Smothered Pork Chops Recipe (one pan!)
Smothered pork chops are pure comfort food! Thick bone-in pork chops are pan seared, and then smothered in a delicious creamy onion and mushroom sauce.
You’ll love these juicy pork chops, simmered in a rich creamy sauce with lots of sweet onions and earthy mushrooms. It’s a perfect dinner for serving to guests or for a tranquil Sunday dinner. Yet this pork chop recipe is easy enough to enjoy on weeknights, too. Doesn’t it look so homey and inviting?
What about that word smothered? It can have heavy connotations like feeling choked, overwhelmed, or suffocated. Let’s think in culinary terms: Our smothered pork chops are enveloped, surrounded, heaped, and blanketed with loads of creamy flavorful gravy, mushrooms, and onions.
Say no to dry, boring pork chops and say hello to Southern comfort. Smother your pork chops in love, or in this case, cream. Wait, maybe that’s the same thing!
About these smothered pork chops:
This recipe for smothered pork chops isn’t difficult but takes a bit of time, about forty minutes. You’ll need a large heavy skillet with a lid, a sharp knife and a cutting board. The complete directions are on the recipe card below, of course.
Begin by prepping the onions and mushrooms, and measuring out the other ingredients. Season the pork chops liberally with salt and pepper. Don’t go too light on the salt because it helps season and tenderize the meat.
Ready? Here we go! Heat the skillet to medium high heat, add the butter, and sear the pork chops, about three to four minutes per side. It’s better not to overcrowd the pan so do this step in batches. Adding pork chops all at once cools the pan down so much that it’s hard to get a nice golden brown sear. If you have a large cast iron skillet, you may find that the cast iron retains the heat so well that you have to lower the heat a bit.
Once the pork chops are golden brown on both sides but not cooked all the way through, remove them to a plate for now. Reduce the heat and add the onions, mushrooms (if using), and garlic. You’ll want to sauté them about ten minutes, until they’re soft and translucent.
Add a few tablespoons of flour and cook, stirring constantly, for a couple of minutes. The flour will coat the onions in the pan and look pretty sticky but that’s okay, it’s there to thicken the sauce.
Add broth, a half cup at a time, stirring and scraping any brown bits off the bottom of the skillet. The broth and flour will form a nice sauce.
Finally, over low heat, stir in heavy cream, and nestle the pork chops into the sauce. It doesn’t matter if they overlap a bit.
Add fresh thyme to the pan, and put the cover on. Let the pork chops simmer for ten to fifteen minutes or until they’re done (145°F).
Oh, they look so lovely smothered in that delicious creamy sauce! Bring on the mashed potatoes and green beans, we’re ready to eat!
What you need
- Pork Chops: Choose thick cut pork chops, with the bone in for best results. They’ll be more tender and flavorful than thin, boneless pork chops.
- Butter: The butter is not only used to sauté the vegetables, but also adds great flavor. Stick with butter and do not use margarine.
- Vegetables and Seasonings: This is a fairly classic smothered pork chop recipe and uses onions, mushrooms (optional), and garlic. See our tips in the Make it Your Own section if you’d like to try different vegetables.
- Flour: Flour is used to thicken the sauce. All-purpose works best but white whole wheat or a 1:1 gluten-free flour should work as well.
- Chicken Broth: We recommend using reduced-sodium or salt free so that you can control the amount of salt in the final product.
- Heavy Cream: The addition of heavy cream makes the sauce so good! You could probably get away with half and half, but do not substitute milk. It won’t taste as good, and due to the lower fat content, will likely curdle when exposed to higher heat.
- Fresh Thyme: If you don’t have fresh, dried thyme will also work. Reduce the amount by half if using dried herbs.
What sides go with pork chops?
You’ll want to serve smothered pork chops with something to soak up all that great sauce or you may notice guests surreptitiously spooning it out of the pan into their mouths. I like Instant Pot mashed potatoes or jasmine rice. Noodles or Parmesan herb spaghetti squash would be wonderful, too. Couscous is a really fast and delicious option.
Looking for a great green bean recipe to accompany the smothered pork chops? Try green beans Almondine or roasted green beans with Parmesan and basil. Roasted broccoli, Brussels sprouts, or sweet potatoes would be fantastic, too.
How to make this pork chop recipe your own:
- Use boneless pork chops. They won’t be quite as tender as bone-in but are still a good alternative. Always use thick-cut pork chops for this recipe. Thin pork chops will dry out too quickly.
- Omit the mushrooms if you’re not a fungi fan. Finely diced carrots work well, too. Stir in green peas right before serving.
- Looking for a lactose free recipe? Sauté the pork in olive oil and omit the cream. The sauce is delicious without it, too.
- Instead of thyme, stir in tarragon, rosemary, sage, or oregano.
If you have leftover pork chops, store them with any leftover sauce in the fridge for up to two days. The sauce will help keep the pork from drying out.
When reheating, simmer gently in a skillet until the pork is heated through or in the microwave. If necessary, add a bit of water, cream, or broth to thin the sauce. Reheating on the stovetop will yield better results and is less likely to result in dry, tough meat.
Creamy sauces do not typically freeze well. Omit the cream if you plan on freezing this meal and stir it in while you are reheating the pork.
More delicious pork recipes
Pork is a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals and, eaten in moderation, helps to build and maintain healthy muscle tissue (according to WebMD). Here’s some tasty pork recipes:
- Grilled Pork Kabobs with Apples
- Breaded Air Fryer Pork Chops
- Pork Medallions with Lemon Garlic Sauce
- Pork Tenderloin with Apples and Onions
- Breaded Oven Baked Pork Chops with Herbs and Parmesan
- Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Pork Loin with Balsamic Glaze
- Instant Pot Carnitas
- Instant Pot Pork Loin Roast
- Whole30 Sausage — make your own with ground pork and apples
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 2 pounds bone-in, thick-cut, pork chops (4-6 depending on how large they are)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 medium sweet onions, sliced into ¼ -inch half-moons
- 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
- 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 4-6 sprigs fresh thyme
- Season the pork chops liberally with salt and pepper.
- Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Place the pork chops in the pan and sear until a nice golden crust forms, about 3-4 minutes per side (cook in batches if necessary). Remove the pork chops from the pan and set aside on a plate.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the onions, mushrooms, and garlic. Sauté until tender, caramel in color, and glossy, about 10 minutes.
- Add the flour, cook and stir for 2 minutes. The onions will become very thick as the flour and juices form a paste.
- Add ½ cup chicken broth and stir, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan as you go. When the sauce thickens, add another ½ cup of broth, and stir. Continue this until you’ve used all of the broth. Increase heat to medium-high if necessary during this process to maintain a simmer.
- Lower heat to medium-low, add the heavy cream, and stir to combine.
- Return the pork chops to the pan and nestle into the sauce, overlapping if necessary. Add thyme sprigs, cover the pan, and simmer on medium-low heat until the pork is cooked through about 10-15 minutes. The internal temperature should reach 145°F.
- Remove thyme stems, serve with gravy spooned over the top.
- Substitute boneless pork chops, if desired. They won't be quite as tender as bone-in but are still a good alternative. Always use thick-cut pork chops for this recipe. Thin pork chops will dry out too quickly.
- Omit the mushrooms if you're not a fungi fan. Finely diced carrots work well, too. Stir in green peas right before serving.
- Lactose free: Sauté the pork in olive oil and omit the cream. The sauce is delicious without it, too.
- Instead of thyme, stir in tarragon, rosemary, sage, or oregano.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1/2 lb. pork
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 493Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 144mgSodium: 1421mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 3gSugar: 11gProtein: 35g
RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.