mandarin orange lamb chops

mandarin lamb chops

Grilling Lamb Chops

Every bite of these mandarin orange lamb chops is a taste of nirvana! Yes, the subtle sweetness of the mandarin oranges and the savory chop! Yes, heaven!

This post is sponsored by DOLE Packaged Foods. All of the content is that of Ally and Ally’s Kitchen. Disclosure Upfront

Grilling lamb chops is really simple. Some folks shy away from lamb altogether thinking it’s a difficult meat to prepare, but really lamb, like other red meats, is pretty darn easy. Doesn’t matter if it’s ground lamb, lamb roast, lamb shoulder, lamb chops, leg of lamb. Grilling lamb is perfect for lamb chops. 

Lamb Chops on the Grill

Lamb chops on the grill can be done in almost no time at all. Likewise if you’re cooking lamb chops on open fire, you’ll see that they cook really fast. So, you don’t want to dwaddle, get into a conversation and forget about our lamb chops. We know they’re by no means an inexpensive choice of meats for grilling. So be vigilant and know that lamb chops are best served at about 125 to 135 degrees (rare to medium rare). 

Another way is the finger test for testing doneness. Firmly press on a few sections of the lamb. If your lamb meat is gives kind of easily but is firm and has cooked for the required length of time (about 3 minutes per side), it’s most likely medium rare to medium. The more firm the meat feels the more done it typically is. 

Asian Style Lamb Chops

By virtue of some of the ingredients in the sauce you’re making for serving these lamb chops, they’re more Asian style lamb chops. And, I think you’ll love the contrast of flavors of the citrus’eee’ mandarin and subtle sweetness of the marmalade. Then don’t forget you’re going to get a tad bit of a kick with the Asian chili sauce. So, expect some different palate flavors with every bite. Isn’t that what makes eating fun! 

Lamb Appetizer

I love the combination of a smokey grilled flavor with sweet, salty, and spicy, and this recipe has all that in one! You could certainly use this grilled lamb chop (because each lamb chop is just a few bites) as a tasty lamb appetizer. Serve it with our without the sauce. 

The mandarin orange lamb chops with the pasta is exquisite! Created for the 2013 World Food Championships, I wanted to take a twist on pasta, the ‘themed’ ingredient for the category I competed in {Recipe}, that didn’t include typically what you’d expect in a pasta ‘sauce’.

The culinary artistry that went into developing this recipe took some time even though it appears that the ingredients are somewhat typical. Hope you enjoy as much as my taste testers did. While I didn’t used this recipe at the WFC it very well could be modified into something else for another food competition!

Mandarin Orange Oriental Sauce Lamb Chops with Red Pepper Pasta

mandarin lamb chops

mandarin orange lamb chops

Yield: 6-8 servings

Every bite of these mandarin orange lamb chops is a taste of nirvana! Yes, the subtle sweetness of the mandarin oranges and the savory chop! Yes, heaven!


  • 8 petite long bone-in rack of lamb chops, rack of lamb sliced into individual chops by butcher
  • 12 large green onions with tops (divided)
  • 1 can + 4 individual serving cups of DOLE SUNSHINE mandarin oranges, divided
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tbl. canola oil
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 ½  tsp. coarse ground pepper
  • ¾ cup orange marmalade jam
  • 2 Tbl. chopped garlic
  • 1 ½  Tbl. Korean sweet & spicy sauce, divided (can substitute similar Asian sauce)
  • 1 (16 oz.) package of pasta, linguine, spaghetti, fettuccine


Drain the can of mandarin oranges reserving the liquid for use (will yield about 1 cup of liquid). Put oranges in a bowl & set aside.  Drain the 4 individual cups (will yield about 1 cup) of oranges.  Put oranges from cups in another bowl.

Marinade/Sauce preparation:  Put 8 green onions on a hot grill (350-400 degrees) and char about 3-5 minutes.  Put the onions and drained oranges from the can on cutting board and finely chop/mince.  (Can put in food processor for about 2 minutes.)

Put chopped mixture in a bowl and add 2 tbl of canola oil, ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper and blend.

Lamb Chop Preparation: Use 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper to coat both sides of the lamb chops.  Put chops in a shallow pie plate.  Remove ¼ cup of the onion/orange mixture and coat the lamb chops.  Let them marinade as you finish making the sauce.

Making Sauce: Put ½ cup oil in a saucepan over burner on medium high.  Add garlic, ½ tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, and sauté about 2 minutes.  Add remaining onion/orange chopped mixture, marmalade jam, ½ tsp Korean sweet and spicy sauce, and let it come to a boil for about 7-10 minutes.  Reduce heat to low and simmer about 15-20 minutes to thicken the sauce.  Stir occasionally.  Meanwhile, make the garnish and grill the lamb chops.

Making Garnish:  Put the drained oranges from the 4 individual cups in a skillet coated with cooking spray.  Sauté on a medium high burner about 4-5 minutes.  Remove from heat. Chiffonade slice the remaining green onions and add to the oranges.  Remove from blaze. Set aside for plating.

Grilling Lamb Chops:  Coat grill with cooking spray.  Heat to 400 to 450 degrees.  Cook lamb chops about 3-4 minutes per side.  Remove to a plate and let rest about 5 minutes.

Noodles:   Prepare noodles according to package directions.  Drain and toss in about ½+ cup of the warm thickened sauce and 1 tbl (taste to see if more is needed for spiciness) of the Korean sweet & spicy sauce.

Serve & watch your guests experience nirvana!

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Mandarin Orange Oriental Sauce Lamb Chops with Stir Fry Noodles

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