In todays article, we will show you the Best 8 Marinades for Tender and Juicy Lamb (in our opinion 😊).
Lamb marinades have been around for thousands of years. Out of all ruminant meats, it’s the unique sweet tender meat of grass-fed and milk fed lamb that pairs so well with so many unique marinades.
Here is a quick summary of what we will explore:
- Caribbean Jerk Marinade For Lamb
- Fresh Mint and Yogurt Marinade For Lamb
- Greek-style Marinade For Lamb
- Middle Eastern-inspired Marinade For Lamb
- Mongolian Lamb Marinade With Chinese Five Spice
- Rosemary and Garlic Lamb Marinade
- Tikka Masala Marinade For Lamb
- White Wine and Fresh Herb Lamb Marinade
The goal of any marinade is to impart extra flavor and these favorites tick all the boxes for tender cuts like Lamb Chops or Lamb Rack and tougher cuts like Lamb Shoulder, Leg and Shank.
These 8 Marinades work equally well with lamb or mutton although the soft and tender meat of young lamb is our favorite by far.
1. Caribbean Jerk Marinade For Lamb
Caribbean-style Jerk seasoning tastes incredible on more than just chicken. It is the perfect dry-rub for seafood like catfish and meat dishes like steaks or lamb chops.
Jerk seasoning usually contains a variety of spices, including crushed red pepper, allspice, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, scotch bonnet chili peppers, parsley, thyme, paprika, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt, and black pepper.
American model and home cook Chrissy Teigen recently crafted her version of Caribbean-inspired Jerk lamb that she served on a bed of banana rice.
This unique lamb marinade features
- Jerk seasoning
- Salt, and Picakaeppa sauce to combine all of these ingredients.
You can substitute Worcestershire sauce in place of the Pickapeppa sauce. However, the latter provides a sweeter and zestier flavor and goes great with any cut of lamb.
2. Fresh Mint and Yogurt Marinade For Lamb
Look no further for a bright and zesty lamb marinade that will be a hit at your next backyard barbecue. This is a classic lamb marinade that always delivers!
This tasty marinade features:
- Fresh mint
- Lemon juice
- Greek yogurt
- Garlic, salt, pepper, and zested lemon.
Lime juice also makes an excellent alternative if that is all you have on hand.
The fresh mint sprigs and lemon zest provide a refreshing, citrusy overall flavor in this lamb marinade recipe. Adding yogurt will slightly thicken the marinade, leaving your lamb with a juicy, tender interior and flavor-packed crust.
Most Greek yogurt varieties boast numerous health benefits such as clean animal fats and probiotics, meaning this meat dish is entirely gut-friendly.
This yogurt-infused rack of lamb marinade offers a similar flavor to Greek-style tzatziki, which also serves as a yummy dipping sauce for lamb chops.
However, if you are not a fan of yogurt, you can substitute the condiment with olive oil. The recipe will still boast a similar taste, highlighting the flavors of the mint, citrus, and other fresh herbs.
This fresh mint and yoghurt marinade is perfect for a leftover lamb sandwich!
3. Greek-style Marinade For Lamb
Lamb has been a cornerstone of the Greek diet since the zenith of ancient Greece so when it comes to Lamb and Lamb marinades, the Greeks lead the way!
A classic Greek lamb marinade is easy to prepare yet packed with tons of flavor.The base is a mixture of:
- Lemon juice
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Freshly squeezed lemons are preferred, but any high-quality lemon juice from the supermarket works.
- Fresh herbs like oregano and occasionally thyme.
- This is both a marinade for lamb ( pre cooking) and also a delicious side dish to serve with lamb dinners after cooking also.
You can also incorporate dried herbs by substituting one teaspoon per tablespoon of fresh herbs. The ideal combination of the citrus and herbal notes takes this lamb marinade recipe to new (and tastier) heights.
Many use this easy-to-make marinade when whipping up lamb chops. They are mouthwatering when served fresh off the grill. You can also sear these delectable Greek-inspired lamb chops in a cast iron pan or skillet to attain a similar effect.
4. Middle Eastern-inspired Marinade For Lamb
This Middle Eastern-style marinade is one of the most straightforward yet most flavorful lamb marinade recipes on this list and works especially well if you intend to eat lamb rare as the Za-atar spices add a wonderful depth to the juicy rare lamb meat.
- Olive oil base (preferably extra virgin) that is mixed with
- Lemon juice and Za'atar spices.
The Za'atar spice blend is the star of this lamb dish. It is a traditional Middle Eastern seasoning containing dried oregano, marjoram, thyme, sumac, and roasted sesame seeds. Many of these herbs complement the lamb's natural, slightly gamey flavor.
5. Mongolian Lamb Marinade With Chinese Five Spice
This Mongolian lamb marinade recipe featuring authentic Chinese five-spice powder is finger-licking good. Just like the Greeks, Lamb has played a central role in the daily diet of Mongolians for thousands of years.Oddly enough, this tasty lamb recipe did not originate in China or Mongolia. Although, the dish is well-known in Australia and quickly spreading to other parts of the world.
Technically, the lamb is often first marinated with baking soda, cornstarch, light soy sauce, and Chinese cooking wine for two to twenty-four hours (depending on what type of cut is used).
It is then cooked in a rich Mongolian-inspired sauce that contains chili, dark soy, hoisin, Chinese cooking wine, and sesame oil. This method ensures the meat is tenderized to perfection before coating it with the sauce before cooking.
The sauce's flavors pair perfectly with the seasoning blend that is comprised of cinnamon, fennel, cloves, and star anise. Leaner and cheaper cuts of lamb are often preferred for this recipe, including the backstrap, shoulder, or mid loin chops.
6. Rosemary and Garlic Marinade For Lamb
Fresh rosemary and tender lamb are a match made in heaven. It is among the best herbs to pair with the meat, resulting in a bright, flavorful dish. Rosemary and Garlic paired with Lamb is a huge favorite in UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.
This delicious classic lamb marinade contains:
- Fresh Rosemary
- Lemon juice
- Olive oil
- Minced garlic, and onions.
It is best to remove the Rosemary leaves rather than add the entire sprig to the mixture.
If you want to take this simple lamb marinade one step further, drizzle a bit of truffle oil or salt as a finishing element. The truffle flavor pairs delightfully with the earthy notes of fresh rosemary and will elevate your Lamb Chops or Leg of Lamb to a whole new level.
7. Tikka Masala Marinade For Lamb
Lamb Tikka Garam Masala is the ultimate comfort food. It is creamy, flavorful, and hearty with subtle spicy notes. The creamy, bright orange marinade combines the following oil, garam masala spices and yogurt.
It is also common to incorporate extra cumin, salt, and pepper as well. Pair your Lamb Tikka Masala with rice since it soaks up all of the excess sauce, allowing for the best bite every time.
Garam Masala powder, the key ingredient here features many spices, including:
- Black cardamom
- Cumin and Coriander seeds
- Peppercorns, Cinnamon
- Fennel, Cloves, Nutmeg
- Star anise, Green Cardamom, and Curry leaves.
The seasoning blend originated in Northern India where lamb,mutton and goat are stalwarts of daily meals. Masala supposedly offered a warming quality that combats the region's harsh winters.
8. White Wine and Fresh Herb Marinade For Lamb
While various lamb marinade recipes feature red wine, its white counterpart often gets little recognition. Several white wines pair well with Lamb, especially dryer white varieties like Sauvignon Blanc.
It is light yet flavor-packed, much like the red wine-based sauce mentioned in our blog post on lamb chop sauce pairings.
Avoid using tart wines, such as Pinot Grigio or Reisling, since they may not complement the natural flavors of Lamb.
In addition to white wine, this lamb marinade recipe boasts plenty of fresh herbal notes. A few popular herb choices include oregano, rosemary, and thyme. However, you can adjust the recipe to your liking since the wine pairs with most herbs.
Best Lamb Marinades Summary
- Lamb pairs extremely well with a broad range of marinades and sauces.
- The Greeks, Indians, Mongolians and Middle East countries have Lamb and Lamb Marinades down to a fine art.
- Herbs and spices are the cornerstone of most popular lamb marinades as the strong flavors cut the sweet tender lamb meat.