These Grilled Lamb Lollipops With Tzatziki Sauce are a flavor-packed appetizer perfect for any casual get-together OR even a classy cocktail party! Serve them with an easy homemade tzatziki sauce and my roasted potato wedges and people will LOVE you.
Lollipop lambchops only LOOK like they took hours to make.
I love serving fancy finger foods on occasions when guests don't expect it. Their reaction is all you need to keep you entertaining like a boss.
Yes, they are a wee bit more expensive than grilling chicken, but they are 100% worth it! Plus, they're filling so you wont need to make a ton of other food for your guests and your guests will be happy. A win win for all!
Also consider serving my Greek meze spread as a large appetizer for a crowd!
How To French Lamb Chops aka "Lollipop"
Lamb lollipops look like a lollipop because they are "frenched". This means, the meat is shaved off the bone creating a handle to hold when eating them, similar to a lollipop stick!
If you cannot find them frenched or do not feel like frenching them yourself, you can simply ask your butcher or whoever is behind the meat counter to french a rack of lamb for you!
- To do it yourself, you first need to purchase a rack of lamb ribs from your local market or butcher like the pictured rack above.
- Trim off the fat cap from the top using a sharp knife. This is the thick white layer you see. (Click on the link to watch it be done.)
- Then, lay the lamb rack down with bones facing upwards and slice downward in between each rib.
- Finally, using a boning knife, lay the knife flat against the bone of each individual chop, about ⅓ of the way up the bone, and shave off the meat and fat at a downward angle. The goal is to expose the bone.
🥩The Lamb Marinade
Although lamb chops are perfectly delicious seasoned with just salt and pepper, a simple marinade can take your chops to the next level.
But besides infusing flavor into your meat, marinating does TWO important things:
- It infuses flavor into the lamb.
- It slowly tenderizes it.
- Olive oil
- Red wine vinegar
- Fresh garlic
- Fresh parsley
- Salt & pepper
You could marinate your lamb chops overnight if you prefer but at least one hour is best for all the flavors to really penetrate the meat.
Always marinate in the fridge and never more than 2 hours at room temperature. Meat should not be left out for more than 2 hours or bacteria will begin to develop.
I do not recommend marinating meats for longer than 48 hours MAX. The meat will then begin to break down and become mushy.
🌡️Best Temperature For Lamb
Don't be afraid of cooking lamb. It is actually very forgiving because of how fatty and tender it naturally is. It is hard to OVERcook it.
With that said, you definitely do not want to overcook it or you'll ruin the taste and texture.
Use an instant read thermometer to help you reach the temperature you want.
✔️PRO TIP: Do NOT cut into your meat when it's hot to "SEE" if it's done! This will cause the juices to pour out, drying out those pricey lamb chops!
Here is a meat guide to see what temperature your like best.
Lamb chop internal temperature:
- Rare (Very raw inside) is about 115°F - 120°F
- Medium (Pink inside) is about 120°F -130°F
- Medium-well (Slightly pink inside) is about 130°F - 145°F
- Well done (No pink) is about 145°F - 150°F
Most professional chefs will cook their lamb no more than medium! Just like a steak. Overdo it and your meat will be dry and lose flavor.
When your lamb chops are finished cooking, it is important to let your meat rest! Ideally, 5-10 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute.
✅ You want your grill, pan or skillet screaming hot when you add your lamb. A brown crust or char will impart the most flavor into your lamb.
✅ Once you put your chops on the heat, do NOT touch them. Give them a chance to brown. When they are ready to flip, they will release easily rather than sticking to the surface.
✅ It's best to start off with a higher temperature then turn down the heat if needed.
✅ Wait for your lamb to come to room temperature before cooking. I will usually let it sit out for 30-60 minutes. This ensures even cooking.
✅ When your lamb chops are finished cooking, it is important to let your meat rest! Ideally, 5-10 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute.
Greek Yogurt Sauce
Serve these with an easy tzatziki sauce and guests will be licking their fingers clean. Trust me.
If you have never tried it, you are seriously missing out. Check out my easy tzatziki recipe you can make at home. (That recipe is super thick!)
The tang from the yogurt goes incredibly well with the lamb. Plus, you can add mint to your sauce if you love mint with your lamb.
I like to add a dollop on top of each chop. You could also serve your sauce on the side in a small bowl with a spoon for your guests to help themselves.
Occasions To Serve Lamb
Yes! In fact, that is exactly what you will want to cook them in. It gets screaming hot which is perfect for searing.
No! Rub some salt, pepper and any other spice you like!
Yes! Just keep them warm in the oven. Do not reheat at 350 or they will dry out.
Here are some other fancy finger foods you may like!
Grilled Lamb Lollipops With Tzatziki
- 12 ½-¾" Lamb Chops ((about 2.25 lbs))
Lamb Chop Marinade
- ½ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- ¼ Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley
- ¼ Cup Red Wine Vinegar
- 2 Tsp. Minced Garlic
- ¾ Tsp. Salt
- ½ Tsp. Cracked Black Pepper
- ¾ Cup Greek Yogurt ((thick))
- 1 Tsp. Minced Garlic
- 1 Tsp. Sherry or Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 Tsp. Olive Oil
- 1 Tsp. Freshly Chopped Dill (parsley or mint works too!)
- ¼ Tsp. Salt
- Cracked Black Pepper
- Cut rack of lamb into individual chops if not already cut. French the bones by taking a sharp knife and running it down the bone to remove any excess meat or fat.
- Mix marinade ingredients in a large bowl and pour over chops massaging it into the meat. (You can put the meat in a large plastic bag or in a shallow dish while marinating.) Place in fridge for at least an hour.
- In the meantime, make your tzatziki sauce by combining all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Store in fridge until ready to use.
- After at least an hour, take lamb out and let come to room temperature. (This should take about 15-20 minutes.) Don't throw cold meat on the grill. It will cook unevenly.
- Preheat your grill on high for about 10 minutes. Add your chops and cook until internal temperature is desired. See temp. chart below!The exact time will depend on the thickness of your chop and grill heat. They should not take more than 10 minutes!
- Top with tzatziki and fresh dill and serve hot!
- Prep everything and let sit in fridge overnight if needed! Then toss on the grill 10 minutes before guests arrive!
- Only use fresh herbs for this recipe!
- Greek yogurt is the thickest and best choice for the tzatziki.
Lamb chop internal temperature guide:
- Rare (Very raw inside) is about 130° F
- Medium rare (Very pink inside) is about 130-140° F
- Medium (Pink inside) is about 140-155° F
- Medium-well (Slightly pink inside) is about 155- 165° F
- Well done (No pink) is about 170+° F