Pan-Seared Lamb Chops with Anchovy Butter

5 from 2 votes
30 minutes
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Attention lamb lovers! Here’s an easy, restaurant-quality weeknight or date night dinner that’s done in about 30 minutes! Pan-Seared Lamb Chops with Anchovy Butter rocks with flavor but are made from simple ingredients!

Serve with Mediterranean Braised Green Beans with Tomatoes and hot, cooked orzo pasta for a lovely umami-packed meal!

Made this for dinner the other night. I couldn’t believe how the anchovy butter enhanced the lamb flavor…. Another great keeper!”

Seared Lamb Chops with Anchovy Butter on baking sheet with butter melting off spoon.

Why This Recipe is a Keeper:

Restaurant-quality recipes don’t need to have difficult culinary techniques, have multiple steps or require a pantry full of ingredients. Only a few simple ingredients combine to create this elegant, umami-packed dinner for two.

In this Italian-inspired gourmet recipe, lamb loin chops are seasoned with salt and pepper then seared. An assertive butter made with anchovy paste, garlic, lemon juice and Italian parsley adds a lovely, silky finish to rich and savory lamb loin chops. The butter can be made one to two days ahead of time.

Seared Lamb Chops with Anchovy Butter are:

  • Easy
  • Done in about 30 minutes
  • Flavorful
  • Partially make-ahead
Photo of a Seared Lamb Chop with Anchovy Butter.

How to Make Easy Pan-Seared Lamb Chops with Anchovy Butter:

Recipe Ingredients:

Here’s everything you’ll need to make this recipe along with how to prep. See the lamb chops recipe card below for the exact quantities.

Ingredients for Seared Lamb Chops with Anchovy Butter.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions:

  • Lamb Loin Chops: Lamb loin chops look like mini T-bone steaks. The meat is tender which makes them well-suited to high-heat cooking methods like searing, broiling, or grilling. Purchase lamb loin chops that are at least 1-inch thick so they don’t get overcooked.
  • Unsalted Butter: Unsalted butter is important here because you want to season the lamb chops with salt but the anchovy paste will add plenty of saltiness to the Anchovy Butter. If it is still not salty enough for you, you can always add more salt. Be sure to let the butter sit at room temperature to soften it or it will be very difficult to work with.
  • Anchovy Paste: If you love a good Caesar salad, you’re already enjoying the briny, umami-packed flavor of anchovies. The easiest way to use anchovies in your recipes is to purchase anchovy paste which is not as overwhelming as anchovy fillets. Use what you need then refrigerate the rest.
  • Lemon Juice: Fresh is always best!

Step-By-Step Instructions:

  • Gather and prep all the ingredients.
  • Let the lamb chops sit out at room temperature while preparing the anchovy butter.
  • Make the anchovy butter. Combine the softened butter, anchovy paste, lemon juice, garlic, parsley and black pepper in a small bowl. Set that aside while searing the lamb chops.
  • MAKE AHEAD:  The butter can be made ahead 1-2 days.  Refrigerate until needed.  If time allows, let the butter sit at room temperature for 1 hour before serving.
Anchovy butter in glass bowl.
  • Season the lamb chops with salt and black pepper.
Five lamb chops on white plastic cutting board seasoned with salt and pepper.
  • Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet such as cast iron over medium-high heat.
  • Place the lamb chops in the skillet and sear for 3-4 minutes.
  • Flip and sear for 2-3 minutes on the second side or until an instant-read thermometer reads 125 degrees which will be medium-rare and the perfect way to enjoy lamb chops.
Five seared lamb chops in cast iron skillet.
  • Let the chops rest for 2-3 minutes. A small amount of carryover cooking may occur which will take the internal temperature up a degree or two but carryover cooking is more prevalent with larger cuts of meat.
  • Top the seared lamb chops with the butter while the chops are still nice and hot!
Seared Lamb Chops with Anchovy Butter.

Chef Tips and Tricks:

  • I’m in the let-proteins-sit-at-room-temperature-for-30-minutes-or-so-before-searing camp. Serious Eats may disagree, however, it certainly does not hurt anything. Just don’t let the lamb chops sit at room temperature for an hour and 30 minutes or you’re flirting with food safety danger.
  • This may or may not happen, but you’ll want to release any excess liquid from the anchovy paste tube or stir it back together before attempting to combine it with the butter. Just like oil and water don’t mix, that liquid will not incorporate into the anchovy butter.
  • Leftover anchovy butter? Because the anchovy butter pairs so well with rich and savory proteins, use the rest on salmon for another quick, flavorful meal.
Seared Lamb Chops with Anchovy Butter on patinated baking sheet.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What kind of meat is lamb loin chops?

Loin chops are cut from the saddle (or the back) directly behind the ribs running toward the hindquarters. They have a nice portion of tenderloin and loin meat so overall the cut is nice and tender when cooked properly which would be medium-rare.

Can I use lamb rib chops?

Yes, absolutely. Lamb rib chops are cut from the rack, the top part of the back attached to the ribs and are very tender. You might want to have your butcher cut them into double chops unless you have a good meat cleaver that can cut through the bones.

Can you sear lamb chops ahead of time?

I don’t recommend making the lamb chops ahead of time, but the anchovy butter can be made 1-2 days ahead of time. Refrigerate until needed. If time allows, let the butter sit at room temperature for an hour before serving.

Serve with:

In addition to the green beans mentioned above, serve these easy pan-seared lamb chops with:

More great lamb and date night recipes!

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Seared Lamb Chops with Anchovy Butter on patinated baking sheet.

Pan-Seared Lamb Chops with Anchovy Butter

5 from 2 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
Here's an easy, restaurant-quality weeknight or date night dinner that's done in about 30 minutes! Seared Lamb Chops with Anchovy Butter rocks with flavor but are made from simple ingredients.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Meat
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2
Calories 356 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter - softened, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon anchovy paste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

    - to taste
  • 5 (4-ounce) lamb loin chops - bone-in
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions
 

  • Combine butter, anchovy paste, lemon juice, garlic and parsley in a small bowl. Add black pepper to taste. Set aside.
  • Season lamb chops with salt and black pepper.
  • Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a nonstick or cast iron skillet.
  • Place the lamb chops in the skillet and sear 3-4 minutes on the first side. Flip and sear 2-3 minutes on the second side or until an instant-read thermometer registers 125 degrees for medium-rare. Let rest 2-3 minutes.
  • Top with a dollop of anchovy butter while still nice and hot. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • Purchase lamb loin chops that are at least 1-inch thick so they don’t get overcooked.
  • Release any excess liquid from the anchovy paste tube before attempting to combine with the butter. Just like oil and water don’t mix, that liquid will not incorporate into the anchovy butter.
MAKE AHEAD:  The butter can be made ahead 1-2 days.  Refrigerate until needed.  If time allows, let butter sit at room temperature for 1 hour before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 356kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 69mg | Sodium: 497mg | Potassium: 87mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 872IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner the other night. I couldn’t believe how the anchovy butter enhanced the lamb flavor. Any suggestions of other ways to use the butter? Another great keeper. Thanks again, Carol.

    1. Hi, Dianne, Thanks so very much and so happy you enjoyed! It should keep for a few days or you can freeze it. It would also be great on a steak, tossed with pasta or spread on bread. Thanks again!