This Sous Vide Rack of Lamb recipe is juicy, tender and delicious. Cooked to a perfect medium-rare. It’s perfect for the holidays, especially when it’s served with these easy Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes and Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts.
This post was originally published in 2020. It was updated in 2022 to add new information. The recipe remains the same. Enjoy!
When you want a recipe in your arsenal that makes a showstopper of a dinner entree suitable for any dinner party, but also want a recipe that can be on your dinner table in a hurry with little fuss, this is the recipe for you – sous vide rack of lamb.
This would be the perfect dish for Thanksgiving. And, despite the fact that celebrations are going to look different this year, there are still endless ways to keep your holiday traditions alive. While the table might be smaller, there will always be a spot for a perfectly cooked rack of lamb. Let this year’s holiday season be a celebration of the food you love, shared with those who you care for the most!
This recipe yields two racks of lamb, about 8 ribs each, and is perfect for a family of 4-6.
First things first…
🐑 What is a Rack of Lamb?
- Rack of lamb is a rib cut and it’s perfect for serving at dinner parties since it’s easy to estimate that you’ll want 3-4 rib chops per person. You’ll want a rack of lamb that has been frenched, meaning that the rib bones are exposed. Most racks of lamb will already come this way, but you can also ask your butcher to do this for you.
I purchased my rack on lamb online from Capra Foods and found the quality of their lamb to be fantastic.
This cooking technique requires a gadget or two. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Immersion circulator – AKA the sous vide machine!
- Vacuum sealer bags – Vacuum-sealed bags work best, but you can also use the water displacement method.
- Sous Vide Container– Any heat-proof container will work (like a large stock pot).
- Sous Vide Lid – A good lid will prevent you having to add more water.
- Racks of Lamb – I use two 8-bone racks of lamb, which is about 2 pounds. This serves four people.
- Garlic, Rosemary, Thyme – Or, use your favorite herbs like oregano, sage, etc.
- Salt + Pepper
- Oil + Butter – For browning the finished racks of lamb.
✔️ How to Seal for Sous Vide Cooking
- It’s best to use a large vacuum seal bag or a gallon sized ziploc bag for cooking a rack of lamb sous vide. I like to add some sliced garlic which will infuse into the lamb as it cooks slowly.
- To seal your bag and remove the air, you can either use a vacuum sealer or this water displacement method to “vacuum seal” it.
Removing the air from the bag is important though. First, it ensures that the bag won’t float in the water, but will stay submerged. And second, it ensures that your food cooks evenly and safely.
→ How to Make It
Set the sous vide to your desired temperature according to the chart below. I prefer 131-degrees for a perfect medium-rare.
Season the lamb with black pepper and top with sliced garlic and rosemary sprigs.
Vacuum seal the lamb using either a vacuum sealer, or the water displacement method.
Cook the lamb for 1 hour, up to four hours (see cooking time notes below).
Remove lamb, discard garlic and pat dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper.
Preheat a cast iron skillet over high heat. Working one rack at a time, add oil, butter, rosemary and thyme. Sear lamb for one-minute per side, tilting skillet and spooning butter over it as it browns.
Remove to a cutting board and repeat with remaining lamb rack, oil, butter, and herbs.
Slice each rack into 4 double chops and serve.
🌡 Rack of Lamb Cooking Temperatures
- Rare: 115-124 degrees (very red inside)
- Medium-Rare: 125-135 degrees (bright pink inside)
- Medium: 135-144 degrees (light pink inside)
- Medium-Well: 145-154 degrees (barely any pink left)
- Well-Done: 155 degrees + (no pink)
🕕 How Long Does it Take to Sous Vide a Rack of Lamb?
- The lamb should spend at least one hour, and up to four hours in the water bath. One exception to this is if you are cooking your lamb to rare. For food safety reasons, when cooking at a temperature of 130-degrees or less, your food should spend a maximum of 2 ½ hours in the water bath.
For a tender, medium-rare rack of lamb, I prefer to cook at 131-degrees. See the temperature chart above for more options.
It’s virtually impossible to overcook in the sous vide. However, I wouldn’t recommend cooking the lamb for any longer than four hours. It may become too tender and a bit mushy.
Yes! You can sous vide from frozen. Simply increase the time in the water bath by 1 hour.
Plan on 3-4 ribs per person. The timing of this recipe will work the same, regardless of the size of your rack of lamb.
🍷 Wine Pairings
- Cabernet is an excellent pairing with the rich lamb.
- Petite Sirah is another great match for this lamb. Its flavors of plum, berries and black pepper pair wonderfully with stronger flavored meats.
- Malbec with medium body and smooth tannins makes an excellent pairing for the rich rack of lamb.
- MORE —-> my 8 favorite wine pairings with lamb.
🍽 What to Serve with It
- Arugula Salad
- Gremolata Sauce
- Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes
- Baked Potatoes
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Mashed Cauliflower
- MORE → my must try lamb side dishes
- MORE → 17+ sauces for lamb chops
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Sous Vide Rack of Lamb Recipe
- 2 8-bone racks of lamb (about 2 pounds)
- 3 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary (optional)
- Coarse ground black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary (optional)
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme (optional)
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- Set the sous vide to your desired temperature according to the chart below (I prefer 131-degrees for medium-rare).
- Season lamb with black pepper and top with garlic and sprigs of rosemary.
- Vacuum seal the lamb using your preferred method. 1 rack per bag.
- Cook for 1 hour, up to four hours***.
- Remove lamb, discard garlic and pat dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper.
- Preheat a cast iron skillet over high heat. Working 1 rack at a time, add 1 Tbsp. oil, 1 Tbsp. butter, 1 sprig rosemary and 1 sprig thyme. Sear lamb 1-minute per side, tilting skillet and spooning butter over it as it browns. Remove to a cutting board and repeat with remaining lamb rack, oil, butter, and herbs. Slice each rack into 4 double chops and serve.
Medium-Rare: 125-135 degrees (bright pink inside)
Medium: 135-144 degrees (light pink inside)
Medium-Well: 145-154 degrees (barely any pink left)
Well-Done: 155 degrees + (no pink) ***For food safety reasons, when cooking at a temperature of 130-degrees or less, your food should spend a maximum of 2 ½ hours in the water bath.
More Sous Vide Main Dish Recipes
- Sous Vide Pork Tenderloin
- Sous Vide Filet Mignon
- Sous Vide Lamb Chops
- Sous Vide Chicken Breasts
- Sous Vide Miso Chicken
- Sous Vide Pork Chops
- Sous Vide Prime Rib