Baby lamb chops with two types of dipping sauces are as elegant as they are delicious! This easy-to-make dish is perfect as an appetizer or entree for any celebration.
A party buffet needs all sorts of delicious, and festive, dishes. These lamb lollipops, with frenched bones for handles and red and green sauces, are just what your holiday table needs!
This is a simple but impressive pan seared lamb chops recipe. I created two dipping sauces for the lamb chops, a parsley-mint sauce and a sun-dried tomato sauce.
I typically serve this baby lamb chop recipe as an appetizer, but with the right sides you could enjoy it as a main course too!
Ingredients Needed For This Lamb Appetizer
This lamb chop appetizer is incredibly simple — all you need are baby lamb chops (bones Frenched), salt, and olive oil.
The red and green sauces for for the lamb chops impart much of the flavor.
The sun-dried tomato sauce is made with fresh basil, red wine vinegar, sun-dried tomatoes, and a mix of dried herbs and spices.
The mint green sauce features fresh mint and parsley, as well as lightly toasted almonds, anchovies, and a splash of lemon juice.
What Are Lollipop Lamb Chops?
Lamb chops, lollipops, or cutlets are from the rib of the lamb. They are the most expensive cut of lamb, so they are a special treat.
These lamb lollipops are cooked individually (best served slightly pink inside). When several baby lamb chops are left together it's called a rack of lamb. You've heard of that, I'm sure!
There is a difference between baby lamb chops or cutlets and lamb loin chops. Lamb loin chops are like mini T-bone steaks.
But for the baby lamb chops, the bone is often Frenched. The French trimming of the ends of the rib bones is simply scraping the bone clean. This makes the chops look pretty, and also acts as a handle, making these little gems perfect for appetizers.
How To Cook Lamb Lollipops
This is a simple pan-seared lamb chops recipe. The sauces can be made in a food processor a day or two in advance. Wait to prepare the lamb chops until you're ready to serve them.
Here's how to make mini lamb chops on stove:
- Salt both sides of the lamb chops.
- Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat.
- Cook in two batches, turning once until chops are deep brown and cooked to medium-rare, 9 to 11 minutes total.
- Serve with dipping sauces (recipes in the recipe card below).
How Long Should Baby Lamb Chops Be Cooked?
Since mini lamb chops are quite expensive, they are a special food and you don't want to overcook them. I love the American Lamb Board's chart for cooking temperatures as a reference.
These baby lamb chops can be cooked similar to the loin chops and should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145ºF for medium-rare.
For medium cook them to 160ºF. Please don't cook them to well-done. They won't be delicious. They will be dry and hard to eat.
Sauces For Lamb Chops
For an appetizer or party nibble, I've created two dipping sauces for lamb chops. You can just choose one, or serve both.
Lamb is very flavorful, so it's fun to balance that with flavorful sauces. Traditionally lamb is often served with mint, or mint jelly. My green sauce for lamb chops is an herb pesto with mint, but just a hint so that it's not the only flavor.
The red sauce is a sundried tomato pesto with a little vinegar for tang. It's so delicious. Serve the lamb chops with plates and the sauces with spoons so guests can put a little of each sauce on their plate.
If you'd like to make the lamb chops a full meal, serve them with one or more of the following side dishes:
- Two Potato Gratin
- Roast Parsnips
- Baked Sweet Potato Cubes
- Skillet Green Beans
- Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots
Tips For Making Baby Lamb Chops
- If your butcher or store doesn't have cutlets, you can simply buy a rack of lamb and slice it into cutlets yourself. Or ask the butcher to do it (and French the bones while he's at it!).
- To French the lamb chops yourself, cut any excess meat from the end of each rib, scraping bone clean with the back of a knife.
- I love using a good meat thermometer to check the temperature as the lamb chops cook. Adjust your cooking time accordingly. Remember even these small cuts of meat continue cooking a couple degrees after you take them off the heat.
Baby Lamb Chop Appetizer FAQs
Yes! You can cook this lamb appetizer ahead of time (up to an hour) and keep them warm in a very low oven. Just make sure to undercook them a bit as they will continue to cook in a warm oven.
I'd suggest sautéing them on a slightly higher heat to brown the outside and cooking them to an internal temperature of 138º-140ºF (rare). Then they can rest in the warm oven while the party gets started!
Yes. Lamb lollipops, baby lamb chops, or mini lamb chops are an individual chop cut from a rack of lamb. They have been given the lollipop name since you can hold the bone in your hand like a lollipop and easily eat the meat.
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Baby Lamb Chops with Two Dipping Sauces
For the Lamb Chops
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 12 to 15 baby lamb chops bones Frenched*
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ⅔ cup water
- ½ cup oil-packed sundried tomatoes
- ⅓ cup fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 clove garlic
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1½ cups flat-leaf parsley leaves
- ⅔ cup fresh mint leaves
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup lightly toasted almonds
- 4 anchovies
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- You can make sauces ahead of time. Salt both sides of the lamb chops. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Cook in two batches, turning once until chops are deep brown and cooked to medium-rare, 9 to 11 minutes total. Serve with sauces.
- For the red sauce: Combine the water, sundried tomatoes, basil, vinegar, sugar, cumin, salt, garlic and black pepper in a food processor and process until smooth.
- For the green sauce: Combine the parsley, mint, olive oil, almonds, anchovies and lemon juice in a food processor and process until smooth.
- Sauces can be made ahead and stored in airtight containers in the fridge up to a day in advance.
More Easy Party Appetizers:
I have some wonderful food friends with fantastic cocktail party appetizers. You can create an entire event from these delicious and easy recipes.