Authentic Greek lamb chops are pan-fried in a cast iron skillet (or grilled) after being marinated in a traditional Greek marinade of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano and salt. Bring the flavours of Greece home with this easy recipe.
If you’re looking to cook lamb chops, it’s tough to beat the traditional Greek cooking method. Delicious lamb chops hang out in the best, simple marinade (it’s similar to the marinade I use for souvlaki) and are seared in a pan or on a grill.
Lamb chops are expensive, so if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly lamb dish, I would recommend my braised lamb ragu (using lamb shoulder chops).
Why this recipe works
It’s all about the marinade and the cut of lamb that we’re using. I like to use a small rib chops, known as ‘padakia’. I find the best lamb chops can be found at a Greek butcher. You’ll get meaty chops, often for less than you’ll pay in the grocery store.
And I’ll share a Greek cooking secret with you; always add more lemon and garlic than you typically would. That’s what gives a lot of Greek grilled meats their flavour.
- Lamb rib chops are tender and come from the ribs (of course), you can have the white fat removed from the handles (also known as frenched) but I like to leave it on for extra flavour.
- Olive oil is a must in most marinades, but especially in Greek recipes.
- Garlic is another key ingredient. I’m using four cloves for these eight chops.
- Oregano is a common dried herb used in Greek cooking, you could also sub in thyme or rosemary.
- Lemon juice is part of the marinade and also gets sprinkled on at the end to finish and brighten the dish.
- You may be worried about the garlic burning when the lamb hits the pan, but this cut of meat cook very quickly and the cooked garlic adds a lot of flavour to the finished dish.
- This marinade is quite versatile, you can swap in rosemary or thyme for the oregano.
- For medium-rare, cook your lamb chops to an internal temperature of 130-135F. Learn more about what internal temperatures to aim for when cooking lamb.
Step by step instructions
- Start by whisking all of the marinade ingredients together. Then add your lamb chops, cover and marinate them for at least 30 minutes or up to six hours.
- When you’re ready to cook, preheat a cast iron pan over medium high. You shouldn’t need to add any extra oil to the pan beyond the oil from the marinade, plus the fat that will come off of the chops as they cook. Sear for 2-3 minutes per side, until nicely browned on each side and they reach an internal temperature for 135F. You’ll need to cook the lamb chops in batches, wiping the pan in between.