Pan Seared Lamb Chops
Published Apr 16, 2022
Updated Oct 26, 2023
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Incredibly delicious Pan Seared Lamb Chops filled with flavors from garlic, butter, and herbs! What makes this recipe incredible is how easy it is to make the Lamb Chops yet they taste so good!
Perfect for special occasions like Easter, Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Ready in 20 minutes from start to finish!
Lamb recipes and Easter just go so well together. And you can enjoy lamb any time of the year as well. Serve these tasty lamb chops with Rosemary Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Baby Potatoes, or some Sauteed Vegetables. So so good!
I have made these Pan Seared Lamb Chops four times in the past few days and each time, my family inhales everything!
You will love the smoky, pastoral, and well-balanced flavors in these juicy lamb chops made completely on the stovetop.
Table of Contents
With just a few staple ingredients you can make buttery, garlicky, herby lamb chops better than restaurant-quality. Here is everything you need for the best lamb chops:
- Lamb chops: Any lamb chops you find will work here, whether there are the lamb loin chops or a Frenched rack of lamb. A Frenched rack of lamb is one that has extra meat and fat removed from the bones of the lamb so it looks prettier. If you get a rack of lamb, just cut it into lamb chops. I have made this recipe with lamb loin chops and lamb chops I cut from a Frenched rack of lamb. Both work perfectly well.
- Salt and pepper: Black or white pepper would work well here. A simple seasoning of salt and pepper already makes lamb taste so good.
- Olive oil: You could also use any neutral-tasting oil. Light olive oil (not extra virgin) works well here.
- Butter: Use good quality unsalted butter for great flavor.
- Minced garlic: You can easily get minced garlic by grating it on a Microplane grater/zester or you could mince it on the chopping board.
- Fresh thyme and rosemary: These herbs go so well with lamb, adding lots of flavor.
See the recipe card below with a detailed list of ingredients and instructions.
How To Pan Sear Lamb Chops
1. Start by patting the lamb chops dry with paper towels then season generously with salt and pepper
2. Heat olive oil in a cast-iron skillet or any heavy-bottom skillet to be smoking hot.
3. Put the lamb chops in the skillet pressing them down once they touch the skillet. Be careful not to overcook the lamb as it could toughen up.
4. Cook for 3-4 minutes on one side or until desired doneness then flip to the other side.
5. Add butter, garlic, and herbs. Once the butter melts, spoon melted butter with garlic and herbs over the lamb chops. Let the lamb chops cook to the desired doneness.
6. Rest pan-seared lamb chops covered with aluminum foil for 5 minutes then serve warm.
How Long To Pan Sear Lamb Chops
Pan sear lamb chops for about 3-4 minutes on the first side and about 2-3 minutes on the second side. Decrease or increase the time depending on the level of doneness you are going for (see my guide for doneness below).
Insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of a lamb chop. Let it be 5 degrees below your desired temperature. As the lamb chops rest away from the heat, they will continue to cook inside to your ideal temperature.
Lamb Chops Cooking Guide
Here is a guide for the varying temperatures for cooking lamb ranging from rare (rarely done) to well-done.
For Rare Lamb Chops: Remove at 120°F to get a temperature of 125°F.
For Medium Rare Lamb Chops: Remove at 130°F to get a temperature of 135°F.
For Medium Lamb Chops: Remove at 140°F to get a temperature of 145°F.
For Medium-Well Lamb Chops: Remove at 150°F to get a temperature of 155°F.
For Well Done Lamb Chops: Remove at 160°F to get a temperature of 165°F.
A cast-iron skillet is the best skillet for making pan-seared lamb chops because it creates a nice crust on the meat and makes for an even distribution of heat. I used a 12-inch cast-iron skillet for this recipe.
Pan Seared Lamb Chops FAQs
Yes, it is essential to season lamb with salt and pepper before searing.
Several seasonings go well with lamb including garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, rosemary, and paprika.
It’s simple. Avoid overcooking or undercooking the lamb. See the lamb cooking guide above.
Expert Tips For Lamb Chops
- Remove lamb chops from the fridge and bring to room temperature before cooking. That way they cook evenly.
- Don’t sear lamb chops in butter as butter burns quickly. Instead, sear the lamb in oil then add butter at the end for the best flavor.
- Season the lamb chops and pan-sear immediately for a nice crust on the outside.
- Heat the cast iron pan to be smoking hot before adding the lamb. This tip is what separates expert cooks from amateurs. A smoking hot pan creates an incredible crust and adds caramelization and smoky flavor to the meat.
- Do not overcrowd the pan as this will make the meat steam instead of sear. Cook the lamb in batches to get a good browning.
Hope you enjoy this Pan Seared Lamb Chops recipe as much as we do. Have a wonderful Easter! Here’s to new beginnings!
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Pan Seared Lamb Chops
- Cast iron skillet
- 1½ Lamb Chops (8-9) pieces cut from a Frenched rack of lamb, see Note 1
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 plump garlic cloves, minced or grated easily grate the cloves using a Microplane grater
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, plucked from their stems
- 1 teaspoon fresh minced rosemary leaves
- Pat the lamb chops dry with paper towels. This step is very important as it helps the lamb chops develop a nice crust when placed in the pan.
- Sprinkle the salt and pepper as evenly as possible on both sides of the lamb chops.
- Place a cast iron skillet (preferred for a nice sear) or another skillet on high heat. Add the olive oil to the pan and let it heat up until smoking hot.
- Place the seasoned lamb chops on the skillet pressing each lamb chop down as soon as each touches the skillet. Note: if using a small skillet, cook the lamb chops in 2 batches. I used a 12-inch cast iron skillet so I could cook all the lamb chops at once.
- Let the lamb chops cook on one side for 3-4 minutes then flip them to the other side and let them cook for another 2-3 minutes or until desired doneness. See recipe notes below for a guide to varying degrees of doneness from rare to well-done.
- Once you flip the lamb chops to the other side, add the two tablespoons of butter, minced/grated garlic, fresh thyme, and rosemary, distributing them around the pan. When the butter melts spoon some of the butter including the garlic and herbs over the lamb chops. Remove the pan from the heat and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with minced parsley if desired.