Sumac Lamb Chops with Pomegranate Relish

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Savory sumac-rubbed lamb chops are a stellar main dish for a dinner with Mediterranean flair.

Like most Americans, my first taste of lamb came in the form of a gyro. Or, at least what passed for a gyro in Wisconsin in 1991.

Though gyro meat is often a combination of beef and lamb, it was my first glimpse into a style of food I knew nothing about, and subconsciously, I was hooked.

Lamb Chops - Savory sumac-rubbed lamb chops are a stellar main dish for a dinner with Mediterranean flair.

Mediterranean food is one of my favorite cuisines, not only because it is so fragrant, fresh, and flavorful, but it encompasses a wide range within itself.

Just like American cuisine has its distinct regions, the food of the Mediterranean takes on its location. I got hooked on hummus on the shores of Caesarea while listening to Cher blast out over the sea. You tell me that isn’t magical.

In my explorations with food this year, I’ve kept returning to lamb. It doesn’t hurt that I attended a great lamb 101 course during the Byte of Texas conference, but I have been adding lamb to our diets more and more.

Although the strong flavor doesn’t appeal to everyone, I think it’s a great base for the intense herbs and spices of Mediterranean cuisine.

For this dish I splurged and picked up a few lamb chops, knowing it would be a meal for just my husband and I. While there are many ways to prepare lamb, this simple recipe uses an easy rub of sumac, thyme, salt, and pepper.

Now, sumac is not often found on the grocery store shelves, but if you live in an area with gourmet or international grocers, you should be able to find it.

Lamb Chops - Sumac Lamb Chops with Pomegranate Relish bring Mediterranean flair to the dinner table.

Welcome to another installment of Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a progressive dinner party. I’m thrilled to be hosting this month’s theme: A Mediterranean Feast! Try something new for the New Year; a mix of appetizers, salads, main dish and desserts all featuring recipes with a Mediterranean look and feel.

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.

We have a core group of 12 bloggers, but we will always need substitutes and if there is enough interest would consider additional groups. To see our upcoming themes and how you can participate, please check out the schedule at Creative Culinary or contact Barb for more information.

Check out the entire menu below!

Mediterranean Feast




Main Course





Lamb Chops - Sumac-rubbed lamb chops are topped with pomegranate relish for a dinner worth siting down for.

Are you ready to get the main course on the table? This recipe is a snap to put together, and because lamb chops cook quickly, you can have them ready to go in 15 minutes.

Sumac Lamb Chops

Sumac Lamb Chops with Pomegranate Relish

Yield: 4 chops
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes

Savory sumac-rubbed lamb chops are a stellar main dish for a dinner with Mediterranean flair.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 4 lamb rib chops
  • 2 teaspoons ground sumac
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • Cooked rice to serve, optional


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Rub 1 tablespoon oil on all sides of lamb chops.
  3. Stir together sumac, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste, and rub equal amounts onto each chop, all sides.
  4. Cook chops in the skillet, 3-4 minutes per side. Remove and let rest.
  5. Mix together pomegranate arils, onion, and parsley. Serve with lamb.


You can buy packaged pomegranate arils, or whole pomegranate. I find lightly hitting the pomegranate on the counter a few times before cutting it open helps release the arils more easily.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 chop
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 300Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 157mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 17g

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  1. I’m with you and Heather–lamb is one of my favorites! And ready in 15 minutes? I’m all over it. I generally braise lamb shanks forever, but sometimes I just can’t wait that long. These chops are the answer. =)

  2. I grew up eating lamb and was disheartened when I could not find it easily in Denver. Now that I know my sources and they know me, I have a good supply of lamb throughout the year. What a Beautiful lamb chop dish. It’s stunning!

  3. You know you picked the perfect theme right? Lighter and fresher flavors than we’ve all been experiencing since Thanksgiving and I know that everyone is SO grateful!

    I stayed away from lamb for too long because I heard it was gamey but several years ago I used it to make a dish for Christmas Day that was just wonderful so I’m a fan…and these look fantastic….and so pretty too!

  4. Mmmmmm! Lamb *anything* makes me happy. I get my sumac at the Armenian markets in Watertown (yes, Massachusetts) and I love the lemony addition to fish and chicken. Oh hungry NOW! Happy new year!

  5. I haven’t played much with summac but this recipe has me dying to order some soon! Beautiful presentation and love the simplicity – everyone will love this gorgeous main course. Thanks for leading us on a tour of the Mediterranean cuisines. Fantastic choice Megan!!!

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