Smothered pork chops. Sounds indulgent, right? Well, when it comes to flavor, it certainly is. But there are plenty of smothered pork chops recipes that are also healthy and fit into a calorie-controlled diet while still being a dinner-time treat.
Smothered Pork Chops: The Basics
There are so many fried pork chop recipes that seem fatty or use a ton of salt to add flavor to the meat. But because smothered chops use a sauce to add flavor and keep the pork moist and tender, you can easily control levels of fat and salt without compromising on flavor. Smothered chops are “Soul Food,” a Deep South celebration of making the most of a few basic but wholesome ingredients.
The classic method for this pork chop recipe is season, sear, and smother. You season your meat and dredge it in flour or cornstarch to give it an appealing texture. Searing is simple – traditionally, butter would be used, but you can use a low-calorie spray or favorite cooking oil to keep those calories down.
Keep your chops warm while you make your sauce. Sauces for smothered pork chops range from simple yet sumptuous onion gravy to surprisingly spicy offerings. The sauce makes every mouthful juicy and tempting for an easy, healthy meal that impresses every time.
Tips for the Smothered Pork Chop Recipes
- Ensure your chops are thick and meaty.
- Ideally, use meat on the bone. You can convert any of the below pork chop recipe ideas into boneless pork chop recipes skillet-fried and smothered, but you do get a better flavor if you leave the bone on. If you go boneless, reduce the cooking time by about 4 minutes.
- When searing, you don’t want to cook the chops all the way through, just until they’re brown on both sides.
- Use rice flour for dredging or thickening for a gluten-free option.
- The longer you cook your pork chops in the gravy or sauce, the more tender the meat will be. You can even put your gravy into an oven-safe pot, pop the chops in, cover, and oven cook on medium heat for an hour for meat that almost falls off the bone.
Pork Chop Dinner Ideas
The tried and true way to serve your smothered pork is with creamy mashed potatoes and your favorite greens. Gently stewed or steamed collard greens or mustard greens contrast beautifully with the rich sauce.
If you’re looking to cut out carbs, cauliflower is a keto-friendly alternative to mashed potatoes.
Other sides that go well with pork include corn on the cob, cornbread, or spinach.
Smothered Pork Chops Recipe With Classic Onion Gravy
Pork chops and gravy is the ultimate comfort food! There are many different versions of this recipe, but our variant is quick and easy, making it an ideal midweek meal.
- 1 lb. pork chops
- Oil or butter for frying
- 2 tsp poultry seasoning or similar
- Cracked black pepper
- Flour for dredging
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
- Pinch of dried thyme
- ½ cup chicken broth
- ¼ cup cream – choose heavy cream for extra creaminess or half and half to reduce calories
- Fresh parsley leaves
- Make sure the pork chops are dry. Use paper towels if necessary.
- Season well and dredge in flour.
- Heat your oil in a skillet to medium heat. Fry each chop, turning until brown on both sides.
- Remove chops from the pan and keep warm.
- Add a splash more oil or add 1 tbsp of butter to the pan for more flavor.
- Add onions and a little salt to the pan and cook, stirring regularly, until soft and lightly browned. This might take ten minutes, and if the pan seems dry, add a splash of the chicken broth to deglaze and add moisture.
- Add your garlic and thyme and stir until the aromas are released, no more than a minute.
- Pour in the chicken broth, scraping at the pan, so any brown bits get added to the gravy.
- Reduce for 2 minutes, then add the cream while stirring.
- Put the chops back in the pan and ensure the sauce completely covers them—Cook for a minimum of 5 minutes.
- Check the sauce for seasoning; garnish with fresh parsley and serve with the sides of your choice.
Smothered Pork Chops With Mushroom Sauce
The fried pork chops recipe part of this meal is exactly the same as the previous recipe. The fried pork chops recipe part of this meal is exactly the same as the previous recipe. Before you start your gravy:
- Sauté 10 ounces of thinly sliced mushrooms and put to one side.
- Make your gravy as above, but after you’ve stirred in the cream, add a dash of Worcestershire sauce and a teaspoon of Dijon mustard and stir well.
- Add your pork and mushrooms back in and finish as above.
Cajun Smothered Pork Chops
This pork chop recipe combines elements from the first two, plus warming Cajun-inspired seasoning and a slower cook for melt-in-the-mouth tenderness.
Dredge your chops in flour mixed with Creole seasoning, oregano, thyme, basil, salt, and just a little cayenne pepper. Follow the above instructions for searing the meat, and start your gravy the same way. Mushrooms go really well with this gravy, so feel free to include them here. Swap out half the chicken broth for white wine, and transfer the gravy and chops to a Dutch oven or similar oven-safe pot. Cook them for at least an hour, check for tenderness, and leave in for another 30 minutes if necessary.
Once you know the basic technique for searing and smothering your pork chops, your only limit is your imagination. Try a tomato-based pork chop sauce with Mediterranean herbs, or blitz up seasonal veggies in a blender to create a superfood sauce for your pork chop dinner. Create your signature sauce and wow your friends and family with this warming and welcoming dish.