Smothered Pork Chops are a savory staple in Southern kitchens for good reason: Thick and juicy pan-fried pork chops braised in a velvety smooth gravy. Yes, please. Serve your chops over fluffy white rice, smother them with onion gravy, and get ready to experience Southern comfort food at its finest.
In addition to the absolute best Smothered Pork Chop Recipe, we'll cover everything you need to know and more:
- The best chops to buy for this dish.
- What you need to know for perfect pan-frying.
- The #1 tip for making a smooth and creamy Pork Chop Gravy!
- 3 ways to tell when your pork chops are done.
- Plus, how to store and freeze Smothered Pork Chops.
WHAT ARE SMOTHERED PORK CHOPS?
Smothered Pork Chops are a 2-part pork chop recipe. First, the chops are dredged in flour and pan-fried. The pan-fry adds flavor and texture to the chops but does not cook them all the way through.
To finish cooking, the chops go for a quick braise in a creamy Pork Chop Gravy. The end result is perfectly cooked, tender and juicy pork chops smothered in a delicious, savory sauce. It all takes place in one pan, and it is absolutely glorious.
INGREDIENTS FOR SMOTHERED PORK CHOPS
- Pork Loin Chops
- All-Purpose Flour
- Chicken Broth
- Heavy Cream
- Yellow Onion
WHICH PORK CHOPS TO BUY FOR SMOTHERED PORK CHOPS?
For Smothered Pork Chops, you'll want to stick with boneless, thick-cut pork loin chops. Make sure you get thick-cut chops, as different sized pork chops call for different cook times. The same goes for "bone-in" vs. "boneless" chops. Boneless pork chops will cook faster than bone-in.
USE THE RIGHT FLOUR
Do not stray from all-purpose flour. You'll be using it as a dredge for your pork chops, as well as a thickener for your gravy.
A SIMPLE SEASONING MIX
There's no need to get carried away with the seasoning when it comes to Smothered Pork Chops. Keep it classic with a simple mixture of Kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.
OIL AND SMOKE POINTS
Plain and simple, the oil you use matters. Different oils have different smoke points, which (in a nutshell) means some oils will make certain foods burn faster than others. Canola or avocado oil are both great options for pan-frying your chops over medium-high heat.
There's not too much that needs to be said on the matter of chicken broth, other than you need to use unsalted chicken broth. This gives you control over the sodium levels and will keep your Smothered Pork Chops from being too salty.
HOW TO MAKE SMOTHERED PORK CHOPS
- Season the pork chops and dredge in flour.
- Pan-fry until golden brown on each side.
- Remove chops from the pan and add the onion. Sauté until softened.
- Whisk in the chicken broth and cream.
- Add the pork chops to the gravy and simmer to cook through.
SEASON AND DREDGE IN FLOUR
This one is simple and straight-forward: Adding seasoning to the pork chops, as well as the dredge, ensures there is flavor in every single bite.
PAN-FRY THE CHOPS
Allow both your pan and the oil time to come to temperature before adding the dredged pork chops to the oil. You'll know your oil is ready when you sprinkle flour across it and it sizzles back at you.
The point of pan-frying your pork chops is to develop a golden-brown crust. Medium-high heat is the correct heat setting to achieve this goal on most stovetops and burners. However, you know your appliances best. If the pork chops are getting too dark too fast, take control and reduce the heat to the proper setting.
COOK THE ONION
Once the chops have developed a nice golden-brown crust, set them aside on a plate and add the onions to the pan. If there is barely any oil left behind, add an additional 1-2 tablespoons (just enough to thinly coat the bottom of the pan) to sauté your onion.
Cook the onion until softened, taking care to scrape up any yummy bits left behind from the pork chops.
MAKE THE GRAVY
Once the onion has softened, add the flour and stir until it coats the onions. Then, it's time for the chicken broth and cream.
#1 TIP FOR MAKING PORK CHOP GRAVY
For a smooth and creamy pork chop gravy, the most important thing (besides the measurements, of course) is to make sure your flour blends in seamlessly with the broth. Add the chicken broth one big splash at a time, taking care to whisk well after each addition. This ensures no lumps in your gravy and a flawlessly smooth texture.
SIMMER TO COOK THROUGH
Once you've incorporated both ingredients, allow the gravy to come to a simmer. Add the pork chops back into the pan and nestle into the gravy, along with any juices left behind on the plate. Reduce the heat to maintain a slow simmer. The Smothered Pork Chops will finish cooking in the gravy within 10-12 minutes.
HOW TO KNOW WHEN PORK CHOPS ARE DONE
The absolute safest and number one recommended way to determine whether or not your pork chops are done is to use a digital thermometer. Pork chops are safe to eat once they've reached an internal temperature of 145°.
RecipeTips.com offers up a few more techniques to determine the doneness of pork chops:
- Another way to determine the doneness of pork chops is the piercing method. Use the tip of a knife to prick a little slit in the pork chop. If the juices run clear, the meat is done.
- If you are a seasoned cook, you might also be able to determine the doneness of your pork chops by touch. When pressed with your finger, the chop should feel firm but still spring back into shape after pressing. A done chop will not feel soft or give easily when pressed.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH SMOTHERED PORK CHOPS
The standard Southern go-to for serving alongside Smothered Pork Chops is steamed white rice. It takes on the gravy like a champ and makes for a spectacular pork chop companion. However, there are plenty of other side dish goodies you could serve with your chops.
In fact, if it can sop up or goes well with gravy, it's perfect for serving with Smothered Pork Chops.
HOW LONG CAN YOU STORE SMOTHERED PORK CHOPS?
Store leftover Smothered Pork Chops in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. If you would like to preserve your pork chops for longer than this, you can freeze them.
To freeze Smothered Pork Chops, add the chops (gravy and all) to a freezer-safe, airtight container. The snugger the container, the better. Seal and freeze for 2-3 months.
5 MORE PORK RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Skillet Pork Chops with Apples and Bacon are the perfect ensemble of sweet and savory. It's quick-cooking, and the clean up is an absolute cinch, all thanks to a simple one-pan plan.
- Baked Pork Chops with Panko Breading always bake up tender and never dry. They’re a classic dinnertime option the entire family will love!
- Mustard and Rosemary Pork Tenderloin is packed with flavor thanks to a simple brine and a mustard rub. This recipe takes pork tenderloin to the upper echelon of flavor!
- Smothered Bone-In Pork Chops with Apples and Brie feature juicy pork chops smothered in brie, sweet sautéed apples, and are finished off with crispy pan-seared bacon.
- BBQ Pulled Pork only takes 10 minutes to prep before going into the slow cooker. This recipe renders juicy shredded pork coated with an easy, BBQ flavorful sauce every single time!
Smothered Pork Chops are a one-pan, Southern staple featuring thick and juicy pan-fried chops braised in a savory gravy. Best served over fluffy white rice!
- 4 boneless pork loin chops (no less than 1" thick)
- 2 ¾ teaspoons Kosher salt, separated
- 1 ¾ teaspoons black pepper, separated
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour + 3 tablespoons, separated
- ¼ cup canola or avocado oil
- 1 yellow onion, sliced into ¼" rings
- 2 cups unsalted chicken broth
- ½ cup heavy cream
Add 1 ½ teaspoons Kosher salt, ¾ teaspoon pepper, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, and ¼ teaspoon onion powder in a small bowl and combine. Sprinkle the seasoning over the pork chops and rub all over to adhere.
Add ¾ cup flour, 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, and a ½ teaspoon pepper to a gallon-sized ziplock bag. Add the pork chops to the bag and shake until evenly coated with the flour mixture. Set aside.
Add the oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat and allow to come to temperature. Once the oil is hot, add the pork chops (taking care not to overcrowd the pan). Sear for about 3 minutes on the first side, until golden brown. Then, flip and sear for an addition 2-3 minutes. Remove the pork chops from the pan and set aside on a plate.
Reduce the heat to medium, and add the sliced onion. If needed, add an additional 1-2 tablespoons of oil. Sauté the onions for 8-10 minutes, until cooked through and golden.
Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of flour across the onions and stir to combine. Add the chicken broth one big splash at a time, stirring well after each addition. Then, add the cream, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon of pepper.
Once the mixture comes to a simmer, nestle the pork chops and their juices to the gravy. Reduce the heat to maintain a slow simmer. Cook the pork chops in the gravy for 10-12 minutes, until cooked through.
If you do not have a ziplock bag, use a large shallow container and dredge the pork chops on each side.