An impressive and elegant dish, this Rack of Lamb With Yogurt Mint Sauce is a clean-eating, gluten-free meal that you can easily prepare. The yogurt mint sauce is the perfect mint sauce for lamb and goes great with herb-crusted lamb! Wow your guests every time or make the perfect romantic dinner, too!
Back before Dustin and I really cooked that much (yes, there was a time when cooking didn’t rule our lives, if you can believe it!), we still liked to experiment and try fun new things for special occasions.
One such special occasion was New Year’s Eve. We’d always plan out an elaborate dinner to make to celebrate the new year by choosing something that required a little more time in the kitchen or something we had never tried before.
Maybe it’d be lobster. Maybe we’d make homemade pizzas. Then, on one very special occasion, we chose to make rack of lamb. Neither Dustin nor I had eaten much lamb prior to trying to make it ourselves before that night, but it seemed like a good challenge and always looked so tasty when we’d seen it prepared before.
So, why not? It’s New Year’s Eve, right?
Well, we went to the butcher and got the rack of lamb. The butcher asked us if we wanted it “frenched,” to which we looked at him confused and asked, “huh?”
Then, he explained that meant cleaning off the tops of the bones to make the rack of lamb look more impressive and presentable. So, we figured sure and asked him to do it, paying a little more for the extra touch. (We’ve later chosen not to, since it’s not super necessary and often less expensive if you don’t, but you can also french it yourself at home, if you’d like.)
When it came time to prepare the lamb, we chose a simple fresh herb crust that required just a few ingredients and seemed shockingly simple. I prepared the herb crust and got things started, all the while being shocked at how simple and easy this rack of lamb seemed to be, despite the fuss of how fancy it also appeared.
Alas, I continued on and kept preparing the meal.
After just a short while in the oven, the lamb was done – the digital thermometer went off, saying it was ready to go and I removed it from the oven, again surprised at how quickly the lamb had cooked. It seemed like it had only been like 20 minutes.
But, back then, I didn’t really pay as much attention to times and instructions. This was the Pre A Sweet Pea Chef era 🙂
I removed it from the oven, let it rest, and then carved the rack into chops. Dustin and I wound up enjoying the lamb without the rest of the other sides to the meal, since we thought we’d have more time to make them for our dinner as the lamb roasted. Silly us. But we sure felt fancy and all culinary with how good it tasted.
We were so pleasantly surprised by how flavorful, juicy, and tender the lamb chops were and, even more importantly, how amazingly easy it was to make. Needless to say, since that New Year’s Eve many years ago, we’ve made rack of lamb more of a tradition in our house. It’s a way to celebrate simplicity, and enjoy the time together as opposed to slaving over the food all night. Plus, it looks fancy!
Since then, I’ve also created a super easy yogurt mint sauce using Greek Gods Traditional Plain Greek yogurt that we use for dipping the lamb chops and it’s so refreshing, cool, and the perfect creamy pair to the savory, tender lamb.
I hope you have a safe and happy new year and you find a way to enjoy life’s simplicity with the ones you love.
CAN I SUBSTITUTE OTHER HERBS FOR THE MINT SAUCE FOR LAMB?
Mint sauce for lamb is the absolute best but you can substitute other herbs if needed. So, if you don’t have mint and cannot pop out to the store to pick some up, all is not lost. Try these alternatives:
- If your dish is sweet or savory, basil can work as a replacement
- Parsley can work in a pinch for a savory sauce
- Dried marjoram or rosemary can be used in place of dried mint
You can also replace 1 tablespoon fresh mint with 1 teaspoon of dried mint from a mint herbal tea bag. Try growing this easy to care for herb in your garden to avoid missing your mint in any recipe!
CAN I MAKE THE MINT SAUCE FOR LAMB DAIRY-FREE?
The yogurt mint sauce can be easily transformed to be dairy-free by replacing the Greek yogurt with a plant-based yogurt. Almonds, hemp, soy, and coconuts are a few of the ingredient bases for yummy plant-based substitutions that are versatile and add just the right balance of flavor to the sauce.
So, make the changes you need to suit your eating regimen or dietary needs, and then enjoy this incredible dish!
WHAT CAN I SERVE WITH RACK OF LAMB?
Carrots and squash, green beans and Brussel sprouts…. You get it, colorful is key when it comes to sides for a rack of lamb. Roasting any kind of root vegetable, for that matter, makes a rack of lamb complete. Parsnips, potatoes, and onions add wholesome flavor and tasty greens like arugula work well with this luxurious meat.
It’s important to remember that rack of lamb with yogurt mint sauce deserves to be the king of the table at mealtime. So, keep the sides serving sizes light and just that, on the side. And don’t forget to decorate your plate with mint sauce for lamb.
Here are some more ideas:
- Healthier Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Creamy Parmesan Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
- Healthy Green Bean Casserole
- Roasted Acorn Squash
- Oven Baked Asparagus Fries
- Thyme Roasted Carrots
- Easy Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower
- Parmesan Roasted Green Beans
- Honey Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts
HOW TO COOK A PERFECT RACK OF LAMB WITH YOGURT MINT SAUCE
My ideal rack of lamb is served at medium-rare. Sear your marinated lamb first, being sure to place the lamb in the pan fat side down. Then, place the pan in the oven, preheated to 425F and cook the lamb for 20 to 25 minutes.
The best way to tell if your lamb is cooked the way you like it is by using a digital meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat and make sure that it is not touching any bone. The internal temperature should read 145F for a medium-well cook and 115F to 125F for medium-rare.
Other great tips for cooking and serving your rack of lamb with yogurt mint sauce:
- Before prepping, allow the cut of meat to reach room temperature – this ensures an even cook
- Let the lamb rest about 15 minutes before cutting
- Cut your lamb against the grain, which means cutting across the muscle fibers
WHAT ARE FRENCHED VERSUS UNFRENCHED RACKS OF LAMB?
A french cut rack of lamb has the meat and fat taken off the first few inches of individual rib bones, leaving a cleaner, more elegant looking cut of meat. Frenching is not necessary by any means – keeping all of the meat on the bone is preferred by those who like to clean the rib themselves as they eat.
MORE HEALTHY ROAST RECIPES
You are a lover of roasts like me, right? Here are more of my favorite go-to meat dishes, whether making for company or to serve any night of the week:
- 1 rack of lamb* 8 chops
- 1 1/2 tbsp fresh rosemary chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 cup plain greek yogurt
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 tbsp fresh mint chopped
- 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- Combine the fresh rosemary, Italian parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, sea salt, and ground black pepper and then set aside.
- Score the fat on the lamb by making sharp shallow cuts through the fat, about an inch apart. Then, spread the garlic herb mixture all over the rack of lamb.
- Place in sealable container or cover with saran wrap and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes, up to 6 hours in the refrigerator.
- When you’re ready to cook the lamb, preheat your oven to 425 degrees F and heat 1 tbsp. olive oil over high heat in a large, oven proof pan.
Sear the lamb, fat side down, until golden brown, then place the entire pan into the oven and roast for 20 to 25 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 125 degrees F which will be a perfect medium-rare. To get the perfect temperature, a digital meat thermometer is super helpful.
- While the lamb is roasting, make the yogurt mint sauce by combining the Greek Gods Traditional Plain greek yogurt, minced garlic, fresh mint, freshly squeezed lemon juice, sea salt, and ground black pepper, and stir until well combined.
- Place this sauce into the refrigerator to allow the flavors to develop while the lamb finishes.
- Once the lamb is cooked through, carefully remove from the oven and the hot pan and allow to rest for 5 minutes on a cutting board before carving into chops.
- Next, carve and serve immediately with the cool yogurt-mint sauce spread around the meat.
This recipe works for both frenched and unfrenched racks of lamb. I often choose not to get the lamb frenched since it's not necessary and often costs more money, but many find it to appear more fancy and impressive when frenched. The choice is yours!
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