The most perfect mediterranean-inspired grilled lamb chops ever. With not one sauce, but two. Let’s get ready for summer!
I’m so excited to share these delicious lamb chops with you all. I decided for my first lamb chop recipe on Sacha Served What, I needed to go mediterranean. I tried a few different marinades (I love a good side by side taste test), and since I appreciate a bit of spice, the lemony harissa marinade was the clear winner.
It’s an extremely easy 5-ingredient marinade. Aside from the harissa paste, I bet most of you have all the other ingredients in your kitchen right now! Lemons (use the juice and zest – yes, the zest is necessary, don’t skip it please), garlic, honey, dried oregano, and harissa paste. There’s also olive oil, Kosher salt, and pepper – staples.
So they’re a little spicy, quite a bit zesty, with a hint of sweet. Balanced and beautiful. As always for marinating, the longer the better and more flavorful the final product will be.
While the lamb chops are amazing on their own and don’t necessarily need a sauce, I know everyone loves a good condiment, so I thought I’d make two! You can make none, you can make one, or you can make both. There’s a yummy classic Tzatziki – please make this and never eat a store-bought version again. I’ve also made a Herby Pistachio Sauce with lemon, mint, dill, and garlic. Everything that’s perfect with lamb.
- Lamb chops do come in different sizes. If you have tiny, thin chops, they’re going to take less time to cook. If your lamb chops are larger or thicker, they will take longer.
- Let your meat come to room temperature before cooking! Please, just do it. It makes a big difference. The final product will be more flavorful and juicier.
- For the tzatziki, make sure you squeeze as much water as you can out of the cucumber before adding it to the sauce.
- Lemon Zest – The zest is very important and adds so much flavor. I use a microplane to zest the lemon and then slice it in half to juice it.
- Garlic – I grate it on a microplane instead of zesting it because it releases the juices from the garlic better, which I think is best for a marinade. However, you can mince it if you prefer.
- Honey – You can sub agave, if needed.
- Harissa Paste – I’ve seen this at most grocery stores, but you can also order it online, here. Paste not the ground harissa powder.
Harissa Lamb Chops with Herby Pistachio Sauce and Tzatziki
- 3 Medium Bowls
- Microplane / Zester
- 1 Large Ziplock Bag
- Outdoor Grill or Grill Pan
- Food Processor I used a mini one
- Box Grater
For the Harissa Lamb Chops:
- Zest and Juice from 2 lemons
- 4 cloves garlic grated on a microplane
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 8 teaspoons harissa paste
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 ¼ teaspoons Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 8 lamb rib chops or loin chops or a combination of the two, excess fat trimmed off if needed
- Herby Pistachio Sauce see recipe below
For the Harissa Lamb Chops:
- In a medium bowl, combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, honey, dried oregano, harissa paste, olive oil, Kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
- Place the lamb and the harissa marinade into a large Ziplock bag. Close the bag and flip a few times to coat the lamb. Refrigerate and let marinate for at least two hours or up to overnight (the longer the better).
- When ready to grill, remove the lamb from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature.
- Outdoor Grill Instructions: Preheat a gas grill over medium-high heat. (TIP: I make sure my grill is non-stick by rubbing an oil-soaked towel on the grates). Lift lamb from the marinade and place on the grill. Cook the rib chops for 3-4 minutes per side for medium-rare and the loin chops 4-5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Set aside to rest for 5 minutes, tented with foil. (TIP: If lamb is not at room temperature before grilling, it won’t be medium-rare.)
- Grill Pan Instructions: Preheat a grill pan, letting it get nice and hot, over medium heat. Lift lamb from the marinade and cook the rib chops on the grill pan for 2-3 minutes per side for medium-rare and the loin chops 3-4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Set aside to rest for 5, tented with foil. (TIP: If lamb is not at room temperature before grilling, it won’t be medium-rare.)
- Serve on a platter with the Herby Pistachio Sauce and Tzatziki on the side, if desired.
For the Herby Pistachio Sauce:
- Place the pistachios, garlic, and shallot into a mini food processor and pulse to combine until nicely chopped. Alternatively, you can hand chop the pistachios, and mince the garlic and shallot, but I find using the food processor a bit easier. Transfer to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, mint, dill, olive oil, Kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper and stir to combine. Taste and season with more Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, if needed.