Lemon Pepper Pork Chops are a delightful blend of tangy and savory flavors, slow-cooked to tender perfection. This straightforward recipe requires only a few ingredients and a slow cooker.
The combination of lemon, pepper, and other seasonings infuse the pork chops with an intense and satisfying flavor. Whether looking for a simple weeknight dinner or a dish to impress guests, these Lemon Pepper Pork Chops are a delicious choice.
Certainly! Here are the ingredients from your recipe with proper headings, bolding, and explanations:
Pork chops are the star of this dish. You can use either bone-in or boneless pork chops based on your preference. Bone-in chops have more flavor and may stay juicier during the slow cooking.
Olive oil is used as a binder to help the seasonings adhere to the pork chops. It also adds a subtle flavor and can help to keep the meat moist.
Salt is an essential seasoning that enhances the natural flavors of the pork chops. It’s used in addition to the lemon pepper seasoning to ensure the meat is well-seasoned.
Paprika adds a sweet and mild pepper flavor to the dish. It also contributes a reddish color, making the dish more visually appealing.
Black pepper brings a sharp, piquant taste that complements the lemon pepper seasoning. It adds depth to the overall flavor profile.
Lemon Pepper Seasoning:
Lemon pepper seasoning is a blend of lemon zest, pepper, and often salt. It provides the primary flavor for this dish, giving it a tangy and slightly spicy taste.
Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice:
Freshly squeezed lemon juice contributes a bright, citrusy acidity that tenderizes the pork chops and infuses them with a lemony flavor.
Garlic cloves add a pungent, savory depth to the dish. When slow-cooked, garlic becomes milder and sweeter, infusing the meat with a rich flavor.
Pork Stock (or Chicken Stock/Broth):
Pork stock, or chicken stock if pork stock is unavailable, creates a moist cooking environment in the slow cooker. It adds a layer of savory flavor and prevents the pork chops from drying out.
Lemon slices are placed on top of the pork chops before cooking. They contribute to the aroma and provide a decorative and flavorful garnish.
Butter is added for richness and flavor. It melds with the other ingredients to create a savory sauce that complements the pork chops.
How To Make Lemon Pepper Pork Chops in the Slow Cooker
Season the Pork Chops
Begin by placing your pork chops in a bowl. Drizzle them with a bit of olive oil to act as a binder for the seasoning.
This helps the spices stick to the meat and adds a bit of moisture. Sprinkle salt, paprika, and black pepper over the chops.
Then, generously apply the lemon pepper seasoning. Feel free to adjust the amount of seasoning to suit your taste.
Once all the spices are added, mix them into the pork chops to ensure they are evenly coated. Let the seasoned pork chops sit for about 10 to 15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
Prepare the Slow Cooker
While the pork chops rest, you can prepare your slow cooker. You can brown the pork chops in a skillet before adding them to the slow cooker or place them directly into the cooker for an actual dump-and-go experience.
If you choose not to brown the chops first, consider broiling them after they’re cooked to achieve a more appetizing color.
Arrange Pork Chops in Slow Cooker
Place the pork chops into the slow cooker. It’s okay if they overlap; they don’t need to be in a single layer.
If you notice the pork chops tend to curl up while cooking, you can make minor cuts in the fat around the edges to help them lay flat. This ensures even cooking and presentation.
Add Liquids and Aromatics
Scatter the garlic cloves around the pork chops in the slow cooker. Pour the pork or chicken stock around the edges, careful not to wash off the seasoning on the meat. Then, drizzle in the fresh lemon juice. This will add moisture and flavor as the pork chops cook.
Cook in a Slow Cooker
Lay lemon slices over the top of the pork chops for an extra burst of lemon flavor and a beautiful garnish. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and let the pork chops cook for about three hours. The slow, gentle heat will tenderize the meat and infuse it with the seasoning.
Broil for Color (Optional)
Once the pork chops are fully cooked and tender, transfer them to a baking rack and place them under a preheated broiler at 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Broil them for a few minutes until they develop a nice color on top. This step is optional but adds a visually appealing finish and a slightly crispier texture.
Serve and Enjoy
After broiling, place the pork chops on a cutting board or serving platter. They’re now ready to be served. The pork chops should be juicy, flavorful, and infused with a delicious lemon pepper taste.
Lemon Pepper Pork Chops are versatile and can be paired with various sides. Here are some options that complement their flavors and create a balanced meal:
What To Service Lemon Pork Chops
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Creamy and rich, they provide a comforting base to soak up any juices from the pork chops.
- Steamed Green Beans: A light and healthy side that adds a crisp texture and vibrant color to your plate.
- Roasted Asparagus: The natural sweetness of roasted asparagus pairs nicely with the tangy lemon pepper flavor.
- Rice Pilaf: A fluffy rice pilaf can absorb the dish’s flavors and satisfy your meal.
- Garden Salad: A fresh salad with various greens and a light vinaigrette dressing can balance the heartiness of the pork chops.
- Coleslaw: A tangy coleslaw adds a crunchy texture and a bit of zest that goes well with the lemon pepper seasoning.
- Roasted Carrots: Their natural sweetness complements the savory spices on the pork chops.
- Sautéed Spinach: Quick and easy to prepare, sautéed spinach with a hint of garlic is a nutritious addition.
- Corn on the Cob: Sweet corn provides a classic, slightly sweet contrast to the savory meat.
- Apple Sauce: The sweetness of apple sauce is a traditional pairing with pork and can highlight the dish’s flavors.
- Couscous: Light and fluffy couscous can be seasoned in various ways to complement the lemon pepper taste.
- Warm Dinner Rolls: Soft, buttery rolls are perfect for sopping up any leftover sauce on the plate.
Yes, this recipe works well with either bone-in or boneless pork chops. Bone-in chops may have more flavor and stay juicier during the slow cooking process, but boneless chops are a great option, too.
Lemon pepper seasoning is a crucial flavor component in this recipe. If you don’t have it, you can replicate the flavor with a mix of lemon zest, cracked black pepper, and salt.
You can also make this dish in an oven. Place the seasoned pork chops in a covered dish with the stock, garlic, and lemon slices, and bake at a low temperature (around 275°F) for about 2-3 hours or until tender.
Yes, you can season the pork chops and arrange them in the slow cooker with the garlic, stock, and lemon slices the night before. Store it in the refrigerator and start the slow cooker in the morning.
The slow cooking process and the addition of stock should keep the pork chops moist. However, avoid overcooking as it can make the meat dry. Also, choosing bone-in pork chops can help ensure juiciness.
Leftover pork chops can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Reheat them gently to avoid drying out the meat.
Yes, cooked pork chops can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw them in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
Yes, you can use chicken or turkey cutlets as a substitute for pork chops, but the cooking time may vary. Always ensure that poultry is cooked to a safe internal temperature of 165°F.
If the flavor is too tangy, balance it with a bit of honey or brown sugar. You can also serve the pork chops with a side dish that has a milder or sweeter flavor.
While fresh lemon juice is generally preferred for its vibrant flavor, you can use bottled lemon juice in a pinch. The flavor might not be as bright, but it will still lend a tangy taste to the pork chops.
- Pork chops: 4 pieces
- Olive oil: 2 tablespoons
- Salt: 1 teaspoon
- Paprika: 1 teaspoon
- Black pepper: 1/2 teaspoon
- Lemon pepper seasoning: 2 tablespoons
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice: 2 tablespoons
- Garlic cloves: 4, minced
- Pork or chicken stock: 1 cup
- Lemon slices: 4
- Butter: 2 tablespoons
- Drizzle olive oil over pork chops and season with salt, paprika, black pepper, and lemon pepper seasoning.
- Arrange the seasoned pork chops in your slow cooker.
- Scatter minced garlic cloves around the pork chops in the slow cooker.
- Pour pork or chicken stock and fresh lemon juice over the pork chops.
- Top the pork chops with lemon slices and butter, then cover the slow cooker and set to cook for three hours.
- Optional: After cooking, broil the pork chops for a few minutes until they develop a nice color on top.
- Serve your Lemon Pepper Pork Chops with your favorite sides, and enjoy!
Nutrition Information:Serving Size: per serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 300 kcalTotal Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 20gCholesterol: 80mgSodium: 650mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 25g