Poor little pork chops.

You sure do get a bad rap, don’t you?

Too tough… too fat… too dry… too thick. No wonder you have body image issues. I would too.

Well, I’m here to bring a little light… err, I guess I should say moisture… back into your life.  I really can’t call throwing you in a scorching cast iron skillet and watching you fry until you become a beautiful, crispy golden brown color “light,” now can I?


I know you have probably felt like the red-headed stepchild in this relationship of ours considering I give so much attention to the main meat in my life – bacon. I can’t say I will apologize for that; bacon and I have a good thing going. However, I’m here to share a little more love with you and hopefully spice you up a bit so others will stop talking trash. Sound good?


First, you’re gonna take a nice long bath in a big pool of buttermilk. Now calm down. Buttermilk is good, don’t be scared. It might be a little cold though, sitting in that fridge all night. I’ll make sure to leave the light on since I know what it’s like to be afraid of the dark.


After that, I’m gonna wrap you up in some delightfully crunchy panko breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. This whole panko thing? It is kind of new in our world, but I think you’ll like it. Much better than regular breadcrumbs. And you should feel comforted considering I’m pairing you up with one of my closest friends that has always helped me in times of distress: cheese. I think you’ll get along great.

The next part is where things get dicey. I don’t really want to go into detail about where you’re going to end up, but let’s just say it will be slightly unpleasant. Especially once Mr. How Sweet finds you. But I ensure you that you’ll be found in good hands. See you on the other side!

Buttermilk Soaked Baked Parmesan Pork Chops

makes 4 pork chops

4 thin-sliced, boneless center cut pork chops

2 cups low-fat buttermilk

2 cups panko bread crumbs

1/3 cup flour (I used whole wheat pastry, any flour will do)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese + a little more for garnish

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup chicken stock

Tenderize and trim fat from pork chops if you’d like. It’s not necessary but I do it. Add pork chops to a baking dish and pour buttermilk over top. Soak for at least 2 ours, or over night. Remove pork chops from fridge 30 minutes before you plan to make them.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a bowl, combine panko, flour, salt, pepper and parmesan. Heat an over-safe skillet on medium-high heat and add olive oil. Grab a pork chop from the buttermilk, letting any excess milk run off. Dredge through panko mixture, coating completely. Lay down in skillet and repeat with remaining chops. Brown pork chops for 3 minutes on each side only! You don’t want them to toughen up. After six minutes, turn off heat and add chicken stock to pan. Sprinkle a little parmesan on pork chops and cover skillet. Bake for 20 minutes.

P.S. Sorry my stove was so dirty. If I knew that this would be your last hurrah, I would have been a bit more diligent in my daily yearly cleaning.

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133 Responses to “The Plight of a Pork Chop.”

  1. #
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet — April 6, 2011 @ 7:10 am

    Those pork chops really do look delicious! I hate when they are dry and too chewy.


  2. #
    chelsey @ clean eating chelsey — April 6, 2011 @ 7:18 am

    I talk to my food too – no. big. deal. RIP pork chops.


  3. #
    Aimee Shugarman — April 6, 2011 @ 7:24 am

    I heart pork chops. Those look fabulous!


  4. #
    Melissa — April 6, 2011 @ 7:30 am

    I can honestly say that this is the first time in my life I have ever wanted pork chops for breakfast. My muffin looks awfully boring now. :(


  5. #
    Heather — April 6, 2011 @ 7:35 am

    seriously, soaking just about anything in buttermilk makes it taste fantastic. these are calling my name!


  6. #
    Jill Colonna — April 6, 2011 @ 7:45 am

    Your recipe is definitely saved, Jessica. Looks fabulous and love your style. Buttermilk, I’m in. Parmesan adore it. Just recently discovered panko so you’ve given me another excuse to try it out on the pork. Thanks!


  7. #
    Julie @ Shining From Within — April 6, 2011 @ 7:48 am

    I love crunchy, fried anything! Maybe i’ll try this with other protein sources for a veggie version


  8. #
    Estela @ Weekly Bite — April 6, 2011 @ 7:50 am

    Pork is one thing I don’t make nearly enough. This looks delicious :)


  9. #
    Holly @ The Runny Egg — April 6, 2011 @ 7:50 am

    Delicious — I love pork chops because my dad loves pork chops which meant…we had pork chops 2-3x per week when I was a kid :)


    • Jessica — April 6th, 2011 @ 9:23 am

      My mom made them at least once a week too!


  10. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — April 6, 2011 @ 7:51 am

    Cute post!! Yes, pork chops do get a bad rap. I don’t eat them very often at all (unless I’m at home and my mum makes me… maybe I’ll have your recipe handy next time and volunteer to make them myself!)


  11. #
    Mr. How Sweet It Is — April 6, 2011 @ 7:53 am

    Poor, poor pork chops. You are gone but you are not forgotten.


  12. #
    Elizabeth@The Sweet Life — April 6, 2011 @ 7:59 am

    what a beautiful meal! gorgeous.


  13. #
    Alexis @ There She Goes — April 6, 2011 @ 8:02 am

    I usually hate prok chops (too dry and tough)…but bathed in buttermilk…I like what I see :)


  14. #
    Marisa @ Loser for Life — April 6, 2011 @ 8:11 am

    My husband will go nuts over this! I usually cook pork til it’s unrecognizable, so he wil think I am a total rock star if I pull this one off :)


  15. #
    Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) — April 6, 2011 @ 8:14 am

    Pork is not safe in this house at all either. My boys would give up all other meat consumption for pork. These look perfect.


    • Jessica — April 6th, 2011 @ 9:21 am

      I love your boys!


  16. #
    Vicky @ Recipe Adaptors — April 6, 2011 @ 8:14 am

    I haven’t eaten pork chops for years, but I made some with an asian marinade the other week and they were great. Now I’m on a bit of a pork kick….:-)


  17. #
    marla {family fresh cooking} — April 6, 2011 @ 8:23 am

    These sound high calorie, but really they are one heck of a great meal. Glad to hear you gave pork the royal treatment it deserves :) xo


  18. #
    Natalie S. — April 6, 2011 @ 8:37 am

    I used to hate pork chops — they were always tough and dry — but your pictures are too good to be true! Might have to give this recipe a try.


  19. #
    NancyC — April 6, 2011 @ 8:38 am

    It’s truly the only way to prepare a pork chop. I do parm cheese (instead of flour), egg, then panko. Can’t be beat! And lord knows you HAVE to fry those babies. I’m going to give your way a try because it looks de-lish!


  20. #
    Gen — April 6, 2011 @ 8:44 am

    I looove pork chops! Those look awesome!


  21. #
    Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food — April 6, 2011 @ 8:44 am

    yummm the parmesan and buttermilk are key

    looks delish! I love that you’re creating more savory dishes! :)


    • Jessica — April 6th, 2011 @ 9:23 am

      Thanks! :) This cracks me up because I actually have many more savory recipes on my blog than desserts, but since I post those outrageous desserts once a week, it’s all people remember… lol!


  22. #
    Erica — April 6, 2011 @ 8:50 am

    My Mom used to make pork chops on the regular and I could never get into them. In fact, I’ve never even tried cooking them since becoming an “adult” (I feel the quotation marks are necessary- does anyone ever truly feel like an adult?). Yours look cooked perfectly though. Was Mr. How Sweet ok with taking a break from chicken?


    • Jessica — April 6th, 2011 @ 9:20 am

      He was all over it! I guess everyone needs a change sometimes. ;)


  23. #
    Susan — April 6, 2011 @ 8:52 am

    OMG HEAVEN! since i was a young child we used to bread crumb/fry and bake our chops. depending on the add in i put in the crumbs i would add apple juice, wine, oj, etc, etc etc when baking. i haven’t done this in a while must do again! thanks for making me remember my past!


    • Jessica — April 6th, 2011 @ 9:20 am

      Apple juice, wine, OJ…. um, yum!!


  24. #
    Corinna @ The Fire Chiefs Wife — April 6, 2011 @ 8:56 am

    I don’t make pork chops often because they always turn out tough and dry, much to my husbands dismay. These look like they’d be quite moist and delicious. Thanks!


  25. #
    megan @ whatmegansmaking — April 6, 2011 @ 9:05 am

    I have terrible memories of dry porkchops from my childhood. Porkchops everywhere needed this post.


  26. #
    Ashli A — April 6, 2011 @ 9:11 am

    I’ve made every pork chop recipe known to man trying to appease my husband’s love for them…but none of them can make ME like pork chops! Maybe this will be the ONE! :) Btw…I have a new cast iron skillet that I have fried bacon in only once….how do I get it ready for really cooking?


    • Jessica — April 6th, 2011 @ 9:19 am

      Oh man… I get this question often and the truth is I am not really sure! I have a close family friend who has been in the restaurant business her entire life and takes my cast irons and seasons them for me. I know there are multiple ways of doing it, but I *think* she brushes it with a flavorless oil and then heats it on high heat for 2-3 hours. It makes your house hot and smoky. You are probably better doing a google search than using my help… haha.


      • Ashli A — April 6th, 2011 @ 10:01 am

        Oh great! Hot and smoky house! ha! Okay…well, I will do some research and see. When I cooked the bacon it was sticking to it so I think this takes some effort! ;)

  27. #
    Lauren @ Healthy Food For Living — April 6, 2011 @ 9:18 am

    This recipe couldn’t have come at a better time! The hubs just requested pork chops, and I have a carton of buttermilk sitting in the fridge waiting to be used. When cooked right, lean pork chops can be so succulent… and these look perfect.


  28. #
    Lauren — April 6, 2011 @ 9:32 am

    I marinade everything in buttermilk…and it’s like it’s somehow magic. I don’t think it’s possible to have tough meats when you do that.
    Good call woman.


  29. #
    Sjawnda — April 6, 2011 @ 9:36 am

    I usually brine pork chops but I want to try buttermilk next time! Thanks for sharing!


    • Jessica — April 6th, 2011 @ 9:37 am

      I’ve never tried brining mine. I should!


  30. #
    Kelly — April 6, 2011 @ 9:41 am

    This is just what I needed. I have tried and tried AND tried to make pork chops and I always fail. They always come out dry and tough. I think the only time I successfully did it as in a crockpot. I have some pork chops in my freezer so I am going to thaw them out and give this a shot.


  31. #
    Tabitha (From Single to Married) — April 6, 2011 @ 9:47 am

    I don’t even eat pork and it still looks yummy! :)


  32. #
    Eunice — April 6, 2011 @ 9:59 am

    I need this in my life! Kohy doesn’t eat pork and doesn’t like when I cook it, so I only have it when I eat out. Going to kick him out for a weekend so I can make this.


    • Jessica — April 6th, 2011 @ 10:06 am

      That sounds like a plan to me!


  33. #
    Karly — April 6, 2011 @ 10:01 am

    I’m not a huge fan of pork, but my husband would LOVE these!


  34. #
    Karly — April 6, 2011 @ 10:02 am

    Wait…I just need to clarify…I’m not a huge fan of PORK CHOPS. I love bacon. But, you already knew that.


    • Jessica — April 6th, 2011 @ 10:05 am

      LOL! I was gonna say…


  35. #
    EatLiveRun — April 6, 2011 @ 10:15 am

    We are getting kinda tired of chicken breasts over here so I’ll make this next week! Love the pig.


  36. #
    Nicole, RD — April 6, 2011 @ 10:30 am

    I love pork chops, but they really are the red-headed step child, aren’t they. My husband refuses them so I never get to make them…but next time he’s out of town, I do believe these will be on the menu :)


  37. #
    Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic — April 6, 2011 @ 10:30 am

    Love this post. Yes, porkchops get a bad rep! But I do like it (the other white meat hehe) and esp with panko!


  38. #
    Brooke — April 6, 2011 @ 10:39 am

    I made country fried pork chops on Monday – it was the first time I’ve fried anything and they were SO GOOD! I might have also made biscuits and gravy. Maybe.


    • Jessica — April 6th, 2011 @ 1:47 pm

      I might love you. Maybe.


  39. #
    Ashley — April 6, 2011 @ 10:42 am

    Buttermilk is one of the most amazing ingredients everrr! Love the light in these photos…well, in all of your photos!


  40. #
    Jessica — April 6, 2011 @ 10:46 am

    Pork chops have always been a “cheap thrill” to me. I get excited because they’re inexpensive and I have grandiose expectations that this time they will surprise me and I will like them, and then I’m left unsatisfied and I kind of want my money back…
    However I think this might be their chance to shine. I’ll give you another try, pork chops…game on.


  41. #
    Tracey — April 6, 2011 @ 10:49 am

    I actually really like pork chops. My mom made the best pork chops which is probably the reason I like them so much!


  42. #
    Heather @ GirlyEverAfter — April 6, 2011 @ 10:51 am

    Panko bread crumbs are so great! And using a cast iron skillet is the only way I can fry anything. I always tell myself that the dishes are healthier because of the added iron ;)


    • Jessica — April 6th, 2011 @ 1:47 pm

      LOL. Love this justification.


  43. #
    Rachel — April 6, 2011 @ 10:55 am

    I made an attempt at pork chops on the George Forman last week and they were quite aweful. Tough and tasteless. My husband choked them down, but I know what he was thinking. I’ll have to give this recipe a try.

    By the way, I can totally relate to you. Give me anything with sugar or bacon and I’m all over it. My husband on the other hand sticks up his nose at desserts and was repulsed as I ate the leftover bacon from our BLTs. What is wrong with him? :)


    • Jessica — April 6th, 2011 @ 1:47 pm

      I definitely don’t like pork chops on the grill either!


      • Terry — April 7th, 2011 @ 7:36 am

        You need to try my husband’s grilled pork chops – he’ll convert you! He throws anything (and everything!) he finds in the fridge into a marinade, lets the pork chops sit overnight, then grills them. They’re always so juicy and full of flavor; now I can’t wait til summer!!!

        • Jessica — April 7th, 2011 @ 8:09 am

          They sound so good!

  44. #
    Lucy @ The Sweet Touch — April 6, 2011 @ 11:10 am

    You know you’re a foodie when….

    -You have conversations with your meat and are considerate of its feelings!

    Love it (and I do love a good pork chop too!)


  45. #
    Tyler — April 6, 2011 @ 11:11 am

    This is my first visit to you tasty little blog! I think I’m hooked! SO excited to read through your old posts and salivate!



    • Jessica — April 6th, 2011 @ 1:46 pm

      Thanks so much Tyler. Welcome!


  46. #
    Mary (what's cookin' with mary) — April 6, 2011 @ 11:20 am

    I’m pretty sure that’s the best looking pork chop I’ve ever seen! I’ve only tried cooking pork chops once… let’s just say it left a little (lot) to be desired. Def going to save this recipe as B looooves pork chops… when he makes them for himself, he uses BBQ shake ‘n bake & serves it with microwaved frozen veggies. SO CUTE.


  47. #
    Jess — April 6, 2011 @ 11:25 am

    how i usually prepare chicken breasts, i must try it on pork chops.


  48. #
    Joanna@ Drizzle of Sunshine — April 6, 2011 @ 11:37 am

    Here’s a trick that I LOVE! Puree some broccoli (stay with me now) and before the breading layer, dip it in a puree egg wash. You don’t taste any of the broccoli (whew) and the flavor is sealed in tight! hmm Mmm! Here’s the official recipe!



    • Jessica — April 6th, 2011 @ 1:46 pm

      Ok… I’ll trust you on this one…


  49. #
    April @ Grits and Granola Bars — April 6, 2011 @ 12:10 pm

    Oh, those look so good! Definitely will be making these for Hubs soon. Thanks, Jessica!


  50. #
    Kim in MD — April 6, 2011 @ 12:20 pm

    I love the way you wrote this post to your pork chop! :-)

    Pork chops really do have a reputation for being dry…were yours as delicious and moist as they look? If so, I must make these immediately! :-)


    • Jessica — April 6th, 2011 @ 1:45 pm

      They were SO good Kim! :)


      • Kim in MD — April 6th, 2011 @ 2:10 pm

        SOLD! If you say they were “that good”, then I know my family will love them! I am off to buy pork chops and buttermilk- these will be dinner tomorrow night! Thanks, Jessica!


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