Feeling like lamb for dinner? Well, you've come to the right place - all of my gorgeous lamb dinner recipes plus heaps of helpful tips for making the perfect lamb dinner!
Here you will find everything from a quick and easy weeknight meal using ground lamb (mince), through to a roast lamb Sunday dinner plus everything in between, so if you feel like lamb for dinner - I've got you covered!
This is my comprehensive guide to all things lamb - choosing the right cut, complimentary herbs and spices, as well as my complete list of lamb dinner recipes (which I am continually updating - watch this space!) which you can sort by cook time or cut as well!
So let's start at the beginning...
Table of Contents
- Know your cut
- Is my lamb done
- Herbs and spices
- Food matches
- Leftover roast
- Lamb dinner recipes
Know your cut
Different cuts of lamb are more suited to different cooking methods, and once you know these basics you will have more success in creating both tender and tasty lamb dishes.
When I'm deciding to have lamb for dinner, these are my favourite cuts to go for:
Cutlets (also known as lamb lollipops) - these are suitable for quick cooking methods like grilling or frying. My favourite go-to recipe using cutlets is for pesto cutlets.
Loin chops - another quick-cooking cut that can be pan-fried or grilled.
Lamb mince (also known as minced or ground lamb) - yes, you can buy lamb mince! It's not on everyone's radar, but it's definitely readily available these days in Australian supermarkets. I love to use lamb mince in my weeknight lamb ragu. You can use it the same way you would any other minced or ground meat for burgers, or maybe meatballs in this lamb meatball sub!
Shoulder (also known as forequarter) - this is one of my favourite cuts of lamb. It is best suited to long, slow cooking, either as a roast or braised. If cooked this way, it will deliver you the most tender, pull-apart meat ever. If a lamb roast is on the menu here at home, I use this recipe for the most amazing slow-cooked lamb shoulder. So tender you can shred it with two forks (it's the one in the first photo above!).
Braising the shoulder of lamb is also a home run when it comes to freezer meals and meal prep. There is always some sort of made-ahead, slow-cooked lamb shoulder recipe sitting in my freezer - usually this goulash - ready to go at a moment's notice!
Leg - great for oven baking, this is another cut that shines when it's slow-cooked. It can also be diced and used in casseroles and curries, or bought as lamb leg steaks. I use the leg steaks in this recipe for a warm lamb "dinner" salad, by coating them in a spice rub and then frying them the same as a beef steak.
Rack of lamb (also known as lamb racks) - basically this is a group of cutlets still joined together (before they are sliced/separated along the rib bones to form cutlets). This cut is usually roasted, but doesn't need a long, slow cook time due to it being very tender and low in fat if well-trimmed.
Lamb ribs (also known as riblets) - not a really well-known cut of lamb, but really tasty! I like to coat these in a gorgeous but simple spice rub and then slow cook them in the oven until lovely and crispy using this recipe.
Shanks - this is another cut that benefits from long, slow cooking but will give you meat that is so soft and tender it literally falls off the bone. They can be served whole (on-the-bone) or the meat shredded into a sauce. These red wine lamb shanks are a dinner party staple for me, or you can use the shank meat as part of a rich ragu to serve with pasta.
Sausages - sausages made with lamb are both tasty and economical. Again, use these in any way you would use any other sausages. Maybe in a pasta dish, or pan-frying or grilling on the bbq. I like to use the lamb sausage meat to make cheat's meatballs for this pasta.
For an in-depth look at cuts of lamb (including images) as well as recommended cooking methods see this informative article
Is my lamb done
So - you have just created the most amazing lamb dish and it's cooking away...but how do you know when it's done?
I like to use a meat thermometer to check if my meat is cooked, especially for things like roasts. It should be at least 63c (145.4f) according to NSW Government Food Authority. This temperature should be used as a starting point, then you can cook your dish longer depending on how you prefer to eat your lamb - from rare to well-done.
Here is a link to another helpful temperature guide, which also includes tips for checking "doneness" when you don't have a thermometer available.
Herbs and spices
Wondering what herbs or spices are best suited to lamb? Lamb is a very versatile protein that pairs well with lots of different flavours. Here are my go-to's - some of them may surprise you!
Best lamb herbs
Best lamb spices
- ground coriander
- fennel seeds
If you are looking for inspiration of what to pair with your lamb for dinner, I have put together a list of some of my favourites. This is by no means an exhaustive list!
Vegetables - pumpkin (squash), potatoes (of course!), sweet potato (kumara), capsicum (peppers), mushrooms, carrots, tomato, white or red onions, leeks, fennel, spinach, eggplant (aubergine), peas, green beans, beetroot.
Condiments - mustard, feta, parmesan, lemon, pine nuts, char-grilled/fire-roasted capsicums (peppers), sun or semi-dried tomatoes, basil pesto, red or white wine, yoghurt, sour cream, nuts, beef stock/broth.
Other meats - bacon, prosciutto, pancetta, speck.
If we have roast lamb for dinner and there are any leftovers, I shred it while it's still warm (it makes it easier) then place it in a zip-lock bag (squeezing out as much air as you can), label it and then freeze it. I then add the frozen leftover lamb to dishes like mac and cheese (OMG best ever) or use it to make these easy stuffed red peppers (capsicums).
Lamb dinner recipes
Ok - now we get down to the business end of things - the recipes. Here you will find all of my recipes so that you can make your own lamb for dinner tonight. You can search by cut or cooking time, or you can just click the ALL button to see the whole lot!
*This is a group of recipes that I am always adding to - I cook a lot of lamb dinners! Any new lamb dinner recipes will be added to this list automatically.