This simple rack of lamb recipe will yield a perfectly cooked showstopper meal every time! No one will even notice that it’s Whole30-friendly!

An overhead shot of three medium rare lamb chops cut from a rack of lamb on top of Whole30 tzatziki sauce

I love oven roasting a rack of lamb (or two) whenever we’re celebrating a special occasion. I normally allot one (1½ pound) lamb rack for every two guests, and buy the racks a few days ahead so I have time to salt and marinate them ahead of time. If you follow the tips below, you’ll end up with perfectly cooked chops that will impress your toughest guests!

Salt Ahead of Time

Many years ago, I learned that one of the ways to ensure properly seasoned meat was to salt it properly—that means with the right amount and at least a day ahead. My normal rule of thumb is to follow Chef Judy Rodger’s ratio of 1 tablespoon medium coarse salt for every 4½ pounds of meat. If you’re using a finer grain salt, decrease the amount, but you’ll still use more than you think. Pro tip: you can salt up to three days in advance and store the salted racks in the fridge until you are ready to cook.

Reverse Sear Method

My favorite way to cook the lamb is the reverse sear method, popularized by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, food nerd extraordinaire. This technique involves slow roasting the meat in a low oven until the internal temperature reaches 125°F (for medium rare) on a meat thermometer. Then, you sear the outside of the roast in a hot pan or under a broiler to get a brown exterior. This method takes longer than cooking in a hot oven (e.g. 400°F), but there’s more wiggle room if you aren’t paying close attention, and the rack of lamb will still be pink from end to end.

Use A Meat Thermometer!

Although this oven roasted rack of lamb recipe is easy peasy, the best way to ensure success is to use a great meat thermometer. I love both my instant read Thermapen One and my in-oven thermometer—invest in a good one and you won’t wreck your meat!

Time to Make Rack of Lamb!

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 racks of lamb, “frenched” (about 1½ pounds per rack)
  • 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano or dried marjoram
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Equipment:

  • All of my recommended kitchen tools are listed here. My favorite meat thermometer is this one.

Method:

Trim any extra fat off of the top of the racks, leaving a thin layer.

Trimming extra fat off of the top of a rack of lamb with a chef's knife.

Rub the salt all over the racks of lamb and cover and refrigerate them overnight and up to three days.

Sprinkling salt on two lamb racks to make a simple Whole30 roast rack of lamb.

On the day you’re roasting the lamb racks, mix the marinade. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, and pepper.

Whisking together the lemon juice, minced garlic, olive oil, dried oregano, and black pepper to make the marinade for the lamb racks.

Pour the marinade over the lamb racks and marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours in the fridge.

A white rectangular baking dish is filled with two lamb racks in a garlic lemon marinade.

Heat the oven to 275°F with the rack in the middle. Place the lamb racks on a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet and pop it in the oven.

Placing a rimmed baking sheet topped with two Whole30 lamb racks into an oven,

Cook until the internal temperature reaches 125°F (about 30-45 minutes, depending on the size of your racks).

A red instant-read thermometer stuck in a rack of lamb reads "125"

Take the lamb out of the oven and turn on the broiler or the highest temperature your oven can reach.

Closeup a wall oven display that says MAXI BROIL

Place the lamb racks back in the oven…

Placing two racks of lamb back in the oven to broil.

…and cook until the exterior is nice and browned, about 5 minutes.

Two racks of lamb right out of the oven, ready to eat.

Slice up the chops…

A cutting board topped with lamb chops that are pink, perfectly cooked medium rare.

…and serve with Tzatziki and Instant Pot Crispy Potatoes!

An overhead shot of a brown platter topped with three lamb chops on top of Whole30 tzatziki sauce and Instant pot Crispy potatoes.


Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013), Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017), and Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2022).


 PRINTER-FRIENDLY RECIPE CARD

Rack of Lamb (Whole30, Keto)

4.80 from 10 votes
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Marinating Time1 day
Servings 4
This simple rack of lamb recipe will yield a perfectly cooked showstopper meal every time! No one will even notice that it’s Whole30-friendly!

Ingredients 
 

  • 2 racks of lamb "frenched" about 1½ pounds per rack
  • 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano or marjoram
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions 

  • Trim any extra fat off of the top of the racks, leaving a thin layer.
  • Rub the salt all over the racks of lamb and cover and refrigerate them overnight and up to three days.
  • On the day you’re roasting the lamb racks, mix the marinade. In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano, and pepper.
  • Pour the marinade over the lamb racks and marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours in the fridge.
  • Heat the oven to 275°F with the rack in the middle. Place the lamb racks on a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet and pop it in the oven.
  • Cook until the internal temperature reaches 125°F for medium rare (about 30-45 minutes, depending on the size of your racks).
  • Take the lamb out of the oven and turn on the broiler or the highest temperature your oven can reach.
  • Place the lamb racks back in the oven and cook until the exterior is nice and browned, about 5 minutes.
  • Slice up the chops and serve with Whole30 Tzatziki sauce and Instant Pot Crispy Potatoes!

Notes

The best instant-read thermometer on the planet is this one!

Nutrition

Calories: 417kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 32g | Fiber: 1g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!

About Michelle Tam

Hello! My name is Michelle Tam, and I love to eat. I think about food all the time. It borders on obsession. I’ve always loved the sights and smells of the kitchen. My mother was (and is) an excellent cook, and as a kid, I was her little shadow as she prepared supper each night. From her, I gained a deep, abiding love for magically transforming pantry items into mouth-watering family meals.

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11 Comments

  1. Hi Michelle, this is my first time buying rack of lamb. I want to try this recipe. I end up with lots of lamb fats after the trimmin. Do you discard the fats or can I use it for oil cooking? Thanks

  2. Thanks for the delicious recipe, Michelle! We enjoyed it as part of our Easter celebration yesterday. I don’t have a double oven and nothing else I was fixing cooked at 275 degrees. So I cooked the lamb early to the 125 degree internal temperature and held it in a crock pot on the warm setting while I fired the heat up to fix some sides. Then I popped the lamb back in the oven under the broiler to brown it just before serving. Delicious!

    1. Hey Michelle, what are the instructions for cooking this in my new air fryer? This is a favorite recipe of ours, but we use lamb chops. Works everytime! Thanks

      1. Never tried it but Michelle’s rule of them is to cook 25 degrees (F) lower and cut the cooking time by around 30-40%