Air Fryer Lamb Chops, a quick and easy air fryer meat dish recipe with a light and fresh mint, citrus, and herb marinade. These perfectly tender chops are ready in only 15 minutes!
Lamb chops are a favorite in our house. If you should know one thing about my kiwi husband, it’s that he has very strong opinions about lamb. Lamb is a staple dish in New Zealand, and (according to him) you cannot serve lamb without fresh mint.
So when I decided to try cooking lamb chops in the air fryer, I knew that a light and refreshing mint and citrus marinade would be the perfect choice for a juicy and lighter lamb dish. This recipe is an Easter lunch favorite, served with fresh spring vegetables like braised green beans and a shredded brussels sprouts salad.
Seriously, cooking meat in an air fryer is easy and a must try!
Why You’ll Love This Air Fryer Lamb Chops Recipe
- Cooking lamb in the air fryer is quick and easy. Yup, the air fryer isn’t just for healthier fried items, it’s also great for quickly cooking meats. You can cook lamb loin, shanks, chops, and even a rack of lamb chops in the air fryer.
- Mint marinade makes for a tasty and juicy lamb chop. This light and fresh mint, citrus, and her marinade softens the meat and adds a pop of flavor.
- It’s a lighter meat dish that’s perfect for holidays and small gatherings. We love making these lamb chops on Easter and the flavor is light, fresh, and perfect for spring.
Lamb chop and marinade ingredients
- Lamb chops: I used about 1 1/4 to 1 1/3 rd pounds bone-in lamb chops for this recipe, which comes out to be about 4 lamb chops. If your chops are fatty, trim excess fat before cooking and marinating.
- Olive oil: Olive oil serves as the base of the marinade and coats the lamb in a thin layer of fat that also helps it to cook well in the fryer.
- Raw honey: Honey adds a thick consistency to the marinade, and the sweet flavor pairs well with the fresh herbs and natural lamb flavor.
- Balsamic vinegar: A small amount of balsamic vinegar rounds out the base of the marinade, adding acidity to the oil and sweet honey.
- Fresh mint: Chopped fresh mint leaves are a MUST with lamb and gives a fresh flavor to the marinade.
- Cumin: Ground cumin, a flavorful ground seed that is often used in Middle Eastern cuisine, pairs well with the freshness of mint in the marinade.
- Chili powder: A dash of ground chili powder adds a small spicy kick to the marinade and helps bring out the flavors of the other herbs and spices.
- Garlic: Either minced whole garlic cloves or ground garlic powder is used to flavor the meat marinade.
- Lemon juice and lime zest: Lemon juice adds acidity to the marinade and shaved lime zest rounds out the strong flavors with a bit of a citrus bite.
- Shallots: Sliced shallots are fried in the air fryer and served on top of the lamb chops for a crispy garnish.
How to make it in the air fryer
- Mix the marinade: The first step to make these tasty lamb chops is to marinate them! My favorite marinade is super easy, simply add olive oil, a bit of raw honey, balsamic vinegar, and lemon juice to a medium mixing bowl and whisk together to combine. Then add chopped fresh mint, ground cumin, garlic powder, and a little chili powder for spice. That’s it!
- . Marinate the lamb: After the marinade is done, place the lamb chops into a large plastic marinade bag or a glass container and top with the marinade. Give the bag or closed container a good shake to cover the lamb completely, and then let it marinate for about 20-30 minutes before cooking (or longer for even more flavor!). TIP –> Reserve 2-3 tbsp of the marinade for platting!
- Fry the lamb in the air fryer: Once the lamb has marinated, it’s time to get frying! Preheat the air fryer to 400F and cook the lamb chops in the fryer basket for about 12-14 minutes, flipping halfway through to cook evenly on both sides. When the chops are done, remove them from the air fryer and let them rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
Don’t have an air fryer? There’s an oven option in the recipe card! But I highly recommend one for quick even cooking that’s also flavorful.
Air fryer cooking tips
An air fryer isn’t the first cooking appliance that comes to mind for cooking lamb chops, but I promise you it’s worth it! The meat is cooked quickly and comes out so tender and flavorful.
Here are a few tips for air fryer lamb:
- Preheat the air fryer for 2 minutes before adding the lamb chops to make sure the fryer basket is good and hot before you add the meat.
- Place the thickest cut of lamb in the back of the air fryer, as the temperature is hotter.
- Always flip halfway through cooking for evenly cooked meat.
- Let the lamb chops rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
How do you know when lamb is cooked?
Lamb chops are recommended to be cooked to medium-well for food safety by the USDA, however like beef each person has a different preference for how well they want their lamb cooked. I like to cook my lamb to about medium to medium-well, though you can cook a bit longer if you like your lamb well done.
I usually eyeball the outside of the lamb to see how cooked it looks, and cut a small slice to view the center (I am for a slightly pink but not red center). However, if you’d like to be exact then use a meat thermometer and cook to the following temperatures based on how well done you’d like your lamb chops cooked:
- Rare: 115-120°F
- Medium-Rare: 125°F
- Medium: 130°F
- Medium-Well: 145°F (recommended)
- Well Done: 150°F
Storage and Freezing
After the lamb has cooled, store it in a plastic bag or airtight container in the refrigerator. Lamb chops keep surprisingly well in the refrigerator and taste great when reheated, and actually are a great meat to freeze after cooking and then thaw when needed.
- Refrigerator: 5 days in an airtight container or sealed plastic bag
- Freezer: 1 month in a sealed freezer-safe bag
- 4 Bone in Lamb chops (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lbs.). Excess fat trimmed, if desired.
- 3/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 3/4 tsp garlic powder or 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt and pepper each
- 3–4 tbsp lemon juice (1/2 large lemon, juiced)
- 1 tsp lime zest
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp fresh mint – chopped (extra whole mint leaves for garnishing)
- 2 small shallots, sliced for frying
- Sliced lemon for garnishing
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the marinade ingredients. Set aside. *Reserve 2 tbsp + for platting cooked chops)
- Place lamb chops in a ziplock bag or glass container. Pour marinade on top and seal.
- Marinade lamb at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.
- While the lamb is marinating, preheat the air fryer to 400F. If you don’t have a preheat option, then turn the air fryer on for 2 minutes. Stop then, place on 400 F again.
- Place marinated lamb chops and sliced shallots in an air fryer for 12-14 minutes, turning the chop over halfway through cooking. Note – You can check on the cooking by opening the drawer.
- Cook chops until it reaches a minimum temp of 145°F . Cook time will vary depending on thickness of lamb and type of air fryer. These 1 1/4 inch chops took 12 minutes.
- Once the chops have cooked to the desire of doneness, remove and set on a plate to rest for 5 minutes.
- Drizzle reserved marinade on top of lamb chops. Salt/pepper to taste
- Garnish plate with fried shallot, mint and lemon, if desired.
Oven option- Preheat the oven to 400F. Place marinated lamb chops in an oven safe dish or pan for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway. Broil last minute for extra crispy edges. Internal temperature should reach 145F. Once cooked, remove chops from the oven and let them rest before serving/slicing.
- Category: meat
- Method: air fryer
- Cuisine: american/new zealand
Keywords: lamb chops, lamb, air fryer lamb chops, marinated lamb chops, lamb chops in the air fryer, healthy, paleo
More of our favorite recipes with lamb
I hope you enjoy this super simple air fryer lamb recipe! If you’re keen on lamb (like my kiwi husband), then you might want to check out my other recipes with lamb. Here are a few; easy broiled lamb with mint chimichurri, a braised soup with lamb and bacon, and even Greek-style lamb tacos cooked in the slow cooker!
Did you try these tasty chops? If so, let us know how they turned out by leaving a comment with a star rating. And as always, feel free to comment and ask questions if you need substitutes!