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These smothered pork chops are pan fried to perfection and coated in a delicious, rich homemade gravy that has a touch of cream. They’re so comforting, tender, and juicy every time!
Why you’ll love it
This smothered pork chops recipe is ideal for busy weeknights. They’re made with simple ingredients that are transformed into a super cozy meal. It’s very straightforward, so there’s no fussing around with caramelizing onions or adding mushrooms, but you don’t lose any flavor.
If you’ve never cooked pork chops before or they usually end up dry and overcooked, there’s absolutely no need to be intimidated. I’ve packed this blog post with a lot of information that will help you get perfectly juicy pork chops. No tough and rubbery meat here. You’ll feel so satisfied when you master how to pan fry pork chops!
What you’ll need
- Pork chops – I used 4 bone-in chops that are seasoned with salt & pepper to help get a good crust and flavor. See all the specifics below for helpful hints and alternatives.
- Olive oil – for pan frying the meat
- Butter and flour – to make a quick roux to thicken the gravy
- Chicken broth – adds a deeper, richer flavor
- Heavy cream – for that signature creamy touch
- Seasoning – garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper make up the seasoning blend for the smothered gravy. The cayenne just adds a gentle something-something, not making it spicy!
- Worcestershire sauce – it’s a tried and true ingredient to add even more special savory flavor to sauces
- Parsley – adding a little chopped parsley tops it off with a fresh note
What kind of pork chops do I use?
- Use bone-in or boneless pork chops depending on what you prefer. Bone-in tend to be a little more flavorful and juicy, but either will work just fine.
- I used bone-in pork chops, a bit over 3/4″ thick. I seared them for 5 minutes on one side and 3 minutes on the other side, so if using thinner chops, I’d sear them for less time.
- If using ones over 1″ thick, I’d sear them for 5 minutes per side and then finish them in the oven.
How to make smothered pork chops
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
Take the pork chops out of the fridge at least 15-30 minutes prior to starting the recipe. Add the olive oil to a skillet and let it heat up until it’s good and hot and the oil is shimmering. Season the chops with salt & pepper. Sear the pork for 3-5 minutes/side until golden brown, and then transfer them to a plate. Do this in two batches if you’ve got larger bone-in pork chops. Do not crowd the pan, or they’ll steam instead of brown.
To make the gravy, add the butter to the same skillet, and then stir in the flour to make a quick roux. Whisk in the chicken broth, cream, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, and cayenne pepper. Let it thicken for a couple of minutes, and then either add the pork chops back in or plate them and spoon the sauce over. Top with fresh parsley.
- The skillet needs to be very hot to get a good sear on the pork. If you’re finding it isn’t cooked after the suggested time, your pan probably isn’t hot enough. You will need to work quite quickly when making the gravy because the pan will still be very hot, so I suggest having all the ingredients measured out and ready to go for the smoothest cooking experience.
- Pork is easy to overcook and dry out, so using an instant read meat thermometer is a lifesaver. Pork is safe to eat when it’s a bit pink inside (145F). If you prefer your pork more cooked, you can sear the chops for a bit longer than suggested. Just watch that you don’t overcook them. Anything much over 165F is likely to be quite dry and overcooked.
- Your gravy may end up a bit paler if you have smaller pork chops and only fry them in one batch.
Substitutions and variations
- You can leave the cream out if you want, but then you may want to add a little more chicken broth. If you want to use half-and-half, buttermilk, or regular milk, I would be careful to turn the heat down and let the pan cool a bit so it doesn’t curdle. Keep in mind it may take a little longer for the sauce to thicken using lower fat alternatives and a lower stove temperature.
- Use beef broth for a darker gravy or add in a splash of Kitchen Bouquet, but be mindful of salt in the recipe.
- The pinch of cayenne pepper doesn’t make the sauce particularly spicy, but it adds a little extra flavor. Increase it if you do want more of a kick, though.
Tools for this recipe
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Substitutions and variations
- Try sautéing a chopped onion and/or some mushrooms after searing the chops. If the pan seems dry, you may need to add a splash more olive oil. I’d then take the sautéed onions/mushrooms out of the pan and proceed with the gravy as the recipe indicates, then add them back into the pan just before serving. Use one medium onion and/or 7 ounces of sliced cremini or white mushrooms.
- If you’re just adding onions, ensure the pan isn’t too hot so they soften up and brown nice and slowly (over 10-15 minutes or so) vs. getting scorched.
- I’ve seen some smothered pork chop recipes use chili powder, so you could definitely add a bit for a touch of southwest flavor. Start with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon.
- Want a more herby flavor? Add in a couple dashes of dried Italian seasoning or dried thyme. A couple sprigs of fresh thyme would work too!
What to serve with smothered pork chops
- These smothered fried pork chops go great with Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes or Roasted Red Potatoes with the irresistible gravy. Or try pairing it with my Quick and Easy Garlic Butter Noodles. Rice is also a good starch.
- For veggies, steamed green beans or carrots are great, or try my Easy Roasted Brussels Sprouts.
- Craving a side salad? Dress up some mixed greens and veggies with my Chipotle Cilantro Lime Ranch Dressing.
Leftovers and storage
- These pork chops will keep for a few days in the fridge. Just make sure leftovers are stored in an airtight container.
- Reheat in a saucepan over a low heat until warmed through for best results. Take care to not overcook them while rewarming.
- You could freeze leftovers, but keep in mind the texture of the meat might not remain the same upon thawing.
Questions about this easy smothered pork chops recipe? Let me know in the comments below! If you enjoyed it, please leave a review. You can also tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram with any of your creations.
Easy Smothered Pork Chops and Gravy
- 4 pork chops see note
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/3 cup heavy/whipping cream
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper optional
- Fresh chopped parsley optional, to taste
- Take the pork chops out of the fridge at least 15-30 minutes prior to starting the recipe. Prep the other recipe ingredients.
- Add the oil to a skillet over medium-high heat. Heat the pan for a few minutes (I heated my cast iron for 5 min). It needs to be HOT for the pork chops to get a good sear and cook through fast.
- Meanwhile, pat the pork chops dry with paper towel. Season each pork chop with salt & pepper on both sides.
- Add the pork to the pan and cook for 3-5 minutes/side (3 minutes for thinner chops and 5 minutes for pork chops that are up to 1" thick). Pork should be golden brown and cooked through. Test for doneness at this point. It's safe to eat at 145F (a bit pink inside), and the temperature will rise a bit as it rests. If the pork chops aren't quite cooked through yet, sear them for a little longer (don't overcook). Transfer the pork to a plate and set aside. If the pork chops are particularly large, sear them in two batches (don't crowd the pan or they'll steam).
- Reduce the heat to medium. Add the butter to the skillet, and once it's melted, stir in the flour and cook for about a minute.
- Whisk in the broth until the flour has been incorporated/dissolved, and then stir in the cream, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, and cayenne pepper. The gravy should thicken up quite quickly (within a few minutes).
- Pour the juices from the plate the pork has been resting on back into the skillet and stir them into the gravy, then take the pan off the heat. Gravy too thick? Add in a splash more broth or cream.
- You can add the pork back to the pan and spoon some sauce over top and then serve, or just add each pork chop to a plate and spoon the sauce over top that way. Season with extra salt & pepper if needed and serve with fresh parsley sprinkled over top if you wish.
- Use bone-in or boneless pork chops. I used bone-in pork chops that were about 3/4″ thick and cooked them for 5 minutes on the first side and 3 minutes on the second side.
- Pork is easy to overcook. It’s safe to eat at 145F. I recommend using an instant read meat thermometer to test doneness. The pork’s temperature will continue to rise once you stop cooking it, so if it’s close, take it out of the skillet.
- Troubleshooting tips: the skillet needs to be very hot to get a good sear on the pork (I preheated my cast iron skillet until it was lightly smoking and the oil was shimmering). If you’re finding it isn’t cooked after the suggested time, your pan probably isn’t hot enough. You will need to work quite quickly when making the gravy because the pan will still be very hot, so I suggest having all the ingredients measured out and ready to go. The blog post contains more success tips, so I recommend reading through if you haven’t.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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