Spice Crusted Center Cut Pork Chops

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Spice Crusted Pork Chops are the perfect main course to pair with all your favorite sides. Made with lean pork chops and a mouth-watering combination of spices, this easy recipe is both healthy and flavorful. Oh, and the best part? It’s ready in just 15 minutes.

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When you find a dish that's quick, healthy, and delicious, you know you’ve got a winner. That’s what these Spice Crusted Pork Chops are. Not only are they lean and beyond flavorful, but they come together from start to finish in under 15 minutes.

All you need to make these crave-worthy pork chops is a simple combination of spices that you probably already have on hand. Well, that and some lean center-cut pork chops, of course. I like to use boneless pork chops because they tend to be leaner. However, some people find the bone-in chops to be juicier, so it’s totally up to you.

These healthy pork chops are a delicious dinner entrée that are guaranteed to impress your family and friends. I love serving them alongside a bowl of rice and roasted vegetables — something like these Sheet Pan Pesto Chickpeas and Vegetables — or with a side salad for a low-carb meal.

Pork chops with a spice crust on a plate with green salad on a yellow napkin.

Key Ingredients

To make these spicy pork chops, you will need just a few key ingredients:

  • Lean center-cut pork chops: I like using boneless pork chops because they have fewer calories and fat, however, bone-in chops will work as well! Bone-in chops actually have a bit more flavor and moisture. Just adjust the cooking time for bone-in chops since they take longer. This also works with chicken, fish, and steak. 
  • Spices: I like to use a combination of smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dry mustard, chili powder, salt, and pepper. These spices create a rich, savory, and a slightly smoky crust that tastes amazing with the pork chops.

Pork Chop Cooking Tips

Here are my top tips and tricks to help you cook mouth-watering pork chops every time:

  • Cook the pork chops from room temperature. For the tastiest results, take your pork chops out of the fridge about 30 minutes before cooking. When pork chops are heated to room temperature, they are more likely to cook evenly.
  • Season the chops with salt. About 30 minutes before cooking — as you’re taking your pork chops out of the fridge — season them with a bit of salt! This will amp up the flavor and texture of the meat.
  • Coat the chops. For an extra crunchy crust, lightly coat your pork chops in flour or cornstarch after seasoning them.
  • Let your cooked pork chops rest. As soon as your pork chops are done cooking, transfer them to a clean plate to rest. Cover the plate with aluminum foil and let them sit for around 5 minutes before cutting into them. This will allow the chops to get nice and juicy.

How to Serve Spice Crusted Pork Chops

This dish is incredibly versatile, so there are plenty of ways you can serve it. Honestly, you can’t go wrong with just about anything, but I totally understand if you need a little inspiration. Here are some of my favorite dishes to serve with pork chops:

How to Store Cooked Pork Chops

Spice Crusted Pork Chops are super quick and easy to prepare, making them the perfect make-ahead protein for make-ahead meals. To store these spiced pork chops, allow them to cool before sealing them in an airtight storage container. Then, you can store them in one of two ways:

  • In the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
  • In the freezer for up to 2-3 months however, the texture will change slightly. It is best to eat these fresh.

Use leftovers in everything from pork tacos to grain bowls and sandwiches.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about these healthy pork chops:

The secret to juicy pork chops allowing the meat to rest before diving in. You should always let the pork rest on a plate for at least 5 minutes before cutting into it. To ensure that it gets extra juicy, I typically cover it with aluminum foil while it rests.

Nobody wants a dry, chewy pork chop! That’s why it is important not to accidentally overcook your chops. The best way to tell if your pork chops are done is to use a meat thermometer. Pork chops should cook to at least 145°F, but no higher than 160°F.

Pork chops are extremely versatile, so you can season them with a wide variety of herbs and spices. Aside from the ones used in this recipe, rosemary, thyme, sage, coriander, and cloves all work great as well.

Yes! Pork is a rich source of many essential vitamins and nutrients. Also, because center-cut pork chops are minimally processed — and we’re opting for lean, boneless chops — this is a great source of high-quality protein! When paired with a salad or cooked veggies and your favorite whole grain, this dish makes for a perfectly healthy meal.

Baked spiced pork chops with a crispy spice rub on a plate with green salad and mustard sauce
The Recipe
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Spice Crusted Center Cut Pork Chops

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  • 1.33 lb lean center cut pork chops, boneless
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/8 tsp chili powder

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Mix together the spices to make a rub. Brush the pork with olive oil. Coat with spice rub on both sides.

Center cut pork chips being coated with olive oil and a spice rub.

To grill: Grill on medium high for about 5 minutes per side depending on thickness. To broil: Broil 4-5 inches from heat source for about 4-5 minutes per side

Spice crusted pork chops cooking in the oven.
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 6 oz.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 246
Calories from Fat 47
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g
Saturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 100mg
Sodium 150mg
Total Carbohydrate 1g
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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