Lamb Chops with Garlic-Caper Rub

This Food and Wine recipe caught my attention for a few reasons – 1. Lamb, 2. Garlic, 3. Capers, and 4. Anchovies. Plus I’d just received an order of lamb chops and thought I’d try out this zingy recipe by Mary-Frances Heck.

It’s actually 3 recipes in one. The garlic-caper paste on the chops is fabulous and flavorful. The herb-caper-lemon mixture could be put on cooked chops or filet mignons, for that matter. But both the paste and the herby sauce together are almost indescribable. You can taste the garlic, the lemon, the capers, saltiness, and the zing!

This would be a wonderful springtime recipe, using herbs picked from the garden, but I made this in the dead of winter, when I’d been craving lamb. fortunately grocery store sell small packages of herbs, and parsley is always readily available.

Lamb Chops with Garlic-Caper Rub
served with an herb-caper-lemon sauce

1/2 cup finely chopped mixed tender fresh herbs (I used parsley, chives and basil
6 tablespoons extra virgin oil, divided
1/4 cup drained and rinsed capers, divided
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, divided
Salt, to taste
8 garlic cloves
4 anchovy fillets, drained
2 pounds double-cut lamb chops, frenched

Preheat oven to 400°F with 1 rack in middle position and 1 rack positioned 4 inches from broiler.

Whisk together chopped herbs, 1/4 cup oil, 2 tablespoons capers, lemon zest and juice, black pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper in a medium bowl until combined. Season with salt to taste; set aside. For fun, and a little more zing, I used a harissa-infused olive oil.

Process garlic, anchovies, remaining 2 tablespoons capers, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper in a mini food processor until a coarse paste forms, about 10 seconds. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil, and process until creamy and mostly smooth, about 40 seconds. (My mixture didn’t process at all until I added more oil.)

Arrange lamb on a large baking sheet with a baking rack. Rub lamb evenly with garlic-caper paste. Roast in preheated oven on middle rack until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of chops registers 110°F, 12 to 16 minutes.

My cooking times were less, because I didn’t have double-cut lamb chops; mine were thin. Remove lamb from oven; let rest until temperature stops rising and begins to fall, 5 to 10 minutes. Increase oven temperature to high broil; preheat 5 minutes. Return lamb to oven on top rack. Broil until lamb is golden and sizzling and a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of chops registers 120°F, 2 to 3 minutes.

Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes. Cut each lamb chop in half between ribs; serve with herb mixture. (Obviously I served the lamb chops as is – no cutting involved!)

Garnish with additional fresh herbs. (I didn’t do this because the sauce was herby enough.)

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. terrie gura March 14, 2022 at 7:10 AM - Reply

    Mmm, loving everything about this! I get in a rut with lamb and need a break from the two flavors I usually do. I like the accent of capers and anchovies here and your finished plate looks fantastic (as usual).

    • Chef Mimi March 14, 2022 at 5:57 PM - Reply

      Aww thanks. The chops spoke for themselves!

  2. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen March 14, 2022 at 8:46 AM - Reply

    Looks delicious Mimi! I love all the ingredients, especially capers which I have to contain myself from putting them in everything!
    I probably do put the garlic in everything!

    • Chef Mimi March 14, 2022 at 5:56 PM - Reply

      Garlic is a must in everything savory!!!

  3. David Scott Allen March 14, 2022 at 9:05 AM - Reply

    This is definitely a method I could use instead of doing a whole rack of lamb! Beautifully done!

    • Chef Mimi March 14, 2022 at 5:56 PM - Reply

      For sure. Now I’m thinking Easter!

  4. Charlie DeSando March 14, 2022 at 9:54 AM - Reply

    Nothing like a well prepared lamb chop. They look great!!

    • Chef Mimi March 14, 2022 at 5:55 PM - Reply

      Thanks! This was a great recipe.

  5. March 14, 2022 at 10:09 AM - Reply

    I love lamb chops and usually like to grill them. The sauce sounds perfect with the “gamey” taste of the lamb!

    • Chef Mimi March 14, 2022 at 5:55 PM - Reply

      I typically pan fry them with salt, but I loved this recipe!

  6. March 14, 2022 at 10:33 AM - Reply

    Oh I do love lamb chops! I’ve never had them with a garlic-caper rub on before. Must try!

    • Chef Mimi March 14, 2022 at 5:55 PM - Reply

      I’m fine with just salt, but these take the chops to a much higher level!

  7. thewackyspoon March 14, 2022 at 2:24 PM - Reply

    These looks so moreish! And that garlic caper sauce is one I will be trying.

    • Chef Mimi March 14, 2022 at 5:54 PM - Reply

      Such fabulous ingredients all together!

  8. Nigella Eats Everything March 14, 2022 at 2:34 PM - Reply

    Lamb, anchovies and capers – yes please! I’ll be making this!

    • Chef Mimi March 14, 2022 at 5:54 PM - Reply

      I know! So so good.

  9. Katherine | Love In My Oven March 14, 2022 at 10:54 PM - Reply

    We just had lamb last night and I had forgotten how much I love it! These chops look so good – all the garlic for me please!

    • Chef Mimi March 15, 2022 at 7:46 AM - Reply

      I think it’s my favorite meat. I actually think about it, whereas I don’t crave beef like many people do.

  10. bernadette Laganella March 15, 2022 at 7:15 AM - Reply

    A wonderful combination of umami tastes.

    • Chef Mimi March 15, 2022 at 7:46 AM - Reply

      Thanks. It was wonderful!

  11. Frank Fariello March 15, 2022 at 7:23 AM - Reply

    Sounds fabulous, Mimi! I think almost anything would taste delicious with that lovely paste slathered on it, but lamb is just perfect. I love a good lamb chop and this brings it to the next level.

    • Chef Mimi March 15, 2022 at 7:45 AM - Reply

      I love a lam chop pan fried to perfection with just salt for seasoning, but this was delightful!

  12. For the Love of Cooking March 15, 2022 at 12:09 PM - Reply

    They look and sound wonderful. My lamb loving family would devour these chops.

    • Chef Mimi March 16, 2022 at 7:32 AM - Reply

      I really like lamb as well. Way more flavor than a filet mignon.

  13. Velva March 15, 2022 at 6:58 PM - Reply

    Your lamb chops look fantastic. The addition of the capers is delightful.

    • Chef Mimi March 16, 2022 at 7:32 AM - Reply

      And the anchovies. A really nice mixture.

  14. sherry March 15, 2022 at 10:55 PM - Reply

    i just can’t do lamb but i love garlic capers and anchovies!

    • Chef Mimi March 16, 2022 at 7:32 AM - Reply

      Ohhh. Well, the other stuff is good too!

  15. Tandy | Lavender and Lime March 16, 2022 at 1:37 AM - Reply

    oh yum! This would be perfect on pasta :)

    • Chef Mimi March 16, 2022 at 7:31 AM - Reply

      The rub and the sauce would be great all tossed with warm pasta!

  16. carrietalkingmeals March 16, 2022 at 5:20 AM - Reply

    What a delicious recipe! I honestly don’t use capers that often, but blending them into a paste sounds fantastic! I do love the briny element that they bring, so gonna add this to my try list!

    • Chef Mimi March 16, 2022 at 7:31 AM - Reply

      It’s so Good. But, I really love lamb, plus all of the other ingredients… I knew I’d love it.

  17. David @ Spiced March 16, 2022 at 6:59 AM - Reply

    Oh, I don’t know what I would do without grocery stores selling those small packs of fresh herbs. I like to plant them in pots on the porch…but the winter snows tend to do a number on those. This sounds like a fantastic recipe! I’m thinking that garlic-caper paste would be excellent on grilled chicken…or really grilled anything. :-)

    • Chef Mimi March 16, 2022 at 7:30 AM - Reply

      I should have pots inside during the winter, really. No excuses there. But I have come to rely on those little packages. We’re pretty lucky to have that option.

  18. kitchenriffs March 16, 2022 at 10:07 AM - Reply

    Lamb is wonderful, isn’t it? My favorite red meat. The herb paste looks terrific. Thanks!

    • Chef Mimi March 18, 2022 at 9:42 AM - Reply

      It’s mine as well. So flavorful.

  19. Greg Henry March 16, 2022 at 2:34 PM - Reply

    Eye catching indeed. Capers and anchovies are wonderful. Especially on lamb. Big flavors that compliment each other well. GREG

    • Chef Mimi March 18, 2022 at 9:42 AM - Reply

      They really work so well together!

  20. Raymund March 17, 2022 at 8:39 PM - Reply

    That rub sounds really tasty

    • Chef Mimi March 18, 2022 at 9:42 AM - Reply

      It was so good!

  21. Linger March 18, 2022 at 6:29 AM - Reply

    Oh my Mimi! Every part of this recipe sounds fabulous. A capers paste made with anchovies and served with lamb, so lovely.

    • Chef Mimi March 18, 2022 at 9:08 AM - Reply

      It’s really good! I’ll be making this again, which speaks volumes for me.

  22. Jean March 18, 2022 at 10:19 AM - Reply

    You and I are attracted to the same dishes–yes to all the items that caught your eye. This dish A+ all the way for me.

    • Chef Mimi March 19, 2022 at 8:52 AM - Reply

      Yes!!! Such great ingredients that work so well together!

  23. Roz March 18, 2022 at 11:02 AM - Reply

    Perfect time of the year to be preparing Lamb. I am so bad at remembering it in planning. This recipe just sounds so sublime, Chef Mimi. I’m putting this on my recipe bucket list! The sauce sounds magnificent!

    • Chef Mimi March 19, 2022 at 8:51 AM - Reply

      It was really truly a wonderful recipe!

  24. Cynthia M Woodman March 18, 2022 at 9:53 PM - Reply

    Lamb is my favorite meat! These look fabulous!

    • Chef Mimi March 19, 2022 at 8:51 AM - Reply

      Mine as well, and I have them all to myself since my husband won’t eat it!

  25. Jeff the Chef March 19, 2022 at 7:51 AM - Reply

    You’re going to cringe when you read this, but I’ve never cooked lamb chops at home. I love them, and have them at restaurants often, but never have made them at home. But I’ll tell you, your description of them and the rub is so wonderful that I think I may change things up and make some!

    • Chef Mimi March 19, 2022 at 8:51 AM - Reply

      I cook them just like filets. I use tongs and just feel when they’re medium rare. And typically I only use salt. They’re amazing!

  26. Karen (Back Road Journal) March 19, 2022 at 2:29 PM - Reply

    I make a similar recipe except mine also has olives. I like your addition of the harissa infused olive oil and I can’t wait to try your version.

    • Chef Mimi March 20, 2022 at 8:05 AM - Reply

      I love heat! So just about any chance, I add it in some form. Cayenne pepper flakes are always nearby! I love the olive idea.

  27. Liz March 20, 2022 at 7:17 AM - Reply

    I love frenched lamb chops! These are perfect for Easter dinner!!

    • Chef Mimi March 20, 2022 at 8:05 AM - Reply

      I could eat them every day! They’re just so good.

  28. Ronit Penso Tasty Eats March 20, 2022 at 3:30 PM - Reply

    Garlic, herbs, capers and anchovies are all up on my favorites lists (which is quite long!). I know I would love this dish. :)

    • Chef Mimi March 21, 2022 at 9:33 AM - Reply

      Yes!!! All such wonderful ingredients!

  29. Eva Taylor March 22, 2022 at 8:11 AM - Reply

    Lamb chops are horrificly expensive here so I haven’t bought them in some time. This gorgeous herby sauce sook so flavourful, it would definitely up the ante on any meat.

    • Chef Mimi March 22, 2022 at 8:52 AM - Reply

      Oh that’s too bad. Different parts of the world just have such different issues with food, even with the ability to have just about anything shipped anywhere… but with a price of course.

  30. Healthy World Cuisine March 22, 2022 at 8:33 AM - Reply

    Lamb is our absolute favorite! Yours are perfectly cooked and with that herby sauce- sublime. We might just show up one day…around dinner time…

  31. Thao @ In Good Flavor March 30, 2022 at 1:08 PM - Reply

    This is a delicious looking dish and so beautifully presented! I love the sound of the paste and the herby sauce.

    • Chef Mimi March 30, 2022 at 1:22 PM - Reply

      They were both very good!

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