These yogurt-marinated grilled lamb loin chops are a great reason to fire up the grill! Inspired by the flavors of the Middle East, this recipe serves grilled lamb chops over a fresh, crunchy fennel salad packed with herbs and delicious spices. Finish with a pinch of sumac, good olive oil and some Greek yogurt for a meal that can be as casual or as fancy as you like.

grilled lamb chops arranges over thinly sliced fennel on a white plate

What Is the Difference Between Lamb Rib Chops and Lamb Loin Chops

Lamb loin chops are cut from the back of the lamb right behind the ribs and run from the spine to the hindquarters. Generally cut into thick chops, lamb loin chops are a bone-in cut of meat and are much meatier than the rib chop.

Lamb rib chops are smaller than the other two types of lamb chops—shoulder chops and loin chops—and feature a long slender rib, giving them that “lollipop” look. While loin chops are more akin to miniature T-Bone steaks.

How to Grill Lamb Loin Chops

Loin chops are known for being tender, making them an ideal candidate for cooking over high heat like grilling or searing. Grilling is our preferred way to cook lamb loin chops, not only is it quick and clean, but it imparts a nice amount of smoky flavor and chars the fatty edges of the meat. The process couldn’t be more simple:

  1. Preheat the grill to medium-high
  2. Brush the grill grate clean then brush the grates with oil
  3. Grill the chops for 5–6 minutes per side

Two things to keep in mind, the chops will let you know when they’re ready to flip (they’ll release themselves from the grill grate), and the total amount of cooking time is determined to how well-done you like your meat. 

Test Kitchen Tips

  • Lamb in particular does really well when marinated in yogurt, so for this recipe we marinate the lamb chops in a combination of Greek yogurt, lemon juice and zest, oregano, cumin and/or fennel seeds (I like both), garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. It’s a simple list of ingredients, but together they create a delicious foundation of flavor.
  • Prick the lamb all over with a fork prior to marinating. This encourages the marinade to permeate into the meat, aka infusing it with all those delicious flavors!
  • Season the meat aggressively. This is true for any red meat—don’t be afraid to season it well! Even if you’re seasoning your meat, we can almost guarantee you aren’t seasoning it enough. It’s hard to over salt a chop or steak so give it a little more!

How Long to Cook Lamb Loin Chops

A general rule of thumb: when cooked over medium-high heat, lamb loin chops will need about 5–6 minutes per side. Pan-searing lamb loin chops is a similar process to grilling—preheat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high, cook the chops for 5–6 minutes per side.

The oven can be utilized for a more hands-off approach. Preheat the oven to 400°F (204ºC), while the oven preheats, preheat a cast-iron skillet on the stovetop. Sear the chops until golden on each side (about 1 minute per side) then transfer the skillet to the oven and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 145ºF for medium-rare or 150ºF for medium, 12–14 minutes. (You can also try out the reverse sear method.)

lamb chop sliced into on a plate with fennel salad

What Temperature to Cook Lamb Loin Chops To

Using temperature as a guide for cooking meat is always a good idea. It’s truly the only foolproof way to get a perfectly cooked piece of meat every time. 

Lamb chops are best served medium-rare or medium. Any more and the meat will start to dry out and lose some of its tenderness (which is what makes them so good!). 

Here are some internal temperature guidelines from the USDA for cooking lamb:

  • Pull at 145°F  for medium-rare, let rest for at least 3 minutes (final temp 145°F)
  • Pull at 150°F for medium, let rest for at least 3 minutes (final temp 160°F)

How to Serve Lamb Loin Chops

Serve over a crunchy herbaceous fennel salad for a full hearty meal. It’s perfect for a Sunday night dinner but also makes for a savory summer weeknight meal.

Pair this robust meal with a light and fruity wine like a Pinot Noir or a heavier red like a Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel. To finish, serve with a piece of crusty bread or milk buns to round out the dish.

Leftover Storage + Reheating Tips

  • Loin chops can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • To reheat cooked lamb loin chops, place them in a baking dish, cover with aluminum foil and reheat for 10 minutes at 300°F—or until fully warmed. Reheating using this oven method will prevent the chops from drying out.
grilled lamb chops arranges over thinly sliced fennel on a white plate

Side Dishes for Lamb Loin Chops 

FAQs

What goes well with lamb chops?

Some of the most common flavor pairings for lamb include:
– Mint
– Parsley 
– Yogurt
– Garlic
– Rosemary
– Cinnamon
– Fenugreek
– Olives
– Dill 
– Oregano 
– Preserved lemon

What does lamb taste like?

The overall taste of lamb is a stronger, wilder flavor than that of beef—but with a similar texture.

How do I cook the leg of a lamb?

Leg of lamb is fully cooked when the internal temperature reads 145°F. Our preferred method is baking the leg of lamb at 350°F for 90 minutes after adding a generous coat of seasoning.

What are some simple ways to season lamb chops?

Here are some of our favorite ways to season lamb chops:
– Salt and pepper
– Dry rubs 
– Yogurt or milk marinade 
– Rosemary and garlic
– Oregano and garlic 
– Mediterranean spices 
– Fennel seed

How many lamb loin chops per person?

In general, plan for 2 lamb loin chops per serving. If you’re serving them as part of a large meal with multiple sides, one chop per person will do. But for everyday meals with just one side dish, two chops per person is what you should plan on.

Lamb Loin Chops Recipe

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Marinating Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours
Yield 4 servings + 3 cups fennel mixture
Category Main Dish
Cuisine Middle Eastern

Description

These Middle Eastern-inspired lamb chops get marinated in a spiced yogurt before being grilled and served over a crunchy herbaceous fennel salad. 

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ pounds lamb loin chops, about 1½ inches thick
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 lemons, one zested and both juiced
  • 2 tablespoons fennel or cumin seeds, crushed (we like a mix of both) + more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped + more for serving
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced, fronds reserved
  • 1 cup mixed fresh herbs such as reserved fennel fronds, cilantro, mint and/or parsley
  • ½ teaspoon ground sumac
  • Flaky sea salt, extra-virgin olive oil, and Greek yogurt for serving

Instructions

  • Pierce lamb chops with a fork all over; season with salt and pepper.
  • Combine yogurt, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon zest, 2 tablespoons fennel and/or cumin seeds, 2 tablespoons oregano, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a large bowl.
  • Add lamb loin chops and toss to coat evenly. Cover and chill for 2 hours or up to overnight.
  • Let meat come to room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, toss sliced fennel with 2 tablespoons lemon juice; season with salt and set aside. Heat a grill to medium-high (375ºF). Brush grill grate clean, then brush with oil to coat.
  • Grill chops 5–6 minutes per side until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the centers, but not touching the bone, registers 125–130°F for medium-rare or 135°F for medium.
  • Add cup if mixed herbs to sliced fennel mixture; transfer to a serving platter then arrange lamb loin chops on top. Sprinkle lamb and fennel with ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds, sumac, and flaky sea salt. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with additional Greek yogurt.

Notes

Inspired by a recipe from Nothing Fancy by Alison Roman.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 recipeCalories: 464kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 24gFat: 30gSaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 989mgFiber: 2gSugar: 21g
Like this? Leave a comment below!I love hearing from you and I want to hear how it went with this recipe! Leave a comment and rating below, then share on social media @zestful-kitchen and #zestfulkitchen!
grilled lamb chops arranges over thinly sliced fennel on a white plate

Pin This Recipe

Love this recipe and want to save it? Pin this recipe!

Pin This Recipe

More Lamb Recipes to Try

Get Zestful in Your Inbox
The latest Zestful Kitchen recipes, tips and insights to your inbox.

Share it with the world

Pin

About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

Learn More

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How many stars would you give this recipe?