Celebrate spring with these Pan Seared Lamb Chops! Each chop features a gorgeous golden crust, melt-in-your-mouth meat, and homemade herb artichoke sauce on top. A show-stopping meal for Easter, holidays, or weeknight dinners!
Loving lamb for the holidays? Then you’ll want to try my Garlic and Herb Lamb Loin Chops as well!
This stunning platter of Pan Seared Lamb Chops is perfect for Easter, Passover, or any day of the week. The chops take on a beautiful crust on the outside while the meat stays tender and juicy on the inside. The homemade herb artichoke sauce spooned over top is the perfect finishing touch to this elegant, yet easy 30-minute meal.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Crisp, tender, and juicy. Pan-searing is one of the best cooking methods for lamb chops. The high heat forms a golden crust on the outside while locking in the flavorful, meaty juices. Bonus: homemade herb artichoke sauce on top enhances every bite!
- Elegant, yet easy. Fancy occasions may come to mind when you think of pan seared lamb rib chops for dinner. While they do look impressive, lamb chops are surprisingly easy to cook in less than 30 minutes! This fried lamb chops recipe is so easy that you’ll want to make it a part of your weekly dinner rotation.
- It’s healthy! Lamb is rich in high-quality protein, vitamins, and minerals. It’s an excellent addition to a well-balanced, healthy diet, as well as holiday dinner tables.
Lamb chops vs. lamb loin chops
Lamb chops (rib chops or lamb lollipops) are cut from the ribs just behind the shoulders and along the spine. They typically contain about 7 to 8 ribs and come already frenched, which is the method of cleaning the meat and fat from the end of the rib bones.
Lamb loin chops, like my Garlic and Herb Lamb Loin Chops, are a compact, meaty cut that comes from directly behind the ribs. Boneless lamb loin chops are sometimes used in roasts and stews, but they’re more commonly sold bone-in. Loin chops look similar to mini T-bone steaks with a savory, almost gamey flavor.
- Lamb - This recipe works with both a rack of lamb and pre-trimmed lamb chops. Check out this video by BBC Good Food to learn how to separate and french a rack of lamb yourself.
- Olive oil - You need oil both for searing the lamb chops and in the herb artichoke sauce.
- Fresh herbs - Fresh rosemary, thyme, and parsley (or cilantro) are used to freshen up the artichoke sauce.
- Marinated artichokes - You can find jarred marinated artichokes in most well-stocked grocery stores.
- Garlic - Fresh garlic cloves are a must!
- Salt and pepper
How to cook lamb chops in a skillet
Step 1: Set the lamb on the kitchen counter for about 30 minutes so it can come down to room temperature. If you have a rack of lamb, trim and divide it into single chops if you haven’t done so already. Season both sides of each lamb chop with salt and pepper.
Step 2: Make the herb artichoke sauce by stirring all of the ingredients together in a bowl.
Step 3: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, place the lamb chops in the skillet, leaving some room in between each one (work in batches if you need to). Sear on both sides until they reach your desired doneness (see the lamb cooking temperatures below).
Step 4: Transfer the chops to a cutting board and loosely cover them with foil. Rest for 10 minutes. Afterward, plate the lamb chops and spoon the herb artichoke sauce over top. Enjoy!
Cooking temperatures for lamb chops
The USDA recommends cooking lamb chops to a minimum internal temperature of 145°F. Always use a meat thermometer when cooking lamb to ensure it’s cooked to temperature.
Alternatively, use this temperature guide from The Kitchn to cook the lamb to your preferred temperature:
- Rare: 115°F to 120°F
- Medium-rare: 120°F to 125°F
- Medium: 130°F to 135°F
- Medium-well: 140°F to 145°F
- Well done: 150°F to 155°F
Tip: The lamb rib chops will continue to cook even after they’re taken off of the heat. Remove them from the skillet when they’re 5 degrees away from your desired doneness and always let them rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Tips and tricks
- Drying the lamb chops with paper towels and giving them time to come down to room temperature helps them cook evenly and form a beautiful brown crust.
- Don’t move them chops around when they’re in the pan! This is critical to achieving a crisp, golden crust.
- Lamb racks are usually sold with a thick layer of fat intact. You can either ask the butcher to remove it for you or remove it yourself.
Lamb is traditionally served with mint jelly on the side. I wanted to switch things up with my herb artichoke sauce but chimichurri sauce or red wine demi-glace would be delicious as well.
If you’re serving the lamb chops as the main dish for Easter, Passover, or dinner, pair them with rustic, light side dishes. Black-Eyed Pea Quinoa Kale Salad, Roasted Veggies with Creamy Polenta, Lemon Capers Roasted Asparagus with Radishes, and Herb Roasted Carrots are all great choices.
Frequently asked questions
Olive oil. It has a high enough smoke point to withstand the hot cast iron skillet, and its rich, fruity taste enhances the flavor of the meat.
Yes! Just know that the frozen lamb chops need to be defrosted in the fridge the night before you plan to cook them.
Pan searing lamb chops over medium-high heat means they should only need to be cooked for 3 to 5 minutes per side. Use a meat thermometer to make sure they’re cooked through and have a minimum internal temperature of 145°F.
Storing and reheating
To store: Transfer the leftover cooked lamb chops to an airtight container and store in the fridge for 3 to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. The herb artichoke sauce can also be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.
To reheat: Place the lamb chops in a skillet with a splash of water or broth. Cover with a lid and warm over medium heat until heated through and juicy once again.
Looking for more impressive recipes for spring?
- Herb Roasted Chicken
- Lemon Butter Pan Seared Scallops
- Berries ‘N Cream Fresh Toast Casserole
- Carrot Cake Cupcakes
- Sheet Pan Salmon and Veggies
Pan Seared Lamb Chops
- Cast Iron Skillet
- 1 rack of lamb or 8 lamb chops, trimmed
- 1 pinch salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Herb Artichoke Sauce
- 1 tablespoon each, rosemary, thyme and parsley (or cilantro), chopped
- ¼ cup marinated artichoke, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, pressed
- 6 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pinch salt and pepper, to taste
- Pat dry the rack of lamb with a paper towel. Trim the fat layer from rack of lamb then separate the chops by cutting down between each rib bone. Season with salt and pepper on both sides. Let the lamb chops soak in the salt while you work on the sauce. This will allow the chops to reach room temperature or close.
- Add all the sauce ingredients to a bowl. Make sure the herbs are well chopped, almost down to a grain like texture. The artichoke doesn't need to be chopped as small, but in small bits. Stir well. Add more oil if needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring a large cast iron skillet to heat but do not add oil until the skillet is hot. To know when the skillet is hot hover your hand about two inches away from the bottom, if your hand feels hot within 5 seconds that's a good point. Carefully add the oil. If needed add more than a tablespoon of oil, so as long as you 'coat' the bottom of the pan but do not create a pool of oil.
- Using a pair of long kitchen tongs add the lamb chops one by one. If needed do this in batches but do not overcrowd it. Once you place the lamb chops down do not move them. Let them cook for 3-5 minutes depending on how well you like yours done, then flip to the other side and do the same. Take the temperature at this point, it should register 125F for medium rare to 145F for medium well. You may continue to cook and flip the chops until your preferred doneness.
- Transfer the chops to a plate and tent with aluminium foil. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes then serve with herb artichoke sauce.
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