Classic Southern Smothered Pork Chops

Smothered pork chop recipe

​The Spruce

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 55 mins
Total: 65 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 4 chops
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
658 Calories
28g Fat
52g Carbs
46g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 658
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 28g 36%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 142mg 47%
Sodium 611mg 27%
Total Carbohydrate 52g 19%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 46g
Vitamin C 3mg 14%
Calcium 93mg 7%
Iron 4mg 20%
Potassium 706mg 15%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Smothered pork chops are a Southern comfort classic of pan-fried pork chops covered in a creamy, savory onion gravy. Easy to make, these chops will be on the dinner table in less than an hour. This juicy recipe is great over white rice, mashed potatoes, or cauliflower mash to soak up the delicious sauce. Alternatively, homemade cornbread and a salad are great sides to serve a wholesome and filling meal.

Pork chops come from the loin of the pig, which can be roasted whole or cut into chops or cutlets. The best pork chops come from the center cut, so if you have the chance to buy them at a proper butcher's place, ask the butcher to cut the chops from 1 to 1.5 inches in thickness. If the chops you already bought are thicker, use the flat side of a meat tenderizer to thin them out. Bone-in chops have the best flavor, so buy those when possible.

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"The smothered pork chops and sauce were delicious. The buttermilk does tend to separate a bit, so make sure to add it after adding the chicken broth and water and keep the heat low to minimize curdling." —Diana Rattray

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Ingredients

  • 4 large pork chops, 1 1/2 inches thick (about 2 pounds)

  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced

  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced

  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth

  • 1/4 cup buttermilk

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 4 cups cooked white rice

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for smothered pork chops
    ​The Spruce
  2. Season the pork chops on both sides with the poultry seasoning and salt and pepper to taste.

    Seasoned pork chops
    ​The Spruce 
  3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, brown the pork chops well, about 5 minutes per side. A good sear helps to keep the moisture inside and the chops tender and juicy; don't cover the pan when searing as it will make the chops sweat and become soggy.

    Heat oil in large frying pan
    ​The Spruce
  4. Remove the chops from the pan and reserve on a plate.

    Place cooked pork chops on a serving plate
    ​The Spruce
  5. Pour off the excess oil and place the pan back on the stove over medium heat. Add the butter and the onion, along with a big pinch of salt.

    Onions in pan
    ​The Spruce
  6. Sauté for about 10 minutes, or until the onions are well browned. The onions need to caramelize for the best flavor.

    Cooking until onions are browned
    ​The Spruce
  7. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute.

    Stir in garlic
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  8. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes.

    Stir in flour
    ​The Spruce
  9. Add the chicken broth, buttermilk, and water. As the mixture comes to a simmer, use a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

    Add chicken broth
    ​The Spruce
  10. Turn the heat to low and let the onion gravy gently simmer for 15 minutes. Add a splash of water if it seems to be getting too thick.​

    Turn heat to low
    ​The Spruce
  11. Add the pork chops and any juices back into the pan and coat with the gravy. Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until the pork is done. The internal temperature must reach at least 145 F for a safe level of doneness. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.

    Add pork chops and coat with gravy
    ​The Spruce
  12. Enjoy pork chops over white rice and topped with onion gravy.

    Serve over white rice
    ​The Spruce

Buttermilk Tip

To minimize the risk of the buttermilk separating, add it later. Add the chicken broth to the onion-and-flour mixture and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, until thickened and reduced. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the water and buttermilk and then add the pork chops and continue cooking for 10 to 15 minutes as directed. Make sure to keep the heat low once you've added the buttermilk.

Mushroom Gravy

This delicious variation on the gravy is very easy to make:

  • Add 2 cups of any sliced mushrooms of your liking—such as baby bella, white, portobello, or cremini—at the same time as you add the onions to the pan.
  • Let the onions caramelize and the mushrooms brown.
  • Add a splash of sherry before proceeding with the subsequent steps.

Serving Suggestions

Smothered pork chops with onion gravy over rice is a hearty meal that doesn't need much in the way of sides. Nonetheless, here are a few side dish ideas that complement the savory flavors of the dish:

How can I make gluten-free gravy?

Although flour is the classic addition to make a roux, there is a way of thickening gravy without the use of wheat:

  • Make a slurry with one tablespoon of cornstarch and one tablespoon of water. Mix it well in a small bowl.
  • Add the slurry to the pan after you've added the chicken broth but before the buttermilk and water.
  • Proceed with the recipe as directed.