Pork chops are a staple of the soul food kitchen, but while the deep-fried thick-cut pork chops that my aunt Frances first taught me to make are dinner food, these thin-cut, lightly fried ones are 100 percent a breakfast food. They go with grits, eggs, maybe even some pancakes, depending on how you’re feeling—much like you would have bacon or sausage on your plate. For these, you want to make sure you have thin-cut bone-in chops, because the bone helps keep a lot of that flavor in the meat while it’s cooking, and the thinness means they’re quick to cook and keeps them light enough for breakfast—a little goes a long way! [Editor’s Note: Some of our non-Southern recipe testers were surprised to consider pork chops at breakfast. Rest assured, these are just as lovely at supper.]–Rosie Mayes

Two golden pan-fried pork chops in a cast-iron skillet.

Pan-Fried Pork Chops

5 / 2 votes
These pan-fried pork chops are rubbed with just the right amount of cayenne, paprika, and onion powder to make them interesting yet not offputting to the spice averse. An easy meal that comes together in just 30 minutes.
David Leite
Servings4 servings
Calories354 kcal
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons seasoning salt or sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 to 6 (about 1 1/2 pounds) thin-cut bone-in pork chops, (about 1/2 inch thick)
  • 1/4 cup mild vegetable oil


  • In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt, onion powder, black pepper, paprika, and cayenne. Mix well. Sprinkle the seasoning mixture all over the pork chops, coating both sides.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the vegetable oil. Once the oil is hot, add the pork chops in a single layer and fry, turning once, until golden brown, and the internal temperature has reached 145°F (63°C), about 6 minutes per side, depending on the thickness.
  • Serve on a serving platter or individual plates, and devour.
I Heart Soul Food Cookbook

Adapted From

I Heart Soul Food

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 354 kcalCarbohydrates: 4 gProtein: 27 gFat: 25 gSaturated Fat: 6 gMonounsaturated Fat: 8 gTrans Fat: 0.2 gCholesterol: 88 mgSodium: 1233 mgFiber: 0.3 gSugar: 0.1 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Recipe © 2020 Rosie Mayes. Photo © 2020 Michael and Danielle Kartes. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

A simple and satisfying way to serve up pork chops for a quick weeknight meal. The pork chops cooked up perfectly in a cast iron pan and left a nice sauce to drizzle over the top.

I used Maldon Smoked Sea Salt, which lent a nice smokey flavor to the seasoning. The chops were 3/4 inch thick and I cooked them for 7 minutes per side.

These pork chops certainly made for a delicious and hearty dinner! This spice mixture complements the chops very nicely and can be enhanced with a touch of garlic as well. I served these with steamed vegetables and roasted potatoes. Our bellies were super happy and begging for leftovers!

My chops were just over 1/2 inch thick. The chops took exactly 6 minutes each side to reach 145°F. I recommend trying a little bit of garlic powder (1 tsp, same as onion powder) in with the spice mix! Garlic adds a nice complement to the rest of the mix and really, you can never have too much garlic.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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