Sumptuous and tantalizing, this keto pork chops recipe offers you the best, scientifically tested (by yours truly) mouth-wateringly juicy chops around. This southern specialty is drenched in a keto-approved gravy, with a crispy surprise (pancetta!). Serve with a side of my mashed cauliflower for a dinner you won’t soon forget.
Keto Pork Chops Video Tutorial
Dry Pork is a Downright Tragedy…
Pork chops are one of my earliest food memories–that mouthwatering burst of flavor and a warm kitchen, being so excited for a second (or third) helping. They were my dad’s specialty and I could never wait until it was his turn to cook.
Now I’ve tried my fair share of pork chops since I was a kid, and as I matured so did my palate. Young Me never noticed if a pork chop was on the chewy side, but Now Me has a motto: If it’s dry, I will cry.
Yes, dry pork is a downright tragedy. Thankfully I committed myself a long time ago to developing the most tender, succulent pork chop ever–and I definitely made Dad proud with this one.
These keto smothered pork chops are brined, seared, and then cooked in gravy to *chef’s kiss* perfection. Plus, this recipe is still super quick and easy. Throw these savory bad boys together any day of the week, from a busy Wednesday night to a weekend evening with friends and family.
Important Ingredient Notes
- Pork chops: For this recipe, I like to use bone-in pork chops. As you know, chops have a tendency to dry up when cooked, and cooking them on the stove makes them even more susceptible. Using bone-in helps keep them moist while imparting more flavor. If boneless is your only option, you can still make these keto pork chops, but you’ll cut down the cooking time.
- Xanthan gum has a tendency to clump, so the technique when adding it to your gravy is important. You’ll want to sprinkle to evenly distribute it over the top of your chicken broth, then whisk vigorously.
- Pancetta?! YES, with everything 🙂 I like to sear the pork chops in pancetta fat. You cab sub pancetta for small slices of bacon. Or, skip, and sear your keto pork chops in a bit of mild-tasting oil (like avocado oil).
Is Pork Keto Friendly?
HECK YES, IT IS! On its own, pork is pure protein, with no carbs. So if you’re wondering how many net carbs are in pork chops (sans sauce and sides), that’s a big ZERO.
Now, where the carbs in pork chops typically come in, is the sauce or breading. So, for these keto pork chops, we cover them in a (you guessed it) keto gravy and serve over a smattering of low carb vegetables. Compare that to a traditional smothered pork chop recipe–usually made with flour (for the gravy), and served with mashed potatoes–and you just saved yourself a whole lotta carbs.
Do I Dare Reheat Pork Chops??
Ah! Scary thought! As previously mentioned, these puppies have a tendency to dry out. So I STRONGLY suggest you eat any and all of your keto pork chops hot and fresh out-the-pan.
If you do happen to have leftovers, you can reheat them in an oven preheated to 350 F on a rimmed baking sheet with 2 tablespoons of water. Place pork chops in the middle of your pan, and cover them with aluminum foil. Cook for 10-15 minutes, and heat your sauce separately.
These smothered pork chops are begggging for cauliflower mashed potatoes. But, any veggie mash will do: try my mashed butternut squash for a pop of color and flava.
- Switch up the sauce. I love the simple pan gravy these are served with, but you can always get fancy with keto pork chops with mushroom sauce–for mushroom pork chops, just add sliced mushrooms to the pan before adding the chicken broth, and saute until softened.
- Try different seasoning. Get as funky as you’d like.
More Recipes with Pork
Keto Pork ChopsPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
Pork Chops + Brine:
- 2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
- 2 Cups water boiling
- 2 pork chops, 3/4" thick (Note 1+2)
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 ounces pancetta
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum (note 3)
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme chopped
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- mashed cauliflower
- Brine. Whisk to dissolve the salt (2 tablespoons) in the boiling water (2 cups). Set it aside and allow the water to come to room temp (time saver: place brine in the fridge for 20 minutes). Place pork chops (2) in a resealable bag and pour brine on top. Seal and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Season. In a small bowl, combine the seasoning: black pepper (1/4 teaspoon), onion powder (1 teaspoon), garlic powder (1 teaspoon), and cayenne pepper (1/4 teaspoon). Remove pork chops from the brine and discard. Pat the pork chops completely dry and sprinkle seasoning on each side. Press to adhere.
- Sear. In a large pan (with a lid) saute the pancetta (4 ounces) until crispy, over medium heat. Use a slotted spoon to set cooked pancetta aside on a paper towel-lined plate, but leave the grease in the pan. Crank the heat of your pan to high. Once wicked hot, add the chops and sear until golden on each side--the time here will depend on your pan/heat, for me, they browned beautifully in 3 minutes on each side. Place seared pork chops aside on a plate.
- Sauce. Lower the heat of your pan to medium. Add chicken broth (1/2 cup), and sprinkle xanthan gum (1/8 teaspoon) across the top of the broth. Whisk until it completely dissolves (note 4). Add thyme (1 tablespoon), heavy cream (1/4 cup), and pancetta. Bring your gravy to a simmer.
- Simmer. Add the pork chops to the gravy and scoop sauce on top of each. Cover the pan with a lid and allow the pork chops to cook until they come to 145 F in the center (note 5). Start checking after 5 minutes, and every 2 minutes until they come to temp (to prevent overcooking).
- Serve pork chops over mashed cauliflower with gravy spooned on top. Enjoy!
Fans Also Made These Low Carb Recipes:
- Bone-in vs. boneless: boneless pork chops can be used, however, they cook faster. Start checking after they've cooked in the gravy, covered, for 3 minutes.
- Thickness of pork chops: You can use thicker/thinner pork chops, just know your cook times will vary.
- Xanthan gum amount: carefully measure the xanthan gum, don't add more than 1/8th teaspoon, it can make this dish gummy.
- Xanthan gum clumps very easily, so the technique of sprinkling it over the top of your liquid, and whisking right away is important.
- Cook time will vary, and overcooking the pork will ruin the dish. I strongly recommend using a meat thermometer and checking the temp often.