Easy Pan Fried Lamb Chops are quickly seared in a cast iron skillet, then drizzled with garlic butter sauce for a mouthwatering restaurant quality dinner at home in 30 minutes.
Table of contents
Rich and succulent pan fried lamb chops look elegant but are so easy to make at home!
All you need for this method is a hot cast-iron skillet, 8 lamb lollipops and a few simple ingredients. They will rival any high end restaurant!
First, we infuse olive oil with fresh rosemary in the skillet, then quickly fry the lamb rib chops, and follow that by a pan sauce with butter and garlic.
My mouth is watering just thinking of how delicious these were for dinner!
They have a slightly browned crust and a juicy, slightly pink interior. No marinating is required and you can have pan-seared lamb chops on the table in less than 30 minutes for a busy weeknight dinner or elegant holiday meal.
This pan fried lamb chop recipe contains minimal ingredients but maximum flavor! I recommend to use fresh and high quality ingredients for best taste.
- Lamb rib chops: You will need a rack of lamb that has been trimmed into 8 bone-in lamb chops that are about 3/4 inch thick. If you wish, you can remove excess fat.
- Olive oil: I use extra virgin olive oil as that is what I most often have on hand. Ghee may work too.
- Fresh rosemary: The tender leaves of fresh rosemary, not dried, add the best flavor.
- Butter: For making a butter garlic sauce.
- Fresh garlic: Freshly minced garlic for best taste! Look for heads of garlic that are firm with full cloves.
- Salt and ground black pepper: Kosher salt, pink salt, or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to season and taste.
- Fresh parsley: To garnish your pan-fried lamb chops and add a pop of fresh flavor before serving.
How to Cook Pan-Fried Lamb Chops
Here is a quick overview how to cook lamb chops on the stove with minimal effort and not much prep time at all.
Just follow these steps and the temperature guidelines for the best pan-fried lamb chops full of robust flavors!
- Seasoning the chops: Drizzle top of the chops with one tablespoon of olive oil and then season with salt and pepper. Use your hands to tenderize the meat by rubbing it back and forth.
- To infuse olive oil: To flavor the oil with fresh rosemary, preheat large cast iron skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and fresh rosemary sprigs. Cook for 2 minutes or until it is fragrant, browned and crispy. Discard rosemary.
- Frying lamb chops: Add four lamb chops to the cast iron pan in a single layer and fry lamb chops for 3 minutes per side until nice crust forms. Remove from the pan to rest on a platter and cover with aluminum foil to help lock in the juices. Continue to sear lamb chops that are remaining.
- To make butter garlic sauce: Reduce heat to low, add butter and minced garlic cloves, then saute on low heat for 30 seconds. Pour garlic butter sauce over the chops, garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately.
How Long to Cook Lamb Chops?
For how long to cook lamb chops will differ depending on your desired doneness. A good meat thermometer is best for checking the internal temperature of your stove top lamb chops.
- Rare: 120 degrees F
- Medium-rare: 125 degrees F
- Medium: 130 degrees F
- Medium-well: 135 degrees F
- Well done: 140+ degrees F
- Spices: You may be interested in how to season lamb chops with additional herbs or spices. Try dried thyme, oregano, cumin, paprika, smoked paprika, or experiment with a few to see what you like.
- Marinate: If you have extra time, marinate your lamb in olive oil, rosemary and garlic for 30 minutes.
- Lemon: A squeeze of fresh lemon juice will add bright flavor right before serving.
- Grill: Grill on medium high heat for 3 minutes on each side until desired doneness.
- Room temperature lamb: Warming up the raw chops will help them cook evenly. Pull lamb out of the fridge 20-30 minutes before cooking.
- Fresh rosemary: Dried rosemary won’t taste the same and since it’s a star flavor of this dish, fresh herbs are best in this recipe. Or just skip.
- A touch of sesame oil: While I don’t find lamb gamey, some do. Loin chops are less than leg chops, but you may love a drop of sesame oil mixed with your olive oil.
- Cast iron skillet: There is something amazing about a cast iron skillet that sears meat beautifully at high temperature! If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, you will want to use a heavy pan or large skillet with a heavy bottom as that will distribute heat evenly.
Serving Pan Seared Lamb Chops
Since these pan fried lamb chops come together so quickly, I recommend to make ahead an easy side dish and store it in the refrigerator to stay cold or in the oven for warm side dishes.
Refrigerate: Store leftover lamb chops in an airtight container or tightly wrapped in plastic wrap for 4 days. Reheat in a hot skillet for a few minutes per side to get those crispy edges again.
Freeze: Freeze in an airtight container or wrap individually in plastic wrap then store in a freezer safe bag. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Lamb chops are taken from the ribs of the lamb. This recipe calls for a 2 pounds rack of lamb which is 8 chops cut from the rack. A rack of lamb is often cooked together, and then chops are cooked individually.
Chops are flavorful because they contain more fat, marbled inside the meat and on the layer surrounding the ribs. When browned in a skillet or grilled, it’s so tender and good!
For the most accurate results, investing in an instant-read thermometer will ensure the optimal temperature of the meat to your desired doneness.
It’s best to pull your lamb meat from the heat 10 degrees sooner than your preferred temperature to avoid over cooking lamb chops. Refer to the list above to find optimal internal temperature.
Your rib chops should not be tough if you don’t overcook them. If you picked up shoulder chops, those are a tougher cut of meat and should be cooked low and slow.
More Lamb Recipes to Try
Pan-Fried Lamb Chops
- Drizzle lamb chops with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Rub it around with your hands.
- Preheat large cast iron skillet on medium heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and rosemary. Cook for 2 minutes or until rosemary is crispy and brown, stirring often. Remove rosemary from a skillet and discard.
- Add 4 lamb chops and pan fry for 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter, cover with foil and pan fry remaining 4 chops. Transfer to a platter. Drain and discard fat.
- Now add butter and garlic, saute on low heat for 30 seconds, stirring often. Don't let garlic brown too much or even worse burn.
- Pour garlic butter sauce over lamb chops, garnish with parsley and serve immediately.