Lemon Basil Pork Chops

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These easy Lemon Basil Pork Chops are bursting with bright flavor. Cook them on the grill, in the oven, or in the air fryer for a delicious and flavorful meal.

273 CAL 2g CARBS 12g FAT 34g PROTEIN
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If you have been looking for a new way to make pork chops, these Basil Pork Chops should be at the top of the list. Juicy, tender pork chops marinated in the most delicious lemon basil sauce make a perfect weeknight meal. 

I started growing basil in my kitchen and have been using it in everything from classic Pesto to my favorite Italian Salmon with Tomato Basil Salsa and Basil Chicken Stir Fry.

This week I was planning on grilling pork chops so I decided it was time to start working on a basil marinade that could be used for pork, chicken, and dish. 

Inspired by the flavors of pesto, this marinade is made with plenty of fresh basil. garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil. You can also throw in more fresh herbs if you like. Rosemary is delicious.

Then all you have to do is marinade the pork chops. Since the marinade has lots of lemon, it only needs to marinate for about 30 minutes. This is enough time to flavor the pork and also helps it stay nice and tender.

Then you can cook it in the oven, in the air fryer, or on the grill. Drizzle a little extra sauce on top and it's a delicious meal. 

Ingredients and Easy Swaps 

Here is everything you need to make these tasty pork chops.

  • Pork chops:  This recipe can be used for almost any type of pork chops including boneless or bone-in. The only thing that will change is the cooking time since thicker, bone-in chops need a longer cook time. This recipe also works great with chicken and fish. 
  • Fresh basil: The main flavor in this marinade is fresh basil. If you prefer more variety, add some cilantro, parsley, oregano, thyme, or rosemary as well. 
  • Lemon: Fresh lemon juice really is the best option for this recipe. The lemon juice works to tenderize the pork and add flavor. Lime juice, orange juice, or a combination of citrus could also be used.
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic adds the best flavor to the marinade and the lemon juice mellows out the flavor of the garlic. Swap in minced garlic or garlic powder if it is all you have.
  • Olive oil: The marinade needs fat and the flavor of olive oil complements the other flavors nicely. Avocado oil or another oil can be used.
  • Salt and pepper: Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper have the best flavor. 

How to Make Lemon Basil Pork Chops

These are three ways to cook these pork chops depending on the season and your preferences. 

Marinade the Pork

The easiest way to make the marinade is in a blender or food processor. Simply blend everything together until well combined. If you want to make the marinade by hand, make sure to chop the basil finely.

Set aside about 1/4 of the marinade to drizzle over the pork after it is cooked. If you like lots of sauce, consider doubling the marinade. 

Then add the pork to the marinade. For the best flavor, try to marinate the pork for at least 30 minutes, ideally for about 1 hour. Thicker pork may need longer to really soak up all the flavor. 

Grilled Pork Chops

Preheat the grill and oil the grates if needed. Remove the pork from the marinade, letting any excess marinade drip off. 

Add the pork chops to the grill. Let cook for 4-6 minutes per side for boneless pork chops. Make sure the pork reaches an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees (medium-rare) or 155 degrees (m edium-well). 

Then let the pork rest for at least 5 minutes.  The pork temperature will increase while it rests, especially if it is tented with foil.

Baked Pork Chops

To bake the pork chops, start by preheating the oven to 425 degrees. Place the pork chops on a baking sheet, covered with foil for easier clean-up, or in a glass baking dish. Cook the pork for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through. This cooking time is for a pork chop about 1 inch thick. Bone-in pork chops will take longer. 

Air Fryer Pork Chops

Pork chops come out really delicious in the air fryer with a tender and juicy inside and a nicely browned exterior. For 1-inch thick boneless pork chops, preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees. Cook for about 8 minutes, flipping halfway through, until the internal temperature reaches at least 145-150 degrees. Let rest before serving. 

Bone-in pork chops, that are about 1.5 inches thick, will need 10-13 minutes in the air fryer at 400 degrees. This is for a medium temperature. Cook longer for more well-done.  Let rest before serving. 

Side Dishes for Basil Pork Chops

These pork chops can be served with just about anything. Here are some favorites.

The Recipe
Lemon basil pork chops cooked on the grill with extra basil garlic sauce drizzled on top.

Lemon Basil Pork Chops

273 CAL 2g CARBS 12g FAT 34g PROTEIN
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  • 1.33 lbs lean boneless pork chops
  • 3/4 cup basil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

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Add the basil, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper to a food processor or blender. Save about one fourth of the marinade for drizzling on top. Use the remaining the pork in this mixture for 30-60 minutes.


When ready to cook, remove the pork from the marinade letting excess drip off. To bake, preheat the oven to 425. Place the pork chops in a glass baking dish sprayed with cooking spray and cook for 15-20 minutes until cooked through. To grill, cook for 4-6 minutes per side until cooked through.


Drizzle the saved marinade on top.


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Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 6 oz.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 273
Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12g
Saturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 100mg
Sodium 370mg
Total Carbohydrate 2g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 0g
Protein 34g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
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