Tender, oven roasted rack of lamb is elegant and easy to prepare. You'll love this lamb rack covered in a simple Mediterranean garlic and herb marinade and cooked for a quick 15 to 20 minutes in a high-heated oven.
Be sure to read through for tips and watch the video below for how to cook rack of lamb.
I once heard someone describe rack of lamb this way: “Rack is the finest part of the lamb. It is to lamb what prime rib is to beef.” I couldn't agree more!
The rack is the most luxurious cuts of lamb. It is tender, full of flavor, and makes an elegant centerpiece on the dinner table. And thankfully, it is fairly easy to cook.
In this recipe, the lamb rack is covered in a quick Mediterranean marinade with garlic, rosemary, and fresh parsley (which turns into a beautiful crust once the lamb is roasted). After about 15 to 20 minutes in a high-heated oven, the tender, flavor-packed lamb is ready! Just add your favorite side or salad for a special dinner any night of the week (lots of ideas below).
How many does a rack of lamb serve?
If you're not familiar, the rack is a section of ribs with the loin meat attached; delicious and incredibly tender. One rack can be divided into 8 lamb chops to serve 2 to 3 people.
You can count on about 2 to 3 lamb chops per person. In this recipe, I used 2 racks of lamb, which yields 16 lamb chops and can easily serve 6 people for dinner.
What is the cooking time for lamb?
A high-heated oven (450 degrees F) is recommended for roast lamb rack. And it will take somewhere between 15 and 20 minutes to cook.
This part of the lamb is typically served pink--rare (internal temperature of 125 degrees F) or medium-rare (internal temperature 135 degrees F).
To avoid overcooking lamb rack, roast to 5 degrees below the final temperature you want. Remember that the meat will have time to rest and the temperature will continue to rise then.
Here's what you'll need for this roasted rack of lamb recipe
This recipe is made up of two simple components
- The Lamb
You will need 2 frenched racks of lamb. You can usually buy lamb rack at that has already been frenched, which means the meat and fat around the rib bones has been trimmed so that the rib bones are exponsed. It makes an impressive presentation that way.
- The Marinade
To make the marinade, you'll need 10 to 12 garlic cloves (don't be shy with your garlic here, you need it for flavor), rosemary, fresh parsley, pinch of red pepper flakes and extra virgin olive oil.
The easiest way to make the rack of lamb marinade is to simply blitz everything together in a food processor.
How to Cook Rack of Lamb in the Oven:
- Season the lamb
Just give the meat a good sprinkle of kosher salt and black pepper on both sides
In a small food processor fitted with a blade, combine the garlic, olive oil, rosemary, parsley, and pinch of red pepper flakes. Blend well. Cover the lamb rack with the garlic and herb marinade on both sides and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes or up to 1 hour. You can also marinate the lamb overnight in the fridge.
Heat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place the lamb (fat side pointing up) on a sheet pan and roast on the top rack (top ⅓ of the oven) for about 15 minutes. Turn the lamb over on the other side and roast another 5 minutes (longer depending on you like your lamb done).
- Let Rest
Once you take the lamb out of the oven, tent a large piece of foil over the baking sheet and let the lamb rest for about 10 minutes before slicing through.
Resist the temptation to cut into the lamb immediately, allowing time for the juices to get reabsorbed into the meat makes for a tender bite!
If you have leftovers, you can store them in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
I think leftover cooked lamb rack is best served at room temperature. But if you want to reheat, cover the lamb with foil and put a bit of broth or water in the bottom of the sheet pan to help keep the meat moist. Place in a medium-heated oven until warmed through.
Serve it with
Whenever I serve lamb, be it leg of lamb or rack, I often add a side of tzatziki sauce and Greek potatoes, but the possibilities of sides and salads to serve along are endless. Here are some more ideas:
- Salads: Mediterranean lentil salad, Mediterranean orzo salad, or balela salad
- Sides: Grilled vegetables, skillet zucchini, brussels sprouts, roasted eggplant
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Roast Rack of Lamb with Garlic and Herbs
For the garlic-herb marinade
- 10 garlic cloves
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive
- 1 cup lightly packed fresh parsley
- 2 tsp dry rosemary
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
For the rack of lamb
- 2 lamb racks
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- In the bowl of a small food processor fitted with a blade, add the garlic, olive oil, parsley, rosemary and red pepper flakes. Run the processor until the mixture is well-combined and everything is finely chopped.
- Season the lamb all over with kosher salt and pepper.
- Rub each rack of lamb all over with the marinade. Let the lamb marinate for 20 to 30 minutes at room temperature (or if you have the time, up to 1 hour).
- Heat the oven to 450 degrees F and place a rack on the top ⅓ of the oven.
- Arrange the lamb racks (fat side pointing up) on a sheetpan. Place the sheetpan on the top oven rack for 15 minutes. Carefully remove it from the oven and turn the rack of lamb on the other side. Return to the oven and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes depending on how you like your rack of lamb (rack of lamb is typically served rare or medium-rare, but you can also serve it medium).
- Remove from the oven and tent with foil. Allow the lamb about 10 minutes to rest (the temperature will rise and the lamb will continue to cook some more).
- Cut the lamb chops in between the bones and arrange on a platter to serve. (Add a side of Tzatziki sauce if you like).
- For even more flavor, marinate the lamb overnight in the fridge.
- To avoid overcooking the lamb, use an instant read thermometer to determine if the lamb is done to your liking. For rare, internal temperature should reach 125 degrees F and for medium-rare, it should read around 135 degrees F. Check and take it out of the oven 5 degrees before it reaches the temperature you are looking for. As the lamb rack rests, the temperature will rise.
- Serving Size: each rack of lamb will have 8 ribs or chops. You can count on 2 to 3 lamb chops per person (6 to 8 people).
- Leftovers & Stoarge: If you have leftovers, you can store them in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Best served at room temperature, but if you must warm leftover rack of lamb through, use a medium-heated oven. Place the meat on a sheetpan and add a bit of water or broth then cover with foil. Place in the oven until just warmed through.
- Visit our online shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including extra virgin olive oils and spices
*This postand recipe first appeared on The Mediterranean Dish in 2015. The recipe has been modified and updated with new information and media for readers' benefit.