridge overnight first.

What temperature should lamb be cooked to?

According to the USDA, lamb loin chops are safe to eat when they reach a minimum internal temperature of 145ºF. Refer to the list of lamb cooking temperatures above to cook the lamb to your desired temperature.

4 cooked lamb loin chops in a large skillet.

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lamb loin chops
4 from 1 vote

Garlic and Herb Lamb Loin Chops

by Silvia Dunnirvine
These tender Lamb Loin Chops are marinated in a simple garlic and herb paste, then pan-seared to perfection. It’s an impressive main dish that requires very little effort!
Prep: 8 minutes
Cook: 18 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Equipment

  • Skillet or Griddle

Ingredients 

  • 4 lamb loin chops
  • 2 cloves garlic pressed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp each, sea salt, ground pepper, oregano
  • 1/2 lemon

Instructions 

  • Allow lamb loin chops to reach room temperatura. If previously frozen, transfter to refrigerator the night before and take it out of the fridge about an hour before cooking. If you are using fresh loin chops, remove from refrigerator half hour before cooking. Place lamb loin chops on a work board and pat them dry with a paper towel.
    lamb loin chops ingredients
  • Meanwhile add the garlic, salt, pepper and oregano to a mortar and pestle and mash it until it becomes paste. This will yield about 1 tbsp of garlic and herb paste.
    garlic and herbs lamb seasonings
  • Season the lamb loin chops with olive oil and garlic & herb paste on all sides. If you can please allow the lamb to marinate for up to 30 minutes on the counter or refrigerated overnight.
    lamb chops seasoned
  • Heat remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil in a cast iron skillet or stove top griddle until very hot. Add lamb loin chops and allow it to cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side, top and bottom. Additionally cook the three sides for 2-3 minutes (lamb loins are thick triangle-like shaped with one fatty side). To be sure the lamb is thoroughly cooked use a kitchen thermometer to make sure the internal temperature is at least 145F for rare meat up to 165F for well done*
    lamb loin chops
  • When done, allow lamb to sit for 10-15 minutes before serving. When ready to serve, squeze fresh lemon and garnish with fresh thyme or oregano.
    lamb loin chops in a white bowl

Notes

*the lamb loin chops are a thicker triangle-like cut so therefore you will need to cook it longer. Additionally there are three sides, one that is very fatty and two other meaty sides which you will need to cook also.
*meat pictured reached internal temperature of 155F

Nutrition

Calories: 418kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 355mg | Potassium: 267mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 0.4g | Vitamin A: 3IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Keyword: Lamb Loin Chops
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Middle East
Like this? Leave a comment below!
close up on 2 seared lamb loin chops in a white pan.

Hi! I’m Silvia.

My goal is to make cooking simple and enjoyable.

Garden in the Kitchen is full of easy and balanced recipes for busy families. Classics get a healthier twist with additions of veggies or alternative ingredients.

I hope my recipes will inspire you to cook more home meals and above all have fun in the kitchen!

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5 Comments

  1. Hello. Nice recipe. But I notice both step 1 and 3 of the recipe instructions say to let the lamb come to room temperature on the counter for 30 minutes. Is that an error?

    1. Hi Pam. That is not an error, I recommend that the lamb loin be removed from the fridge about a half hour before cooking so it reaches “almost” room temperature. This helps in more even cooking all the way through, and less time for the meat/ lamb to lose moisture while cooking, making it juicier

  2. any idea how to make the paste marinade without a pastel and mortar? I tried using a spoon, but no joy. the recipe is amazing and this will be my first time cooking lamb, so I would appreciate any suggestions.

    1. Hi Suzie, you can use a food processor or blander cup but I’d encourage you to get a small inexpensive mortar and pestle, you can get one on amazon, target, Walmart, even at grocery stores sometimes. I find this little tool so useful to make really fresh herbs and paste for seasoning all kids of food. I hope this helps !! xoxo