Pan Seared Lamb Loin Chops
These pan-seared lamb loin chops with buttery garlic herb sauce are restaurant quality and ready in only 25 minutes. They are the perfect main course for a special occasion, holiday, or entertainment. But they are fast enough to serve on a weeknight too!
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Table of contents
Why We Love This Recipe For Pan-Seared Lamb Chops
If you think of lamb chops as the type of meal you can only enjoy in a fine dining restaurant, think again! Making perfectly juicy and tender pan-seared lamb chops is as simple as can be.
Along with Pan Seared Salmon, lamb chops were one of the most requested meals when I was a personal chef. Little did my clients know, making pan-seared lamb chops at home is quite easy!
- Made on stovetop
- Uses kitchen staples and fresh herbs for a big flavor
- The juicy lamb and garlic herb butter go with a wide variety of side dishes.
- These bone-in lamb loin chops are perfect for Christmas, Easter, or another special occasion or holiday celebration.
Key Ingredients for this Lamb Loin Chop Recipe
- Lamb Loin Chops: We used bone-in lamb loin chops as we love how juicy and tender they are, but feel free to use lamb rib chops if that is what is available at your local grocer. We tested this with one-inch thick chops. If yours have a lot of excess fat around the outside, feel free to trim some of it away before cooking, or you can leave it on to cook it, and then let diners cut it off at the table.
- Herbs: To add additional flavor to the butter sauce and chops, we used a blend of fresh thyme, fresh rosemary, and parsley.
- Garlic: While we recommend using fresh finely chopped garlic, feel free to use pre-chopped if that’s what you have in your pantry.
- Butter: To control the salt in this dish, we recommend using unsalted butter. However, if you only have salted, reduce the amount of additional salt by 1/4 teaspoon of salt per 1/2 cup of butter.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: EVOO or avocado oil both work for searing these chops. Or you can choose another high-heat oil such as grapeseed or canola oil.
- Salt & Pepper: Note that we recommend coarse kosher salt for this recipe. You may use table salt instead, but you will want to half the amount.
Tip: Bring chops to room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.
How To Cook Lamb Loin Chops
Find full measurements and printable instructions in the recipe card below.
Step 1: Prepare the Lamb Loin Chops
Allow lamb chops to come to room temperature, about 20 to 30 minutes before cooking. Then, pat dry with paper towels and sprinkle both sides with salt and black pepper.
Step 2: Sear the First Side of Lamb Chops
Brush the bottom of a heavy oven-proof skillet with oil. We prefer a cast-iron skillet for pan searing because the heat is very even. Place the skillet over high heat. When the oil barely starts to smoke, lay the chops in the skillet. Sear undisturbed for 3 to 4 minutes. Leave them on the first side until the bottom is browned and they have a nice crust in spots.
Tip: If you have a fume hood, set it to high, as pan-fried lamb chops always make a bit of smoke.
Step 3: Sear the Second Side of the Chops
Flip over the chops and continue cooking them until they are golden brown and an instant-read thermometer registers 135°F for medium rare or 140°F for medium when inserted horizontally into the center of the chop (without touching the bone), about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the chops to a plate and allow them to rest. See more info below for our guide to knowing when to pull the chops out of the skillet for getting perfectly cooked lamb chops.
Step 4: Make the Garlic Herb Butter
Turn off the heat. (The cast iron skillet will hold enough heat for the final steps.) To the skillet, add 2 tablespoons butter along with the chopped garlic and herbs. Constantly stir to ensure that the butter melts quickly. Cook until it is just melted and the garlic is fragrant.
Step 5: Coat the Pan Seared Lamb Chops in the Butter Sauce
Return the lamb chops to the skillet, turning them over in the garlic herb butter several times to coat. Return to the plate and scrape the garlic butter sauce over the top of the chops. Enjoy!
FAQs and Expert Tips
Store any leftover lamb chops in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or place them in a freezer-safe container and freeze them for up to 3 months.
To reheat, place a skillet on the stove over medium-high heat, adding a pat of butter to help re-add moisture back into the cooked chops. Once the skillet is hot, place the lamb chops in the skillet and heat each side for 1 to 2 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
Variations To Try
This lamb chop recipe is very versatile and cab be adapted for alternative flavor profiles, sauces and spices.
- Instead of the garlic herb butter, serve with Garlic Yogurt Sauce or Mint Sauce.
- Finish off with a little lemon zest or lemon juice.
- Rub with dry rub (like the one I used in this Dry Rub Chicken) or use Garam Masala to season the lamb instead of the garlic herb butter. Take note: use medium-high heat to prevent the spices from burning.
What is the difference between lamb loin chops, rib chops and shoulder chops?
Lamb Loin Chops
Lamb loin chops are a delicious and tender cut of meat. While generally more expensive, this cut is taken from the section between the lamb’s ribs and sirloin and look like mini t-bone steaks. Perfect for grilling or pan-frying, the chops are cooked individually.
Lamb Rib Chops
On the other hand, a rack of lamb is when the lamb’s rib section is left intact. Racks of lamb are usually sold in sets of 8 ribs, but a butcher can cut them into smaller sections if needed.
Shoulder chops are mostly boneless chops cut from the shoulder of the lamb. They often contain small sections of the shoulder bone. They are usually about 3/4-inch thick and look more like a small steak, and less like a chop. They have some intermuscular marbling as well as connective tissue. They are chewier than loin chops and rib chops and are less expensive. Shoulder chops are best for high heat cooking.
NOTE: Lamb loin chops and rack of lamb cut into individual rib chops can be used interchangeably. However, loin chops are usually cut into chops that range from about 3/4-inch thick to 1 1/2-inch thick. Conversely, the thickness of lamb rib chops is determined by the amount of space between each rib. Take note because the timing on this recipe is based on 1-inch thick chops.
Guide to Internal Temperatures for Lamb
According to American Lamb, lamb is best served from medium rare to well done. And remember that the internal temperature of meat will continue to rise when removed from heat, so always remove lamb when it’s about 10 degrees lower than desired doneness.
- Medium Rare: Pull off the heat at 135˚F. It will rise to 145˚F as it rests.
- Medium: Pull off the heat at 150˚˚F. It will rise to 160˚F as it rests.
- Well: Pull off the heat at 160˚F. It will rise to 170˚F as it rests.
Additional Lamb Recipes To Try
- These simple Middle Eastern-inspired Grilled Lamb Kofta Kebabs are a grain-free and paleo entree that is ready in under 30 minutes and the perfect main course for grilling season.
- Slow Cooker Moroccan Lamb Shanks are full of lemon and cinnamon fragrances while utterly delicious and fall-off-the-bone tender.
- This Lamb Tagine with Prunes is a gluten-free savory stew with a touch of sweetness from the prunes and cinnamon.
- Moroccan Lamb Meatballs are full of warm Moroccan spices and simmered in a sweet-savory sauce for one easy and comforting meal.
Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought!
Happy Cooking! ~KatiePrint
Pan Seared Lamb Loin Chops
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
This restaurant-quality pan-seared lamb loin chops with buttery garlic herb sauce are the perfect main course for a special occasion, holiday, or entertainment. Ready in just 25 minutes, they are fast enough to serve on the weeknight, too!
- 8 lamb loin chops, 1-inch thick, about 2 pounds
- ¾ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as thyme, rosemary, and parsley
- Remove lamb chops from the refrigerator 20 to 30 minutes before cooking.
- Lay chops on a plate or work surface and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Brush oil in the bottom of a large heavy oven-proof skillet (preferably cast iron.) Place over high heat. Lay the chops in the skillet when the oil just barely starts to smoke. Sear undisturbed for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Flip the chops over and continue cooking until an instant read thermometer registers 135 degrees F for medium rare or 140 for medium when inserted into the chop but doesn’t touch the bone, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Transfer the chops to a plate to rest.
- Turn heat off and add butter, garlic and herbs and stir constantly until the butter is melted and the garlic is fragrant.
- Add in lamb chops (and any juice from the plate) and turn over in the garlic herb butter several times to coat. Immediately return them to the plate and scrape the garlic butter sauce over the chops. Enjoy.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Main Course
- Method: Stove Top
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 2 chops
- Calories: 363
- Sugar: 0 g
- Fat: 19 g
- Carbohydrates: 1 g
- Fiber: 0 g
- Protein: 30 g
Keywords: how to cook lamb loin chops, lamb loin chops recipe, pan seared lamb loin chops, pan seared lamb chops, pan seared lamb chops, cast iron lamb chops, fried lamb chops, lamb chops cast iron
I season the chop before they hit the skillet…been doing this for years.
Clarifying Q: do you add the garlic and herbs to the chop before you sear? I do not do that because both garlic and herbs are too delicate for high-heat searing for the amount of time required for the chops to cook. In other words, they burn. I find the method I shared brings out the flavors of the herbs without making them bitter and the garlic doesn’t get too dark.
This was fantastic!!!
So glad you tried it already. Woohoo! Thanks for letting me know it came out well. I appreciate that so much. Have a great rest of your week.