How many times have you made pork chops that come out dry or just generally meh? It’s easier to reach for the steaks, right?
Pork chops are tough to nail because they are generally a lean cut. The lack of fat makes overcooking more likely, and when you do overcook them, pork chops are less forgiving than other types of meat.
A popular way to prepare and sell pork chops is to thinly cut them. Thin pork chops are generally known as pork cutlets, but cutlets can also refer to meat that’s been pounded down to create an even thinness (think schnitzel).
Either way, thin pork chops cook faster and absorb flavors and juices more thoroughly. And in my opinion, they are also easier to cook.
What to make with thin sliced pork chops
The possibilities with thin sliced pork are endless, but here are a few ideas:
- Chicken fried pork chops (southern breakfast style)
- Air fryer pork chops
- Glazed pork chops (e.g. orange marmalade)
- Baked pork chops
- Creamy skillet pork chops
- Grilled pork chops
Most of these preparation methods can be paired with your side or carb of choice. For example, you could serve glazed pork chops with sweet potatoes and asparagus or pork chops in a cream sauce over pasta.
14 awesome thin sliced pork chop recipes
Here are 14 of our all-time favorite ways to use pork chops. We included a variety of cuisines and preparation methods, so you can choose what sounds good to you.
This recipe from Craft Beering uses a quick sear, a delicious pan sauce, and brings the pork chops up to temp in the sauce to maximize tenderness and flavor. And with a sauce that’s made of honey, dijon mustard, and heavy cream, can you really go wrong?
2. Pork piccata
Feeling pasta? This pork piccata from Land O’ Lakes is bright and citrusy with a white wine deglaze. It also only takes a few minutes to whip up. Use fresh lemon juice, fresh parsley, and a dry white wine for the best results.
For something a bit more savory, try these garlic mushroom chops from What’s in the Pan. It’s not too far away from the pork piccata, but it’s less citrus-forward. They also have some nice cooking tips like patting the chops dry to create a better sear.
Loving your air fryer as much as I love mine? Try these air fryer pork chops from Winding Creek Ranch. It doesn’t get much easier than this — it’s just a spice rub and 10 minutes in the air fryer. You can add any sauce you want, though!
Whether it’s chicken fried steak, fried chicken, or southern fried pork chops, the South knows how to make a mean fry. Chef Billy Parisi gives you the ins and outs of true southern fried pork in this recipe. This has Saturday brunch written all over it!
Have some fresh basil on hand? Go for this creamy basil skillet from Fox and Briar. The red pepper and garlic really up the depth of this dish, and adding some sundried tomatoes would be delicious in this dish as well.
Easy does it sometimes! For a great starter recipe, you can plate with any side, try this thin pan-seared pork recipe from the New York Times.
This recipe from Cookin’ Canuck takes thin pork chops and treats them like a steak — garlic butter and all. I’d go ahead and make a whole log of compound butter if you are going to whip up some garlic rosemary butter. It never hurts to have some around!
To take pork in an Indian direction, try this delicious marinade from Bake Eat Repeat. Once you have the marinated pork, you can cook it pretty much any way you want to. Don’t skimp on the ginger, and I’d opt for grilling these if I were you.
The Crockpot Ladies are back with an extremely simple pork chop recipe. This is one of those recipes you make when you’re tired from the week and just want some comfort food without the effort. Just toss them in before you go to work on low and come back to deliciousness!
I have two giant bottles of hoisin in my fridge, and it’s safe to say I’m addicted. That sugary savoriness is so good on everything! Throw some ginger in and come on! It’s to die for. You’ll have to adjust the cooking times a bit on this recipe from The Modern Proper since they use larger chops, but it should work out just fine.
As good as Southern fried pork chops are, the Germans give the South a run for their money with Schnitzel. This recipe from Daring Gourmet is a great starter schnitzel recipe. It would be a blast to whip these up with some German sides alongside some good lagers and friends!
This is a great way to get delicious Chinese flavors on your dinner table. It’s a relatively simple sauce; if you make it once, you will be hooked. This recipe from Rasa Malaysia does a wonderful job of walking you through how to get delicious Chinese-fried pork at home.
The Spruce Eats always does stellar work, and if this recipe name doesn’t convince you to make pork chops, then I don’t know what will. Warning: naps are required after eating fried pork chops with white gravy, so plan accordingly.
Thin pork chops FAQ
Here are a few of the most common questions we hear about cooking thin pork chops.
How do you cook thin pork chops without drying them out?
The best advice may not be the most useful, but the real advice is to not overcook them. Thin pork chops are, well, thin! Bring them up about 5° under your desired temp (145° is the pork chop standard) and then let them sit. They will continue to cook while resting. You could also poke them a bit with the fork to help the juices settle but don’t cut into them until you let the meat rest for at least 5 minutes.
You could try lower heat methods like crockpots if you keep messing them up to give yourself a bigger window. You may just sacrifice a bit of sear caramelization when you do that.
And one last tip — check the temperature early! You can always cook something longer, but you can’t uncook something.
Where can you buy the best pork?
Mass production has been worse in terms of health and taste to pork than any other meat. Many producers pack their pork with additives like nitrates, nitrites, and tons of sugar. If you buy the cheapest pork, you will be eating the most unhealthy meat the industrial meat companies have to offer.
Our advice is to opt for more local producers or companies who exclusively work with small family farms that raise their pigs on pastures. Even if you have to eat less pork to pay the premium, the taste and health benefits you get from opting for more natural pork are worth it.
How do you pan-sear pork chops?
Get a cast iron going at medium-high and put a few drops of water in. If the water sizzles and rolls, you’re ready to go [*]. Add the oil or fat of your choice, and then sear it for 3-4 minutes on each side until the meat reaches a temp of 145 degrees or higher.
How do you slow cook pork chops?
The key to good slower cooker chops is starting with a sear to take advantage of the maillard reaction (what creates those delicious flavors!). Toss the chops in with whatever sauce you love and cook them for around 3 hours.
What’s the ideal cooking time for pork chops in the oven?
Generally speaking, after a short sear thinner chops from ½ inch to ¾ inch cook between 5 and 7 minutes in the oven, and thicker chops of 1 inch or more need between 8 and 12 minutes in the oven [*].
See what pork raised the right way tastes like
Supermarket pork pales in comparison to real, heritage pork raised on sustainable family farms. Pasture-raised pigs forage for food in open pastures and eat non-GMO feed, and the difference in taste and nutrition between pigs that aren’t given any antibiotics, GMOs, and growth hormones and ones that are is astounding.
Opt for the cleanest, tastiest, and most sustainable pork. It’s better for the planet, your body, and your taste buds.
Check out the cuts of heritage pork we currently have in stock.
Nathan Phelps owns and writes for Crafted Copy, a boutique copywriting shop that finds the perfect words for interesting products. He is also an ethical foodie, outdoors-aficionado, and hails from Nashville, TN. He splits his time between helping sustainable businesses find new customers and managing his ever-increasing list of hobbies, which include playing guitar, baking bread, and creating board games.