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How to Make a Marinade For Lamb Chops That Nails It Every Time

You won’t be disappointed.

<p>Claudia Totir/Getty Images</p>

Claudia Totir/Getty Images

Lamb chops are always a special treat. And they’re even better with the help of a good marinade.

“Just as with other proteins, a good marinade compliments and can bring out more of the natural flavors of the meat, while also making it even more tender,” says Bob Mariano, Marketing Director at Superior Farms, a sustainable lamb producer.

Lamb is a versatile red meat, used in cuisines around the world, so the marinade can take on flavors from Mediterranean, Central American, and Asian cuisines. Marinated lamb chops can also be cooked in a plethora of ways, including broiled, pan-seared, or grilled. 

It’s so simple to whip up a full-flavored, complex marinade with just a few household ingredients. The standard marinade recipe is open to so many riffs, you can experiment and settle on a house favorite, or never flavor your lamb chops the same way twice. Here’s how to marinate lamb chops.   

Related: How to Carve a Leg of Lamb in Just 4 Simple Steps

Lamb Chop Marinade Recipe


A lamb chop marinade can be as simple as using four ingredients: An oil, an aromatic, an acid, and an herb. Some folks may also prefer a sweet element, like honey, or a spicy ingredient, like hot sauce.

A standard and very flexible lamb chop marinade can use olive oil, garlic, lemon and rosemary. Grab those ingredients, and some lamb chops, and follow the recipe below:

  1. To coat about 2 pounds of lamb chops, four servings, start with ¼ cup of olive oil. Whisk in 2-3 tablespoons of crushed garlic, and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice (sprinkle some zest in too, if using a whole lemon). Add 1 tablespoon of rosemary and set aside.

  2. Pat the lamb chops dry, and season both sides with salt and pepper.

  3. Then, in a large bowl or big freezer bags, coat the meat with marinade. Seal the container and let the meat marinate in the refrigerator for up to six hours. 

Related: 18 Easy Ground Beef Recipes to Make for Dinner Tonight

A few fun riffs on this recipe can be orange chili lamb chops, which entails swapping in orange juice and zest for lemon, and adding a tablespoon of chili flakes to the marinade. An Italian-style lamb chop can use shallots, red wine, and oregano or fennel seeds. 

Lamb chops should be removed from the marinade before cooking, and any remaining marinade should be discarded, as it has been in close contact with raw meat

If you want to make excess marinade, keep it away from the raw meat and store it in a separate sealed container in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to three months.

How Long to Marinade Lamb Chops

Lamb chops should marinate in a sealed container in the fridge. They can be removed from the fridge about half an hour before cooking. 

“Typical recipes call for [marinating lamb chops] anywhere between 30 minutes and six hours,” says Mariano. “However, be careful not to marinate lamb chops for too long, or the meat may become too soft.” 

Related: 15 Recipes For Pork Tenderloin That Are Juicy and Delicious

How to Know When Lamb Chops Are Done

The best way to test if lamb chops are done is with a meat thermometer. “We recommend cooking lamb chops to an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees for medium rare,” says Mariano. Let the lamb chops rest for at least ten minutes before slicing into them, so that the natural juices can reabsorb into the meat.

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