When cilantro and lime are paired together in a recipe, I expect my tastebuds to tingle with vibrant, bright flavors that make every bite feel like the best I've ever had. And boy do these pork chops deliver. Bite after bite, they treat you to a burst of citrusy tang.
This simple pan sauce might make your mouth pucker, but paired with lean, mild pork chops, it's absolute perfection. This is about to become you're new favorite way to eat a pork chop — no doubt about it.
Cilantro Lime Pork Chops: Watch the Video
For Oven-Baked Pork Chops, Start with a Thicker Chop
Save that pack of thin chops for the next time you're cooking pork exclusively on the stovetop. Recipes that start on the stove and finish in the oven benefit from a thicker chop. Look for pork chops that are at least one-inch thick since they're less likely to overcook. You'll be rewarded with a tender and juicy piece of meat as a result.
Cilantro Lime Pork Chops
Prep time: 10 minutes ; cooking time: 15 minutes
boneless pork chops (about 1-inch thick, 4 to 6 ounces each)
Freshly ground black pepper
coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
Finely grated zest of 2 medium limes
freshly squeezed lime juice (from 2 to 4 limes)
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400°F.
Heat the oil in a 10-inch or larger cast iron skillet or oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat until very hot and almost smoking. Meanwhile, pat the pork chops dry with paper towels. Generously season all over with salt and pepper. Add the pork to the pan and sear until golden-brown, 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast until the pork registers 145°F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of each chop, 6 to 10 minutes depending on the thickness of the chops. Transfer the pork chops to a clean plate.
Place the skillet over medium heat. Add the cilantro, butter, garlic, and lime zest and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute. Stir in the lime juice. Return the pork chops and any accumulated juices to the skillet and swirl around the pan to coat on all sides. Serve warm.
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.