You might not think a meat with a reputation for being dry makes for a great freezer option. But the pork chop has been given short shrift. But between the brine, the bone, and the initial sear, this recipe allows for you to just shove the chop in the oven from frozen and pull it out without another thought. I know it seems hard to believe, but with the right forward planning for the brining and searing, you can have pork chops straight from frozen any day of the week.–Ali Rosen

A large cinnamon-rosemary pork chop on a glass plate with a knife and fork.

Cinnamon Rosemary Pork Chops

5 / 4 votes
This recipe provides an exciting pop of flavor––cinnamon and rosemary is a pairing that should be undertaken more. The secret to a juicy chop is a quick sear, followed by a few minutes in the oven.
David Leite
Servings4 servings
Calories336 kcal
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time8 hours 40 minutes


  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, preferably full-fat
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 4 (2 lbs) bone-in pork chops
  • 1 tablespoon mild vegetable oil, for frying


  • In a large bowl, combine yogurt, rosemary, cinnamon, and salt. Mix thoroughly. Add pork chops, turning to fully coat in the cinnamon-rosemary mixture. Refrigerate and marinate for at least 8 hours and up to overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C).
  • Place an oven-safe skillet on the stove over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the oil to the pan, then the pork in a single layer. Cook, without moving, until one side has browned, 2 to 4 minutes.
  • Turn chops over. Slide skillet into the oven and cook until the internal temperature has reached 135°F (57°C) to 145°F (63°C), about 15 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and let pork rest for at least 3 minutes before serving.


Can I freeze cooked pork chops?

These easy pork chops were developed as a make-ahead freezer meal. You can enjoy them immediately, but if you want to make a batch and stash them in the freezer, simply prepare through step 3, then let cool to room temperature. Wrap each chop in foil, then stash in a freezer bag or container, and store in the freezer until ready to use. Remove the frozen pork from the bag or container and bake (directly from frozen) at 400°F (200°C) until cooked through, 30 to 45 minutes.
Modern Freezer Meals

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Serving: 1 servingCalories: 336 kcalCarbohydrates: 1 gProtein: 38 gFat: 19 gSaturated Fat: 8 gMonounsaturated Fat: 6 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 118 mgSodium: 3591 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 1 g

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

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2021 Ali Rosen. Photo © 2021 Noah Fecks. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Wow! These cinnamon rosemary pork chops were moist and delicious. I wasn’t sure how the cinnamon would work in this but it helped develop a deep, rich flavor without tasting like cinnamon toast (i.e., what I had feared). They browned really beautifully as well.

I thought this brine mixture would make something like a paste, but it didn’t come together that way for me. It was thick but not well-integrated. I used a knife to smooth the coating on all of the chops and even them out, à la frosting a cake. Regular, non-strained yogurt might have been easier to blend with the other ingredients. Otherwise, I might try just coating the chops in Greek yogurt with a knife or offset spatula and then dragging through a plate with the combined other ingredients.

The pork chops were served as part of a meal with roasted red creamer potatoes with dill, buttered green beans, and a green salad.

Freezer Version:
Based on my previous experience, I decided to combine the ingredients in my mini-prep processor. I chopped the rosemary first and, once I had the right amount, added that back in with the other ingredients. This proved more satisfactory than doing this part by hand. The brine turned out more paste-like this way, and I applied it to the chops with a silicone brush. The ingredients were still not fully incorporated, however, and there were puffs of cinnamon in the air. (Kitchen smelled great, though.)

The Finale: They cooked just fine out of the freezer into a 400ºF oven. They were done at 45 minutes and very moist, once again. These are delicious and very much worth making.

I was intrigued by the recipe for cinnamon rosemary pork chops due to the combination of cinnamon and rosemary. I imagined this going one of two ways, either surprisingly good or totally strange. Fortunately, it was the former with both ingredients truly complementing each other.

The dish was very easy to prepare with just a few ingredients and most of the cooking taking place in the oven. The even heat of the oven cooked the pork perfectly. I recommend aiming towards 135ºF internal temperature to yield the most tender and moist pork.

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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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    A brisk and gray late November day in Chicago sets the perfect stage for this dish tonight. Our second time making it but it won’t be the last. Such a comforting flavor but by no means predictable. Try this for a change and you’ll end up putting it into the rotation. We serve it with sauteed spinach with pine nuts, mashed potatoes, and simple green salad.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment, Kate. We’re so pleased that this has taken up a permanent spot in your dinner rotation.

  2. 5 stars
    I wasn’t sure about pork chops with cinnamon and rosemary… boy was I wrong. These are delicious! The prep is a dream – throw everything in a bag, marinate, brown and bake. Easy! The pork chops are moist, flavorful, and the cinnamon perfumes them just enough. We were all pleasantly surprised when we tasted these. Definitely worth making – again and again.