Our healthy baked pork chop recipe features both meat and veggies, all cooked in the same oven. It’s a real time-saver.
Is This Pork Chop Recipe Healthy?
With roasted veggies on the same tray, our baked pork chops recipe is both protein-packed and nutrient-rich.
1. The Pork Chops
Similar to other types of meat, pork contains all of the necessary amino acids. It’s considered one of the most complete sources of protein.
In addition to proteins, pork is a rich source of vitamin Bs, selenium, zinc, and iron. They serve a variety of functions in our body, promoting the strengthening of our immune system.
2. The Veggies
Broccoli is loaded with vitamin C, an antioxidant that can prevent oxidative stress in the body. Research shows that oxidative damage is often linked to cancer development.
Carrots, on the other hand, are a reliable source of dietary beta carotene (vitamin A). It also has antioxidant properties and is a crucial element for your eyes to function.
Calories in Pork Chops
Our baked pork chops recipe provides around 500 calories per serving. Almost 40% of the calories are from protein and 22% of it is from good fats.
1. How Much Protein is in Pork Chops?
Each serving of our baked pork chop recipe contains 48 grams of protein.
Although the recipe card says this constitutes 98% of your daily protein intake, this number is only for reference. It is based on a 2000-calorie diet, which does not apply for all of us since we’re all different size, activity, and goal wise.
The optimal protein intake depends on your body goal/situation, according to the Institute of Medicine. Each person should consume 0.54 to 0.8 grams of protein per pound.
For example, if someone weighs 150 pounds, they should consume 84-126 grams of protein per day, for optimal health. In other words, they could have 2-3 servings of this dish to meet the daily recommended intake of protein.
From the formula, you can calculate the amount of protein you should consume per day which is more accurate than following recipe cards.
2. Low Fat
Fat in pork chops should be visible and can be trimmed off. If you prefer low-fat pork chops, simply ask the butcher to remove it or trim the excess fat at home.
Each serving of our recipe has 200 grams of bone-in, lean pieces— with less than 4% of total fat per chop.
Types of Pork Chops
For many people, a pork chop is simply an ordinary cut of meat, but that is a misconception. Choosing the right pork chop is important as it decides how well your dish will turn out.
All pork chops come from the loin- the part from the shoulder to the hip of the pig. This is the leanest and most tender part of the pig.
1. Center Cut Pork Chops
Also known as the porterhouse, or T-bone, this cut is very suitable for searing or roasting.
The chops can come with a piece of fat or they may be completely lean. You can also choose between bone-in or without bone, depending on your preference.
2. Pork Tenderloin Chops
This boneless cut is the leanest and most delicate piece of meat (and it is the most expensive cut, too).
Just like beef tenderloin, pork tenderloin has very little marbling. Therefore, under no circumstances should it be overcooked.
Check out our roasted pork tenderloin recipe for some inspiration.
3. Sirloin Chop
This particular cut of meat comes from the hip area of the pig. It has bones and several types of muscles, making it hard to cook.
The sirloin chop is best suited for braising or stewing.
4. Blade chop
Or “the shoulder chop”, “pork shoulder steak”. It is cut from the shoulder end, near the pig’s loin.
The dark-colored meat has lots of fat and connective tissues, which requires proper care or it will get tough. This cut is relatively hard to find in the market.
In this recipe, we’re choosing frenched center-cut loin, the part with a rib sticking out. If possible, you should choose the above cuts for the best flavor.
How to Season Pork Chops
Many people season their pork chops with a dry rub with a typical set of spices, herbs, salt, and pepper. It’s the easiest, quickest way to season a large chunk of meat.
We, however, prefer our pork chops a little saucy. We made our sauce, spread it onto each piece of meat, let it sit, then popped them in the oven.
Although the sauce is really dry, as the meat cooks in the oven, it will gradually soak into the chop.
How to Cook Pork Chops in Oven
Start by turning the oven on to 400°F.
Step 1: Place the meat into a baking dish
Since we’re expecting lots of juice to come out, it’s a great idea to place them in a baking dish (not a tray). The dish will collect the juice, which will be turned into a delicious gravy.
Step 2: Season the meat
In a small bowl, mix Italian seasonings, paprika, salt and pepper, garlic, and tomato sauce. Then scoop the sauce and dollop it onto each piece of pork.
Step 3: Foil the baking dish
Cover your pork chops with foil. The foil will trap any moisture that tries to escape, and will prevent the meat from drying out or burning.
Step 4: Place meat, vegetables on a tray
Season your vegetables on a tray, take the broccoli out, and place the baking dish in the middle. Broccoli takes less time to roast, so we’ll add it in later.
Step 5: Bake
Slide the tray into a preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes.
Step 6: Add the broccoli
Remove the foil and place broccoli onto the tray. Brush butter on each piece of pork and pop them back in the oven for another 15 minutes.
Step 7: Rest the meat
When the timer dings, take the tray out and place the chops onto a rack/clean cutting board to rest. It’s really important to let it rest.
Step 8: Reduce the sauce
Meanwhile, pour the meat juice from the baking dish into a pot and add 1 tablespoon of flour. Crank the heat to medium-high and stir constantly for 1 minute or until the sauce thickens.
All that’s left to do is serve, like so:
How Long to Bake Pork Chops
It depends on the temperature and thickness of your pork chop.
We got our pork chop straight from the butcher, so it was at room-temp when we baked it. It’s highly recommended that you use fresh meat, indicated by a deep reddish-pink hue, not gray-ish.
In case you already have frozen meat in your freezer, simply give the meat more time to bake. We’ve found it takes about 30 minutes more.
Keep an eye on the potatoes and carrots, because they only take 30 minutes to cook.
Tips for Baking the Perfect Chops
There are a few things you can do to take your pork chop to the next level.
1. Using a Meat Thermometer
This tool is really helpful, especially since some ovens don’t cook at the exact temperature they display. It also comes in handy when you’re baking cold meat.
Stick a meat thermometer in one of the chops, and place them in the oven. When you see the internal temperature of the meat reach 145°F, they’re ready.
2. Meat Resting
Always allow your meat to rest after baking, no matter if it’s poultry or red meat.
Under the tension of heat, the meat contracts, allowing the juice to come out. Some of the juice will come out of the meat, while some of it stays inside the meat.
By letting the meat rest, the juice inside redistributes evenly through the meat. As you cut into it, the juice will end up in your mouth instead of running all over the place.
As for how long, it depends on the thickness of the cuts. Thick ones take about 15 minutes, while smaller ones take only 5-10 minutes.
Some baked pork chops recipes do ask you to sear your meat before finishing them in the oven. This creates a crust that not only gives a better mouthfeel but also allows the meat to retain more juice.
However, the method only applies to dry-seasoned pork chops, which is different from our take. We’ll try them in the future and tell you how it turns out!
How Long Do Cooked Pork Chops Last?
Cooked pork chops last for 3-4 days in the refrigerator, and of course, for food safety, you shouldn’t store them for more than 2 hours at room temperature.
You can freeze the pork chops raw or cooked to store them for 4-6 months.Cooked meat is best used within 2-3 months. It can last longer, but the quality of the meat won’t be the same.
What Goes with Baked Pork Chops?
The classic veg combo of potato, carrot, and broccoli is not only convenient to make but is also a nutrition-packed-trinity.
Like we instructed, you simply need to place them on the same tray as the pork— very little mess!
Mushrooms are the best side vegetables that can go with any savory dish. Their unique springy, chewy texture makes them fun, pleasant to eat.
You can add sliced mushrooms to the tray, as many as you like. They only take 30 minutes to bake whole, or only 10 minutes to bake if sliced.
If you feel like adding more fiber to the dish, braised cabbage would be perfect. It’s tender, juicy, and super flavorful.
As the pork sits in the oven, turn on the stove and sautee your cabbage with olive oil and garlic.
Add your favorite seasonings, ¼ tsp of salt and pepper, and water, and place a lid on. Cover and cook for 5 minutes and you have a healthy veg side to go with your meat.
What to Serve with This Healthy Baked Pork Chops Recipe
For additional calories to meet the 750-calorie-meal goal, here are our recommendations:
1. Cream of Mushroom Soup
The firm meat and savory, zingy sauce already complement one another, but it’d be even better when paired with a creamy soup.
Seeing as canned mushroom soup contains a lot of fat and sodium, we make our own. Check out our tuna noodle casserole recipe for instructions on how to make it.
If you love rice like us, you can have this with rice (like we did). Rice is a healthy source of carbs, and some types of rice even add fiber and lots of vitamins!
3. Greek Salad
Of course, a salad is an easy, versatile addition to have for roasts. It’s tangy, crisp, palate-cleansing, and adds a moderate amount of calories, nutrients, and fiber.
Healthy Baked Pork Chops Recipe
- 28 oz center loin bone-in, lean only pork chop
- 12 oz baby potato halved
- 8 oz carrot cut into chunks
- 8 oz broccoli cut into chunks
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground pepper divided into halves
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp garlic minced
- 4 tbsp homemade tomato sauce
- 1.5 tbsp unsalted butter room temp
- 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
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- Make the sauce by mixing salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, Italian seasoning, paprika, tomato sauce in a small bowl.
- In a baking dish, marinade the pork (both sides) with the sauce for 15 minutes. Cover the baking dish with foil.
- Spread carrot, potato and broccoli onto a baking sheet. Drizzle in olive oil and sprinkle on 1/2 tsp pepper. Toss to coat evenly and wait until the pork is ready.
- Take out the broccoli and leave it aside. Move the veg around to make space for the baking dish, and put the foiled baking dish (with the pork chop inside) onto the tray. Bake at 400°F for 30 minutes.
- Remove the foil, spread room-temp butter onto the pork, add broccoli onto the tray. Broil for 15 minutes.
- Take out the pork and veg and present on separate dishes. Pour the pork juice into a saucepan and cook with 1 tbsp all-purpose flour on medium-high heat for 1 minute to make the meat sauce.
- Drizzle the sauce evenly onto each dish and serve.
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