Baked pork chops provide a high-protein, satisfying and delicious entree. Today's pork is relatively lean and baking requires no extra calories from cooking fat — just pay attention to your additions to keep things healthy.
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Boneless cuts take slightly longer than bone-in cuts to cook, but the difference is negligible; there's really no significant difference in preparation when you're baking them.
It's even easier to read the internal temperature to check for doneness, since you don't have to worry about the thermometer coming into contact with bone and misreading.
Step 1: Preheat and Prep
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Prep a baking tray by covering it with foil and lightly greasing it with cooking oil or nonstick spray.
Step 2: Trim and Season
Trim most or all of the fat off the edges of the pork chops with a sharp, non-serrated kitchen knife. Then season the pork chops to taste. For a simple preparation, apply salt, pepper and an herb or two, such as rosemary, basil, sage or thyme.
Alternatively, use Cajun or blackening seasonings for heat or a pre-mixed dry rub or seasoning mixture, such as herbs de Provence or Italian seasoning. Alternatively, bread the chops by dipping them in beaten egg whites and dredging them in whole-wheat breadcrumbs; mix in cornmeal or grated Parmesan cheese for extra flavor.
Read more: How Much Protein is in Pork?
Step 3: Place on Bakin Tray
Line up the boneless chops on the baking tray without letting them touch. Alternatively, place them on top of a thick layer of Swiss chard, kale or other dark green leafy vegetable.
This easily adds a nutritious side to your meal, with the juices from the pork imparting flavor into the greens. Put the tray into the middle of the oven.
Step 4: Bake and Flip
Bake the pork for about 20 minutes, then flip and bake for another 15 minutes. Cooking time varies based on the thickness of the chops, your oven's performance and other factors.
Read the internal temperature at the center of the thickest piece with an instant-read meat thermometer; they're done when they are between 145 and 160 degrees Fahrenheit according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
Read more: Healthy Cooking with Pork Chops
Step 5: Don't Overcook Them
Take the pork chops off the baking tray right away so they don't overcook. Rest them for five minutes so the juices inside have time to settle before serving.