How to cook thin pork chops on the stove plus a delicious, easy honey mustard pan sauce.
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Boneless Thin-Cut Pork Chops
Boneless thin pork chops are also commonly known as pork cutlets. Cutlets are simply thinly sliced pieces of meat. In the case of thin-cut pork chops they typically come from the center loin. You can buy them pre-sliced or slice a center loin with a sharp carving knife.
One of our favorite methods to cook thin-cut chops on the stove top is to give them a quick sear, make a pan sauce and then simmer them in it until just cooked through. It is fast and easy and the pan sauce can be varied every time. For this post we made a creamy honey mustard sauce.
- Pork loin thin-cut chops. About half an inch thick, preferably center cut. They are usually small, so budget two per person.
- Flour, salt & pepper. To season and coat the pork cutlets before you sear. As a gluten free alternative use chickpea flour.
- Butter & olive oil. Butter for flavor and nice color and olive oil so that the butter doesn’t burn.
- Heavy cream, Dijon mustard & honey. The pan sauce is a combination of these three ingredients and literally explodes with flavor. You can use a different mustard such as your favorite whole grain one, but Dijon is the classic flavor for this type of sauce.
- Thyme or dill. For garnish, both herbs go really well with honey mustard.
How to Cook Thin Pork Chops without Drying Them Out
The loin is one of the leanest cuts from the pig and is incredibly easy to overcook. This carries over to thin-cut pork loin chops – they can become dry and tough if you do not handle them correctly. Here a few options to consider in order to ensure tender and juicy meat.
- If you have time you can always brine the chops (very briefly due to how thin they are) in a basic brine.
- You can tenderize them with a meat mallet as you would pork cutlets for a schnitzel
- You can coat them with flour, sear them quickly and finish cooking them in moist heat (i.e. in liquid, partially or fully covered as we do in this recipe)
Workflow – Seared Pork Cutlets with Pan Sauce
- Optional prep. Before you begin, you may tenderize the pork cutlets with a meat tenderizer. You may also want to trim any excess fat.
- Coat. Dredge the cutlets in a mixture of flour, salt and pepper and shake off excess. Set aside.
- Sear. Heat a heavy bottomed pan such as cast iron skillet over medium-high. Add olive oil and butter. Sear the cutlets on each side until they just begin to turn golden. Remove from pan.
- Make the pan sauce & simmer. Lower the heat to medium, add cream, mustard and honey, whisk to combine and bring to simmer. Slide back the think pork chops into the sauce, partially cover with a lid and simmer for a few minutes to cook the meat through.
Serve the thin pork chops right away – during the last few minutes of simmering in the pan they absorb some of the creamy honey mustard sauce and are both juicy and tender.
We like to simply place the skillet in the middle of the table, family style. There should be plenty of sauce for everyone to smother over their serving. As most compatible sides consider:
- mashed potatoes or Champ
- potato salad (mayo-less works best)
- steamed white rice
- peas, green beans or asparagus
- all manner of green salads
NOTE: This is not a reheat-friendly dish. Pork loin is so lean that if you were to reheat the cutlets they will become tough. It is better to cook only as many as you need for dinner and enjoy them while still warm, tender and moist. If you must reheat do so on the stove over medium-low heat in a non-stick pan.
Similar Recipes You Might Enjoy
Chicken Cutlets in Creamy Shallots & Pilsner Sauce (can be made with thin-cut pork chops)
Pork Schnitzel (Breaded Pan Fried Thin Pork Chops)
Chicken Beersala (can be made with pork cutlets)
Porter Onion Gravy (you can use is as an alternative pan sauce)
- 6-8 boneless thin pork loin chops (aka pork cutlets)
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour*
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp honey
- 3-4 sprigs thyme or dill for garnish
Optional prep work: Trim any excess fat from the sides of the pork cutlets. Use a meat mallet to tenderize them a bit as you would a schnitzel (cover with plastic wrap).
- Mix the flour, salt and pepper on a plate. Dredge the cutlets in the mixture and shake off excess. Set aside.
- Heat a heavy bottomed pan such as cast iron skillet over medium-high. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp butter. Sear 3 or 4 thin pork chops at a time, for just over 1 minute per side until they just begin to turn golden. Remove from pan. Repeat with the rest of the olive oil, butter and chops.
- Lower the heat to medium and to the same pan add the cream, mustard and honey. Whisk until combined and bring to simmer. Add the seared pork chops to the sauce and cover the skillet partially with a suitable lid or simply a round baking sheet that fits. Simmer for 5-6 minutes to cook the pork chops through. Garnish with fresh thyme or dill and serve.
*Substitute with chickpea flour for gluten free.
Get inspired by these Cream Sauce Recipes as alternatives to the sauce suggested here.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 807Total Fat: 55gSaturated Fat: 23gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 26gCholesterol: 264mgSodium: 972mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 1gSugar: 10gProtein: 62g