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.
This post was sponsored by the American Lamb Board, as always the thoughts, opinions, recipes, photos, and content are all my own.
When purchasing any kind of meat, I try to be very intentional to choose my meat based on quality and where it’s from. When it comes to lamb, I always seek out American Lamb to support American farmers and because the quality is top notch.
Marinade for lamb loin chops
When it comes to marinating lamb, the options truly are endless. Some of the most common flavor pairings for lamb include:
- Preserved lemon
For this recipe I combined a few of those classic pairings to create a Middle-Eastern-inspired dish. Lamb in particular does really well when marinated in yogurt, so for this recipe I 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.
Before rubbing the marinade into the lamb there are two important steps. First, you need to prick the lamb all over with a fork. This encourages the marinade to permeate into the meat, aka infusing it with all those delicious flavors!
And second, 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, I 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 to grill lamb loin chops
Grilling is my preferred way to cook lamb loin chops, not only is it quick and clean, but it imparts tons of smoky flavor and adds a nice char to the fatty edges of the meat. The process couldn’t be more simple—preheat the grill to medium-high, brush the grill grate clean, brush the grate with oil, then cook the chops for 5–6 minutes per side. Two things to keep in mind, the chops will let you know when they’re read to flip (they’ll release themselves from the grill grate), and the total amount of cooking time is up to you and how well-done you like your meat.
What temperature to cook lamb 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 loose 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)
Where do lamb loin chops come from?
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.
Loin chops are known for being tender, making them an ideal candidate for cooking over high heat like grilling or searing.
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.
Serve these lamb chops with…
Side dishes for lamb loin chops
- Modern Creamy Cucumber Salad
- Easy Roasted Green Beans with Lemon & Garlic
- Garlic Naan Bread
- Roasted Garlicky Brussels Sprouts
- Miso & Za’atar Potato Salad
You May Also like…
GIVEAWAY! Once you’ve gotten your lamb chop fix, try your hand at a #Glamburger! I have my eyes on two recipes from Well Seasoned Studio and Cooking with Cocktail Rings. Visit The American Lamb Board’s website for more event and giveaway details.
Make sure to tag me @ZESTFULKITCHEN ON INSTAGRAM or tag #zestfulkitchen on social media if you make a recipe!
Don’t forget, if you make these Lamb Rib Chops, leave a comment and rating below!
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These Middle Eastern-inspired lamb chops get marinated in a spiced yogurt before being grilled and served over a crunchy herbaceous fennel salad.
- 2 ½ pounds American 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 (I 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
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.
Inspired by a recipe from Nothing Fancy by Alison Roman
Keywords: grilled lamb loin chops, lamb loin chops