These Oven-Baked Pork Chops come out perfectly juicy every time, with delicious flavor from garlic, lemon, and herbs. You only need 30 minutes and 5 ingredients for this low-carb recipe. The pork chops are pan-seared briefly and finished in the oven. And the luscious white wine and butter pan sauce, while optional, is so easy to make!
I don’t know how I don’t have a pork chops recipe on the blog already, but better late than never! I love how fast and easy pork chops are to make. They’re a lean, healthy protein, they’re inexpensive, and such a crowd pleaser!
These oven-baked pork chops are quick and easy enough to make for a casual weeknight dinner but delicious enough to serve for a dinner party or special occasion, especially with the pan sauce drizzled on top.
Pan-searing the chops before baking creates texture and flavor for a perfectly cooked, tender, juicy pork chop every time. And the flavor of the fresh lemon, garlic, oregano, and thyme are the perfect complements to the pork, which is somewhat bland on its own.
Here’s how to make this super easy 5-ingredient (besides oil, salt, and pepper), 30 minute recipe!
Use an oven-safe skillet
I recommend using a large oven-safe skillet for this recipe. Stainless steel and cast iron skillets are both great for this. I used this Calphalon tri ply 12-inch skillet. A lodge cast iron skillet is an inexpensive alternative and just as effective.
You may be able to use a 10-inch skillet, but I prefer a 12 inch to give the chops more room (which will develop a better sear and more even baking).
Why oven-safe? Fewer dishes, of course! You’ll pan-sear the chops in the same skillet you bake them in. As an added bonus, if you choose to make the pan sauce, it will be super flavorful because of all the juices and bits that get left in the pan and incorporated into the sauce.
What if I don’t have an oven-safe skillet?
You can still make this recipe! After searing the pork chops, just transfer them to a baking dish to finish in the oven. Easy peasy.
Alternatively, you can finish them on the stovetop, covered in the same skillet, over medium or medium-low heat.
How to make oven-baked pork chops
A quick stovetop sear, followed by a brief bake in the oven is how you make the juiciest, tastiest pork chops! Here are the details.
- First, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
- Then, prep all your ingredients and season the pork with plenty of salt and pepper on both sides. This recipe moves very quickly, so you want to have everything prepped ahead of time. Mince the garlic, zest and slice the lemon, and chop the fresh herbs (or measure out the dry).
- Heat an oven-safe skillet until very hot over medium-high to high heat. Stainless steel heats faster, so you may only need to heat it for 30 seconds to a minute. Cast iron can take a few minutes to fully heat. You will know it’s heated when it’s hard to hold your hand 1″ over the surface of the skillet for more than a few seconds.
- Add oil to the skillet and swirl to coat. Or use a spatula. Make sure that all parts are covered- if your skillet comes up in the center a bit, you may need a bit more.
- Place the pork chops in the skillet and sear for 2-3 minutes on medium-high or high heat, depending on your burners. Be careful of splatters! A splatter screen is helpful.
- While the pork chops are searing, season the other side with garlic, herbs, and lemon zest. I just kind of sprinkled them on from a distance because of splatters- it’s OK if it’s not super evenly distributed.
- Flip the chops and season the seared side, and turn off the heat. You’ll know the sear is complete when they release easily from the pan. If they are sticking, they probably need more time. (You can also slide a spatula underneath to give them a boost with loosening if you need to.)
- Place the lemon wedges around the pork chops in the skillet, and slide into the oven. Bake for 10-15 minutes, and you’re done!
- Let the pork chops rest for a few minutes before serving- this will help redistribute the juices and keep the moist.
How to make the pan sauce
If you’re in a hurry, you can skip the pan sauce. But y’all, it’s SO DELICIOUS, and really easy to make in only a few minutes while the pork chops are resting! Here’s how.
- First and foremost, be sure to use potholders or a handle cover on the skillet. It’s easy to forget it’s searing hot from the oven and grab it absentmindedly!
- Remove the pork and lemon wedges from the skillet. When you remove the lemon wedges from the skillet, use tongs to squeeze as much lemon juice out and back into the skillet as you can.
- Return the skillet to the stovetop over medium high heat. Add white wine and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned stuck on bits from the bottom of the skillet.
- Add chicken stock and simmer until the liquid has reduced enough that it’s thickened quite a bit. This is usually about half the liquid (and it may take a full 5-10 minutes to reduce enough).
- Once the liquid has thickened, turn off the heat and add a tablespoon of butter to the skillet to melt in while stirring.
When serving, spoon the pan sauce on top of the pork and other food you’re serving with, like mashed potatoes.
And if you’re skipping the pan sauce, you can always go the applesauce route to serve with the pork (I personally did both, my kids loved it!). They’d also be delicious drizzled with honey mustard dressing, especially leftover in a salad.
Why do I have to sear the pork chops?
If you’re wondering why you have to sear the pork chops on the stovetop and not just stick them in the oven, I hear you. Here’s why.
The sear provides lots of texture and flavor for the otherwise boring pork chop. I think searing, THEN baking, is the best way to make oven-baked pork chops.
That said, you can also make oven-baked pork chops without searing!
What kind of pork chops should I use?
I recommend boneless, thick-cut pork chops for this recipe. At least 1″ thick is ideal. Boneless will mean they will cook up quickly, but thick-cut will make sure they don’t cook up so quickly that they dry out.
That said, you can definitely use bone-in pork chops- they just will take longer to cook in the oven (as a bonus, bone-in meat is often much juicier, like with this bone-in BBQ chicken recipe). They are also larger, so you’ll definitely need a large skillet, or you may need to sear in two batches and transfer to a baking dish.
If you use thin-cut pork chops for this, I recommend skipping baking them in the oven all together and instead finishing cooking them in a covered skillet on the stovetop. Reduce the seasoning as well.
- Use dried herbs instead of fresh – use 1 teaspoon each of oregano and thyme, or 2 teaspoons of one of the other. Or, use two teaspoons Herbs de Provence or another savory mixture.
- Lemon may be omitted if you don’t have one.
- Extra chicken stock can be used as a substitute for the wine in the pan sauce.
- Butter may be omitted or replaced with ghee for a dairy-free pan sauce.
What to serve with oven-baked pork chops
- Southern-Style Green Beans
- Quick and Easy Dinner Rolls
- Twice Baked Potatoes
- Broccoli Salad
- Classic Mashed Potatoes or Mashed Cauliflower
- Cucumber Tomato Feta Salad
Other easy main course meat recipes
- Creamy Chicken and Mushrooms
- Easy Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy
- Dutch Oven Whole Roast Chicken with Lemon, Garlic, and Rosemary
- Pan-Seared Steak with Brown Butter Sauce
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Juicy Oven-Baked Pork Chops with Garlic and Herbs
- 12-inch Oven-Safe Skillet
- 4 boneless center cut pork chops about 1" thick
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or other high-heat oil like canola
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 lemon zested and cut into wedges
For optional pan sauce:
- 1/2 cup dry white wine such as sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, or pinot grigio
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F and place an oven rack in the center. Pat the pork chops dry with a paper towel and season evenly on all sides with the kosher salt (1 teaspoon) and black pepper (1/2 teaspoon).
- Heat an oven-safe skillet on high or medium-high heat, depending on your burners, until very hot. This will take only 30 seconds or so with stainless steel, but up to 5 minutes with cast iron. (to test, you shouldn't be able to hold your hand a couple inches over the skillet's surface for more than a few seconds.)
- Add the oil (2 tablespoons) and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan (or use a spatula to evenly distribute it). Add the pork chops to the skillet and allow to sear, undisturbed, for 2 minutes. While they are searing, sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the fresh oregano and thyme (or less than 1/2 teaspoon if using dried), once minced clove of garlic, and half the lemon zest on the top side of the pork chops.
- Turn off the heat on the burner and flip the pork chops. (Tip: they should release easily from the bottom of the skillet- if they don't, they may need more time searing.) With the seared side facing up, sprinkle the remainder of the fresh herbs, minced garlic, and lemon zest on top of the pork chops. Place the lemon wedges in the spaces around the pork chops. Slide skillet onto center oven rack and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until internal temperature is 145 degrees F (cooking time will vary depending on thickness and oven temperature).
- Remove pork chops to a plate or cutting board and allow to rest for 5 minutes (tent with foil if resting for longer than that to keep them warm).
Optional pan sauce
- When you remove the pork chops and lemons, use tongs to squeeze as much lemon juice out of the slices as you can into the skillet. While the pork chops are resting, return the skillet to the stovetop on medium-high heat. Important: use a handle cover or potholders when touching the handle- it's easy to forget it's been in the oven all this time!
- Add the white wine (1/2 cup) and use a wooden spoon or metal spatula to deglaze and scrape up any stuck-on bits from the bottom of the skillet.
- Pour in the chicken stock (1/2 cup) and simmer until about half the liquid has evaporated and the sauce has thickened (about 2 minutes).
- Turn off heat and add the butter (1 tablespoon) to the skillet. Stir until it's melted into the sauce. Spoon sauce over the pork chops (and any other accoutrements, such as mashed potatoes) to serve.
- If you don’t have an oven safe skillet, sear the pork chops in whatever skillet you have and transfer to a baking dish to finish in the oven. Alternatively, you could turn the heat to medium or medium-low after you’ve seared the top side, cover the skillet, and allow them to finish cooking on the stovetop.
- Ingredient substitutions: all oregano or all thyme may be used, Herbs de Provence or another savory herb mix may be substituted for dried oregano and thyme, bone-in pork chops may be substituted for boneless but they will likely need more baking time, more chicken stock may be substituted for the white wine in the pan sauce, butter may be omitted or ghee used for a dairy-free substitute in the pan sauce.
- I don’t recommend using thin-cut pork chops for this recipe, because they cook so fast. If you do want to use them, I recommend finishing them right in the skillet, covered, over medium heat, rather than baking them.
- Serving suggestion: I love serving these with mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower with the pan sauce drizzled over everything.