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Crown Rack of Lamb

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This crown rack of lamb is an impressive dish that will wow your guests. The crown roast is easy to assemble and cooks quickly, while a crust of fresh garlic and herbs infuses the meat as it roasts. This is a restaurant-quality dinner that makes a show-stopping centerpiece at the table.

A crown rack of lamb roast on a serving platter.

This is such an elegant way to serve dinner and makes any dinner party feel extra special. You might also like our crown pork roast for a more economical dinner that looks just as stunning. 

Here is Why This Recipe Works

  • Fresh herbs and garlic infuse the meat with incredible flavor. 
  • The assembled crown roast makes an elegant presentation perfect for holidays or a Sunday dinner. 
  • Cooking the lamb crown roast at high heat sears the outside of the meat, creating a flavorful crust. 
  • Despite its stunning appearance, this recipe is simple to make.
A crown rack of lamb with two ribs sliced off.

What is a Crown Roast?

A crown roast is made by forming a regular rack of ribs into a circle. The fat and meat get removed from the narrow end of the ribs and point upwards, resembling a crown. It makes an impressive and elegant presentation for a special occasion. 

The Ingredients

Here is a list of the ingredients you will need for this lamb crown roast recipe. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details. 

  • Two racks of lamb
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic cloves
  • Fresh thyme
  • Fresh rosemary leaves

If you don’t have thyme and rosemary, some other herbs that go well with lamb are sage, mint, oregano, and lavender. An example of how we used lavender with lamb is our recipe for lavender pistachio rack of lamb

If you like this recipe, try our Persian lamb shanks or lamb pita.

Ingredients used to make a crown roast rack of lamb.

How to Cook Crown Rack of Lamb

Here is a brief overview to get an idea of what to expect with the recipe. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details.

  1. Put the crown roast of lamb together or have the butcher French and shape the racks of lamb. 
  2. Coat the crown roast with olive oil. Combine the herbs and seasonings, then rub all over the roast. 
  3. Place the crown rack of lamb on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. 
  4. Roast in the oven until 5°F to 10°F below your target temperature. 
  5. Remove the crown roast from the oven and cover with aluminum foil. Let the roast rest for 20 minutes. 
  6. Cut the string away from the roast and slice between the ribs and serve it with mint sauce
An uncooked crown rack of lamb on a baking sheet.

Tips for Success

  • Save time and have the butcher prepare your crown rib roast by Frenching it and tying it into a crown. 
  • Purchase at least two racks of lamb to form a crown.
  • A lamb rack with 6 to 8 ribs will weigh approximately 1-1/2 to 2 pounds.
  • If you fill the center of the crown with mushroom stuffing or basmati rice pilaf, it makes a grand presentation. Prepare the stuffing separately and add it after the crown rack of lamb is finished cooking.
  • Cook the crown roast according to your desired doneness and not according to time. We gave a time for cooking as a general guide but the time will vary based on the size of the rack of lamb. 
  • Remove the lamb crown roast from the oven when the internal temperature reaches 5°F to 10°F below your target temperature. For example, my favorite doneness temperature for lamb is medium-rare of 130°F. I will remove the lamb when it reaches 120°F to 125°F, and the residual heat will continue cooking the lamb while it rests. 

This crown roast rack of lamb was adapted and revised from a recipe by Alton Brown on the Food Network. 

A roasted crown rack of lamb on a baking sheet.

Sides to Serve with Lamb Crown Roast

Rice pilaf stuffed inside a crown rack of lamb.

Frequently Asked Questions

What part of the lamb does a crown roast come from?

A crown is formed by connecting two or more racks that come from the rib section of the lamb.

How many people will a crown rack of lamb serve?

It depends on the size of your lamb crown roast. You should plan for at least two chops or 12 to 16 ounces per person.

A crown rack of lamb filled with rice pilaf.

Some Other Recipes We Are Sure You Will Love:

Our sous vide rack of lamb is beyond delicious. Cooking the lamb in a sous vide circulator will guarantee perfect results every time. Serve the lamb with goat cheese potatoes au gratin and asparagus with curry sauce. Finish dinner with a chocolate truffle cake.

Lamb shanks in the Instant Pot turn out so tender. The sauce turns into a delicious gravy that you can drizzle over buttermilk Ranch mashed potatoes. Serve it with roasted broccoli and a wedge salad.

Pan-seared lamb chops make a fast and easy dinner that is perfect for any night of the week. Serve them with roasted root vegetables and a sugar snap pea salad. Add an apple skillet cake for dessert.

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A crown rack of lamb with two ribs sliced off.

Crown Rack of Lamb

A classic crown rack of lamb that is juicy and flavorful with fresh herbs and garlic. The roast is filled with a basmati rice pilaf with the Mediterranean flavors of dried apricots, raisin, pistachios and pine nuts.
4.79 from 19 votes
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Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 208kcal
Author: Pat Nyswonger

Ingredients

  • 2 racks of lamb 6 to 8 ribs each (see notes)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 teaspoons fresh thyme chopped
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425° F.  Adjust the oven rack to the middle position.

To French the Racks of Lamb:

  • Make a cut on the fat side of the ribs, perpendicular to them, about 2-1/2-inches down from the rib ends. Cut through the fat down to the rib bones.
  • Turn the rack on end, with the bones facing up, and push a knife through the flesh between each rib.
    Cut down the side of each rib to remove the excess fat in between each rib. Using a sharp knife, scrape away the remaining fat and sinew from the ribs.

Creating the Crown:

  • Bend each rack into a semicircle, meat side in and fat side out. Using kitchen twine, tie them together at the base and center, in order to hold the racks together in a complete circle.
  • The rib ends should be pushed outward to create the look of a crown.

Cook the Crown Rack of Lamb

  • Brush the lamb with olive oil. 
  • In a small dish, mix the salt, pepper, garlic, thyme, and rosemary together and rub over the surface of the roast.  
  • Insert a thermomter into the thickest part of the lamb, without touching bone and set the unit to alarm 5°F to 10°F below your target temperature (see the doneness chart in the notes).
  • Place the prepared lamb on a rack set over a rimmed baking pan. Transfer to the oven.  Roast for approximately 20 to 25 minutes, for medium-rare and 25 to 30 minutes for medium. Use the timing as a general guide and cook the lamb based on your desired doneness using a meat thermometer.
  • Remove from the oven, cover with aluminum foil and let the meat rest for 15 minutes. 
  • To serve, remove and discard the string from the roast. Slice between every 2 ribs and place on a serving plate.

Notes

  • Your local butcher will gladly French cut, trim and prepare the lamb crown for you.
  • If you want to fill the crown roast with stuffing, cook the stuffing separately and fill the crown when it finishes cooking.
  • For a grand presentation, prepare a stuffing in advance, keep it hot and when ready to serve fill the cavity and garnish with fresh herbs.
  • You will need at least two racks of lamb to form a crown. A rack with 6 to 8 ribs will weigh approximately 1-1/2 to 2 pounds.

Doneness Temperatures of Lamb

  • Rare = 120°F to 129°F
  • Medium rare = 130°F to 134°F
  • Medium = 135°F to 144°F
  • Medium-well = 145°F to 154°F

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 208kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 312mg

This recipe was first published on June 4, 2014. We updated the post with new photos and some helpful tips. We left one of our old photos below.

Roast rack of lamb
Roast Rack of Lamb

Pat Nyswonger

Pat is a wife, mom of four adult children, and grandmother to seventeen beautiful children. She is a self-taught home cook and loves creating delicious meals for her family and friends. Her kitchen is the hub of activity in her home, and she loves to entertain.

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Recipe Rating




Abby

Saturday 3rd of April 2021

THE BEST! Thanks for this perfectly amazing delicious recipe and so easy! WOW. can I give it 20 stars

Dahn Boquist

Sunday 4th of April 2021

Thanks Abby! You can definitely give it 20 stars ;)

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