8 individual chops
0 hours 10 mins
0 hours 3-4 mins
0 hours 13-14 mins
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8 Baby lamb chops, frenched
1 Tbsp. Olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2-4 Tbsp. Pistachio Basil Pesto (see below)
1/4 Cup pomegranate seeds
Pistachio Basil Pesto
2 Garlic cloves
½ Cup shelled pistachios
2 Cups basil leaves
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
½ Tsp. Kosher salt
1/3 Cup Extra virgin olive oil
¼ Cup Parmesan cheese
1. Make pesto: Place garlic in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the pistachios, basil, lemon juice and salt and pulse until pistachios are finely chopped. Slowly stream in olive oil and process until combined. Add cheese and pulse a few times until combined. Taste. Add more seasoning if needed. If too thick, add a little more olive oil.
2. Dry your lamb chops with a paper towel. Sprinkle the with salt and pepper. Add your oil to a cast iron skillet and heat until very hot but not smoking.
3. Add your lamb chops and cook for about 1 1/2 – 2 minutes on each side until nicely browned and cooked to your liking. I prefer my lamb cook medium to medium-well. You can check the temperature of the lamb chops using a meat thermometer. Medium-well doneness will read at least 140 degrees F.
4. Serve on a platter topped with some of the pesto sauce and a sprinkling of the pomegranate seeds. Enjoy!
NOTE: My lollipop lamb chops with pistachio pesto and pomegranate seeds is a family favorite. While these can certainly be served for dinner with a starch and vegetable, the tiny size of these chops is perfect for an appetizer. They are great at cocktail parties and buffets where people can just grab one, take a couple of bites and discard the bone. These are what I like to call a two-bite lollipop lamb chop. I am able to find these from time to time at Sprouts and definitely at Whole Foods. Usually, the bones come frenched (scraped clean) but if not, the butcher can do that for you.
This is a very elegant appetizer that seems like it would be hard to make. Guests ooh and aah when presented with a platter and will always make a fuss, but it takes no time at all to prepare. The pesto can be made in advance and stored in the fridge covered for a couple of days. (not longer than that or the color loses it’s vibrant green.) Use the pistachio pesto on chicken, fish or pasta as a sauce too. There will be extra after this dish, so plan on using it as a condiment on any of those items. A bowl of penne pasta with this pesto is on the menu for lunch tomorrow!
If you like lamb, be sure to try some of my other lamb recipes like my Leg of Lamb with Garlic Gravy recipe or my Grilled Baby Lamb Chops with Rosemary & Thyme and Roasted Garlic Aioli on the side.
To get started making this recipe, make your pesto. Pull out the food processor to make this easy. Add the garlic and pulse until finely chopped. Then add the pistachios, basil, lemon juice and salt. Pulse until the pistachios are finely chopped. Slowly stream in the olive oil and process until combined. Taste. Adjust seasoning if needed. You can add more olive oil if you want it thinner. Note that for this recipe, I have made the pesto more like topping since I’m serving it as finger food and didn’t want it dripping when being eaten. If you are serving dinner style, you may want it looser.
To cook the lamb chops, start by drying the chops with paper towel. Then sprinkle both sides of the lamb chops with salt and pepper. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a cast iron skillet and heat until very hot but not smoking. Add the chops and cook for about 1 1/2 – 2 minutes on each side until browned and cooked to your liking.
I serve these on a platter with each chop topped with some pesto and a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds over all of them. So good!
If you like this recipe, and I think you will, try some of my other favorite appetizers.