Perfectly Pan-Fried Pork Chops in 20 Minutes or Less
Pan-fried pork chops are a classic and satisfying meal that can be prepared quickly and easily. Pork chops are a versatile, affordable cut of meat that can be enjoyed any time of year and seasoned just the way you like. Here’s how I make quick and easy pan-fried pork chops in 20 minutes or less.
Also Read: BBQ Pork Chops, Sausage Sheet Pan Dinner, Pork and Green Bean Chili
I love how quick and easy these pork chops are. It makes them an ideal option for weeknights, but they’re also tasty enough for dinner with friends. If you haven’t tried basting your chops or steaks with butter as they’re finishing in the pan – try it. It’s an easy way to get a master chef quality finish.
What to serve with pan fried pork chops
Pan-fried pork chops are a versatile and delicious main dish that pairs well with a variety of side dishes. Here are some ideas for what to serve with pan-fried pork chops. I change it up depending on the season.
- Roasted vegetables: Roasting vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, or Brussels sprouts is an excellent way to add some color and nutrition to your meal. Simply toss the vegetables in olive oil and season with salt and pepper, then roast in the oven until tender and caramelized.
- Mashed potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes are a classic side dish that goes well with pork chops. You can make them with butter, milk, and your favorite seasonings, such as garlic, herbs, or cheese.
- Mashed Potato Patties: If you happen to have leftover mashed potatoes – make these patties!
- Salad: Pick a salad any salad! Citrus Salad, Spinach Salad, Carrot and Apple Salad, Caesar Salad
- Spaetzle & Gravy For a German take on things, make these German noodles, gravy and why not toss in some braised red cabbage.
- Sauteed mushrooms: Sauteed mushrooms are a delicious and earthy side dish that complement the rich flavor of pork chops. You can saute mushrooms in butter or olive oil with garlic and thyme for added flavor.
- Corn on the cob: Sweet corn on the cob is a classic side dish that pairs well with pork chops. You can grill or boil the corn and serve it with butter and salt.
- Frozen Vegetables – During winter, I’ll often add some Frozen Green Beans or Peas on the plate.
What kind of Pork Chops Work Best for Pan Frying?
Here are some common types of pork chops that can be used for pan frying. The thinner the chop the quicker they’ll cook and the greater the risk of chops being overcooked and becoming dry so watch carefully, things move quick once the pan is hot!
Bone-in pork chops: Bone-in pork chops are cut from the rib section of the pig and typically have a small bone on one side of the meat. They tend to be more flavorful and juicy than boneless pork chops because the bone helps to retain moisture during cooking. However, they will take longer to cook than boneless pork chops.
Boneless pork chops: Boneless pork chops are cut from the loin section of the pig and have had the bone removed. They cook faster than bone-in pork chops and are easier to eat, but they may not be as flavorful or juicy as bone-in pork chops. Basting with butter is a perfect solution!
When choosing pork chops, look for meat that is pinkish-red in color and has some marbling (small streaks of fat) throughout. Avoid pork that is gray or has a strong odor, as this may indicate that it is not fresh.
How to Prevent Over Cooking Pork Chops
Thin pork chops can be tricky! To avoid getting dry, tough chops, my best advice is to stay close, watch carefully and be prepared.
- Be prepared: Have everything you need ready to go. Once the chops are cooking, you won’t have time to prep anything else or to get platters, tongs, etc. Be ready!
- Get the pan hot and heat your oil before adding chops. When the chops hit the pan they should sizzle so the outside browns quickly.
- Resist the urge to flip the chops repeatedly. Put them in the pan and wait 2 minutes. If you’re pan is smoking or the chops are burning – turn down the heat and if you must, remove the chop. But in all other cases, you should only need to flip the chops once. Use a timer if needed. For pork chops over 3/4 inch use 3-4 minutes per side. To be sure, use a meat thermometer and check for internal temperature of 155°F (68°C) (Canadian recommendations) or 145°F (63°C) (US recommendations).🤔 You decide!
- Baste with butter. That last two minutes of basting with butter adds amazing flavour and ensures the chops are juicy and cooked all the way through.
- Resting your chops after cooking is key. This helps the fibers of the meat relax and soak up the juices, resulting in a tender, juicy pork chop. Take out of the hot skillet and cover.
How to store or freeze pan fried pork chops
If you have leftover pan-fried pork chops, store them properly to ensure they stay fresh and safe to eat. Here are some tips for storing and freezing pan-fried pork chops:
- Refrigerating pan-fried pork chops: Allow the pork chops to cool to room temperature before storing them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. To reheat, slice and pan fry just to heat through.
- Freezing pan-fried pork chops: Allow the pork chops to cool to room temperature before wrapping tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Then, place them in a freezer-safe zip-top bag or container and label with the date. Pan-fried pork chops can be frozen for up to 2-3 months. To reheat, thaw the pork chops in the refrigerator overnight . Slice and pan fry until just heated through.
- Note: The texture and flavor of pan-fried pork chops may change slightly after being frozen and reheated. You can also use cold, thinly sliced pork chops on top of salads, sandwiches, grain bowls or in wraps.
Recipe for Pan-Fried Pork Chop
Quick and Easy Pan Fried Pork Chops
- 4 pork chops
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 black pepper
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 4 cloves garlic cut in half lengthwise
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 4 twigs of fresh thyme
- Remove the pork chops from the refrigerator and let them sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes to help them cook evenly.
- Pat pork chops dry with paper towel. Season both sides of the pork chops with salt, pepper and paprika or your favourite spice mix (see ideas in notes).
- Heat a large, thick-bottomed skillet until it is hot. Add oil and heat. Once oil is hot, add pork chops, reduce heat to medium and cook for 2-3 minutes per side (3-4 min for thick cut chops). Do not crowd the pan, cook in batches if needed.
- Reduce heat to medium. Add butter, garlic and fresh thyme to pan. As it melts and garlic releases its flavour use a spoon to baste the pork chops with the melted butter. This happens quickly and should only take about 2 minutes.
- Remove the pork chops from the skillet and let them rest for a few minutes before serving.
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
Other Seasoning Ideas
Here are four seasoning ideas to try:
- Italian: Mix together dried oregano, dried basil, dried thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper. Make a blend for your pantry – Homemade Italian Seasoning.
- Cajun: Mix together paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, dried thyme, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Make a blend for your pantry – Homemade Cajun Seasoning.
- Lemon and Herb: Mix together lemon zest, dried thyme, dried basil, salt, and black pepper. Make a blend for your pantry – Homemade Lemon Herb Seasoning.
- Smoky Paprika: Mix together smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, dried thyme, salt, and black pepper. A smoky version of the Cajun seasoning.
These seasoning ideas are just a starting point, and you can adjust the amounts and types of seasonings to your liking. With a little experimentation, you can create your own signature seasoning blend for pan-fried pork chops.
Getty Stewart is a Professional Home Economist, speaker, frequent media guest and writer dedicated to putting good food on tables and agendas. She is the author of several recipe books on enjoying and preserving fruit, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener. Sign up to get articles by Getty delivered to your inbox. You’ll get recipes, practical tips and great food information like this.