Rosemary & Garlic Oven Roasted Rack of Lamb (2023)

This Rosemary & Garlic Oven Roasted Rack of Lamb is a perfect centerpiece for an elegant holiday dinner without requiring any fussy or difficult skills! Juicy, tender, and perfectly cooked to a medium-rare with a crusty exterior made with garlic, herbs, and lemon zest, this is one of the best cuts of lamb and makes an easy and impressive main dish for entertaining!

Looking for the perfect main dish for a special occasion? You might also like myGarlic Herb Butter Beef Tenderloin Roast,Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin, Prime Rib Roast with Horseradish Sauce, orSlow Roasted Oven BBQ Beef Brisket.

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Table of Contents
  1. Cooking Temperature for Lamb
  2. More Lamb Recipes

Rosemary & Garlic Oven-Roasted Rack of Lamb

A perfectly cooked, medium-rare oven roasted rack of lamb is mouth-wateringly delicious. The individually carved lamb chops are juicy, rosy and so rich and tender. They present beautifully, either plated individually and served to guests or delivered up family style on a carving board or serving platter at the table.

An important thing to remember with lamb is that the flavor of the meat itself is so good that you don't want to go overboard with the seasonings and herbs. They are intended to complement and highlight the flavor of the lamb, rather than overpower and dominate it.

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Rosemary & Garlic Oven Roasted Rack of Lamb is Perfect for Special Occasions, Holidays, and Entertaining

Carved into individual chops, one rack of lamb perfectly portions itself into two chops per person so it's just right for four people. If you have more people at your table, you can easily roast multiple racks of lamb at the same time, then stand them against each other with the ribs crossing for an even more impressive display.

Roasted rack of lamb is a great alternative for Christmas, New Year's, Valentine's Day or Easter dinner. Honestly, it's probably easier than most of the more traditional alternatives!

Rosemary & Garlic Oven Roasted Rack of Lamb (3)

And really, why wait for a holiday when rack of lamb is easy enough to be prepared any night of the week? Lamb isn't nearly as popular in the United States as other meat options, but it really should be! It is generally quick and easy to prepare and really versatile!

If you haven't cooked lamb at home before, give this a try and let me know what you think!

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What is Rack of Lamb?

A rack of lamb is one of the best cuts of lamb that comes from the ribs. It's such a wonderful cut of meat that it makes serving a restaurant quality meal at home almost entirely effortless, especially if you buy your rack of lamb already frenched for you.

Frenching is a technique where the rib bones are exposed by cutting away the fat and sinew covering them, and most of the lamb that you will find in many American grocery stores will already come frenched, or you can ask a butcher to do it for you.

But if you want to French a rack of lamb yourself, this tutorial from Simply Recipes has great step-by-step photos to explain the process.

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Rack of Lamb Marinade

Make the herb seasoning ahead of time and marinate the lamb overnight if you would like, or just spread it over the meaty portion of the lamb and let it sit while the lamb comes to room temperature for an hour before roasting.

I like to keep it simple with just olive oil, fresh rosemary and thyme, some cloves of garlic, and the zest of one lemon.

Rosemary & Garlic Oven Roasted Rack of Lamb (6)
Rosemary & Garlic Oven Roasted Rack of Lamb (7)

Cooking Temperature for Lamb

We enjoy lamb cooked to a perfect medium-rare. For the record, I think rack of lamb is one of the easiest cuts of meat to cook without using a thermometer to check it's temperature just by making sure the oven is properly preheated and cooking according to the times in the recipe below.

But you certainly can use a digital meat thermometer (affiliate link) to gauge where your lamb is a temperature scale to determine doneness.

For those who may want their lamb cooked to a different degree of doneness than medium-rare, here is a temperature chart that you will hopefully find helpful:

  • Rare: 120-130 degrees F (very red inside still)
  • Medium-Rare: 130-140 degrees F (bright pink inside)
  • Medium: 140-145 degrees F (light pink inside)
  • Medium-Well: 145-150 degrees F (barely any pink left)
  • Well-Done: 150-160 degrees F (no pink at all)

Remember that the rack of lamb will need to rest for 10 minutes after you pull it out of the oven so the juices can redistribute. During this time the temperature can continue to rise another 5 degrees or so.

So for example, if I was targeting a final temperature of 130 degrees F for a perfect medium-rare, I would take the lamb out of the oven when it reached 125 degrees F and let it rise the final 5 degrees on it's own before slicing.

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What to Serve with Rack of Lamb

When planning what to serve with rack of lamb, keep in mind that the main dish itself is rich on its own. Because of that, I like to serve it with vegetables like oven roasted asparagus, baked butternut squash, or the honey steamed broccolini from this post.

It's also great with a perfect salt crusted baked potato and a side salad like this wonderful persimmon, pomegranate, and spinach salad.

(Video) Roasted Lamb Rack (Rosemary Garlic Marinade)

Rosemary & Garlic Oven Roasted Rack of Lamb (9)

More Lamb Recipes

  • Baked Greek Feta Meatballs
  • Shepherd's Pie
  • Lamb Barbacoa
  • Sriracha Mayo Marinated Grilled Lamb Chops

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.

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Rosemary & Garlic Oven Roasted Rack of Lamb

4.95 from 19 votes

Amy Nash

This Rosemary & Garlic Oven Roasted Rack of Lamb is a perfect centerpiece for an elegant holiday dinner without requiring any fussy or difficult skills! Juicy, tender, and perfectly cooked to a medium-rare with a crusty exterior made with garlic, herbs, and lemon zest, this is one of the best cuts of lamb and makes an easy and impressive main dish for entertaining!


  • 1 rack of lamb (typically 8 to 9 ribs)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 6-8 garlic cloves
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Coarse salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • Remove the rack of lamb from the refrigerator and place in a baking dish. Season both sides of the lamb generously with salt and pepper.

  • In a food processor, combine the olive oil, rosemary, thyme, garlic cloves and lemon zest and pulse until finely chopped. This can be done by hand by finely chopping the garlic and herbs, then stirring into the oil in a small bowl if you do not have a food processor.

  • Rub the marinade over the seasoned lamb and allow to sit at room temperature for 1 hour before roasting so that it will cook evenly. [See Recipe Notes]

  • Heat oven to 450 degrees F. Place the lamb with the fat side up on the baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes before rotating the baking sheet to ensure even cooking and roasting for another 10 minutes for medium-rare meat or 15 minutes for medium doneness (although in my opinion, lamb should is best served medium-rare).

  • Transfer the roasted rack of lamb to a cutting board and allow to rest for 10 minutes so the juices can redistribute before slicing into individual chops for serving. Use a sharp knife to slice between the bones, then serve immediately.



Alternatively, you can seal in a ziploc bag and return to the fridge to marinate for up to a day. If refrigerating, be sure to allow the lamb to sit outside of the fridge for an hour to come up to room temperature before roasting.

When roasting meat in the oven, it's very important that the temperature be correct to help gauge cooking times. If the oven is too warm or too cool, it can make a big difference in the doneness of the meat. A simple oven thermometer can help you check to be sure your oven temperature is running true.


Calories: 590kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 56g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 70mg | Potassium: 253mg | Vitamin A: 75IU | Vitamin C: 3.2mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 2.1mg

(Video) Rack of Lamb with Rosemary and Garlic | Emeril Lagasse

Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

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About the author

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Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

Learn More

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What temperature does rack of lamb need to be cooked to? ›

Look for about 125-130 degrees as a final internal temperate of the center of the meat. The outer edges will be done more, but the center should be medium-rare. Take it out the pan at about 120 degrees. Tent it foil and let it rest a good 10 minutes — the temperature will continue to rise.

Should I Sear rack of lamb before roasting? ›

Lamb rack is best seared in a pan and finished in the oven – this gives you lots of control over your cooking temperatures but still gives you a nice caramelisation on the surface of the meat.

Do you wrap lamb in foil when roasting? ›

There's no need to cover a leg of lamb with foil while it roasts. Due to the longer cooking time of slow roast shoulder, it's a good idea to cover it with foil to help retain moisture. Take the foil off for the last 30 minutes of the cooking time to let the skin crisp up.

Should rack of lamb be at room temperature before cooking? ›

The other very important thing: Make sure your rack of lamb is room temperature before you cook it. This is a good rule for any protein you're cooking. If you're concerned about leaving meat out at room temperature- it's fine up to two hours. If you're marinating it longer than that, stick it in the fridge.

How long do you cook lamb in oven? ›

Place into oven and roast until it reaches an internal temperature of 135 degrees F for medium, about 1 hour 30 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes, or until desired doneness. Let rest 15 minutes before slicing.

What is the cooking time for lamb? ›

Lamb Leg Boneless, Rolled
SizeCooking MethodCooking Time
4–7lbsroast 325˚F20–25 min/lb 25–30min/lb 30–35 min/lb

Do you flip a rack of lamb in the oven? ›

Place the lamb with the fat side up on the baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes before rotating the baking sheet to ensure even cooking and roasting for another 10 minutes for medium-rare meat or 15 minutes for medium doneness (although in my opinion, lamb should is best served medium-rare).

Should you flip the rack of lamb? ›

When your skillet is nice and hot, place your rack of lamb on the skillet, fat side down. Sear your lamb for about 5 minutes or until your begin to see your desired crust and caramelization forming on the fat, then flip your rack.

What herb goes well with lamb? ›

There are many herbs to choose from that pair well with lamb dishes. In fact, one of the most popular lamb dishes is lamb chop paired with garlic and herbs.
Classic Herbs
  • Rosemary.
  • Oregano.
  • Basil.
  • Mint.
  • Sage.
  • Thyme.

Do you put water at the bottom of a roasting pan? ›

"Often, consumers will inquire about adding water to the bottom of their roasting pans. We do not recommend adding water to the bottom of the pan. Cooking a turkey with steam is a moist heat-cook method and is acceptable, sure, but is not the preferred method for cooking your turkey."

How do you keep lamb moist in the oven? ›

Baste meat every 30 minutes while it cooks to keep it moist.

When meat gets hot in the oven, it starts to leak juices, fat, and oil—things that would normally keep it very moist. Use a large spoon or a bulb baster to carefully pour those juices back over the meat.

Which side of the foil touches the meat? ›

According to Reynold's Kitchen, the difference in appearance between the two sides of aluminum foil is simply a result of manufacturing and serves no real purpose. Meaning, whether you are cooking your food with the shiny side up or the dull side up, you're doing it right.

Why is rack of lamb tough? ›

Not resting the meat before slicing.

Cut too soon and the juices will end up pooling on the cutting board, leaving you with a drier cut of meat. Follow this tip: For a more tender and juicy piece of lamb, allow the meat to rest for at least 15 minutes after removing it from the oven.

How long should you take lamb out of the fridge before cooking? ›

Before roasting lamb, remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. A piece of meat at room temperature will roast more evenly.

What temp should oven be for lamb roast? ›

Brush the lamb with olive oil, then season with sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper. Place in an oven preheated to 180 degrees Celsius. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes per 500 grams for medium or until the lamb is cooked to your liking.

How is lamb best cooked? ›

For most cuts, including roasts, such as leg of lamb (boneless or bone-in), shank half, shoulder, rib roast or crown roast, use an oven temperature of 325 degrees. Use a meat thermometer for best results. An internal temperature of 140 degrees is considered rare, 160 degrees is medium and 170 degrees well done.

How long does roast lamb take to cook per kg? ›

Lamb should be roasted 20 mins per 450g/lb, plus an extra 20 mins. Weigh meat prior to roasting to determine cooking times. Cook at 220C/200C fan for the first 20 mins and then 190C/170C fan for the remaining time. Rest lamb before carving.

Do you cook lamb fast or slow? ›

Slow cooking in liquid transforms tougher cuts of lamb into fork-tender meat. Neck, shoulder and belly, either diced or as whole joints, are the best cuts for slow cooking and need to be cooked for at least 2 hrs at 150°C to soften the meat.

How do you know when rack of lamb is cooked? ›

For the Best Rack of Lamb, Use a Thermometer

A meat thermometer takes all the guesswork out of cooking the rack of lamb. Insert the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat to test the doneness. It should read 125°F for rare or 135°F for medium rare.

Can you overcook lamb rack? ›

What's more, lamb tends to be leaner and smaller than a steak, which means that it's even more susceptible to accidental overcooking. All of this makes it an ideal candidate for cooking sous vide, which makes overcooking nearly impossible and perfectly edge-to-edge medium-rare results the norm.

How do you keep lamb moist? ›

Add beef broth/stock and water into the pan (keeps everything all nice and moist + makes pan juices for gravy), cover then slow roast for 5 hours until tender and fall apart.

Should you remove the fat cap from rack of lamb? ›

When you buy a rack of lamb it usually comes with a thick layer of fat on top. Whilst this is okay to cook, it will take a while to render down, so it's best to trim it off. You can ask your butcher to do this or you can do it yourself.

Should I sear the lamb before cooking? ›

For the perfect roast lamb, we recommend seasoning the surface of the meat, and then searing it, especially fat side down in a pan before roasting. Why bother with searing? Contrary to some stories, searing is less about locking in moisture, and all about improving the flavour!

Is thyme or rosemary better for lamb? ›

With its woody flavour, rosemary is the perfect companion for your favourite lamb dish.

What is the best herbs to season lamb? ›

Lamb chops are very robust in flavor, so it can stand up to strong earthy herbs and spices. Other herbs that work well are chopped oregano, basil, sage, or mint. Spices like coriander, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, chili powder, mustard powder, or paprika will add a nice punch.

What enhances the flavor of lamb? ›

We marinate or rub a lot of different lamb. It's such a distinctive flavor that it pairs well with nice, strong spices, as well as herbs. Coriander, fennel, garlic, shallot, ginger, lemon peel --I think those work really nicely with lamb. There are other herbs that are traditionally paired with lamb, like mint.

Where should the rack be in the oven when roasting? ›

The bottom oven rack is best used for roasting due to the direct exposure to high heat, as well as browning the underside of certain foods, such as pies or frozen pizzas, for crispy textures. Some of the best meals for the lowest oven rack are: Roasting large items or tough meats, such as turkey or roast beef.

Should my roast be covered in liquid? ›

Pot roast is meant to be braised, which means cooking meat slowly over low heat with minimal liquid, covered. If you add too much water/broth, you are going to miss out on that roasty flavor that comes from the top part of the meat cooking above the liquid.

Why do you Line a roasting pan with foil? ›

Lining baking pans with foil just makes it easier to lift desserts out of the pan cleanly. When you're planning to portion and give brownies or bars...or place them on a platter, it's nice to have them cut neatly. Without the help of foil, that first brownie (and usually the first row) is always a mangled mess.

What does soaking lamb in milk do? ›

According to Livestrong, leaving lamb to marinate in milk for a few hours, or even overnight, is an effective method to mellow out that gamey smell. After soaking, you can just pull the meat right out of the marinade and then rinse it before cooking.

Do you cover a roast in the oven? ›

When cooking a roast in the oven, keep it uncovered until roasted to the desired doneness. After removing from the oven, tent with foil and let stand 15 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute, preventing them from draining out during carving—and preventing dry, disappointing meat.

Why wrap your door knob in aluminum foil when you're alone? ›

All it says is aluminum foil can be used as an alternative to tape to cover doorknobs and hardware while painting. It has nothing to do with safety and the inclusion of the phrase "when you're home alone" was only used as clickbait to make the ad seem more important. Copyright 2022 Scripps Media, Inc.

Why does aluminum foil have a shiny side and a dull side? ›

"The difference in appearance between dull and shiny is due to the foil manufacturing process," he said. "In the final rolling step, two layers of foil are passed through the rolling mill at the same time. The side coming in contact with the mill's highly polished steel rollers becomes shiny.

Do you put food on the shiny side of tin foil? ›

As it turns out, there's no “correct” side of aluminum foil to use when cooking, so using it on either side is not one of the cooking mistakes that could ruin your food. They're both equally effective at heating your food, so just choose whatever side you prefer.

How do you tenderize roast lamb? ›

Lower temp = more succulent meat – Tough cuts like lamb shoulder need slow-cooking to tenderise them. The lower the roasting temperature, the less total moisture evaporation and thus juicier meat. 3-hour lamb is cooked at 180°C/350°F, while the 12 hour lamb is cooked at only 100°C/212°F.

Is lamb healthier than beef? ›

Lamb and beef have similar calories, total fat, protein, vitamin, and mineral content—but lamb (especially grass-fed lamb) is the winner when it comes to omega-3 fat content. Grass-fed lamb also has higher quantities of the healthy fat CLA, which is beneficial for cognitive, cardiovascular, and metabolic health.

What temperature should lamb be cooked at? ›

Cook all raw lamb steaks, chops, and roasts to a minimum internal temperature of 145° F (62.8° C) as measured with a food thermometer before removing meat from the heat source.

Can you leave cooked lamb out overnight? ›

If a perishable food (such as meat or poultry) has been left out at room temperature overnight (more than two hours) it may not be safe. Discard it, even though it may look and smell good. Never taste a food to see if it is spoiled.

What temperature should rack of lamb be for medium-rare? ›

For medium-rare lamb, the meat should read 135°F. However, be sure to remove the lamb from the oven once it reaches an internal temperature of about 5°F to 10°F below the final desired internal temperature because it will continue to cook for about another 10 minutes.

Can you eat rack of lamb pink? ›

A rare, or pink, lamb chop that has been seared well on the outside should be fine because any bacteria on the outer surface will have been killed by the heat. But minced or diced lamb or mutton should never be served pink. It needs to be thoroughly cooked and browned. The same goes for burgers.

What is the best doneness for rack of lamb? ›

Rack Opinions

To roast a lamb rack with the traditional method, you place your seasoned racks in a ripping hot oven (around 450°F/230°C), and basically hope that the center reaches the perfect medium-rare (around 125 to 130°F/52 to 54°C), just as the exterior hits that deep-golden-brown-but-not-yet-black sweet spot.

What are the white things on rack of lamb? ›

In cuisine a manchette is a paper frill attached to the exposed end of a bone of a cooked piece of meat.

What should I serve with rack of lamb? ›

  • Garlicky Roasted Potato Salad. Lamb loves garlic almost as much as I do. ...
  • Squashed Potatoes. ...
  • Medley of Roasted Potatoes With Homemade Za'atar & Aleppo Pepper. ...
  • Potatoes a la Lyonnaise. ...
  • Scalloped Potatoes with Caramelized Onions. ...
  • Instant Pot Buttermilk & Leek Mashed Potatoes. ...
  • Sweet Potatoes Roasted in Coconut Oil.
24 Mar 2022

Can dogs eat lamb? ›

Lamb is a great protein option for canines and the ingredient is popping up in many pet-food options. Lamb is packed with essential amino acids and is a good source of dietary fats, which help sustain energy.


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