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Made with rosemary, garlic, and butter to compliment the natural richness of the lamb, these Pan Seared Lamb Loin Chops are simple to prepare with in a cast iron pan and have the wonderful crust you get at a nice restaurant!

If you love cooking with your cast iron skillet, be sure to check out my Crispy Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Thighs, Cast Iron Pan Pizza, and Pan Seared Scallops!

Pan seared lamb chops in a cast iron skillet.

Lamb is one of my favorite proteins because of it’s rich, complex flavor and how easy it is to cook. In this post, I’m sharing how to make perfectly succulent lamb chops at home in a cast iron skillet, which is one of my all-time favorite kitchen tools that I use on a regular basis!

We love grilled lamb chops and oven-roasted rack of lamb, but cooking them in a screaming hot skillet on the stovetop is another one of my favorite tried-and-true methods for serving up a dinner that can rival any high-end restaurant.

A close image of sliced medium-rare lamb loin chops.

I really feel like more Americans would be as obsessed with lamb as I am if they would give these pan-seared lamb chops a try. If you are a fan of a juicy, medium-rare steak, then I promise you are going to rave about these perfectly cooked lamb chops. Lamb loin chops even look like mini little t-bone steaks!

Medium rare sliced lamb chops on a plate with a creamy cucumber salad.

What you need to make pan seared lamb chops

  • Lamb chops: I used bone-in lamb loin chops because they fit well in the pan although you could also use lamb rib chops if that’s what you have available. If there is a thick layer of fat around your lamb chops, you may want to trim it before cooking since most of it won’t render.
  • Salt: Coarse ground kosher is the way to go here.
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil: A couple of tablespoons of good olive oil are added to the hot pan before the lamb chops.
  • Butter: The butter adds such wonderful flavor to the crust that develops on the lamb chops.
  • Garlic: Smash some fresh garlic cloves to add to the pan. They will flavor the butter that gets spooned over the top of the lamb chops towards the end of cooking.
  • Fresh herbs: These are optional, but I love adding a few sprigs or rosemary or thyme to the pan to add additional flavor to the pan sauce.
Lamb chops on a blue plate surrounded by salt, pepper, garlic, herbs, and butter.

How to make pan seared lamb loin chops

The only tools you need to make pan seared lamb chops are a cast iron skillet or other heavy pan and a pair of tongs to turn the chops.

  1. Pull the lamb chops out of the fridge and let them sit on the counter for 30 minutes before you plan too cook them. This allows them to come up to temperature and cook much more evenly.
  2. Season the lamb chops with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper on both sides.
  3. Heat the pan over medium-high heat until it is good and hot. You can the meat to sizzle immediately when it hits the pan so it develops a wonderful crust. Add the oil so it can get hot before placing the lamb chops in, making sure not to crowd the pan.
  4. Cook the lamb chops for 3-4 minutes without moving so that they can sear on one side, then use the tongs to flip and cook on the other side for another 3-4 minutes.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and add the butter, garlic, and fresh herbs to the pan. As the butter melts, spoon it over each of the lamb chops for about 5 minutes.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and let the lamb chops sit for about 10 minutes until they reach a temperature of 125 degrees F when tested with a digital meat thermometer (affiliate link) for medium-rare.

The amount of time that the lamb chops need to cook will depend on the pan, the temperature of the meat before adding it to the pan, and the thickness of the lamb chops, so the better way to approach any meat cooked with this method is by using a reliable digital meat thermometer (affiliate link).

Remember that the temperature of the meat will continue to rise by about 5 degrees F after removing it from the heat, so keep that in mind when you are deciding what temperature to cook your meat to.

Seared lamb loin chops in a cast iron pan.

Temperature guidelines for cooking lamb

  • Rare: 120-125 degrees F
  • Medium-rare: 125-130 degrees F
  • Medium: 130-135 degrees F
  • Medium-well: 135-140 degrees F
  • Well-done: 140+ degrees F
Two lamb loin chops on a plate next to a cucumber salad.

What to serve with lamb loin chops

I served these lamb chops with a quick and easy creamy cucumber salad, but any BBQ or picnic side salad would be delicious with this rich cut of meat. Here are some of our other favorite sides that we serve with lamb chops.

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A close image of sliced medium-rare lamb loin chops.
Yield: 4 Servings

Pan Seared Lamb Loin Chops

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 42 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8-9 bone-in lamb loin chops, about 1-inch thick
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, adjust as needed
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, for the pan
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

Instructions

  1. Let the lamb chops sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. Pat dry and season the lamb chops with salt and pepper on all sides.
  2. Heat a large cast iron skillet or other heavy pan on medium-high heat until very hot. Add the olive oil and heat for a minute, then carefully place the lamb chops in the pan, leaving a little space between them.
  3. Cook for 3-4 minutes until seared on the bottom side, then flip with tongs and cook another 3-4 minutes on the other side to sear.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the butter, garlic, rosemary and thyme. Spoon the melted butter, garlic, and herbs over the lamb chops while continuing to cook for about 5 more minutes or until the temperature on a digital meat thermometer inserted into the meaty part of the lamb chops reaches 125 degrees F for medium-rare. See notes for additional information about cooking temperatures and degrees of doneness.
  5. Remove from the lamb chops from the heat, cover with a piece of foil, then let the meat rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • Degrees of Doneness: If you want to cook your lamb chops to a different degree of doneness, follow these temperature guides and adjust the cooking time. Keep in mind that the temperature of the meat will continue to rise by about 5 degrees during the resting period after you pull it off the heat. (Rare: 120-125 degrees F; Medium-rare: 125-130 degrees F; Medium: 130-135 degrees F; Medium-well: 135-140 degrees F; Well-done: 140+ degrees F)

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 539Total Fat: 44gSaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 141mgSodium: 1246mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 35g

This post first appeared on Gimme Delicious, where I am a contributor.