Feta-crusted lamb with rich tomato sauce

Feta-crusted lamb with rich tomato sauce

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(19 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 30 mins Plus marinating and resting


Serves 2
As the lamb roasts, little nuggets of feta from the crust melt into the gutsy, tomatoey, garlicky sauce

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal582
  • fat48g
  • saturates18g
  • carbs12g
  • sugars6g
  • fibre3g
  • protein26g
  • salt1.47g
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  • 7-or 8-bone rack of lamb, trimmed of fat, then cut into two racks



    A lamb is a sheep that is under one year old, and is known for its delicate flavour and tender…

  • few thyme sprigs, left whole, plus extra sprigs to serve


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for frying and drizzling
  • zest ½ lemon



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • 2 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp dried oregano



    Closely related to marjoram, of which it is the wild equivalent, oregano has a coarser, more…

For the sauce

  • 20g pack flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 fat or 2 regular garlic cloves, crushed
  • 400g can cherry tomatoes

For the crust

  • 50g feta cheese, finely crumbled
  • zest ½ lemon



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • pinch dried oregano



    Closely related to marjoram, of which it is the wild equivalent, oregano has a coarser, more…

  • ½ slice white bread (use day-old if you can), whizzed into crumbs


  1. Marinate the lamb first. Put the racks into a non-metallic dish and mix the thyme, oil, lemon zest, garlic and half the oregano in a bowl. Rub this all over the lamb, then leave to marinate for at least 30 mins or up to 24 hrs. It’s important that you cook the lamb from room temperature rather than fridge cold, so if you’re cooking within 1 hr or so, leave it out of the fridge.

  2. For the sauce, finely chop the parsley stalks. Heat a large ovenproof frying pan or wide casserole, then add 1 tbsp olive oil. Add the garlic and the stalks, then soften for 1 min. Add the tomatoes and remaining oregano, then simmer for 5 mins until saucy, popping the cherry tomatoes with your wooden spoon to release all the juices and seeds. Chop the parsley leaves roughly and add half to the pan. Heat oven to 230C/fan 210C/ gas 8. Make the crust by mixing the remaining parsley leaves, feta, zest, oregano and breadcrumbs in a bowl.

  3. When you’re ready to cook the lamb, leave most of the tasty marinade on the meat, season it well with salt and freshly ground pepper, then press the crust onto one side of each piece. Sit the racks in the sauce, with the crust-side facing upwards. Strew the thyme sprigs from the marinade over the lamb and into the sauce, then drizzle everything with a little extra virgin olive oil. Roast the lamb in the sauce, uncovered, for 20 mins (for pink and juicy meat) until the crust is golden and the sauce thickened. Leave to rest for 10 mins, loosely covered, so that the crust doesn’t go soggy, then carve the lamb between each bone to make cutlets. Serve the crusted cutlets with spoonfuls of the intense, roasted-down tomato sauce, and the Easy buttered onion pilaf and Lemony greens (recipes below). Garnish with thyme.

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Comments (19)

genputtay's picture

I usually steer away from lamb racks, finding them a bit fiddly to eat with a knife and fork. But my boyfriend came home with a rack, and after doing some recon I found this recipe. The result: the best lamb rack I’ve ever made. The feta cheese is a winner of an ingredient. It complements the lamb beautifully, and there is something special when you get a little nugget of it in the cherry tomato sauce. I found the cooking times to be spot on for me, but I like my meat very pink. I served the lamb with roasted new potatoes and butter-braised asparagus, leeks and peas (both recipes from this site). Oh, and as far as the fiddly eating was concerned – I ended up using my fingers and eating the lamb cutlets like lollipops!

foodylicious's picture

This is definitely the best recipe there is for a rack of lamb/lamb cutlets. So delicious that I registered, just so I could leave a comment. I used to think I had the best lamb recipe before, but was proven wrong by my boyfriend on valentine's day last year. The meat is sooo juicy in this recipe. The sauce is tangy and very morish. The feta cheese crust adds an amazing depth to the dish. You have to serve it with the recommended Easy Buttered Onion Pilaf rice; they just go soooooo well together! If still wondering whether you should try this; trust me, you won't regret it!

dancingbunny's picture

The crust was really nice and full of flavour, however I also agree that the meat needed more time than stated in the recipe.
Even my friend who likes her meat rare thought it was too underdone so I covered it in foil and put it back in the oven for an extra 15 minutes and then it was perfect. I served it with baby new potatoes instead of rice, roasting them right alongside the lamb and they picked up lovely lemony and tomato-y flavours.

amye_123's picture

We had this tonight, really tasty and satisfying meal. I cooked the lamb for a few minutes more as others had recommended and was just right. The feta crust really complements the lamb and the tomato sauce is excellent-would work with so many meats. We served this with simple broad beans-yummy!

lovesgoodfood4's picture

This is one of the best recipes I've ever cooked! I made it for my boyfriend and he loved it. I would also agree that the lamb probably needs another 3-5 mins cooking but then we don't like it to be too pink. I also added a little anchovy paste and a little balsamic vinegar to the sauce and it was lovely. I served it with crispy garlic roast potatoes and lemony broccoli - lovely!

valleybaker46's picture

Made this last night and it went done a treat!! It was SO YUMMY! Everyone loved the sauce and how rich it was! I added some worstershire sauce and ketchup to it. I cooked the lamp for the time recommended but it seemed to be a little underdone but everyone loved it still! I served it with creamy mash :-)

jennifer3glover's picture

Just had to comment on this.....my boyfriend is super fussy but served this with green beans and crushed new pots and he absolutely loved it. After reading the comments re lemon though I didn't put any lemon zest in the marinade just in the feta crust. Would definitely make again!

chocolatchaud's picture

Made this for Valentine's Day. I loved it but my fiance thought it was a little too lemony, so I'd probably cut down the amount to the zest of half a lemon in total. The rice was OK but a bit soggy - I think it needs to be on slightly higher than the lowest possible heat, which is what I normally do for pilau.

missycharlie's picture

Easy and delicious! Try with crushed new potatoes instead of rice.

pambarsby's picture

Missed this in 2009 - just tried it from the suppers for 2 supplement. Fabulous flavours. Used Wensledale as I didn't have Feta, and a tin of plum toms with a pinch of sugar. Sauce complements not overpowers the lamb (probably helped as meat resting on bones not submerged in the sauce). Meat cooked just right. Served with braised lettuce & peas from May mag. and new pots. Looked great. Definitely to be repeated.

barbarastanton's picture

Cooked this for friends and it was fab! Very easy to prepare. I cooked the lamb for about 25 minutes and rested for 20 as our friends don't like pink lamb. Just about right. The crust on the lamb was perfect. I expected it to be a bit strong but it wasn't and the tomato sauce was excellent - a real kick to it. I think I would agree and not cook the lamb in the sauce but keep it separate. Will definitely be doing this again.

carlnotts's picture

This is a very expensive cut of lamb, which is ruined by the tomato sauce. The tomato sauce is far too strong and overpowering there for it takes away any taste of the lamb. If you use this recipe do not cook the lamb with the tomato sauce, keep it separate as a side dish. The crust is however quite nice. I will not be using this recipe again.

bankergirl33's picture

would help if I rated it!

bankergirl33's picture

Fab dinner, did cook the lamb for longer however- fan over 210 for 29 mins, 6 mins at 190 and then 10 min rest, cooked perfectly - pink and moist! Used fresh cherry toms and tasty! Side dish was the feta, green lentil and pea that goes with another Good Food lamb recipe - very tasty too!

sambatchelor's picture

I used chopped tomatoes rather than cherry and they tasted a little bitter, so I think cherry tomatoes are definitely needed. Other than that I liked the crust on the lamb and would make again.

bricin's picture

i'd give this more stars if there were more stars available. it was perfection on a plate. one of those dishes that you sit back half way through, but are lost for words to describe the sensation that's happening in your mouth. served with spanish potatoes (also from this site) and a side salad of tomato, red onion & feta with an olive oil and balsamico dressing.

lovemushrooms's picture

Without a doubt one of the best dishes I've eaten. Perfectly balanced between the sweet and the savoury, easy to prepare, beautiful to look at and what a sauce!!! Just amazing.

Served it with leeks and mushrooms fried together in butter instead of faffing about with rice or 'lemony greens'. The ideal supper for a cold spring night.


rebeccamottershead's picture

Cooked this for a bring and share meal (had to do 3x the quantity) Worked really well and everyone raved about it. Will definitely be doing it again.

lisasimons's picture

Made this for my husband's birthday and went down really well. The flavours were delicious and it was easy to prepare while looking after two young boys and their friends. Will make this again but will substitute the rice for a few crispy potatoes as the rice was too heavy and filling for our tastes. Did not make the suggested pudding but follwed with Raspberry and Lemon Brandy baskets also a Good Food recipe.

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