Roasted Rack of Lamb with Sundried Tomato Pesto

  • By Jackie Sun
  • April 5, 2015

Roasted Rack of Lamb with Sundried Tomato Pesto | Weeknight Meal #recipe via @CookSmartsSince today is Easter Sunday, we decided that this week’s recipe should add to the celebration. And it’s okay if you don’t celebrate Easter, because this recipe will cover just about anything you’re celebrating.

Spring break, perhaps? After all, nothing calls for more celebration than getting a week off of school, right? (We’ve been there, so we know.)

Or maybe you’re celebrating the overall arrival of spring, because you’re ready to move on from hearty soups and stews, and you’re just jumping with joy at the thought of fresh asparagus and spring peas and bright pink radishes and fragrant green garlic and. . .Can you tell that we’re excited about spring?

Or maybe you’re the kind of person who has amazing Sunday luncheons. (In that case, can we come over?)

“Might be my new favorite Cook Smarts meal! The lamb was wonderful and the video on how to prep, cut and grill it was great. This isn’t a make-every-week meal but this will definitely be one that we make on special occasions!”

Roasted Rack of Lamb with Sundried Tomato Pesto | Weeknight Meal #recipe via @CookSmartsWhatever it is you’re celebrating, we have the perfect spring meal for any occasion – tender, juicy rack of lamb, roasted to perfection, and topped with a flavorful, hand-chopped sundried tomato pesto.

We originally featured this recipe in our meal plan last year for a summer weeknight meal, but rack of lamb was definitely a luxurious treat for most folks, so it wasn’t quite budget-friendly for a typical weeknight dinner. But since we’re in a celebratory mood, we figured we should revisit this recipe, since it’s an absolutely tasty dish, and it’s great for special occasions.

If you are feeling a little hesitant or even intimidated about cooking lamb, trust us when we say that it’s super easy. Our video below will show you just how simple it is to prep and roast a rack of lamb, and your guests will feel like they are dining out at a fancy restaurant!

“I loved everything about this meal.”

What we love about this whole meal is the minimal use of kitchen equipment and tools, which means less cleaning. The lamb only requires an oven-safe skillet, so you sear the meat first and then pop the whole thing in the oven to finish cooking. The pesto calls for a knife only. That’s the beauty of a hand-chopped pesto – no food processor necessary!

So treat yourself and your loved ones this week, and get a taste of something that is not in your regular dinner rotation.

Happy Easter / Spring / Spring break, everyone! Or rather, Happy Eating!

Serving Suggestion:
We like to enjoy this lamb with a side of roasted beet and farro salad. But you can use this Spring Salad Chart to get ideas for a simple salad to go along with this meal.

You can also try our Mediterranean Baby Spinach Salad, which is a fantastic accompaniment to your “fancy” meal, or try something different, like this Zucchini Ribbon Salad.

For More Smarts:

  • If rack of lamb is out of your budget, go for another type of red meat like a sirloin or strip steak. We get ours vacuum-packed at Costco and it’s about $15 / rack.
  • Since you’re already chopping up a pesto, might as well double the ingredients and use for other meals, such as baked salmon or portobello mushroom, or use as a spread for sandwiches and wraps. You can also freeze any extra pesto for future meals. [Learn more about freezing with our All-in-One Freezer Guide.]

Prepping Smarts:

Expand your kitchen knowledge and learn some new prep and cooking techniques with this meal. See how quick it is to make a pesto without any special equipment other than your knife, and how simple it is to roast a rack of lamb with these videos:

Equipment Smarts:

We love one-pot meals, or in this case, one-pan meals! Sear your lamb on a handy skillet and then pop it into oven, skillet and all, to let it finish cooking.

Lodge Cast Iron Skillet

For more kitchen and equipment and tool smarts, visit our ‘Essential Kitchen Cookware and Tools’

Roasted Rack of Lamb with Sundried Tomato Pesto
Author: Jess Dang
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Rack of lamb may feel ‘fancy,’ but it’s also a really easy-to-prepare protein. It’s especially tasty when topped with a flavorful, hand-chopped sundried tomato pesto.
  • Ingredients
  • Rack of lamb – 1 1/2 racks, French and trimmed (Or go ahead and just do 2 if that’s how the packages come. Each person will get 3 to 4 chops.)
  • Sundried Tomato Pesto
  • Pine nuts – 1 Tbsp
  • Garlic – 1 clove, peeled
  • Sundried tomatoes in oil – 1 1/2 Tbsp
  • Parsley – 1/8 bunch
  • Olive oil – 2 Tbsp
  1. Make pesto – Chop together nuts, garlic, sundried tomatoes, and parsley. Stir in olive oil. Season to taste with salt. This video gives you a demo on how to make a hand-chopped pesto. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
  2. Rack of lamb – Slice every other chop. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 1 day ahead)
  1. (Watch this video) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil (not listed in ingredients) and then lamb to heated oil. Sear on each side for 3 minutes and then transfer to oven, cooking for another 6 to 10 minutes in the oven, at the lower range for rare, high range for more well-done.
  2. After you’ve given lamb a chance to rest for ~5 minutes, slice each chop duo in half. Enjoy topped with pesto!


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