Ready to make the house smell like Thanksgiving... on a weeknight? These Baked Stuffed Pork Chops come loaded with a stuffing that's delicious enough to be the star of the show all on its lonesome. Plus, we're going to be sharing our simple secret to the most tender pork ever!
We considered pan-searing the pork chops in a cast iron skillet to get a little extra color and flavor going on them. However, we wanted this recipe to be just as much about the stuffing, as it was about the pork. Ultimately, we decided in order to help you keep that stuffing fully intact, without the risk of losing any to the pan sear, a simple brine, and an easy oven-bake were the way to go.
This recipe uses fresh, real ingredients, comes together super easily, the pork is perfectly cooked, and the ultra-savory stuffing is to die for. On top of that, the method we use makes it nearly impossible to overcook the chops so it's a stress-free meal. What more could you ask for?
As you can probably already tell, we take our pork chops pretty seriously around here. If you share the sentiment, we have plenty more where this came from! For more easy pork chop dinners, try our Pork Chops With Mushroom Gravy and our Smothered Pork Chops!
HOW TO MAKE STUFFED PORK CHOPS
The first thing you will do to make the most delicious Stuffed Pork Chops ever is mix up a brine.
Pork chops are already notorious for drying out in the oven, but when you butterfly them (essentially turning them into two very thin chops) you run the risk of really dry pork! This is where the brine comes in handy. The purpose of the brine is to add flavor and retain moisture within the meat.
If you've never made a brine before, fret not; it is extremely easy to make. It is a solution of salt, sugar, and water that has been heated until the sugar and salt have dissolved. However, you do want to take care to use Kosher salt only. Using a standard table salt or even fine sea salt will cause these pork chops to be far too salty!
To make the brine, all you have to do is combine brown sugar, salt, and water in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir every now and again, and as soon as the sugar and the salt have dissolved, remove your brine from the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature. Do not add your pork chops to a warm brine.
Once the brine has cooled, add the boneless pork chops straight to the saucepan, cover with plastic wrap, and transfer to the refrigerator for at least four or up to eight hours.
The thickness of your pork chops is pretty much always important in a recipe, but in a stuffed pork chop recipe, the thickness is very important. You will find it rather difficult to cut a pocket into a pork chop that is any less than ¾ inch thick. For this reason, your pork chops should be at least ¾ of an inch thick or up to 1 inch thick.
One last thing to know about the chops: You can use bone-in pork chops for this recipe, but you will likely need to extend the cooking time.
Once the time is up, you can remove your pork chops from the refrigerator, take them out of the brine, and set them aside to remove the chill while you make the stuffing!
Rather than using a super-processed, box mix stuffing, we will make fresh stuffing with fresh vegetables and herbs. The flavor will be phenomenal, and you will definitely taste the difference in your Stuffed Pork Chops!
Let's start with the vegetables. For the vegetables, you will need diced yellow onion and celery. Sauté the onion and celery with butter in a large saute pan. Once the onion and celery have softened, add them to a medium size mixing bowl, and it's on to the bread.
For a legitimately delicious stuffed pork chop, we are using bakery bread over bread crumbs. You'll want to have somewhat stale, white bakery bread bought 2 to 3 days in advance. If the bread is fresh, your stuffing will taste soggy.
You can either dice or tear the white bread into bite-size pieces, taking care to avoid the crust. Add your bread to a medium size mixing bowl, along with low sodium or unsalted chicken broth, chopped parsley, fresh minced sage, fresh minced thyme, salt, and pepper. Mix until these ingredients are evenly combined and set aside.
The next step is to cut a pocket in the center of the pork chops.
To prepare the pork chops, use paper towels to pat them dry and lay them flat on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to begin slicing through the center of the pork chop, and stop the cut about a half inch to the end.
Once your pockets are ready, stuff the pork chops, dividing the stuffing evenly among them.
Transfer the Stuffed Pork Chops to a rimmed baking sheet fitted with an oven-safe cooking rack and set them aside while you make an herbed rub to top them off. If you do not have an oven-safe rack, you can use just the rimmed baking sheet or a casserole baking dish for this recipe.
The herbed rub consists of fresh sage, fresh thyme, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Mix all of these ingredients together in a small bowl, and using a spoon, divide the mixture over the top of your pork chops. Use the back of the spoon to spread the herb mixture across the face of each chop and transfer to the oven to bake at 375°F for 20 to 25 minutes.
Your Stuffed Pork Chops are ready when a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the pork chop registers an internal temperature of 145°F for medium-rare or up to 160°F for a well-done chop.
6 MORE PORK RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops
- Baked Pork Chops
- Pork Steaks
- Pork Loin Roast
- Skillet Pork Chops With Apples and Bacon
- Pork Tenderloin
These Stuffed Pork Chops are oh-so-savory and full of fresh ingredients! They have a gourmet feel but are simple enough for a weeknight!
- 4 cups water
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 2 tablespoons Kosher salt, plus 2 ½ teaspoons, separated
- 4-6 1" thick-cut, boneless pork chops
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- ½ yellow onion, finely diced
- 2 stalks of celery, finely diced
- 1 ½ cup day-old white bakery bread, shredded into small, bite-sized pieces
- ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 3 ½ teaspoon fresh, minced sage, separated
- 2 ½ teaspoons fresh, minced thyme
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, separated
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Add the water, sugar, and 2 tablespoons of Kosher salt to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir until the sugar dissolves and remove from the heat. Allow to cool completely.
Once the pan and the brine have cooled completely, add the pork chops, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4-8 hours.
Once the time is up, remove the pork chops from the brine and set aside to remove the chill. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
In the meantime, make the stuffing. Add the butter to a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Do not allow the butter to burn. Add the onion and celery. Cook, stirring often until softened, about 6-8 minutes.
Transfer the onion and celery to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add in the bread, broth, parsley, 1 ½ teaspoon sage, 1 ½ teaspoon thyme, ½ teaspoon salt, and scant ¼ teaspoon pepper. Mix until the bread is moistened and the ingredients are evenly mixed. Set the stuffing aside.
Pat the pork chops dry with a paper towel and transfer them to a work surface. Cut a pocket in the center of the pork chop, stopping about a ½" from the end.
Add the stuffing to the pork chops, evenly dividing it among them, and transfer to the rack.
In a small bowl, combine 2 teaspoons minced sage, 1 teaspoon minced thyme, 2 teaspoons Kosher salt, and ¾ teaspoon black pepper. Add the oil and mix with a small spoon until moistened. Spoon the herbed rub over the top of the pork chops, and rub with the back of the spoon to cover.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the pork chops are fully cooked through.