Lamb Recipes

It’s a shame that lamb is typically reserved for special occasions like Easter and Passover dinner. This versatile protein can be cooked in any number of styles and makes an easy weeknight meal. Do you like pork chops? Try lamb chops—tender cuts from the rib, shoulder or loin that can be roasted or pan-cooked just like a pork chop or steak. Try subbing in ground lamb for ground beef, or use it to make Mediterranean favorites like moussaka and lamb meatballs. Looking for a make-ahead meal? Try stewing lamb. It holds up well in slow cookers and makes delicious, freezable stews and braises. Whether you’re making lamb the star of your holiday feast or you simply want to change up your weeknight routine, the F&W guide to lamb has you covered, with recipes for fast lamb chops, leg of lamb, grilled lamb and more.

Most Recent

Lamb and Butternut Squash Tagine with Apricots

The natural juices from the lamb and onion create steam that bastes the meat as it cooks over a low flame. The gentle heat ensures that the environment inside the tagine remains moist and does not dry out or burn. Savory lamb, salty olives, and ras el hanout (a North African spice blend of coriander, cumin, and warming spices) are balanced by sweet butternut squash, apricots, and a touch of honey.
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Pan-Seared Lamb Steaks with Anchovy Butter

When I'm looking to put on the Ritz for a fancy dinner party, I often center the menu around a majestic lamb roast, either a whole bone-in leg of lamb or a rolled-and-stuffed shoulder. But when I crave lamb on a weeknight, it's lamb steaks all the way. Depending on where you shop, lamb steaks can be harder to find than other cuts, but their tender meatiness makes them worth seeking out. The best cuts for quick-cooking are sirloin and leg steaks (the sirloin, basically the upper leg or hip portion, will be boneless, while leg steaks contain a single round bone). The ideal thickness for lamb steaks is 3/4 to 1 inch, but thicker steaks are no problem, especially boneless sirloin ones. Just butterfly them by cutting the steaks almost in half horizontally and folding the meat open like a book to make thinner, quicker-cooking steaks. If the steaks have a thick cushion of fat around the edges, trim it down to a modest 1/4 inch, and, to keep leg steaks from curling during cooking, make shallow incisions every couple of inches around the perimeter to break up the membrane that will shrink and buckle in a hot skillet. Much of the excellence of lamb steaks comes from their natural tenderness, but if there's time, pre-seasoning the meat (anywhere from 1 to 8 hours ahead) will further enhance the texture and flavor. I keep the seasoning simple to allow the sweetness of the lamb shine through, but I do kick things up at the finish by slathering the hot steaks with a lusty anchovy butter. The flavored butter takes advantage of two things I learned about lamb long ago: lamb loves butter, and lamb loves anchovies. There's some magical alchemy that happens when the meaty lamb juices blend with the richness of the butter and the funky brine of the anchovy. A bit of fresh lemon zest and parsley provides the perfect counterpoint. Lamb steaks are best cooked to medium-rare, or medium, if you prefer; the most effective way to get it right is to brush the surface with olive oil and sear the steaks in a hot skillet or grill pan (cast iron works well). Once the surface develops a handsome crust, lower the heat and continue cooking until they reach the desired internal temperature (125°F to 130°F for medium-rare and 135°F to 140°F for medium). Transfer the steaks to plates or a carving board and immediately smear the tops with the flavored butter (the heat of the steaks melts the butter into an instant sauce), and let the steaks rest for 3 to 5 minutes before cutting into them. Of course, if it's grilling weather (or you’re one of those intrepid cooks who likes to grill no matter the forecast), by all means, cook them outdoors. A slight kiss of smoke will only make them better.
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Campfire Lamb Peka

Last summer, I had the good fortune to travel with my partner to Croatia. We spent two weeks traversing the coastline of Croatia, where, in a cinderblock cabin surrounded by olive trees outside the Istrian town of Pula, Croatia, we got a lesson in how to make Croatia’s most prized dish, peka. Peka is the name for both the bell-shaped, domed cooking vessel made of cast iron and the meal that is prepared in it. The process for making peka is ancient and involves placing the pan over a bed of glowing coal embers and scooping more embers on top of the domed lid to create an oven-like environment where meats or seafood and vegetables are slow-roasted inside. Our teacher was Nikola of Eat Istria, and our day began at the market in Pula, where Nikola led me and my partner from stall to stall to collect ingredients. We were asked if we preferred lamb necks or veal chops. Perhaps octopus? We chose lamb, and that meant a stop at the vegetable stand for potatoes, carrots, onions, and garlic to accompany. At the cabin, we prepped the ingredients with minimal fuss, roughly cutting the carrots and onions, leaving the potatoes and garlic cloves whole, and layering them in the base of the dish with the lamb on top so the fat and juices would baste them throughout cooking. We plucked needles from a handful of rosemary sprigs snipped from the yard and doused the whole thing in white wine and a luxurious amount of extra-virgin olive oil that created a heady sauce of sorts in the bottom of the dish. As Nikola built a campfire on the side of a stone wall, he explained that we would wait for the fire to die down and then surround the peka with the residual ashy embers. These small chunks of coal produce just the right amount of heat to slowly cook the meal over the course of an hour or two. Once the embers were ready, we carried the weighty peka from the kitchen to the bed of coals and opened some local wines to while away the afternoon, patiently awaiting our one-pot feast. A waft of scented steam roared from the pot as Nikola lifted the dome to reveal the gloriously browned lamb necks. We peeked in and spied potatoes and carrots that were so dark in spots they were nearly burnt, but in a good way. The olive oil at the bottom was still bubbling and spitting as we gathered around the weathered wood table under a vine-covered pergola. Many of the homes we saw in Croatia had an outdoor fireplace for live-fire cooking—a centerpiece of the home, where meals are still made and families still gather. We spent the next few hours lingering at the table, talking about life in Croatia, politics, food—and most of all, wine. The large peninsula of Istria where our meal took place makes up Croatia’s northern coast; it is known for its gastronomic riches, including some of the best wines in the country. We tasted broody reds made from indigenous grapes like Teran, Refosco, and Borgonja and complex whites made from Malvasia. These regional varieties all matched perfectly with the meal, naturally, and we found the offerings from Piquentum particularly good. That experience inspired me to cook over a fire more often this past year. It makes me feel more connected to the elemental act of preparing food and sharing it with others, and it satisfies the soul the way no modern method can. For convenience, I’ve adapted this recipe to be prepared using a charcoal grill, as well as using your oven. But if you have the time, I encourage you to lean into tradition: build a fire, and settle in for a long, slow roast. It will be an experience neither you nor your guests will soon forget.
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Confit Lamb Shoulder with Polenta and Brussels Sprouts

Braising lamb shoulder in garlic-infused oil yields a super-tender, falling-off-the-bone bite of meat. Drizzle leftover braising oil on on each plate for a delicious garnish. If the polenta begins to clump as it sits, simply vigorously whisk it back to a smooth and creamy texture.
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Chermoula-Grilled Porterhouse Lamb Chops

Chermoula is a North African condiment with countless variations. This version is slightly smoky with a touch of heat and acid to complement the gamey flavors in lamb.
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Lamb Chops with Mango Honey

A rack of lamb benefits from a long marination; go overnight if you can for the deepest flavor. Be sure to finish with a sprinkling of flaky sea salt and plenty of mango honey.
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More Lamb

Spiced Lamb Kebabs with 
Fresh Herbs

For the one-year anniversary of her company, Diaspora Co., Sana Javeri Kadri and her supporters prepared a turmeric-spiced banquet. You can buy her ruddy, flavorful ground turmeric online at In this recipe, aromatic lamb and creamy chickpeas soften into a crispy, moist patty once cooked. Look for chana dal and asafoetida at local Indian grocers or online.“These pan-fried lamb and chickpea patties are an ode to my Gujarati Muslim heritage on my father’s side,” Javeri Kadri says. They’re stuffed with onions and herbs, then cooked and served with big scoops of fresh green chutney and yogurt. To make them ahead of time, prepare the kebabs through step 4, then freeze for up to 1 month, thawing fully before proceeding. You can find chana dal and asafoetida powder in Indian markets or online.
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Spicy Cumin Lamb Meatballs

Nothing compares to the flavor of meat the day it was ground, and grinding meat at home allows you to choose your own flavors. Master this meatball recipe to arm yourself with an easy dinner solution for any weeknight. With a crisp crust and tender interior, these cumin-scented meatballs feel at home in Mexican, Middle Eastern, and Indian recipes. To use store-bought ground lamb, substitute short-grain rice for the long-grain white rice to get the best texture.
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Slow-Cooked Lamb Neck Roti

At Turkey and the Wolf in New Orleans, chef Mason Hereford makes his own guajillo chile–caraway paste to braise crazy-flavorful and succulent lamb necks. Slideshow: More Lamb Recipes