Make these quick, Pan-Fried Lamb Chops when you need an easy but elegant date night or dinner party main dish. Or on a busy weeknight or lazy weekend evening. Whenever the craving strikes, you can be serving these beautiful chops in 30 minutes flat (including prep time and resting time).
You’ll slather tender, lamb rib chops with an aromatic marinade of fresh garlic cloves and rosemary, olive oil, salt and pepper. Then lay them into a blistering skillet to sear on each side. Just long enough to turn the garlic and rosemary into crispy, buttery, piney bits and coat the chops in a well-browned crust, but leave them juicy and pink within.
Ingredients you need to make Pan-Fried Lamb Chops
- Lamb Rib Chops: For this recipe, you’ll need 8 lamb rib chops that are about 3/4-inch thick and trimmed of excess fat (Frenched). Tip: You can buy individual lamb rib chops, but I often buy lamb rib roasts (typically much less expensive per pound) and divide the individual chops with a very sharp knife.
- Fresh Garlic: look for heads of garlic that are firm and compact with plump cloves. Avoid those that have begun to wilt or discolor or that have begun to sprout.
- Olive Oil: Any good olive oil will do here, no need for extra-virgin since you’ll be searing the lamb chops. Though it’s the only kind I typically have on hand and works well for this recipe.
- Fresh Rosemary: Don’t be tempted to swap in dried rosemary. It’s a star flavor here, so you want fresh, tender leaves of rosemary for the best flavor.
- Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper: you can use fine sea salt if you don’t have kosher salt, just use half as much.
You have a lot of options for cooking lamb chops. Lamb rib chops are best grilled or pan-fried as they cook very quickly. Lamb loin chops are also great on the grill, but do well in the oven too. (See these other lamb recipes: Roasted Lamb Chops and Grilled Lamb Chops.)
You can use a recipe’s temperature and cook time as a guide. But for the most accurate results, use an instant read thermometer to ensure that your lamb chops are cooked to your desired doneness: 145°F for medium rare (pull from heat at 135°F), at 160°F for medium (pull from heat at 150°F), and 170°F for well done (pull from heat at 160°F).
Cook lamb rib chops hot and fast on a grill or in a skillet on the stove top. You can grill, bake, or pan-fry lamb loin chops.
What to serve with lamb chops
How to make pan-fried lamb chops
Step 1: Combine marinade ingredients (garlic, rosemary, olive oil, and salt) in a small bowl.
Step 2: Spoon marinade evenly over both sides of lamb loin chops.
Step 3: Pan-fry lamb chops in a hot, cast iron skillet over medium-high heat to your desired doneness, 2-4 minutes per side. Remove from pan and let rest 5 minutes; serve.
Pan Fried Lamb Chops
- 8 lamb chops 3/4 inches thick
- 4 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary dried rosemary is not a good substitute here
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- In a small bowl, stir together 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, rosemary, garlic and salt. Spoon mixture evenly over both sides of lamb chops. (You can do this up to 4 hours ahead.)
- Heat a large skillet (ideally cast iron) over medium-high heat until hot. Pour in remaining tablespoon of olive oil and swirl to coat. Add lamb chops in a single layer and cook 2 to 4 minutes on each side to desired doneness, 135°F for medium-rare.
- Transfer lamb chops to platter and let rest 5 minutes before serving.
- You can find lamb rib chops already cut in the grocery store, but I’ve found that it’s less expensive to buy lamb rib roasts and cut them into individual chops with a very sharp knife.