pan fried lamb chops recipe with rosemary and olives

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Why I love these marinated lamb chops

The first time I had lamb chops, we were visiting Marc’s great uncle on our French road trip. They were served grilled with a simple persillade, and we had a sliced tomato salad and, of course, bread on the side. It was a delicious and light meal, and I was so impressed with the lamb chops that I knew I would have to recreate the meal.

It wasn’t until I was rewatching Gilmore Girls for the thousandth time and lamb chops with rosemary and Sicilian olives was mentioned, that I decided this was the way to do it. The flavor combination was so unique, and for a long time, I wasn’t even certain that it would work.

But it did. It worked out beautifully, and I’m in love with this recipe.

pan fried lamb chops recipe with rosemary and olives in a large white skillet

Here’s what you’ll need to make these lamb chops

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  • Lamb chops
  • Orange juice
  • Rosemary
  • Fennel seeds
  • Olives (I used a mix of Castelvetrano and Kalamata)

You might also need to restock these pantry staples: lemon, olive oil, coarse salt, black pepper, minced garlic, and capers. See my basic grocery list to learn what ingredients I always keep on hand.

lamb chop marinade with citrus, rosemary and olives

mixed olive tapenade to garnish a marinated lamb chops recipe

Make the lamb chops marinade

Mix together the marinade ingredients. Add the lamb chops and let them marinate in the fridge for at least an hour (ideally all day or overnight).

Before cooking the lamb chops, remove them from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Discard the remaining marinade.

Make the olive tapenade.

Mix the tapenade ingredients in a large bowl. I like to roughly chop the ingredients for the tapenade for this recipe, but you can use a food processor in if you want to save time. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use.

pan fried lamb chops recipe

Cook the lamb chops on the stove

Heat a large skillet to medium-high. Add a tablespoon of olive oil (if you’re using a stainless skillet, add 2 tablespoons) and let it warm. Add the lamb chops, and cook for about 3 minutes per side for medium rare. Add time if you prefer your lamb chops medium to well done.

If your skillet isn’t large enough you might have to cook your lamb chops in batches. I used a large 12-inch skillet and had enough room.

After 6 minutes, add 1/4 cup of the tapenade to the skillet. The acidity and juice from the tapenade should allow you to deglaze the pan, but if you need more add a splash of lemon juice.

Garnish with tapenade before serving.

pan seared lamb chops recipe with rosemary and olives

FAQs and tips for making this lamb chops recipe

Can I grill this recipe? You can grill these lamb chops over medium direct heat (about 350-400˚F) for about 8 minutes, turning once.

Can you eat lamb rare? Is undercooked lamb dangerous? As long as you follow proper food safety guidelines for handling and store meat, it should be completely safe for you to eat rare lamb.

I don’t like olives, can I still make this recipe? Yes. Feel free to make the lamb chops without the tapenade. I would recommend using a splash of orange or lemon juice for deglazing the pan at the end of cooking.

pan fried lamb chops recipe with rosemary and olives served with mashed potatoes

Marinated Lambs Chops with Rosemary & Olives

These delicious marinated lamb chops are soaked in a combination of citrus, garlic and rosemary, then pan seared to perfection. They’re topped with a mixed olive tapenade for a easy, yet unique meal.

  • Author: Melissa Belanger
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Mains
  • Cuisine: French



For the lamb chops:

  • 8 lamb chops
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt

For the tapenade:

  • 1 1/4 cups pitted Castelvetrano olives, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  1. In a large bowl, mix together the marinade ingredients. Add lamb chops and marinade for at least 1 hour.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together the tapenade ingredients. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Heat a large skillet to medium-high. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Pat lamb chops dry and add to pan.
  4. Cook lamb chops for about 3 – 4 minutes per side (for medium-rare).
  5. While the lamb chops are still in the pan, add 1/4 cup prepared tapenade and deglaze the pan.
  6. Remove lamb chops and garnish with olive tapenade before serving.

Keywords: dairy free, easy, healthy, gluten free

Last Updated on November 5, 2021 by Melissa Belanger

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