This easy Roasted Rack of Lamb recipe makes the most elegant family or holiday dinner. Easter dinner idea anyone? Use high quality ingredients like a top cut of lamb, fresh herbs, and rich extra virgin olive oil, for a simple but show stopping meal.
Easy Roasted Rack of Lamb
Easter is approaching very quickly and nothing screams Easter dinner to me quite like Cadbury Cream Eggs.
Oh wait – I’m sorry. I mean Roasted Rack of Lamb!
The Cadbury Cream Eggs are how we spoil our Easter dinner, right? 🤦♀️
Seriously, though, this roasted rack of lamb is Easter in a single dish. It’s also surprisingly easy, I promise. So, you won’t have to sacrifice any Easter fun with your little ones to slave your day away over a show-stopping dinner.
The key to this dish is super simple, but high quality ingredients – starting with your cut of lamb.
What is Rack of Lamb?
The rack of lamb is THE best cut of lamb meat you’ll find. It comes from the ribs of the sheep and this meat is known for being tender, juicy and flavorful. Lamb meat comes from a young sheep – usually less than a year old. Lamb is firmer than chicken but not as firm as beef. The flavor is often described as rich, strong, and meaty.
Roasted rack of lamb is completely safe and delicious to be eaten at a rare internal temperature.
The ingredients in this dish are so simple. You start with your rack of lamb and you mix up all of the best fresh herbs with garlic and olive oil. The key here is quality ingredients and making sure that your rub compliments the lamb instead of over powering it.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Frenched lamb rib rack
- fresh ground black pepper
- olive oil
- parsley leaves
- Garlic cloves
- fresh rosemary leaves
- fresh thyme leaves
- Chopped fresh parsley
Cooking Temperature for Lamb
I prefer my lamb cooked to rare. For a perfect rare lamb chop, the internal temperature should register at 125˚F on an Instant Read Thermometer. If your goal is medium-rare, look for an internal temperature of 135˚F. I don’t recommend cooking your lamb rack past medium-rare as it will become dry and tough.
Your lamb will rest after roasting for 25 minutes and in that time, the temperature can continue to rise another 5 or so degrees. So, make sure you don’t let the temp get too high while roasting.
How to Make Rack of Lamb
1. Prep: Pat lamb rack dry with paper towels. Season it with salt and pepper all around. Then, set it aside.
2. Mix: In a small food processor, combine the olive oil, parsley, garlic, rosemary, and thyme leaves and pulse until everything is thoroughly mixed.
3. Rub: Using a sharp knife, score the fat layer on the lamb by making several cuts through the fat. Rub the garlic-herb mixture all over the rack of lamb.
4. Marinate: Place the rack of lamb in a large Ziploc bag. Seal the bag and leave it at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours, max. You can also marinate it overnight in the refrigerator, just bring to room temperature before cooking.
5. Roast: Preheat oven to 450˚F. Take the lamb out of the bag and place it on a baking pan fat side up. Cover the exposed ribs with foil so they don’t burn while they’re roasting.
- Roast the rack of lamb for 25 minutes or until the internal temperature registers at 125˚F for rare or 135˚F for medium-rare. Use an Instant Read Thermometer for the most accurate results.
6. Rest and Serve: Remove the lamb from the oven. Loosely cover it with foil and let it rest for 15 minutes before cutting.
- Cut, garnish with parsley, and serve.
Tips for the Best Roasted Rack of Lamb
The key to the best ever roasted rack of lamb is precision!
- Be sure to use high quality ingredients. Dried herbs just won’t do what fresh herbs can, here. An excellent olive oil is a must.
- Make sure your marinade is just right. Too much will overpower the flavor of the meat. This cut is so quality, you don’t want to cover up the lush flavor.
- If you’re going to marinate the lamb for longer than 2 hours, be sure to put it in the refrigerator.
- Remember that the temperature will continue to rise about 5 degrees as the lamb rests. I’d suggest removing the lamb from the oven when the internal temp is just slightly below your desired temp.
- Lamb meat is super rich to begin with, so, when serving a rack of lamb, I like to keep my sides light. I really like a side of mushroom orzo pilaf or quinoa with this dish. And, green veggies also pair excellently with roasted rack of lamb. Think, sauteed green beans, roasted grilled asparagus, or broccolini.
- You can never go wrong with a large salad served family style, either!
- You also can’t go wrong with, basically, any potato on the side. Mashed, baked, oven roasted. All would be absolutely fab with a roasted rack of lamb. Mashed cauliflower is also a great side to serve with this recipe!
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- If you have leftover lamb, allow it to cool to room temperature and then place it in an airtight container and pop it in your fridge. It will store safely in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- If you choose to freeze it, you can do so for about 2 months. If you do freeze, be sure to completely defrost it before reheating.
- IMO, you don’t even need to reheat your lamb. It’s pretty darn good on day 2 cold. If you do want to reheat it, place it in your oven and heat until it is warm throughout.
More Lamb Recipes
Tools Used in this Recipe
Roasted Rack of Lamb is the most elegant family holiday dinner. Use high quality ingredients like a top cut of lamb, fresh herbs, and rich extra virgin olive oil, for a simple but show stopping meal.
- 1 (about 1.5 pounds, total) Frenched lamb rib rack with 8 ribs
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup fresh parsley leaves
- 3 large garlic cloves, cut in half
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
- ½ tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- chopped fresh parsley, for serving
Pat dry lamb rack with paper towels.
Season with salt and pepper all around. Set aside.
Combine olive oil, parsley, garlic, rosemary, and thyme leaves in a small food processor; pulse until thoroughly mixed.
Using a sharp knife, score the fat layer on the lamb by making several cuts through the fat; rub the garlic-herb mixture all over the rack of lamb.
Place rack of lamb in a Ziploc bag; seal and leave at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours, max. (You can also marinate it overnight in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before cooking.)
Preheat oven to 450˚F.
Take lamb out of the bag and place it on a baking pan, fat side up.
Cover exposed ribs with foil so they don't burn while roasting.
Roast for 25 minutes, or until internal temperature registers at 125˚F for rare, or 135˚F for medium-rare. Use an Instant Read Thermometer for accurate results.
Remove lamb from oven; loosely cover with foil and let rest 15 minutes before cutting.
Cut, garnish with parsley, and serve.