Grilled Veal Chops

Veal chops can be expensive, so when you’re looking for veal chop recipes, you want to be sure it’s one you can COUNT ON. These Grilled Veal Chops are my go-to, hands-down favorite, because they’re quick and easy to make with minimal effort, and the result is truly spectacular.

veal chops on a cutting board with fresh ingredients surrounding them.
Veal Porterhouse Chops

Grilled veal chops are a special occasion meal for us. I love to serve them with creamed spinach and provencal tomatoes for a simple but elegant restaurant-quality dinner.

When you’re working with a premium product, like veal loin chops or veal rib chops, the key is to let the flavor of the meat shine through and not overpower it with heavy sauces gravies or seasonings.

For this recipe, I use a simple garlic and herb veal chop marinade that is quick and easy to make and heightens the flavor of the cut.

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Why this recipe works:

  • It uses Choice or Prime grade bone-in veal chops for tender, juicy, meaty veal every time.
  • The wet rub marinade for veal chops is made with fresh herbs and minced garlic and does nothing to detract from the meat’s natural flavor.
  • The longer the veal chops marinate, the more tender, juicy and flavorful they’ll be.
  • You can make grilled veal chops on your gas or charcoal grill or if you don’t have a grill, you can pan-sear the chops and finish them in the oven.
  • This veal chop recipe is perfect for special occasions, like birthdays, anniversaries or other celebrations.

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Veal chops – (you can use veal rib chops or veal loin chops. Bone in veal chops are preferred, because the bone adds more flavor and something fun to gnaw on at the end of the meal, but boneless veal chops will work too.
  • Rosemary – Use fresh leaves (avoid the woody stem) and chop the herb finely as it’s tough.
  • Thyme – Fresh thyme is best. Remove the leaves from the stem and chop them finely.
  • Fresh Tarragon – this herb has an anise or licorice quality and adds a unique but not overpowering flavor to the grilled veal chops.
  • Fresh Mint– You might think mint a strange addition to the veal chop marinade, but it adds a pop of light freshness that ties the other ingredients together.
  • Lemon Zest – Use a microplane grater to remove the very outer layer of zest; not the bitter pith.
  • Garlic – Use fresh garlic and chop it finely on a cutting board. The pungency of this allium brings the veal chop marinade to life.
  • Kosher Salt – I recommend Diamond Crystal kosher salt as it has less salt by volume. If you use Morton’s, you should scale back slightly.
  • Black Pepper– Freshly grinding the pepper will give you the best flavor.
  • Olive Oil – Use an everyday olive oil and not your good finishing oils for this. The veal chops are going on the grill, after all.
Two t-bone veal chops with fresh herbs on a rimmed baking sheet.
Veal Porterhouse Chops with garlic and herbs for marinating.

Marinating bone-in veal chops

Though marinating veal isn’t required, I recommend it to add flavor and depth to this premium cut. The key is to season the chops without masking the natural flavor of the veal. So, I opt for fresh ingredients to enhance the chops without covering up their savory essence.

This simple seasoning blend is more of a wet rub than a traditional marinade. Still, the effect is the same, accentuating the natural flavors of the tender veal without overpowering it. 

A mixture of garlic, herbs, kosher salt, and pepper with lemon zest in a small bowl.

How to make the rosemary garlic and herb marinade:

Finely chop the herbs and garlic and combine them in a small bowl with the lemon zest, salt, pepper and olive oil.  Rub the chops on both sides with the rub and let them rest for at least one hour. (note: the longer it marinates, the more flavorful the veal chop recipe will be.)

I recommend marinating the veal chops early in the morning on the day you plan to grill them so the flavors can infuse into the meat. You can even prep the chops the night before with the garlic herb rub.

I am adding olive oil to the herb and garlic mixture.

Different cuts of veal will have very different preparation methods. Tougher cuts need slow cooking and braises, while more tender cuts like veal chops only need a quick sear or grill. Here are the recommended cooking methods for each type.

How to cook veal chops and other cuts

  • Veal loin and rib chops are perfect for dry heat preparations like grilling.
  • Breast portions can have more connective tissue and do better for longer cooking, moist heat methods like braising.
  • Leg meat is usually a happy medium between tough and tender and can be roasted, grilled or stewed.
  • Cutlets and scallopini usually come from leg meat and do well in quick pan sautés.
  • Veal shoulder is typically the least tender, but cook them the right way (braised), and you’re in for a treat.
  • Use moist heat and a longer cook time for shoulder blade chops, shoulder roast, and veal stew meat for osso buco.
Coating the veal chops with the garlic and herb mixture to marinate.

How to grill veal chops on a gas or charcoal grill:

Cooking the chops on an outdoor grill is my preferred method. Not only do you get that char-crusted sear on the meat, but it also allows you to add a hint of real wood smoke flavor.

Preheat your grill to medium to medium-high heat (about 450°F). For a gas grill, use the temperature gauge; for a charcoal grill, use the method below (which I picked up from Steve Raichlen of grilling and barbecue fame).

Once the charcoal has cooked to embers and is no longer smoking, place your bare hand 3-4 inches above the hot coals and count… “One Mississippi, Two Mississippi…” etc. When it’s too hot to hold your hand over the flame, that indicates how hot the fire is (See chart below).

  • Hot: Two to Three Mississippi
  • Medium Hot: Four to Five Mississippi
  • Medium: Six to Eight Mississippi
  • Medium Low: Nine to Ten Mississippi
  • Low: Eleven to Fourteen Mississippi

Four to five is where your grill should be for the veal chops.

How long should I grill veal chops?

Depending on their thickness, veal chops take little time on the grill or in the oven. These 1 ½” thick chops reached the correct temperature in less than 15 minutes. The key is to ensure your fire isn’t too hot or too low, have a water bottle handy in case of flare-ups, and don’t fuss with the chops on the grill. Let them cook. If your chops are thicker, you may have to reduce the heat and cook longer.

How to grill veal chops with dry smoke

A dry-smoke grilling technique lightly infuses the meat with subtle smoke, which we swear by for delicate veal chops.  Using dry wood chips in a smoker box instead of soaked wood chips creates a lighter smoke that kisses the veal without dousing it in heavy smoke flavor.  Sublime. 

Best types of wood chips for grilled veal chops

Because the Veal has such a subtle flavor, you don’t want to overpower it with smoke flavor.

We find that oak, cherry and apple wood all provide a nice smooth flavor that’s noticeable, but not overboard.

  • Others to try: pecan, peach.
  • Avoid: hickory and mesquite, they are too intense for the mild flavors of this veal chops recipe.
Adding cherry wood to the smoker box before grilling.

Cooking veal chops indoors

If you don’t have access to a grill, cook it indoors by searing the meat in a hot skillet and finishing it in the oven. Here’s how:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Place a nonstick grill pan or cast iron skillet on the stovetop, heat over medium-high heat, and let it heat up for about a minute.
  3. Add the veal chops to the pan and cook for 3 minutes (without moving, poking or messing with them).
  4. Use a pair of tongs to flip the veal chops in the skillet and transfer the pan to the oven to finish cooking. They should take another 10-15 minutes, but use an instant-read thermometer to be sure you’ve cooked them to the right doneness.
Take the veal chops' temperature as they grill with an Instant read thermometer.

Can you eat veal pink-ish or medium rare?

Yes, it’s our preferred temperature. On chops like this, medium rare is very light pink but still cooked at the bone.

What’s the optimum internal temperature for veal chops?

For medium-rare, 145°-150° is the optimum temperature. We like to use a digital thermometer for more accuracy. My preferred brand is the Thermoworks Thermapen One  {affiliate link} because of its accurate instant-read display and sturdy, uncomplicated design (shown below).

Residual cooking is real

Keep in mind that meat continues to cook after its been removed from the heat source, so taking the grilled veal chops off at around 142° usually produces a good result.

If you like your meat more at medium temperature, leave it on at 145-147°, then remove it from the grill. Avoid cooking the meat rare, as it will be too soft and chewy.

Letting the grilled veal chops rest on a platter.


What is veal?

Cows used for veal are typically male dairy cows, raised to 16 to 18 weeks and weighing up to 450 pounds.
Veal is classified as “red meat”; however, the flesh of uncooked veal is typically a light or pale pink.
Because the young cows don’t have as much muscle as older cattle, the meat is more tender and mild in flavor than traditional beef steaks.

What is a veal chop?

The two types of veal chops are veal rib chops and veal loin chops. For this veal chop recipe, we used veal loin porterhouse steak with the t-bone running through the middle of the chop, separating the veal loin chop from the veal strip steak, giving us two great tastes and textures in one cut.

Are veal chops healthy?

Yes, veal chops are fairly healthy, but if you want the healthiest option, look for grass-fed veal with less fat and marbling (an indication that the calf was overfed).

Veal contains Magnesium, Vitamin B-6 and Iron plus 27 grams of protein per 3-ounce serving and about 15 grams of fat, six from saturated fat. Veal has about 113 mg of cholesterol, 38% of RDV. Three ounces of veal has about 240 calories.

Our veal chops were about 6 ounces each, including the bone.

Should I tenderize my veal first?

If you’ve got veal rib chops, porterhouse cuts or veal loin chops, there’s no need to tenderize them as they’re already tender. Just add the garlic herb marinade and grill them to your desired doneness. Some recipes call for pounding with a meat mallet – but I find it unnecessary.

How do you reheat leftovers?

If you have leftovers, you can reheat them in a low 300° F oven. Wrap the chops loosely in foil and put them in a preheated oven for 10-12 minutes until the meat is warmed but not cooked.

We are serving herb-crusted veal with an old-fashioned carving fork.

A great recipe for celebrations

This recipe has been on the website since 2014, and it’s a favorite with readers who have made these grilled veal chops to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries. One couple’s move across the country (and away from their favorite restaurant had them making this recipe to recreate that popular dish at home. Here’s what they said:

“Our favorite restaurant on Long Island ages ago used to serve the best veal chops. Until I stumbled across your veal chop recipe, I could not replicate those wonderful flavors we had enjoyed for years. So my husband and I just wanted to say thank you —now that we live in Tucson —for enabling us to enjoy our favorite meal again many times over at home, using your recipe!” –Judith

Another photo of the same chops.

What goes with grilled veal chops?

Picking up a chop with the serving fork.

More veal recipes you might like:

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Two veal chops on a pewter platter.
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3.86 from 27 votes

Grilled Veal Chops

Veal chops can be expensive, so when you make them, you want the flavor of the veal to shine.  With the garlic herb crust and a hint of cherry wood smoke, they do.  A stunner of a dish! Make the rub earlier in the day and let the meat marinate for several hours (even overnight).
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword #grill, herbs, smoke, veal
Dietary Restrictions Gluten-Free, Low-Carb, Paleo
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4



  • 2 pounds veal chops I used porterhouse loin chops, about 1-1 1/2″ thick
  • 4 cloves garlic about 2 tablespoons, minced
  • 1 lemon zested
  • tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil



  • Combine garlic, lemon zest, rosemary, tarragon, thyme, mint, salt and pepper in a bowl and stir to evenly distribute ingredients. Add the olive oil and stir to combine.


  • Place veal chops on a baking pan. Sprinkle chops with half of the herb mixture. Press the herbs into the meat with your fingers, making sure they coat the chops. Turn chops over and repeat with remaining oil and herb mixture. Cover with cellophane and refrigerate for six hours or overnight.


  • Half an hour before cooking, remove the veal from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature.
  • Fill a smoker box with wood chips, or create your own using the instructions below*.
  • Place wood chips directly on gas burner (beneath the grates) on one side of the grill. Preheat the grill to high heat (about 450 degrees).
  • When chips begin to smoke, add the veal to the opposite side of the grill from the wood chips, but still over direct heat.
  • Grill for 5-6 minutes per side for medium doneness, turning with tongs halfway through. (For nice crosshatch marks, rotate the chops 90 degrees after 3 minutes of cooking on each side).
  • Transfer chops to a platter and let rest for 3 minutes. Enjoy!


YouTube video


*Create a pouch with tin foil. Lay the foil flat on a counter top. Mound one cup of chips in the center. Fold the the top and bottom of the foil together to seal. Fold over each of the sides to seal them. Poke several holes in the top and bottom of the foil with a sharp knife.
**You can skip the smoke and simply grill these chops if you’re reticent about the technique, but it’s easy to do and delicious!


Calories: 424kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 179mg | Sodium: 777mg | Potassium: 813mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 315IU | Vitamin C: 22.1mg | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 3.2mg

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  1. Natalie Fayntuch says:

    Hi! Can these be cooked in the oven?

    1. I wouldn’t just put the veal chops straight into the oven, because you want to sear the outside. If you have a cast iron skillet, heat it over medium high heat and add a little olive oil to the pan. Swirl the oil and then add the veal chops Cook for 4-5 minutes, flip the chops and then put them in a hot oven (450°) to finish. Use an instant read thermometer to determine how done they are — so they’re to you liking. 145° for medium rare and 160° for medium.

  2. I Love the ingredients!!, is there a way to make them without wood chips? I have an outdoor grill or I have a grill pan that can go on top of stove an in the oven. Thanks

    1. You don’t have to use the wood chips, but they add a mild smoke flavor that’s really good. Just grill the chops on your grill or grill pan until they’re to the doneness you prefer.

  3. 5 stars
    Can this be used on rack of lamb! Chicken breasts? Made it last night and it was terrific the lamb chops were excuse me the veal chops were tender and juicy and just had a pitch too much salt and I added minced garlic from a jar and I did enough for four cloves but I feelI needed more.

    1. Sure, you can use the same for Lamb, Pork, Chicken or Beef. You can never go wrong with a garlic herb crust on anything!

  4. mary harrop says:

    5 stars

  5. 5 stars
    Our favorite restaurant on Long Island ages ago used to serve the best veal chops. Until I stumbled across your veal chop recipe, I could not replicate those wonderful flavors we had enjoyed for years. So my husband and I just wanted to say thank you —now that we live in Tucson —for enabling us to enjoy our favorite meal again many times over at home, using your recipe!

  6. Brenadette Brame says:

    Haven’t try it yet but cant wait!!!

  7. 5 stars
    This looks soooo good! I use thyme and rosemary when grilling too and the flavor is really good. Can’t wait to try this!

  8. 5 stars
    Garlic just makes everything better and I love the mint flavor with veal. These would be a wonderful dish to serve to company with some creamy mashed potatoes. Yum!

  9. 5 stars
    I also don’t cook veal very often because they are a bit pricey. This will make a very nice dinner for our upcoming supper club.

  10. 5 stars
    These are the sight of perfection! What a gorgeous summer recipe to try…I must try this! The family will love it.

  11. 5 stars
    That herb crust sounds amazing! I love anything with fresh mint.

  12. 5 stars
    I’ve just prepared the chops and am looking forward to grilling them later today!! Thanks fo the recipe and instructions

  13. 5 stars
    I cooked this for my husband birthday and it was really really good.

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it Martha! I made it for my husband’s birthday as well – what a treat!

  14. OMG this would be perfect for dinner, thanks for sharing:-)

  15. Yum, these look REALLY delicious!