French Onion Pork Chops — If you love French onion soup, you’re going to adore these pork chops! They’re ready in under an hour and can be made in just one skillet! Elegant, EASY, and sure to be a new family FAVORITE recipe!
Table of Contents
- French Onion Smothered Pork Chops (From Scratch!)
- Ingredients for French Onion Pork Chops
- What Type of Pork Chops Should I Use?
- What Type of Onions Should I Use?
- What’s the Best Type of Wine for This Recipe?
- How to Make French Onion Pork Chops
- Caramelizing Onions – Two Ways!
- Tips for Making Pork Chops with Onions
- Storage Instructions for French Onion Pork Chops Recipe
- What to Serve with French Onion Pork Chops
- Tips for the Best French Onion Pork Chops
- More Favorite Easy Pork Recipes:
- French Onion Pork Chops Recipe
French Onion Smothered Pork Chops (From Scratch!)
In this recipe, juicy pork chops are smothered in a caramelized onion gravy that reminds me of classic French Onion Soup.
The brothy white wine sauce reduces and infuses the caramelized onions with layers of flavor, and the two types of melted cheese make an already amazing dish even better.
These pork chops are a remake of my popular French Onion Chicken recipe, which has quickly become a reader favorite since publishing it in January 2023.
For this pork chop version, I made the recipe even simpler! I’ve provided two ways to caramelize onions. One is shortcut method using beef broth to soften them fast. And the other is the classic method for caramelizing onions on the stovetop.
There’s also no need to transfer the skillet to the oven at the end to melt the cheese like you may in a French onion soup recipe for example. Here you just pop on the lid for a few minutes instead and the cheese melts in no time.
This is a one-skillet pork chop recipe that’s elegant for dinner parties but simple enough to enjoy on a busy weeknight. Load up your plate with green beans and mashed potatoes to round out the meal, plus dinner rolls for mopping up that onion gravy!
Ingredients for French Onion Pork Chops
I don’t mind using shortcuts in the kitchen if it winds up tasting just as good as homemade and saves me time, to boot. But in the case of French onion smothered pork chops, homemade is the way to go.
I don’t love using French onion soup mix in this recipe because it’s too salty, plus I’d still need to chop up some onions for added flavor and texture.
If I’m going to go through the trouble of thinly slicing the onions, I’d rather just go all in and make the dish from scratch!
Don’t worry, though, the ingredients list is short:
- Beef broth
- Olive oil
- Boneless pork chops
- Salt and pepper
- Garlic powder, dried thyme, and dried rosemary
- All-purpose flour
- White wine
- Shredded Gruyere cheese
- Shredded Swiss cheese
Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.
What Type of Pork Chops Should I Use?
You’ll want to use boneless pork chops that are roughly 1 to 1.5 inches thick.
Don’t use thinner pork chops, otherwise they’ll cook in a fraction of the time that the recipe calls for, and the end result will be rubbery, dry pork chops.
You’re likely fine to use bone-in pork chops, so long as they’re thick enough. However, bone-in pork chops tend to take a little longer to cook so just bear that in mind if using them to make French onion pork chops.
What Type of Onions Should I Use?
To make the pork chops with caramelized onions, I recommend using yellow onions or Spanish onions for the most balanced flavor. White or Sweet Vidalia onions also work but are not as common.
Slice the onions into ¼-inch wide vertical slices (root to tip slices). You don’t want them to be too thin or else they’ll disintegrate in the beef stock as they simmer.
Can the White Wine Be Substituted?
In my opinion, you can’t really have French onion pork chops without the white wine.
There’s just ¾ cup used in this recipe, and the alcohol largely burns off.
The wine imparts so much richness and depth of flavor to the finished dish and I highly suggest using it.
If you absolutely don’t want to use white wine to make the pork chops with onion gravy, use 3/4 cup of chicken broth instead.
What’s the Best Type of Wine for This Recipe?
Use a dry white wine that you would happily drink.
Do NOT use anything labeled as “cooking wine” because they’re lower quality and quite frankly taste awful.
For this recipe, try using your favorite sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio, or Chardonnay.
Pour yourself a glass while the pork chops cook — chef’s treat!
How to Make French Onion Pork Chops
If you’re short on time, don’t worry about caramelizing the onions the traditional way. I’ve listed a shortcut method for cooking onions that delivers that caramelized effect in about 20 minutes, reducing the overall total time.
Caramelizing Onions – Two Ways!
You can caramelize your onions over low heat for 30 to 45 minutes.
Or you can soften them for 5 minutes, then add some beef stock and let them simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
Both ways can produce a nice, dark, caramelized look with plenty of rich and robust flavor!
Step 1: Add the sliced onions and butter to a skillet. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
At this point you have a choice…
Step 2: Add the beef stock and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes to tenderize and caramelize the onions.
And now you can decide to multitask and speed things up a bit by using 3A and sear the pork in a separate skillet. Or use 3B by making the recipe in one skillet and waiting it out, about 45 minutes and not multitasking.
Step 3A: While the onions are finishing caramelizing, in a separate skillet you can heat a bit of olive oil and sear the seasoned pork chops for about 3 minutes per side.Tip: They will NOT be done cooking at this point, they finish cooking in the onion sauce!
Step 3B: Just wait for the onions to caramelize fully, about 45 minutes. And then remove the caramelized onions to a clean plate. Season the pork chops with the herbs and spices, then add to the skillet (now over medium-high heat!) and cook for 3 minutes. Flip and cook the other side for 3 more minutes. Tip: They will NOT be done cooking at this point, they finish cooking in the onion sauce!
Now whichever method you used, move on to the remaining steps
Step 4: Remove the pork chops from the skillet and place pork chops on a plate.
Step 5: Add the flour to the skillet and cook for 1 minute.
Step 6: Add more broth to the skillet, plus the white wine, and cook for 1 minute whisking the whole time. This is called making a roux.
Step 7: Add the onions back in, nestle the pork chops into the onions, and keep cooking in this French onion gravy like sauce until just until done, about 10 minutes.
Step 8: Remove the skillet from the heat, sprinkle tablespoons of the cheeses over the pork chops, and pop the lid on just long enough to melt the cheeses.
Step 9: After the cheese has melted, spoon some onions over the top, garnish, slice, and serve!
How to Tell When Pork Chops Are Done
Overcooked pork chops are dry, tough, and rubbery, and undercooked pork chops aren’t safe to eat. A digital meat thermometer is your solution.
Pork is fully cooked and safe to eat once the thickest part of the chop reaches 145°F.
To ensure you don’t overcook the pork chops, you can remove the skillet from the heat once the pork reaches 140°F. After they rest for about 5 minutes, the internal temperature will rise to 145°F and you’re set to slice and serve.
Tips for Making Pork Chops with Onions
Slicing the onions: You can the onions vertically (like you would for French onion soup) or horizontally to form rings. Whichever direction you slice the onions, make sure they’re about ¼-inch thick so that they hold their shape even after caramelizing.
Low-salt ingredients: I prefer using unsalted butter and reduced sodium beef broth in this recipe. This allows me free reign to add regular table salt to taste after cooking and tasting the French onion pork chops.
Beef Stock vs. Beef Broth – Beef stock is made with beef bones that have been well cleaned with respect to any meat still on them. Whereas beef broth implies that a bit of flesh, or meat, is still on the bones when everything is boiling. For this recipe, it does not matter whether you use beef stock or beef broth. The two can be used interchangeably.
One or two skillets: You’ll notice that the instructions I provided above have you removing the onions and pork chops from the skillet a couple different times. If you don’t mind dirtying another skillet, you can opt to caramelize the onions in one skillet and cook the pork chops in another. This will shorten the overall cook time and everything can cook at once.
Cheese: I used shredded Gruyere and Swiss cheeses. You can also thinly sliced cheese instead if that’s what you have. Gruyere is the classic cheese choice for French onion soup because it not only melts beautifully, but it has such a rich depth of flavor. It’s a pricier cheese but totally worth every penny. Plus you don’t need much! If you’d like to use solely Gruyere and no Swiss, that’s perfectly fine. Although Swiss is great complement to Gruyere cheese, and more budget-friendly. And in a pinch, you can use. Another option is provolone cheese, either shredded or sliced provolone cheese.
Favorite skillets: Since the pork and onions are cooked in one skillet on the stove top, it’s important that you use one with a heavy bottom that distributes heat evenly. My go-to skillets are the LeCreuest 2.25 Quart Braising Pan, All-Clad D5 Stainless Steel 3-Quart Pan, and All-Clad D5 Stainless Steel Essential Pan, 4-Quart.
Storage Instructions for French Onion Pork Chops Recipe
I don’t recommend making this recipe for pork chops and onions ahead of time, as it’s a dish that’s best enjoyed warm and fresh.
However, leftovers will keep up to 5 days in the fridge. To reheat, nuke in the microwave for 30-second increments until warmed through or reheat gently in a skillet over medium heat (this is my preferred method). You might need to add a splash of beef stock to the skillet to prevent the pork chops from drying out.
I’ve never frozen this decadent pork chop and onions recipe, although I’m sure it would be fine in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3-4 months.
What to Serve with French Onion Pork Chops
French onion pork chops are fairly hearty and pair well with the following sides:
- Mashed potatoes
- No-knead dinner rolls or 1-hour breadsticks
- Parmesan Roasted Broccoli
- Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Classic House Salad
- Slow Cooker Baked Potatoes
- Herb Roasted Potatoes
- Roasted Cauliflower
- White rice, brown rice, or your favorite rice
Tips for the Best French Onion Pork Chops
Not gonna lie, fresh herbs always win in my book for both flavor and appearance. There’s nothing like the delicate appearance of fresh thyme sprigs to make a comfort food recipe appear more elegant!
However if you don’t keep fresh thyme or rosemary on hand, it’s okay to used dried herbs. I give measurements for both in the recipe card.
I think it matters less whether you have bone-in or boneless pork chops for this recipe, although I use boneless. They’re more common in my grocery store, and they cook a bit quicker.
It’s more important that you use a nice, thick chop a good inch to 1 1/2 inches thick.
Make sure to use a medium-low to low heat. Don’t let the onions burn, meaning the edges of them are turning black and they look actually burnt. Be especially when you first add them to the pan and they get black on the edges. This is bad and turn your heat way down!
The caramelization process – even my sped-up version of it – is still just that: a process that takes some time. And it’s best to err on the side of low-and-slow when it comes to how much heat is coming off your burner. Apart from them, you don’t want to burn the butter!
This is a great question and I’m sure it’s entirely possible.
However, at this point I haven’t tried my hand at recipe testing this option so can’t give specifics. However, I have heard of people having great success caramelizing onions in a Crock-Pot so I’m sure it’s entirely possible to do that portion in your slow cooker for a few hours. Separately, sear the chops on the stove top, and then transfer them into the slow cooker with the onions to simmer for a few hours more and finish cooking through is my rough guesstimate.
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- 2 large yellow onions, halved and sliced vertically into 1/4-inch slices
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup reduced sodium beef broth + 1 cup uced sodium beef broth
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 boneless pork chops, 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick (bone-in pork chops may be substituted)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder OR 1 teaspoon fresh garlic, finely minced
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme OR 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary OR 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup dry white wine (highly recommended but reduced sodium chicken broth may be substituted)
- ¼ cup finely shredded Gruyere cheese*
- ¼ cup finely shredded Swiss cheese*
- To a large, heavy-bottom skillet or braising pan, add the onions, butter, and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes to melt the butter; stir nearly constantly until butter melts.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and add 1/4 cup reduced sodium beef broth. Tips - Beef broth and beef stock can be used interchangeably in this recipe. More importantly, I always opt for reduced or lower sodium because as the liquid reduces in volume and concentrates, it will taste even saltier.
- Evenly season the pork chops on both sides with the salt, pepper, garlic, thyme, and rosemary.
- Now select either Option 1 OR Option 2 below.
- Option 1 (faster, 2 skillets)- Cook the onions for about 15 to 20 minutes over medium-low heat, or until the onions have caramelized and are a nice, deep brown color; stir intermittently. While the onions are caramelizing, to a separate skillet, add the olive oil, pork chops, and sear over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes per side. Take them out and set them aside on a plate. They will not be done at this point. Jump to Step 7.
- Option 2 (slower, 1 skillet) - Cook the onions for about 30 to 45 minutes over medium-low to low heat, or until the onions have caramelized and are a nice, deep brown color; stir intermittently. When the onions are done and have caramelized, remove them from the skillet, and set them aside on a plate. To the skillet, add the olive oil, pork chops, and sear over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes per side. Take them out and set them aside on a plate. They will not be done at this point. Jump to Step 7.
- Add the flour to the pan juices and cook over medium-high heat for 1 minute; whisking nearly constantly. Tip - This is called making a roux which will help the sauce tighten and thicken up a bit later on. Don't skip this step.
- Add the remaining 1 cup beef broth, wine, and whisk to combine. Note - Use caution when you add the liquids (especially wine) because they will have a tendency to produce a lot of steam and bubble up vigorously for a few seconds. Wine Tips - Use a dry white wine like sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio, or chardonnay for best results and flavor. A large (majority) percentage of the alcohol burns off during the simmering process, and what you're left with is the great depth of flavor the wine adds, but not alcohol content. Although if you don't drink alcohol or are serving this to others and are very concerned about there being a small percentage of alcohol in the sauce, use reduced sodium chicken broth instead.
- Add the onions back into the skillet and stir to combine and coat with the broth-wine mixture.
- Turn the heat to medium-low, add the pork chops back in, evenly distribute and sprinkle both cheeses over the top of all the pork chops, and nestle the chops in the onions, creating space for them as needed, and simmer for another 10 minutes, or until pork is done. I usually put the lid on at this point to encourage the cheese to melt a bit faster.
- Pork is done when the thickest part of the pork chop reads 145F according to a digital thermometer. Tips - Don't accidentally hit bone with the thermometer if using bone-in chops; also note that bone-in chops take a bit longer to cook than boneless. I suggest removing the pork from the skillet at about 140F, and allowing it to rest on a platter covered with foil. The internal temperature of the pork will rise to 145F, even off the heat. But this way you run less risk of them drying out.
- Recipe is best served warm and fresh, although leftover will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days or airtight in the freezer for up to 3-4 months.
Adapted from French Onion Chicken
*Cheese - You may use all of one type of cheese - exclusively Gruyere or exclusively Swiss, if preferred. Sliced rather than shredded is also fine. Gruyere is the go-to classic choice for French onion soup and I love it here too. But provolone cheese is an acceptable substitute.
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