Stuffed Pork Chops evoke soul-soothing, nostalgic feelings that I (a victim of decades of dry, overcooked chops) didn’t think this cut of meat could.
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Exceptionally moist and stuffed with a mixture of herbs and breadcrumbs that reminds me of Thanksgiving stuffing in the best possible way, this homey recipe will have you asking yourself why you don’t cook pork chops more often.
Over the last few months, I’ve been tinkering with proteins that carry the (often deserved) reputation of being bland, rubbery, and dry.
My goal: unlock the secrets to transforming them into tender, pleasurable, healthy meals.
We’ve covered some excellent ground so far.
Grilled Pork Chops taught us about brining (salting meat to lock in its moisture).
And now, we’ve arrived at one of my absolute favorite ways to cook moist, tender meat AND infuse it with restaurant-worthy flavor at the same time: stuffing.
- Slicing a pocket into the pork chops, then filling it with a moist, savory mixture of breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and herbs insulates the meat from within as it cooks.
- Stuffing has the added bonus of giving you tasty bites of filling with every forkful.
The Coziest Stuffing for Pork Chops
While I usually lean Italian/cheesy with my fillings (like this Stuffed Pork Tenderloin and this Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breast), rather than default to Italian stuffed pork chops, I felt a pull towards something that felt more snug and tucked-in, as if my dinner were taking care of me from the inside-out.
Of all herbs in my pantry, nothing says “let me hug you” quite like sage.
Sage is also a wonderful pairing with pork.
Combined with breadcrumbs and Parmesan, my first bite of this pork gave me the sensation that I was eating stuffed pork chops with stuffing at a family holiday dinner.
Fans of Stovetop stuffing, you are especially going to love this recipe. It’s simple, herby, and sublime!
How to Make Stuffed Pork Chops
Stuffing sounds fancy, but it’s surprisingly easy and the results are superb. My kind of recipe win-win!
This recipe comes together in three parts:
- Make the filling in a skillet, then stuff the pork chops.
- Sear the outsides of the pork to give them color, a pleasing exterior texture, and additional layer of flavor.
- Baked the stuffed pork chops in the oven covered with foil.
Baking the pork on a rack in a roasting pan with a little bit of water and covering the pork chops with foil creates a mega moist environment and allows the chops to cook through without drying out.
- Pork Chops. You can use pork loin chops or pork rib chops. For best results, make sure the chops are thick and choose bone-in.
Types of Pork Chops
Pork chops come in a variety of cuts, and their names are not always standardized.
The good news is just about any thick-cut, bone-in pork chop works well for stuffing!
- Loin Chop. These come from the hip and loin and sometimes contain some of the pork tenderloin. (Also called: Center-cut loin chop, pork loin end chop, porterhouse, or top-loin chop.)
- Rib Chop. Cut from the lower loin. These are tender and have a little more fat than loin chops. (Also called: Center-cut rib chop, pork rib cut chop, pork chop end cut, or rib end cut.)
- Blade Chop. Cut from the shoulder. These are the fattiest of all of the cuts and have the darkest meat. (Also called: blade chop, blade-end chop, pork shoulder chop, or pork shoulder blade steak.)
- Boneless Chops. These can be thick- or thin-cut. They are essentially rib or loin chops from which the bone has been removed.
I recommend using bone-in pork chops, as the bone helps create more moist results and flavors the meat.
Personally, I prefer to cook stuffed pork loin or pork rib chops, as these two cuts are the most lean.
- Sage. A pinch of rubbed sage is the secret to the stuffing’s welcome hominess.
- Shallot. Sauteing shallot with butter creates a flavorful base for the stuffing.
Shallots are closely related to onions, garlic, and chives. To substitute shallot, use 1/2 of a yellow onion or sweet onion.
- Breadcrumbs. I used Italian seasoned breadcrumbs for an herby touch with zero extra effort.
For an extra nutritional boost, use whole wheat Italian breadcrumbs if you can find them (our grocery store sells them next to the regular breadcrumbs).
- Egg. This might sound a little surprising, but adding an egg to the breadcrumb stuffing at the end helps thicken and moisten it (just like when you add eggs to regular stuffing).
- Parmesan Cheese. A nutty, salty touch that gives the filling nuance.
- Flour. Dredging (a.k.a. coating) the pork chops in flour before searing the outsides gives them a scrumptious, golden brown exterior.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Dry the chops with paper towels, then season both sides with salt and pepper.
- In a cast iron skillet, heat butter and olive oil, then sauté shallots and sage.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and add the Parmesan and breadcrumbs.
- Then stir in the beaten egg quickly so that it cooks and moistens the breadcrumbs.
- Cut a pocket in each pork chop that is 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide and not all the way through.
- Fill each pocket with 1/4 of the breadcrumb mixture and close with toothpicks.
- Dredge each pork chop with flour, then brown on both sides until lightly golden, about 3 minutes per side.
- In a roasting pan, either on a rack above a small bit of water or on an aluminum foil ring, each ensuring the chop does not touch the pan, bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until an internal temperature of 135 F (the temperature will rise as the pork rests).
Don’t Overcook Your Pork
- Stuffed pork chops should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F.
- Since the pork’s temperature will continue to rise as it rests, I typically remove my pork from the oven at 135 degrees F. The carryover cooking takes it to temperature and I have never had my pork underdone.
- The best way to test the temperature of your pork and other meat is with an instant read thermometer.
Pair pork chops with fruity red such as Pinot Noir or Merlot; for white, try a dry Riesling.
What to Serve with Stuffed Pork Chops
- Rice. For a classic pairing, serve stuffed pork chops with rice. Lemon Rice is an excellent everyday option. For something more elevated, try Wild Rice Stuffing.
- Sauteed Vegetables. While the pork chops bake in the oven, whip up Sauteed Brussels Sprouts or Sauteed Cabbage.
- Potatoes. Since the oven will be busy, use a different appliance. Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes or Crockpot Sweet Potatoes would both hit the spot!
- To Store. Refrigerate leftover pork chops in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
- To Reheat. Gently rewarm pork chops in the air fryer or oven at 350 degrees F, in the microwave, or in a skillet on the stove.
- To Freeze. Freeze leftover pork chops in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Meal Prep Tip
Prepare the stuffing and cut a pocket in the porkchops up to 1 day in advance; store separately in the refrigerator.
You can also fully stuff the pork 1 day in advance. Let come to room temperature prior to continuing with the recipe.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Instant Thermometer. Super accurate, in my experience, for oven and grilling temperatures.
- Paring Knife. One-piece carbon blade for a lighter weight without sacrificing strength.
- Roasting Pan. With a chrome-plated raised rack, this pan is perfect for this recipe!
The Best Cast Iron Skillet
This 12-inch pan’s smooth enamel bottom and matter texture creates exceptional browning. Staub is one-of-a-kind and needs no additional seasoning.
Did you make this recipe?
Let me know what you thought!
Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked the recipe.
Thanks to three nights of recipe testing in a row, I think just about every one of our neighbors has tasted these stuffed pork chops.
All votes are in firmly in favor. I hope these stuffed pork chops are as a big a hit with your family as they are on our block!
Stuffed Pork Chops
- 4 bone-in pork loin chops about 1 1/2-inch thick (or swap pork rib chops)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large shallot finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon dry rubbed sage
- 1/2 cup Italian seasoned whole wheat breadcrumbs
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- Place rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Remove pork chops from the refrigerator and pat very dry with paper towels. Season on both sides with the salt and pepper. Set aside.
Heat the butter and olive oil in a large, oven safe skillet (such as a cast iron skillet) over medium-high heat. Once the butter melts, add the shallot and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in the sage.
Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the breadcrumbs and Parmesan.
Then, stir in the beaten egg. Push the mixture around in the skillet quickly so that the egg cooks and moistens the breadcrumbs.
Make a pocket in each pork chop. Insert the point of a small, sharp knife horizontally into the fat-covered edge (the edge opposite the bone). Place your other hand on top. Carefully move the knife back and forth to create a deep pocket that is 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide. Do not cut all the way through.
Using a small spoon or your fingers, fill each pocket with one-quarter of the breadcrumb mixture. Secure the pocket openings with toothpicks.
- Place the flour in a shallow bowl or pie dish. Working one at a time, dredge each pork chop with flour, shaking off any excess.
With a clean paper towel, carefully wipe out the skillet you used for the stuffing. Heat the canola oil in the skillet over medium high. Once the oil is hot, swirl to coat the pan. Brown the pork chops on both sides until lightly golden, about 3 minutes per side. Work in batches as needed, ensuring that the chops do not touch as they cook or they won’t brown properly. (I was able to cook 2 chops at a time in my 12-inch cast iron skillet.)
Pour a little water into a roasting pan or baking dish so that it fills the bottom of the dish with a thin layer. Place a rack inside (if you don’t have a rack that fits into your dish, make rings out of aluminum foil that are large enough to rest chops on so that the chops don’t touch the bottom of the pan—you’ll need one ring per chop). Place the chops on the rack (or rings) and cover with a lid (if you have one) or aluminum foil.
- Bake the stuffed pork chops for 25 to 35 minutes, until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat (not the stuffing or touching bone) registers 135 degrees F. (Pork is considered safe to eat at 145 degrees F, but the temperature will rise as the pork rests. DO NOT over cook or your chops will be dry.)
- Transfer the chops to a serving plate. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Enjoy!
- TO STORE: Refrigerate leftover pork chops in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
- TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm pork chops in the air fryer or oven at 350 degrees F, in the microwave, or in a skillet on the stove.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze leftover pork chops in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
READ: Stuffed Pork Chops