This tutorial is all you need to make the best darn lamb chops ever! Super tender grilled lamb chops that have been marinated in Mediterranean spices, garlic, and lemon juice. Serve them with tomato mint quinoa included in this recipe and a little tztaziki sauce, or grab my list of sides below including grilled vegetables, tomato salad, and hummus. The possibilities are endless!
Important tips and step-by-step tutorial for Mediterranean lamb chop recipe included!
Many people are intimidated by lamb, or they think you have to wait for a special occasion to serve it. Sure, save the big leg of lamb and potatoes for the holidays, but something like lamb chops can make a great meal any night of the week!
I have a little bias toward lamb rack chops--also known as baby lamb chops--being of the less fatty variety, they are taken from the ribs of the lamb and are super tender and succulent. These lamb chops are really hard to mess up, whether you choose to do a roast rack of lamb; sear them in a cast iron skillet like these tasty harissa lamb chops; or grill'em up as we do in today's recipe.
Two Tips for Best Mediterranean Grilled Lamb Chops:
This grilled lamb chop recipe are easy to prepare, and you can use an outdoor grill or indoor pan grill, but a couple things make all the difference...
1- The Marinade! Most important thing to me is making sure the lamb chops are well-flavored. Lamb chops have a delicious, rich and somewhat gamy taste, they can stand any number of seasonings and marinades. Here, the lamb chops are treated with a Mediterranean garlic-spice rub--a combination of garlic, fresh mint with warm spices like allspice, cardamom, nutmeg, and paprika. Then, we let them marinade with onions, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil for 1 to 4 hours in the fridge.
You'll find that marinating them, even for just a little while, adds layers of flavor and truly helps the lamb chops shine. And hey, if you want to do this step ahead of time, totally fine to marinate overnight.
2- High Heat. Tender lamb chops need brief high heat to cook. Whether you fire up your outdoor grill, or use a grill pan or griddle, high heat is what you need. For medium-rare lamb chops, grill for a total of 5 minutes or so (2 minutes on one side, and 3 on the other. Internal temperature should register 125 degrees F.) And for medium, go just an extra ½ minute (internal temperature should register 135 degrees F.)
Step-by-Step for how to cook lamb chops:
*The tomato mint quinoa here is an optional side (steps 2 to 4); I've included other side ideas below.1. Combine the garlic, spices (allspice, cardamom, nutmeg, and sweet paprika), salt, pepper, olive oil, and fresh mint to make the spice rub. Cover the lamb chops with the spice rub on both sides, then place them in a deep dish with more olive oil, lemon juice and sliced onions. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 4 hours (you can also do this the night before and let the lamb marinate in the fridge overnight.)
20 to 25 minutes before grilling, remove the lamb chops from the fridge.
2.While the lamb chops rest at room temperature for a few minutes, make the tomato quinoa (or prepare what other sides you are making.) Cook the quinoa according to the package adding a dash of salt and olive oil to the cooking water (it'll take about 20 minutes to cook.)
3. Continuing with the quinoa, now we add flavor. In a non-stick pan, heat olive oil over medium heat and stir in the chopped garlic. Add the canned diced tomato. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 4-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Stir in the cooked quinoa. Once warmed through, add the chopped fresh mint. Stir to combine and remove from heat. Off heat, add chopped red onions, feta cheese and more fresh mint leaves for garnish
5. Time to grill the lamb chops! You can do this on a high-heated gas grill or an indoor pan grill or griddle. For medium-rare, grill the lamb chops on one side for 2 minute, then turn over on the other side and cook another 3 minutes. For medium, go an extra ½ minute on the second side.
6. When ready to serve, transfer the quinoa to serving bowls and top with the lamb chops (2 to 3 chops per person for dinner).
Remember, you can serve just the grilled lamb chops for an appetizer; 1 chop per person would be fine for an appetizer.
What to Serve with these Lamb Chops?
I like the Mediterranean tomato mint quinoa here as a side. But you can serve these grilled lamb chops with Greek lemon rice and any number of fresh salads like Mediterranean grilled vegetables; grilled zucchini salad; Three Bean Salad; Mediterranean Watermelon Salad; Tomato Salad. I love to add some dips like classic hummus, Greek tzatziki sauce, or even this awesome Citrus Avocado Dip.
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Super tender grilled lamb chops that have been marinated in Mediterranean spices, garlic, and lemon juice. Serve them with tomato mint quinoa included in this recipe and a little Tztaziki sauce or see other ideas below!
For the Lamb
- 1 tsp garlic paste (or finely minced garlic)
- 1 tsp allspice
- ½ tsp ground green cardamom
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp sweet paprika
- ½ tsp salt
- scant 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves
- Olive oil
- 2 frenched racks of lamb, fat trimmed, separated into chops (about 16 chops)
- 1 large lemon, juice of
- 1 small yellow or red onion, sliced
For the Tomato Mint Quinoa
- 1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 14.5 oz can petit tomato diced
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves, more for garnish
- ½ cup finely chopped red onion
- ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
- In a small bowl combine the garlic and spices with 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves and 2 tablespoon of olive oil. This makes a rub for the lamb.
- Take the lamb chops and rub them each on both sides with the garlic-spice rub. Place the chops in a deep dish with 2 tablespoon olive oil, lemon juice and onions. Cover and leave in the fridge for 1 to 4 hours.
- 20 to 25 minutes before grilling, remove the lamb chops from the fridge and let them rest at room temperature.
- Meanwhile, cook the quinoa according to package instructions, adding a dash of salt and olive oil to the cooking water. (For 1 cup of quinoa, you'll add 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to medium low and simmer until water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.)
- Now let's add flavor to the cooked quinoa! In a non-stick pan, heat 2 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Stir in garlic and cook very briefly and then add the canned diced tomato. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 4-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Now, stir in the cooked quinoa. Once warmed through, add the chopped fresh mint. Stir to combine and remove from heat. Off heat, add chopped red onions, feta cheese and more fresh mint leaves for garnish
- Time to grill the lamb chops! Heat an a gas grill (or an indoor grill pan) over high heat (make sure the grill is super hot) add the lamb chops and grill for about 2 minutes. Flip the chops over and cook for another 3 minutes for medium-rare or 3 ½ minutes for medium (internal temperature should register 125 degrees F for medium-rare or 135 degrees F for medium). Let the chops rest for 10 minutes before serving.
- When ready to serve, transfer the tomato mint quinoa to serving bowls, top with 2 lamb chops per person. Enjoy!
- Cook's Tip: Allow time for the lamb to marinate, if possible about 1 to 4 hours in the fridge. You can do this step in advance and allow the lamb chops to marinate overnight.
- Cook's Tip: The tomato mint quinoa here is optional; skip steps 4 and 5 if you are making something else. Remember, the lamb chops cook quickly, so it is best to prepare sides ahead of time or during the time the lamb is marinating.
- Salads and Dips to Serve Along: Any number of sides will go well with this from grilled vegetables, or this simple asparagus, to three bean salad, tomato salad, or Greek salad. I love adding a dip as well like Greek tztaziki sauce or creamy hummus.
- Serving Size: To serve for dinner along with other sides, allow 2 to 3 chops per person. To serve as an appetizer, 1 chop per person is fine. Nutrition label below is based on 2 chops per person (quinoa not included.)
- Recommended for this Recipe: Our Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil (from organically grown and processed Koroneiki olives!)
- Visit the Mediterranean Dish store to see our all-natural or organic spices like allspice, cardamom, nutmeg and paprika all used in this recipe! Create your own 6-pack or 3-pack of your favorites!
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 5 mins
- Category: Entree
- Method: Grilled
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keywords: Grilled Lamb Chops, Mediterranean Lamb Recipe
*This post first appeared on The Mediterranean Dish in 2015 and has been recently updated with new information and media for readers' benefit. Enjoy!