French Onion Smothered Pork Chops is a one-pot meal resulting in tender, juicy pork drenched in flavors of French onion soup topped with melted cheese. It is a restaurant-quality meal perfect for serving company at a fancy gathering but simple and comforting enough for a casual weeknight dinner!
One-pot meals are one of the best things created in the world of home cooks. Busy families can enjoy a flavorful luxury dinner with very little prep time and just a bit of effort.
In the same breath, these same delicious recipes can be elevated and served to a crowd for special occasions and fancier feasts. There really is such a thing as elegant comfort food!
This smothered pork chops recipe delivers on all of that. It requires just 15 minutes of prep if you already have your onions caramelized. (I have an easy way to do that in the crockpot overnight here!)
In the end, you’ll get a beautifully seared juicy pork, browned on the outside with perfectly crisp edges, smothered with caramelized onions and flavors of a thick and creamy french onion and white wine sauce. It’s then sprinkled with cheese and placed back in the oven to broil it to a lovely golden brown finish.
It starts in the skillet and ends in the skillet which means a lot less clean up!
As decadent as this pork chops with caramelized onions is, it’s not overly heavy despite it being very satisfying. Serve with a bed of rice, some scalloped potatoes, or a nice light salad. This is an unforgettable dish that goes over well, no matter how you serve it!
- Boneless Pork Chops – Cut 1 1/4″ thick and trim excess fat
- Olive oil
- Onions – Cut to anywhere from 1/4” – 1/2” thick, preferably on the thicker side.
- Chicken broth
- Garlic, minced
- White wine – Dry usually works best. Try a pinot grigio, chardonnay, or sauvignon blanc. But really, you can use what you have.
- Dijon mustard
- Worcestershire sauce
- Gouda Cheese
- Salt & Pepper
What Kind of Pork to Buy
- Normally I suggest a bone-in chop because it’s got more flavor, but for this recipe, I like a boneless center-cut chop. There is so much flavor from the french onion sauce you don’t need the bone.
- The right thickness is crucial. Buy 1 ¼” thick chops. Thinner chops will cook faster, but they won’t be as tender and juicy.
- Other options are buying a large pork roast and cutting it yourself. I’ve done this when there are specials on pork roasts to save some money.
- Be sure and trim away the excess fat. You don’t want your sauce to be greasy and cutting it away helps with that.
How to make Saucy Pork Chops
- To begin, you want to make sure to use a pan that you can go from the stove to the oven safely. This allows this meal to be a one-pan meal. I like using a cast-iron skillet. It has an even distribution of heat and it caramelizes everything really well. It also looks lovely when brought to the table!
- Preheat the oven and heat a large pan or dutch oven. Add olive oil to the pan and season the chops with salt and pepper before searing them. Those seasonings will crisp and caramelize for great flavor.
- You’ll just sear the chops so the edges brown. You won’t cook them through as they will finish cooking in the oven. You probably won’t be able to do all chops at once, so you want to cook them in batches to not overcrowd the pan.
- Once the chops are seared place them on a plate and then add a little oil to the pan, reduce the heat and place the onions in to caramelize.
- By using the same pan you cooked the meat in, those flavors will impart into the onions for even more flavor. Taking the time to fully caramelize is the most important thing in this recipe. The wait is worth it. Do not turn the heat up in hopes it will be faster. You will just end up burning the onions.
- 15 minutes into the onions cooking you will add the wine to the pan. Continue cooking until the onions have reduced down, and are nice and brown. You’ll then add garlic, thyme, and flour to the onions, stirring briskly to combine. Continue cooking and add half of the broth and cook for just a bit longer.
- Once they are done, you’ll pull a few out then make the french onion sauce. Adding mustard and Worcestershire sauce, that will continue to thicken the sauce once it’s reduced.
- Return the pork chops to the pan, making sure to nestle them deep in the sauce and top each chop equally with onions put aside. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn the oven on broil.
- Sprinkle the cheese on top so each piece will have a portion of caramelized onion that is toasted on top with the gooey melted cheese.
- Bake in the oven until a thermometer reads 145-150° depending on your desired doneness. I aim for 145° then as I’m serving up it continues to cook in the residual heat of the sauce to finish around 150°
- You can serve right out of the pan from the table if you wish!
Tips for Caramelizing Onions
- Cut the onions evenly, so they cook evenly.
- Cut them wider. I recommend ½” but you can go as low as ¼”. Any smaller than that and they will melt away/dissolve during the cooking process. Either that or they will end up burning.
- Reduce the urge to rush the cooking of the onions. Low and slow wins here. Low heat lets the caramelization happen to a deep rich color and decadent taste.
Common Questions when making this recipe
Can Pork be a little bit pink inside? Yes! The USDA cooking temperatures have been changed in recent years to be safe to eat at 145° from the original recommendation for years of 165°. I recommend testing the pork with a thermometer to make sure it cooks to 140° before turning the oven to broil to finish browning the cheese on top of the chops. The pork will continue to cook and will remain very juicy at the lower finished temperature.
I can’t find boneless chops can I use bone-in chops? Bone-in chops will be fine. In fact, it may just enhance the flavor. Keep in mind, the time in the oven will be a little bit longer to cook throughout. Use the thermometer to temp check. It’s the best way to get juicy pork every time by preventing overcooking.
Is there any way to reduce the cooking time on this recipe? You can caramelize the onions in bulk and freeze them so when you are ready to make this recipe you’ll save all the time in cooking the onions. This is very practical because caramelized onions can be used in so many things! You can follow our slow cooker method for carmelizing the onions (link to post).
What to serve alongside this recipe
Simple things like serving the chops buttered egg noodles or mashed potatoes work beautifully with this recipe. Other sides that work well are;
- Creamy Scalloped Potatoes
- Brussel Sprouts with Bacon
- Lemon Garlic Smashed Potatoes
- Garlic Sugar Snap Peas
- Creamy Cauliflower Puree
- Air Fryer Green Beans and Crispy Onions
More Easy Comfort Food Recipes:
- Apple stuffed pork chops are a simple weeknight dinner recipe everyone will love!
- French Onion Chicken
- Parmesan Breaded Pork Chops
- Pork Medallions with Blue Cheese Sauce
- One Pot Jambalaya
- Chipotle Barbacoa Beef
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- 8 6 ounce center cut boneless pork chop (1 1/4" thick each), trim away excess fat
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 3 pounds onions, peeled and sliced to 1/2" thick
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/3 cup white wine
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 cups gouda cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Heat large pan or dutch oven to high. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season the pork chops generously with salt and pepper then brown each side of the pork for 3 mins per side. Don't overcrowd the pan. It's better to do it in batches and give the pork room to brown. Remove all pork from the pan and place on a side plate and proceed to cook the onions in this pan
- Place 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add onions and cook until the onions are a deep rich brown color. About 35-45 minutes in total. DO NOT TURN THE HEAT TO HIGH to cook it faster, they will burn quickly. At about 15 minutes of cooking the onions, you will add the wine to the pan and continue to cook the onions. The onions will reduce down a lot. Don't worry. Its what is supposed to happen.
- Once the onions are nice and browned, add garlic, thyme and flour to onions and stir vigorously to combine. Continue to cook for 3 minutes. Then add half of the broth and stir and cook for 5 minutes. Then scoop out 1/3 of the onions and place them on a plate. Add the rest of the broth, mustard and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a boil. The sauce should start to thicken in a few minutes.
- Place the pork chops back into the pan with thickened onions/broth and then divide the onions you have set aside and place them atop of each pork chop. Place into a 350° oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. Then remove from the oven and turn the oven to broil. Sprinkle the grated cheese over each of the pork chops topped with onions. Place pan back in the oven and broil until cheese is melted and golden brown. (about 5 minutes depending on your oven)
- Serve Immediately.
Serving Size:8 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 491Saturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 141mgSodium: 437mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 3gSugar: 7gProtein: 46g
The Photos have been updated on this smothered pork chops in oven recipe!