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June 2, 2023

Pork Chops in Tomato Sauce

Our recipe for pork chops in tomato sauce with caramelized onions plays with the sweetness of tomatoes and peppery fresh basil with grated parmesan and a heaping serving of pasta.

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pork chops braised in tomato sauce served on cooked pasta noodles and topped with caramelized onions, basil and parmesan
Photography by Gayle McLeod

Simple + Quick Braised Pork Chops In Tomato Sauce

Herby pork chops and tomato sauce with caramelized onions and a big scoop of pasta is one of those meals that hits all of the cravings. It’s simple to prepare (open can, add to pan), calls for basic pantry items, and gets a little shine from basil, the star of every summer dish. It’s especially quick if you have a batch of Caramelized Onions cued up. Serve with oven roasted vegetables (like Cauliflower) and a Broccoli or Caesar Salad.

4 pork chops, crushed tomatoes, onions, spices, basil parmesan, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, sugar  & butter in prep bowls

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Ingredients You’ll Need To Make Pork Chops In Tomato Sauce

  • Boneless pork chops – We recommend looking for a ½-inch thick cut pork chop. A thicker cut is easier to cook evenly, and is just so satisfying to slice into.

  • A big can crushed tomatoes – You’re going to need a big ole can of crushed tomatoes to give the pork chops enough liquid in which to gently cook.

  • Fresh basil – The fresh part really makes a difference in this recipe since it’s such a brief ingredient list! If you forgot to get fresh (doh!) then swapping for 1 tablespoon dried basil will do in a pinch.

  • Parmigiano Reggiano – The king of cheese! You might just call him Parmesan. Either way, get out the grater and start from a nice chunk of fresh cheese.

1 large onion caramelized in butter in a skillet
4 1/2-inch thick pork chops being browned in olive oil in a skillet
4 (1/2-inch) pork chops being browned in olive oil in a skillet
olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, pepper, basil, parmesan, sugar, and vinegar cooking in a skillet

How to Cook Pork Chops In Tomato Sauce

  • Caramelize the onions. Heat the butter and olive oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add the onions. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook gently until golden and caramelized, about 40-50 minutes. Check out how to make perfect Caramelized Onions in more detail.

  • Brown the pork chops. Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels. Season all over with the salt and cook until golden brown, 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer the pork to a plate.

  • Make the sauce. Cook the garlic (briefly!) until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes, pepper, basil, parmesan, sugar, and vinegar and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.

  • Nestle the pork. Return the pork to the skillet with the sauce (tongs are helpful here). Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until pork is tender and cooked through.

  • Serve the pork chops and sauce over pasta, if using. Top with caramelized onions, basil and parmesan.

tomato sauce made with olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, pepper, basil, parmesan, sugar, and vinegar cooking in a skillet
4 pork chops braised in tomato sauce in a skillet

How to Store Pork Chops In Tomato Sauce + Tips

  • The secret to tender, moist pork chops is to start with a nice thick chop. First, pat them dry, and then season them evenly and generously with salt. Let the pork chops rest before cooking (30 minutes is ideal). This might seem obvious, but don’t cook the pork chops over too high of heat. The meat will not cook evenly, and the pork chops are likely to curl up.

  • You can store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to a few days, or in the freezer for up to three months. Just wait until everything has cooled to room temperature before storing in an airtight container.

  • You might be surprised to discover that caramelized onions freeze really well. You can make up a big batch (such a good idea) and freeze in smallish quantities (we suggest a ¼ to ½ cup size portions) for future use, like our Tomato, Basil & Caramelized Onion Quiche.

  • This recipe is nearly dairy free! If you substitute your favorite dairy free butter and cheese replacement, you’ll be good to go. It’s naturally gluten free, so you can cook up some gluten free pasta to serve alongside.

4 pork chops braised in tomato sauce topped with basil, parmesan and caramelized onions
pork chops braised in tomato sauce served on cooked pasta noodles and topped with caramelized onions, basil and parmesan

More Tasty Pork Recipes From The Modern Proper

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Pork Chops in Tomato Sauce

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time:  20 min
  • Cook Time:  50 min
  • Calories: 338

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 (½-inch thick) boneless pork chops (about 1 pound)
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • ¼ cup minced fresh basil, plus more for serving
  • ⅓ cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar raw apple cider
  • 4 cups cooked pasta, for serving (optional)

Method

  1. Heat the butter and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add the onions. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and caramelized, 40-50 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels. Season all over with the salt. Once the oil is glistening, add the pork chops and cook until golden brown, 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer the pork to a plate.

  3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet. Once the oil is glistening, add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes, pepper, basil, parmesan, sugar, and vinegar and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.

  4. Return the pork to the skillet with the sauce. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until pork is tender and cooked through.

  5. Serve the pork chops and sauce over pasta, if using. Top with caramelized onions, basil and parmesan.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories338
  • Protein30 g
  • Carbohydrates13 g
  • Total Fat21 g
  • Dietary Fiber3 g
  • Cholesterol62 mg
  • sodium816 mg
  • Total Sugars9 g

Pork Chops in Tomato Sauce

Questions & Reviews

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  • Jenn

    These were definitely some of my favorite pork chops of all time. The sauce makes it anything but boring and I've never paired pork chops with pasta but it was delicious!

    Thanks Jenn, we are so glad you enjoyed this one!