Lamb Chops are a surprisingly simple restaurant-quality meal you can make at home. Pair your lamb chops with a quick pan sauce made with butter, shallots, and fresh thyme, and serve alongside garlic smashed potatoes. It’s the perfect holiday meal!
This post was originally published in Dec of 2020, but I’ve just updated it for Easter 2023 with more tips, tricks, and answers to questions.
These Lamb Chops are surprisingly quick to make at home, they’re crazy delicious, and they pair so well with almost any side dish. Let’s dive in.
Why you’ll love this Lamb Chop recipe:
- Quick Stovetop Lamb Chops – These lamb chops come together in no time on the stovetop, and are just as good as something you’d get at a restaurant!
- Garlic Smashed Potatoes – Serve these up with your lamb chops for the most delicious side dish – stick ’em in the oven to cook while you work on the lamb.
- Perfect Holiday Meal – This meal is perfect to serve for Easter dinner, Christmas, or any special occasion!
- Lamb Loin Chops – Choose lamb chops that are light red, with smooth, white fat. Aim for chops that are a little over an inch thick. Marbling isn’t as important here as with beef, but look for chops that have fat evenly distributed. Also, the chops should be a little bit more than an inch thick. (Source – Selecting Lamb Chops). Try getting them from your local butcher for the best quality. Cooking lamb at home doesn’t have to be intimidating either! I’ll walk you through every step below.
- Fresh Thyme – This herb compliments the lamb and other flavors in this lamb chops recipe so well.
- Shallots – Shallots have a bit more delicate and sweet flavor than onions, and they work particularly well with the flavors in this recipe.
- Potatoes – I prefer yukon gold for this recipe. Don’t use giant ones like russets – use something smaller.
- Alternate Meat – Try this with steak instead of lamb if you prefer! It would pair well with these flavors. Cook to 130 for medium rare, 140 for medium, and 150 for well done.
- Dairy-free – Use your favorite dairy-free butter to make this recipe dairy-free.
- Gluten-free – This recipe is naturally gluten-free!
How to Make this Lamb Chop Recipe Step-by-Step:
Step 1: Start the Smashed Potatoes. Boil for about 12 minutes first, so they are tender. Next, add them to an oiled baking sheet, and smash them down with the bottom of a bowl or glass (this is some fun stress relief!). Season them, and give them a generous sprinkle of salt and black pepper. Pop these in the oven, and start on the lamb!
Step 2: Prep the Lamb Chops. Rub your lamb loin chops with a simple spice rub – we’re just using fresh thyme, salt, and pepper.
Step 3: Cook your Lamb Chops. Melt butter in a large skillet, & add the seasoned lamb chops. Cook about 4-6 minutes, until deeply browned. Use a meat thermometer to monitor them while they cook on the second side. We’re looking for 145 degrees F for a medium rare chop, 160 degrees F for one that’s medium, and 170 for one that’s well done. Set aside on a plate tented with aluminum foil while you make the sauce.
Step 4: Make the Pan Sauce. In the drippings left behind by the lamb, add minced shallot, garlic and thyme. Sauté until softened. (Also, how satisfying is it to sauté things in a pan to make a sauce?! I’m ready for my chef of the year award, heh.)
Next, add a knob of butter and a splash of lemon juice. Cook the sauce for a minute or two to help it thicken, and you’re done! See how easy this all was?
Return the lamb to the pan and spoon the sauce over the top of the lamb chops. Serve with the garlic smashed potatoes!
Expert Success Tips:
- Choosing Lamb – Make sure to buy locally produced lamb – it’ll ensure that you’re getting the freshest cut and best flavor possible. And, it helps support our local producers & farmers. Win win! For help sourcing locally-produced lamb, use American Lamb’s “where to buy lamb” page.
- Order of Cooking- If the taters come out of the oven before you finish up the lamb chops, never fear – just pop them back in to warm them back up a bit. We can reheat them more easily than the lamb (they won’t dry out from a little re-heating, but we don’t want to dry out our nice cut of meat!)
They look like small t-bone steaks, with the bone in. Lamb rib chops are the ones that look like a meat lollipop
It is a red meat, so they have similarities, but lamb has a slightly earthier, gamey taste – in a good way! It’s delicious – especially when prepared like in this recipe.
Yes! I list steak as an option and give the cook temps in the recipe substitutions portion at the beginning of the post.
- Herbs – Feel free to use your favorite herbs here – rosemary and or oregano would work well.
- Sides – My garlic butter mash makes a delicious side here as well. Feel free to omit the cheddar – the other flavors work really well here – we’re talking a garlic herb butter! My Orange Pear Salad also makes a great side.
Serving + Storing this Recipe:
Enjoy this while it’s nice and hot! Store leftovers in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, reheating gently in the oven or in a pan, so as not to toughen the meat in the microwave.
- Cast Iron Skillet – I love my Staub skillet, and it has held up amazingly for years, but it is a splurge. If you’d like a more budget friendly option, try this Lodge skillet.
- Meat Thermometer – This is essential for recipes like this so you don’t overcook your meat, especially with a pricier cut of meat like lamb or steak. We want nice and tender meat!
More Holiday Dinner Recipes:
- Beer Braised Short Ribs with Cheddar Mash
- Chicken Wild Rice Soup
- White Cheddar Mac & Cheese
- Old-Fashioned Salisbury Steak
- One-Pot Lamb Barbacoa Tacos
- Instant Pot or Oven Beef Stew
- Mom’s Best Homemade Lasagna
- Fried Chicken Sandwiches with Honey Mustard Sauce
- Chicken Gnocchi Soup
Did you make this recipe? Snap a photo and leave a comment!
Lamb Chops with Shallot & Thyme Pan Sauce and Garlic Smashed Potatoes
For the Garlic Smashed Potatoes
- 24 ounces baby golden potatoes, rinsed & dried
- olive oil
- 3-4 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp fresh thyme, minced
- salt + pepper
For the Lamb Chops
- 4 medium lamb loin chops
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp fresh thyme, finely minced
- pinch of pepper
- 2 tbsp salted butter
For the Pan Sauce
- 1 medium shallot, minced
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken broth or white wine
- 2 tbsp salted butter
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- pinch lemon zest
- salt + pepper to taste
- Prep: Get your ingredients out and ready. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Get out your pan to cook the lamb in. Lightly oil a baking sheet with olive oil. Season the Lamb: Mix together the salt, thyme, and pepper. Rub this all over the lamb chops. Let them rest at room temperature for 5 minutes (while you prepare the taters, below).
- Start the Potatoes: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil potatoes for 15 minutes. They'll be fork tender. Drain them and transfer to the prepared pan. Smash each one down with the bottom of a bowl or glass. Add 2 tbsp olive oil to a small bowl with the garlic and thyme. Mix together, and drizzle over the smashed potatoes. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Cook for 16 – 22 minutes. They should be deeply golden brown and crispy on their undersides. If these are done before the lamb, set aside and cover with foil or a clean kitchen towel to keep warm.
- Cook the Lamb Chops: Once the taters are in the oven, start on the lamb chops. Melt 2 tbsp of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the lamb chops, and cook 5-6 minutes – they'll be deeply browned on the bottom. Flip them over, and use a meat thermometer to monitor their temperature as they finish cooking. Cook 4-6 minutes more. We're looking for 145 degrees F for medium rare chops, 160 for medium, and 170 for well done. Make sure to stick the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, and stick if halfway through the meat – don't let it touch any bones or the pan, for an accurate reading. Once they're done, set aside on a clean plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
- Make the Sauce: Don't clean out the pan. Add the shallot, garlic, and sprigs of fresh thyme to the drippings in the pan, and cook for 1-2 minutes, until the shallot is softened. Add the broth (or white wine) and stir it in. Cook 2 more minutes to let the liquid reduce a bit. Add 2 more tablespoons of butter, along with the lemon juice & zest. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook this for 1-2 minutes to let the butter melt and the flavors meld together.
- Finish: Return the lamb chops to the pan and spoon the sauce over them. You can gently reheat the smashed taters in the oven if they've cooled down too much while you finished up the lamb and sauce.
- Serve + Store: Enjoy immediately! Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.