Spicy Lamb Chops


This quick and impressive lamb chop recipe is perfect to serve for either a simple weeknight dinner or an elegant party. The sharp heat and bright flavors from the chopped herb, chile, and lemon sauce balance the fat and gaminess in the lamb. If you'd like, you can French the lamb chops (cut between and around to reveal the bones), or ask your butcher to do it for you. Serve with roasted fingerling potatoes and a simple salad.

spicy lamb chops
Photo: Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Rishon Hanners / Prop Styling by Heather Chadduck Hillegas
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
25 mins


  • 2 small serrano chiles, seeded and chopped (about 2 tablespoons)

  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic (from 2 large garlic cloves)

  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint

  • 1 tablespoon  red wine vinegar

  • 1 ½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

  • 1 ½ teaspoons toasted cumin seeds, coarsely chopped

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • ½ cup plus 1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

  • 8 (2-rib) (about 3 3/4 pounds total) lamb rib chops (about 1 1/2 inches thick), Frenched, if desired


  1. Arrange chiles and garlic in a small pile on a cutting board; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the salt. Using flat side of a large knife, drag knife back and forth over garlic mixture to form a paste, about 90 seconds. Transfer paste to a small bowl, and stir in parsley, cilantro, mint, vinegar, lemon juice, cumin, cayenne, and 1/2 cup of the oil.

  2. Heat remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Rub 2 tablespoons of the cilantro mixture all over lamb chops, and season with remaining 2 teaspoons salt. Add lamb chops to hot skillet. Cook, undisturbed, until browned and a thermometer registers 120°F to 125°F (for medium-rare), about 4 minutes per side. Using tongs, turn lamb chops on their edges, leaning lamb chops against sides of skillet to keep them stable, if needed, and cook, turning until all edges are browned and fat is rendered, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, and let rest 5 minutes.

  3. Cut each lamb chop in half between ribs, and transfer, cut side up, to a serving platter. Spoon remaining cilantro mixture over lamb chops, and serve.

Related Articles