Swan dive into sauce, sink your fork into some juicy meat, and impress everyone at your table with this Smothered Pork Chops recipe! These thick-cut seasoned pork chops are mouth-wateringly tender and bathed in a rich onion gravy.
Why You’ll Love This Pork Chops Recipe
- JUICY AND TENDER. Let’s get this on the table right now—a lot of pork chop recipes are dry. This one is not! Like all of my pork recipes, I’ve got the pro-tips you need so your pork is moist, not tough or dry.
- Forgiving. If you’re worried about drying out your pork chops, the gravy you’ll be smothering them with will cover up the overcooking.
- Easy. Sure, gravy sounds fancy. It’s not. Just stir and simmer and you’ll nail it!
- A New Way to Cook an Old Favorite. Sure, we love simple preparations like Air Fryer Pork Chops and Grilled Pork Chops, but it’s recipes like Breaded Pork Chops, Stuffed Pork Chops, and these creamy smothered pork chops that keep dinner exciting.
- Pure Comfort. Pork chops and gravy are a comfort food that never fails to hit the spot, just like Pork Chops with Apples and Honey Garlic Pork Chops.
5 Star Review
“The smothered pork chops were absolutely delicious. Dijon mustard was a great addition. Gravy was incredible. Glad I found this recipe, will make again.”— Ann —
How to Make Smothered Pork Chops
These Southern smothered pork chops are intensely savory, well-seasoned, and will more than right the wrongs of dry pork chops past.
- Bone-In Pork Chops. Bone-in rib chops are extra flavorful and less prone to drying out than boneless. They’re also a wonderful source of lean protein and tend to have less gristle than other cuts. (Not into chops? Maybe this Stuffed Pork Tenderloin is more your style.)
- Flour. A light coating of all-purpose flour and spices creates a scrumptious, crust-like exterior for the pork chops.
- Spices. Cumin and smoked paprika add rich smoky, and earthy flavors. Salt and pepper are can’t-miss classics.
- Onions. These are smothered pork chops with onions. The onions help build deep flavor for the gravy and pair nicely with the pork chops.
- Chicken Stock. No smothered pork chops with mushroom soup or heavy cream here. Richly-flavored chicken stock or chicken broth acts as a base for our sauce (like in Crockpot Pork Roast). It also deglazes the pot after cooking the pork and onions, ensuring that we don’t miss any of those delightful browned bits.
- Dijon Mustard. The tangy bite of Dijon mustard adds depth to the gravy and is a lovely pairing with the pork and onions.
- Balsamic Vinegar. For depth of flavor and a hit of acidity.
- Brine the Pork Chops. This is optional but a good way to make the pork extra juicy if you have time.
- Dredge. I like to mix my flour and seasonings in a shallow pie plate.
- Brown on Both Sides. This gives you a nice sear and a tasty base for making the gravy.
- Saute. The onions will soften.
- Pour in the Stock and Simmer. Whisk to prevent lumps.
- Add the Pork Back to the Pot. Nestle it right in.
- Cover and Bake. Smothered pork chops should cook for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the pork to a plate to rest.
- Thicken Up the Gravy on the Stove. Now it has even more yummy pork juices. ENJOY!
- To Store. Refrigerate smothered pork chops and gravy in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- To Reheat. Gently rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F or in the microwave.
- To Freeze. You can freeze smothered pork chops. Freeze pork chops in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Leftover Pork and Gravy. Use leftover pork chops to create a spin on a French dip sandwich. Place thin slices of your pork chops between two pieces of toasted bread (add cheese if you please), and serve the sandwich with a side of the gravy for dipping.
Leftover Gravy. Leftover gravy is scrumptious over a Baked Chicken Breast for lunch or dinner. For breakfast, serve it over a sturdy, thick piece of toast with an egg on top.
How to Serve Smothered Pork Chops
- Rice. Smothered pork chops with rice is our favorite! It soaks up the sauce nicely. Try them with simple brown rice (or make Instant Pot Brown Rice), wild rice, or even this Lemon Rice.
- Pasta. Pasta pairs well with smothered pork chops. Serve your pork chops over a bed of whole wheat pasta or egg noodles.
- Potatoes. Nothing soaks up the sauce better than a bed of mashed or baked potatoes. I recommend these Crockpot Mashed Potatoes, Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, or a Baked Potato.
- Bread. Sop up the scrumptious sauce with a slice of Beer Bread or Drop Biscuits.
- Polenta. The polenta from my Creamy Polenta with Zucchini and Tomatoes would be scrumptious with these pork chops.
- With Applesauce. Such a classic! See Crockpot Applesauce and Instant Pot Applesauce for two great recipes.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Dutch Oven. Perfect for making smothered pork chops in the oven.
- Wooden Spoon. The ideal tool for stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot.
- Tongs. An easy way to flip and transfer the pork chops.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Use Thick-Cut, Bone-In Chops. Of all of the different varieties of pork chops, these are the most difficult to overcook. Unlike tough, marbled cuts of meat like the pork shoulder used for Slow Cooker Pulled Pork, pork chops will not get more tender the longer they cook. Which leads me to…
- DO NOT Overcook Your Pork Chops. This is the most critical step to ensuring your pork chops are tender and moist, not dry. Pork is considered cooked at 145 degrees F, but because meat’s temperature rises as it rests, I stop cooking mine early (135 degrees F). They’re perfectly cooked, tender, and juicy every time.
- Use an Instant Read Thermometer. This is the best, and I’d say only true way to not overcook your meat. You can use an inexpensive one, but if you are serious about cooking, invest in this one. It is dead accurate and reads temps immediately.
- Consider Brining. If you have time, follow the suggestion in the recipe to brine the pork chops prior to cooking. This will make them even more juicy.
- Enjoy the Extra Gravy. This recipe yields a generous amount of onion gravy; don’t skip it! Everyone is going to want more, so spoon a generous portion onto each plate. You can use any leftovers to top Air Fryer Chicken Breast.
Smothered Pork Chops
- 4 bone-in pork chops at least 1-inch thick
- Brine if using (see notes)*
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt* divided
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper divided
- 4 medium yellow onions thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 4 cups unsalted chicken stock divided
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- Chopped fresh parsley or fresh thyme
- Cooked brown rice, quinoa, cauliflower mash, Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes, or Crockpot Mashed Potatoes optional, for serving
- If you’d like to brine the pork chops, do so 45 minutes to 12 hours before you plan to start cooking (see recipe notes).
- Pat the pork chops very dry on both sides with paper towels (discard the brine if using).
- Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 350° F. In a wide, shallow bowl (a pie dish works well), stir together the flour, cumin, paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
- In a Dutch oven or similar large, deep, oven-safe pot with a tight-fitting lid, heat the oil over medium heat. Dredge the pork chops in the flour mixture on both sides, shaking off any excess. Reserve the remaining flour mixture.
- Once the oil is hot and shimmering, gently lower the chops into the pan (lower them away from you to prevent splattering yourself with oil). Cook on both sides until brown and crisp, about 3 to 4 minutes per side (they will not be fully cooked through). If the pork chops will not all fit in your pan without touching, cook them in batches. Transfer to a plate.
- Reduce the heat to medium low heat. Add the onions, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are completely softened, about 15 minutes. Stir in the Dijon mustard.
- Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of the reserved flour mixture over the top of the onions. Stir to combine and cook for 2 full minutes, stirring often. No white bits of flour or lumps should remain.
- Slowly add 1 1/2 cups of the stock, stirring constantly. With a wooden spoon, scrape along the bottom of the pan to remove any brown bits. Let simmer until the sauce starts to form a cohesive mixture and is slightly thickened. Return the pork to the pot, nestling it in a single layer.
- Cover the pot and place it in the oven. Bake the smothered pork chops until the pork is tender and reaches 135° to 140° F on an instant read thermometer, about 30 to 40 minutes (pork is considered safe to eat at 145° F, but its temperature will continue to rise as it rests).
- Transfer the pork chops to a plate. Return the pot to the stovetop. Turn the heat to medium, add the remaining 2 1/2 cups stock, and reduce, stirring often and scraping along the bottom of the pan, until the sauce thickens into a gravy, about 15 minutes. Stir in the balsamic vinegar.
- Remove from the heat. Return to the pork chops and any juices that have collected on the plate to the pan to let the gravy rewarm them. Serve hot, smothered with gravy, and garnish with chopped parsley or thyme.
*BRINE: If time allows, for the juiciest possible pork chops, submerge them in 4 cups water mixed with 3 tablespoons kosher salt for 45 minutes at room temperature (or up to 12 hours in the refrigerator). Drain and pat dry. Reduce the salt in the dredging mixture to 1/4 teaspoon and the salt added to the onions to 1/4 teaspoon.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate pork chops in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
- TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350° F or in the microwave.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze pork chops in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
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Frequently Asked Questions
If your pork chops are tough, there is one sure-fire reason: you overcooked them. Pork chops do not get more tender the longer you cook them. USE A THERMOMETER (this one is inexpensive and works well; this one is fast, accurate, and will last years). I really cannot stress this thermometer point enough.
While you can’t make pork chop meat more moist once it’s overcooked, you can help disguise it. Be generous with onion gravy from this pork chop recipe, this Mushroom Gravy, or Barbecue Sauce. You also can try splashing the pork with a little bit of warm chicken broth.
Sure! Add a pinch of cayenne pepper to your spice mixture to give your pork chops a kick.
Up to 12 hours in advance, add the pork chops to the brining liquid (if using) and store them in the refrigerator. Mix the spices and flour together in a bowl, then cover and store it at room temperature.
Certainly. Swap the regular flour for your favorite gluten-free flour alternative.