A lamb loin chop contains between 200-300 calories per 3 oz (85g) serving, depending on the cut and fat content. The exact calorie count can vary based on the specific part of the loin used, as well as how it is prepared.
A 3 ounce lamb loin chop contains approximately:
- 230 calories for a lean, trimmed chop
- 260 calories for a fattier, untrimmed chop
Calculating Lamb Chop Calories
To determine the calories in a lamb chop, you need to know the weight in ounces or grams and the fat content of the chop.
Here are some general calorie guidelines for different cuts and serving sizes of lamb loin chops:
|Loin Chop, Lean||3 oz (85g)||230 calories|
|Loin Chop, Marbled||3 oz (85g)||260 calories|
|Loin Chop, Untrimmed||3 oz (85g)||290 calories|
As you can see, a 3 ounce serving of a lean, trimmed lamb loin chop contains about 230 calories. A fattier, untrimmed chop may have 290 calories or more per 3 ounce serving.
Calories in Different Cuts of Lamb Loin
The loin section of lamb contains different cuts like the loin chop, sirloin chop, and tenderloin. Each cut can have a slightly different calorie content.
Here is an overview of the calorie content in different cuts from the lamb loin:
- Lamb Loin Chop – This is from the upper middle of the loin. A 3 oz serving contains about 230 calories for a lean chop or 260 calories for a fattier chop.
- Lamb Sirloin Chop – This is cut from the rear of the loin. It is similar in calories to a loin chop, with 230-260 calories per 3 oz serving.
- Lamb Tenderloin – This is the most tender cut from the loin. A 3 oz serving has about 140 calories since it is very lean.
When comparing the same serving size, tenderloin has the least calories since it is the leanest cut. Sirloin and loin chops are fairly similar in calories, with loin chops having slightly more fat.
Factors Affecting Lamb Chop Calories
Several factors impact the calorie content in lamb loin chops, including:
- Cut of meat – Fattier cuts near the rear of the loin have more calories than leaner tenderloin.
- Trim – A trimmed, lean chop has less fat and lower calories than an untrimmed one.
- Cooking method – Frying chops adds more calories from oil compared to grilling or broiling.
- Thickness – Thicker chops have more calories than thinner ones when portion sizes are equal.
- Weight/serving size – The more ounces or grams consumed, the more calories the serving will contain.
- Breading or batter – Breaded chops contain more calories than plain ones before cooking.
- Finished with sauces or glazes – Sauces and glazes can add 50-100+ calories per tablespoon.
Calorie Differences Between Cooked and Raw
Lamb loin chops contain slightly more calories per ounce after cooking due to moisture loss.
For example, 3 ounces (85g) of raw, lean trimmed lamb chop has about:
- 210 calories raw
- 230 calories when cooked
As the chop cooks, some of the water cooks out, concentrating the calories and nutrients into a smaller cooked weight. The calorie counts you see on nutrition labels or menus are usually for the cooked lamb chop.
Nutrition Facts for Lamb Chops
In addition to calories, lamb loin chops provide a good amount of protein, as well as important vitamins and minerals.
Here are the full nutrition facts for a 3 ounce cooked lamb loin chop (according to the USDA):
|Nutrient||Amount||% Daily Value|
As you can see, lamb chops provide a significant amount of protein, Vitamin B12, selenium, zinc, and iron in each serving. It is also a good source of healthy fats. Balance lamb chops with vegetables or salads to help increase fiber and nutrient density of your meal.
Lamb Chop Calorie Comparison
Comparing calories and nutrition in lamb chops to other protein sources:
- Chicken breast: A skinless, cooked chicken breast has around 230 calories in a 5 oz serving. It has slightly less fat than lamb chops, but also less iron and zinc.
- Pork chop: A lean pork chop has about 180 calories per 3 oz serving. Pork has a bit less fat than lamb overall.
- Beef sirloin: A broiled sirloin steak contains around 220 calories per 4 oz serving. Lamb and beef have quite similar calorie and protein counts.
- Salmon: A 4 oz salmon fillet provides about 230 calories. Salmon is higher in omega-3s compared to lamb.
- Tofu: Firm tofu contains about 100 calories per 3 oz serving. Tofu has much lower calories and fat than lamb but does not provide B12.
While calories and protein are fairly comparable, lamb has some nutritional advantages over the other proteins with its high iron, zinc, selenium, and B12 content.
How to Reduce Calories in Lamb Chops
There are a few easy ways to reduce the calories in lamb loin chops if you are looking for lower calorie options:
- Trim fat: Trimming visible fat before cooking can reduce up to 50 calories per chop.
- Choose lean cuts: Opt for tenderloin or lean sirloin instead of high-fat rib or shoulder chops.
- Portion size: Stick to a 3-4 oz serving to keep calories in check.
- Healthy cooking: Grill, broil or roast instead of frying in oil to avoid extra calories.
- Skip the breading: Breading and frying adds significant calories; stick to seasoned chops.
- Easy on sauces: Enjoy chops with mustard or chimichurri instead of high-calorie sauces.
- Add veggies: Round out your plate with low-calorie vegetables or salad.
Health Benefits of Lamb
While they are moderately high in calories and fat, lamb chops do provide excellent nutrition and health benefits. Some of the advantages of consuming lamb include:
- High quality protein – Lamb is a complete protein containing all essential amino acids for building and repairing muscle.
- Iron – The iron in lamb enhances oxygen supply in the body to boost energy levels.
- Zinc – This mineral supports immune function and wound healing.
- Vitamin B12 – Lamb is one of the best sources of this essential nutrient that aids brain and nerve tissue.
- Anti-inflammatory – Compounds like CLA in lamb may help reduce inflammation.
- Heart healthy fats – Lamb contains monounsaturated fat that may improve cholesterol levels.
Eating lamb chops a couple times a week can fit into a healthy diet and provide nutritional benefits when portion sizes are controlled.
Lamb Chop Recipes
To enjoy the great taste and nutritional benefits of lamb chops, try some of these delicious recipe ideas:
- Rosemary grilled lamb chops – Simply seasoned with rosemary, garlic and olive oil for bold flavor.
- Lamb chops with mint pesto – Brush chops with a mint and parsley pesto before grilling.
- Apple cranberry lamb chops – Top with an apple and dried cranberry compote.
- Lamb chops with balsamic glaze – Glaze chops while grilling or broiling.
- Spicy lamb chops – Rub with cumin, chili powder and cayenne before cooking.
- Lamb chops with roasted peppers – Top with a mix of colorful roasted bell peppers.
- Garlic lamb chops – For delicious garlic and herb flavor.
- Lamb lollipop chops – Trimmed chops look like lollipops and cook quickly.
You can also check out these full lamb chop recipes for more ideas.
Tips for Cooking Lamb Chops
Follow these simple tips for cooking juicy, flavorful lamb loin chops:
- Trim excess fat to reduce calories while keeping chops moist and tender.
- Cook chops quickly using high heat methods like grilling, broiling or pan-searing to medium rare doneness.
- Let chops rest for 5-10 minutes after cooking before serving to allow juices to redistribute.
- Season lamb generously with fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme and oregano which complement the flavor.
- Add a sauce, glaze or topping like chimichurri or mint pesto to keep chops juicy.
- Cook chops to medium rare doneness which is pink in the center at 130-135°F internal temp.
- Avoid overcooking lamb which can dry it out; chops are best served a bit pink.
With these easy lamb chop cooking tips, you can enjoy tender, flavorful chops any night of the week.
Lamb Chop Storage and Food Safety
When storing and handling raw lamb chops, follow these guidelines to keep them fresh and prevent foodborne illness:
- Store lamb chops in the coldest part of the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days.
- Wrap chops well or place in a sealed container to prevent cross-contamination with juices.
- If freezing, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and foil and use within 3-4 months.
- Thaw frozen chops in the refrigerator, not on the counter or in warm water.
- Wash hands, utensils and surfaces that touched raw lamb to avoid spread of bacteria.
- Cook lamb thoroughly to an internal temperature of at least 145°F to kill harmful bacteria.
Proper refrigeration, freezing, thawing and cooking destroys any dangerous pathogens that may be present in raw lamb.
Common Lamb Chop Questions
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about lamb loin chops:
- Are lamb chops healthy? Yes, lamb chops provide lean protein, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats when consumed in moderation.
- What are the best lamb chops? Loin lamb chops from the rib and upper loin offer the best balance of tenderness and flavor.
- How many calories in a 6 oz lamb chop? A 6 ounce lamb loin chop contains 345-390 calories depending on leanness.
- Can lamb chops be pink? Yes, lamb chops are safest and most flavorful when cooked medium rare with a pink center.
- Should lamb chops be cooked with fat? Some fat can enhance flavor and tenderness but excess fat can be trimmed to reduce calories.
- Can I grill lamb chops? Yes, grilling over high heat helps create browned exterior and tender interior.
- What sides go with lamb chops? Minted peas, roasted potatoes, couscous or a fresh salad pair well with lamb.
A lamb loin chop contains between 230-290 calories per 3 ounce serving depending on leanness. Choosing lean cuts like the tenderloin and trimming fat before cooking can reduce calories while providing an excellent source of protein, vitamins and minerals. Balance lamb chops with vegetables or salads for a nutritious meal.