Sharing one of my all-time favorite lamb dinner recipes! Enjoy a complete dinner with juicy lamb chops, creamy and garlicky tzatziki sauce, a simple herb cucumber and tomato salad, and oven-roasted garlicky herb potatoes! The oven-roasted rack of lamb is coated with an incredible garlic, herb and mustard spread, then roasted until perfectly done on the inside. You’ll LOVE the lamb combined with the creamy tzatziki sauce! And the tomato cucumber salad, along with the oven-roasted potatoes, are the perfect side dishes!
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Ingredients for Roasted Rack of Lamb
Here are the main ingredients you’ll need for making this delicious lamb dinner:
- Rack of Lamb: more about the lamb next!
- Olive Oil: for making the easy mustard spread
- Rosemary & Thyme: I recommend using fresh herbs for the most flavor. Dried herbs will work in a pinch.
- Garlic: I love to use lots of garlic for more flavor!
- Mustard: use a ground or coarse mustard for best results. The mustard helps mask any gamey flavor the lamb might have and really improves the taste.
- Salt & Pepper: for seasoning the lamb.
What Type of Lamb Should I Use?
Choosing the right rack of lamb can make your life, and this dinner recipe, so much easier! I always buy Frenched racks of lamb from my local grocery store. A ‘Frenched’ rack of lamb will already have the rack of bones cleaned and the fat and tissue removed. It makes for a clean presentation at the dinner table. If the rack has too much fat left on the top side for your taste, use a sharp fileting knife to remove the excess fat. I usually get my lamb at Costco; it’s grass-fed, organic lamb and it has minimal gamy flavor. Whole Foods and Safeway are also great options.
Garlic, Herb & Mustard Spread
Even if you don’t typically enjoy lamb, you’ll love this roasted rack of lamb recipe because of the seasonings! I season the lamb with a homemade spread made with garlic, rosemary, thyme, mustard and olive oil. The garlic and herb flavor pair so well with lamb meat! I just place everything into a food processor and pulse the ingredients into a thick paste. Don’t have a food processor? You can finely mince the garlic and herbs, then combine with the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. You can even make this spread ahead of time if you want to save time!
Seasoning the Rack of Lamb
Once I have my spread ready to go, it’s time to prepare the rack of lamb. First, I remove the lamb from it’s packaging and pat it dry with paper towels, then place the lamb onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Next, I use a spatula to spread the garlic and herb paste all over the lamb, especially on the top side. Once the lamb is dressed, it needs to rest at room temperature for about 1 hour.
You can also season the lamb the night before and keep it stored in the refrigerator. Remove the lamb about 1 hour before roasting to allow the temperature of the meat to rise.
Roasting & Resting a Rack of Lamb
Lamb ready to roast? First, preheat the oven to 450F. I always like to have my oven preheated for at least 15 minutes before roasting. This recipe requires a little bit of flipping to ensure the best results. I roast my rack of lamb for 10 minutes with the fat side facing up, then flip it and roast on the other side for 10 minutes. And one final flip back over and I let the lamb finish roasting with the fat side up. The spread likes to stick to the parchment paper sometimes! If that happens, just use a small, off-set spatula to spread it back onto the lamb.
Rack of Lamb Cooking Time
The timing for this recipe really depends on how thick your rack of lamb is. Small, thin racks of lamb will roast in 25 minutes, thicker racks can take up to 40 minutes. I like my lamb cooked to a medium-rare, which is 125F to 130F. For a medium doneness, roast until the internal temperature reaches 14oF to 145F. Once the lamb is done roasting, allow it rest on a carving board for at least 5 to 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Creamy, Garlicky Tzatziki Sauce
You’re going to want this creamy, garlicky sauce with everything!! My easy tzatziki sauce is the perfect complement to the roasted lamb chops! It’s super easy to make, too! First, I peel and grate a large cucumber, season it with salt, wait 5 minutes and then wring out all the liquids. The salt will help draw out more of the cucumber juices. Next, I combine the yogurt, garlic, mint, dill, olive oil and the grated cucumber in a food processer and pulse everything together. I usually have at least a quarter cup of this sauce with my lamb, it’s that good!
Easy Dill, Mint & Basil Tomato Cucumber Salad
Since roasted lamb can be quite rich and fatty, I love to serve a refreshing side of salad. This easy cucumber and tomato salad is seasoned with basil, mint and dill, which complement the flavors of the tzatziki sauce! Just chop a few cucumbers, tomatoes and shallots, then add a stack of fresh herbs, salt and pepper. I dress the salad simply with lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil.
I recommend waiting to dress the salad until you’re ready to serve. If you dress it too early with the salt, lemon juice and olive oil, the juices from the tomatoes and cucumber will run and cause the salad to be extra juicy and watery.
Oven-Roasted Baby Potatoes
And for a starchy side dish to complement the roasted rack of lamb, I love to make my easy ‘Oven-Roasted Potatoes’! The potatoes are dressed with garlic, thyme, parsley and little bit of parmesan cheese. They’re roasted to perfection and golden! Make sure to check out my video recipe for these potatoes. You can enjoy them with just about any main entrée!
I like to make these roasted potatoes while I’m waiting for my seasoned lamb to rest. Once they’re done, I keep them warm on the stove top until I’m ready to serve.
Enjoyed this incredible lamb chops dinner recipe? Check out some of my other favorites you’re sure to enjoy!
- Roasted Leg of Lamb – if you enjoy lamb, you’ll LOVE this easy roasted leg of lamb recipe, roasted with baby potatoes!
- Garlic & Herb Grilled Lamb Chops – another fantastic recipe for lamb chops! This grilled lamb is so juicy and flavorful!
- Filet Mignon Dinner – perfectly cooked filet mignon steak with parmesan mashed potatoes, red wine mushrooms and
- Ribeye Steak Dinner – learn how to prepare the best ribeye steak, served with chimichurri sauce and pan-fried potatoes.
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Need some supplies to make this recipe? You can get them here (Amazon affiliate links):
- Digital Meat Thermometer – I like these so much, I have 2 of them! Perfect for roasting meat!
- CuisinArt Food Processor – this simple but very powerful food processor will serve you for many years.
- Aluminum Baking Sheets – these are my favorite baking sheets for everything!
Garlic & Herb Roasted Rack of Lamb Dinner (video)
- 2 Frenched racks of lamb
- ½ cup fresh rosemary, stems removed
- ¼ cup fresh thyme leaves
- 10 to 12 garlic cloves
- ¼ to 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp coarse mustard
- 2 tsp sea salt
- Ground black pepper
For Tzatziki Sauce:
- 1 large English cucumber, peeled
- 2 cups plain yogurt, strained or Greek-style
- 2 to 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup fresh mint leaves
- ¼ cup fresh dill
- 5 to 8 garlic cloves
- ½ tsp salt
- Ground black pepper
For Tomato Cucumber Salad:
- 1 1/2 large English cucumbers, or 10 cocktail cucumbers
- 2 to 3 medium heirloom tomatoes
- 2 medium shallots
- fresh dill, mint and basil, Small bunch of each
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tbsp lemon juice, about 1 lemon
- 2 to 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 recipe ‘Oven-Roasted Potatoes’
Garlic Mustard Spread:
- Watch my YouTube video recipe for step-by-step instructions, in the post above! Prepare the garlic and herb spread for the lamb first. Place the garlic, rosemary, thyme, mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper into a food processor and pulse everything together for about 1 minute. If the paste is too thick, add more olive oil. Don’t have a food processor? Finely mince the rosemary, thyme and garlic, the combine with the rest of the spread ingredients.
For Roasting the Lamb:
- Remove the racks of lamb from their packaging and pat the meat dry with paper towels. Use a sharp fileting knife to trim off any excess fat. Place the lamb onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Using a spatula or your hands, apply the prepared garlic spread all over the lamb, especially on the top side. Allow the lamb to rest for at least 1 hour at room temperature. If preparing ahead of time, keep the lamb stored in the fridge, then remove 1 hour prior to roasting.
- Start preheating the oven to 450F about 30 minutes before roasting. Roast the lamb with the fatty side up first for 10 minutes, then turn and roast on the other side for 10 minutes. Turn one last time and continue roasting until the internal temperature reaches 125F (medium/rare), 140 (medium), or 150F (well). The timing will depend on the thickness of the rack, anywhere between 5 to 20 minutes. Remove the lamb from the oven and allow the meat to rest for at least 5 to 10 minutes prior to cutting and serving.
- If the garlic and herb spread stick to the parchment paper when you turn the lamb over the second time, use a spatula to spread it back onto the lamb.
- While waiting for the lamb to marinate, prepare the potatoes, salad and tzatziki sauce. For the tzatziki sauce, first peel a large English cucumber, then grate it into a large bowl lined with a cheesecloth. Season the cucumber lightly with salt, wait for 5 minutes, then wring out as much cucumber juice as possible. Place the grated cucumber into a food processor along with the yogurt, olive oil, mint, dill, garlic, salt and pepper. Pulse for about 1 minute, until the sauce is smooth and creamy. Keep the sauce refrigerated.
- For the tomato cucumber salad, chop the cucumbers and tomatoes into small, ½-inch cubes and place into a large mixing bowl. Dice the shallots and roughly chop the fresh herbs, then add to the salad. Wait to season the salad until you’re ready to serve. Season the salad with juice from 1 lemon, a few tablespoons of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
Roasted Potatoes, for serving:
- Prepare 1 recipe of my ‘Oven-Roasted Potatoes’ and keep them warm on the stove top until ready to serve. This roasted rack of lamb can also be served with warm, rustic baguette or even focaccia bread on the side, instead of the potatoes.
- To serve this dinner, spoon a bit of the roasted potatoes onto a plate, add some of the cucumber tomato salad, and two lamb chops per serving. Add a few tablespoons of the tzatziki sauce on the side and enjoy!