Skip to Content

Pistachio Crusted Lamb Chops with Red Wine Cherries

Pistachio crusted lamb chops are topped with a simple red wine cherry sauce and served over creamy parmesan polenta. It’s fancy food made simple and perfect for a special Valentine’s Day dinner.

What are you making for Valentine’s Day?

I’m talking dinner, not dessert (although may I suggest this fudgy paleo skillet brownie or this chocolate strawberry bread pudding for that – whatever you do though, just promise me it won’t be red food dye laden, mmkay? – gross).

*This post is sponsored by the American Lamb Board
Pistachio crusted lamb chops are topped with a simple red wine cherry sauce and served over creamy parmesan polenta. It's fancy food made simple and perfect for a special Valentine's Day dinner.

Oh, you still don’t know?

Well, now you do.

It involves lamb (because it feels just a teeny tiny bit more special than steak, doesn’t it?), some pistachios, cherries that have bathed in red wine and creamy, cheesy polenta.

You’re welcome.

Sirloin lamb chops are coated in a pistachio crust and topped with red wine cherries for the ultimate Valentine's Day dinner.

I’m partnering with the American Lamb Board (why buy from half way across the world when we have amazing American lamb right here?!) again this year for Lamb Lovers month and their annual contest.

Remember these skillet lamb chops and cipollini onions from last year? They were fun!

They also make me realize I need to use tarragon more often, love that stuff!

You can check out their contest page, choose your “love language” and enter to win some amazing lamb-centered prizes!

Nothing’s changed for me since last year, I’m definitely still the “homebody lover” and all about the special dinner at home come February 14th.

Looking for a fancy Valentine's Day dinner that's actually simple? These pistachio crusted lamb chops with red wine cherries will impress!
Red wine cherries and creamy parmesan polenta take these pistachio crusted lamb chops to the next level!

No crowded restaurant, overpriced menu, rushed service for me.

I’d rather sit home with a bottomless glass of wine and these pistachio crusted lamb chops.

This butterflied leg of lamb with cranberry goat cheese stuffing would also suffice.

Or, this simple pan-seared duck recipe that can be made in literally 10 minutes. If you’re more of a traditionalist, there’s also always this air fryer filet mignon for an easy gourmet dinner.

Ok, maybe I’ll throw a candle on the table too for good measure.

A Valentine's Day dinner better than any restaurant, pistachio crusted lamb chops with red wine cherries and parmesan polenta.

Like pecan crusted chicken, this is one of those meals that looks fancy, elegant even but really couldn’t be more simple.

It comes together in just about 30 minutes but with luscious wine soaked cherries and sharp parmesan polenta accompanying a perfectly cooked lamb chop, you’d never know it.

These pistachio crusted lamb chops with red wine cherries are a simple, yet elegant dinner sure to impress that special someone.

And pretty sure whoever that special person you serve them too won’t either.

Find more Valentine’s Day recipe inspiration!

Love these pistachio crusted lamb chops?

Try apple cider braised lamb shanks or Moroccan lamb lentil stew, they’re both outrageously delicious in their own way and sure to impress your Valentine.

Need an even simpler lamb chop recipe? Try making lamb chops in the air fryer. You could even serve them over the polenta from this recipe with the wine soaked cherries!

Pistachio Crusted Lamb Chops with Red Wine Cherries

Pistachio Crusted Lamb Chops with Red Wine Cherries

Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes

Pistachio crusted lamb chops are topped with a simple red wine cherry sauce and served over creamy parmesan polenta. It's fancy food made simple.


For the lamb chops:

  • 1 pound American sirloin lamb chops (2-3 chops)
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios (unsalted)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt & pepper

For the red wine cherries:

  • 1 cup frozen tart cherries (or regular cherries)
  • 1/3 cup zinfandel or other deep, dry red wine like cabernet
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 sprigs thyme leaves
  • salt & pepper

For the polenta:

  • 2.5 cups water
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper


For the lamb chops:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Season the lamb with salt and pepper.
  3. Add pistachios, garlic, salt and pepper to a food processor and process until finely chopped. Transfer the mixture onto a plate.
  4. Coat each lamb chop in the pistachio mixture and place on a baking sheet.
  5. Roast for 6-7 minutes for medium-rare, until edges and top of chops start to turn golden brown. Remove from oven, cover and let sit for 2-3 minutes before serving.

For the red wine cherries:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a small sauce pot and bring to a boil. Stir, reduce heat to a low simmer and let cook until liquid reduces by about half and mixture thickens. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to serve. Note: If you want the cherries more "saucy", add a cornstarch slurry (1/2 tablespoon of cornstarch + 1 tablespoon water that's been stirred) to the pot right before turning off the heat.

For the polenta:

  1. Bring the water to a boil in a medium sauce pot.
  2. Once boiling, add the cornmeal while whisking constantly. Reduce heat to low and continue whisking until thickened, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, add the olive oil, parmesan, salt and pepper and stir to combine.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1070Total Fat: 51gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 247mgSodium: 919mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 4gSugar: 6gProtein: 77g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.


Please leave a comment below or pin it to your Pinterest account!


Sunday 19th of April 2020

Hi! I’m making this for a friend’s birthday tomorrow. Lamb is her favorite and I really wanted to do something different than the traditional lamb and mint sauce. I see lots of comments about the “Sweet and savory” combo. Tart cherries are super tart and not sweet at all. Am I missing something? What is the sweet component? Thanks!

Running to the Kitchen

Monday 20th of April 2020

I think tart cherries are both sweet and sour/tart, I definitely don't think of them as all tart so I think that's what is being referred to. There's no missing sugar or anything ;)


Wednesday 12th of February 2020

Great dish, gotta try this! I'm also struggling for a healthier me, I've even start running with SportMe -a marathon training app and I can say I'm on the right track now. Nutrition is an important part of my losing weight plan, and your blog posts are a true inspiration!


Thursday 9th of February 2017

Love the combo of pistachios and lamb. Sounds perfect!

Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen

Thursday 9th of February 2017

So fancy! Perfect for a night in!

Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles

Thursday 9th of February 2017

Did you say red wine cherries?! What a lovely pairing with the lamb and pistachios.

Skip to Recipe