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Plain yogurt is an excellent base for a marinade. It slowly tenderizes meat, rendering it juicy but never mealy or tough, and leaves a pleasantly tangy flavor behind. This simple sauce, a blend of yogurt, shallots, salt, and lemon, is a perfect match for lamb's richness. This recipe cleverly sets aside a portion of the seasoned yogurt to puree with tender green herbs and lemon juice for a quick finishing sauce after the lamb is done. Serve the lamb with a quick salad of couscous and cucumbers for a meal.

August 2022


Credit: Photo by Christopher Testani / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Recipe Summary

15 mins
2 hrs 30 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Stir together yogurt, shallot, salt, and lemon zest in a medium bowl. Measure 1 cup of the mixture into a large ziplock plastic bag. Cover and refrigerate remaining 1/2 cup yogurt mixture until ready to use. Add lamb chops to ziplock bag; seal bag, and turn to coat lamb in sauce. Let marinate in refrigerator at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.

  • Preheat grill to high (450°F to 500°F). Scrape off excess marinade from lamb, and discard remaining marinade in bag. Sprinkle chops evenly with salt and pepper to taste. Arrange chops on oiled grill grates; grill, covered, turning once or twice, until browned and a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of meat registers 135°F for medium-rare, about 6 minutes, or to desired degree of doneness. Transfer chops to a platter; let rest 5 minutes.

  • Transfer reserved yogurt mixture to a food processor. Add fresh herbs and lemon juice; pulse until smooth, about 20 pulses. Serve chops alongside sauce, cooked couscous, cucumbers, and additional herbs.

Make Ahead

Sauce may be kept in an air-tight container in refrigerator up to 3 days.


Alternatively, to broil the lamb: Arrange marinated lamb on a greased baking sheet. Broil 4 1/2 inches from heat source until browned and no longer pink on the inside, about 6 minutes, flipping chops halfway through broiling time.

Suggested Pairing

Savory Rhône-style red: Hahn GSM