Rosemary Crusted Lamb Chops

Rosemary crusted lamb chops seared in a pan and roasted until tender.

In this recipe we are working with lamb rib chops, with two ribs per chop. This yields a thicker piece of meat than if we had single rib chops, and is more forgiving with cooking time if you like your lamb rare or medium rare. If you have single rib chops, which are thinner pieces, you'll have to pay closer attention, and sear quickly, to not overcook the chops. Note that 1 pound of lamb rib chops is about 4 double-rib chops, which serves 2 to 3 people. You can also use lamb loin chops in lieu of rib chops for this recipe.

Lamb chops are best eaten on the rare side. Error on less cooking time than you would expect, that way you can always cook them further if you want them more well done.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2 to 3.


  • 1 pound lamb chops (lamb rib chops are what are pictured here)
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil, divided


Before you start, decide if you want your lamb chops rare or medium. If you want your lamb chops rare in the center, you can cook them entirely on the stovetop.  If you want them a bit more cooked, and you have double rib chops (2 ribs per piece of meat, each piece of meat about 1/4 of a pound), you will want to finish them in the oven, at 400°F for a few minutes. Or you can cover the pan and remove from the heat and just let sit for a few minutes.

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1 In a small bowl, mix the rosemary, salt, pepper, garlic, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil together. Coat the lamb chops with the mixture, massaging it into the meat with your fingers. If you are working with double rib chops, cover and let stand at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes. (If you are working with single rib chops, and you want the result to be rare, let the chops sit in the rub in the refrigerator, do not let come to room temp or the thin ribs will easily overcook when you sear them in the next step.)

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2 Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in an oven-proof sauté pan over high heat. When the oil is shimmering hot, sear the lamb chops on all sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. (If you are working with single rib chops, sear only on two sides, and only a minute or so on each side if you want the result to be rare or medium rare.)

3 At this point, if you want your lamb chops rare, they are likely cooked enough. Remove them from the pan, cover them with foil and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. If you would like your chops more cooked, you can put them in a 400°F oven for 3 to 5 minutes, or keep them in the hot pan, remove from heat, and cover the pan for a few minutes. Then remove from the pan to a plate or cutting board, cover with foil and let rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

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  1. Jayne

    This is beautiful! My mom recently procured a hunk of lamb for roasting. I think I might use the same crusting method. Only, I can’t seem to find rosemary anywhere! Reckon thyme pairs well with lamb?

    • jay

      I just had a plate of medium well cooked lamb chops and mashed potatos at an upscale resturaunt and suffered food poisoning approx. an hour and a half later. Is it safe to eat medium well chops? By the way they had a slight livery taste to them. I never experienced a taste like that before and I have eaten lamb chops many times. I spent my wedding anniversary in the ER and could not report for duty the following day.

      • Elise

        Once I bought some sushi from Whole Foods, they sort of tasted a little weird and sure enough, within half an hour I got sick. Sounds to me like you got a weird chop. Yes, it is usually safe to eat medium well lamb chops, and rare lamb chops, just like it’s usually safe to eat medium well or rare beef steak. But perhaps they sat out too long after they were cooked, or perhaps they were just bad. Or got contaminated in some other way. My guiding rule is if it tastes off, don’t eat it.

  2. karen

    I just happened to be having rack of lamb last night…I add a little spoonful of dijon to the olive oil mix and a little more garlic. I don’t split them into chops but roast the rack. Thanks for the inspiration..I usually cook them on the grill but roasted them inside and took your idea of searing the full racks on top of the stove in some good olive oil before putting them in the oven. Awesome! Thanks

  3. Vicki

    As an Australian I love lamb especially the Icelandic that Whole Foods gets towards winter. We love the NZ frozen lamb racks from Trader Joes. Cut them up and grilled to rare they are beautiful. Will give this one a try when we are in lamb mode. My rosemary plant lives for lamb!

  4. thomas

    Just bought lamb chops today. I never ate them before I am wondering what they taste like. I remember my Grandfather eating them when I was little so that’s why I bought them. There so small and cute!

  5. Peter Nilsson

    I am addicted to lamb..this recipe is truly turning me more and more down the path of becoming a lamb junkie ;) Delicious!

  6. Katie

    All I can say is WOW. I followed the instructions for medium cooking, and they came out medium rare, which is exactly how I like them.

    I have been ordering these at upscale restaurants lately, and I have to say these home cooked ones were more flavorful and I preferred the simple preparation better. They were amazing!! I am planning to make them again for my Mom’s birthday dinner, if not sooner. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Robert Bussell

    Cooking a rack today….garlic thyme rosemary marinated …….looking SOO forward ….trying it this way..for the first time …I shall report later.

  8. Tina

    This will be tge 4rth time making these. I omit the salt though. But YUMMMMMIE!!!!!
    And my boyfriends 8 year old LOVES them. Hes a hard sell on most foods, but licks the bones on these. Best place to buy the chops…Costco.

  9. nancy

    This is by far the most delicious lamb chop recipe I’ve ever tasted and it’s so easy! Thanks so much for sharing Elise !!