These lemon pepper pork chops are tender bone-in cuts of pork and are flavored with a zesty, citrusy marinade. They are easily grilled on an indoor grill pan, outdoor BBQ or in the oven.
Why this recipe is just so good...
- The secret to juicy pork chops is to either brine or marinate them. We are using an easy, zesty marinade with olive oil, lemon and lots of spices so the chops are guaranteed to be tender and flavorful
- The chops can be grilled indoors or out. A stovetop grill pan works just as well as your outdoor BBQ grill. Both will give a terrific sear to the chops and seal in the juices. You can also cook them in your oven.
- Pork chops are much healthier than many people realize. The cut of meat used in this recipe is actually fairly lean but still delicious. Pork is a great choice for low carb and keto recipes. Try these other delicious pork recipes: Dutch oven pork chops, Pork Tenderloin or Pork steaks
- For the juiciest chops, make sure to buy bone-on, center cut rib pork chops, approximately ¾"-1" thick. Bone on pork chops take only a few minutes longer to cook than boneless, but the extra flavor is worth it!
- The lemon pepper marinade is key for these flavorful chops. It is an easy way to season and tenderize the pork chops at the same time.
How to make Lemon Pepper Pork Chops
- Combine olive oil, lemon juice, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, lemon pepper seasoning and garlic. Pour over pork chops in a large bowl or in a zipper storage bag. Put in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
- Spray some non stick baking spray on a large grill pan. Heat over medium flame. Remove pork from marinade. Place chops in pan or on the grill and let cook for at least 3 minutes until it gets a good sear. Using tongs, flip over to sear on the other side.
- Turn down flame to low-medium heat and continue to cook pork chops, about 5-10 minutes longer, until meat thermometer registers at least 145°F. Pork.org gives more information on safe temperatures for pork.
- Let pork chops rest for at least 5 minutes before serving. The meat will continue to cook as it rests.
- Some great sides to serve with pork chops are Roasted Asparagus and Carrots, Herb Roasted squash and zucchini or Grilled beets.
You can easily make your own version of lemon pepper. Mix 1 teaspoon pepper, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon lemon zest.
The best way to get tender and moist pork chops is start with always buying pork chops on the bone. The bone helps the meat from overcooking.
The lemon and the vinegar in the marinade will help break down the protein in the meat and that tenderizes the pork chops.
And most importantly, don't overcook them! Using a meat thermometer and testing the pork chops earlier rather than later. Take the chops off the grill when it registers 145°F. It may be slightly pink, but it will continue to cook as it rests.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a baking dish or baking pan with non stick cooking spray. Drain the marinade from the pork. Lightly dab the chops with paper towel to dry the marinade. Place pork chops in single layer in the pan and bake for 20-25 or until a meat thermometer registers 145°F. Remove from oven and let rest for 3 minutes before serving.
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Tender pork chops are infused with a lemon pepper marinade. Searing them quickly seals in the juices and they are easily cooked on your indoor grill pan or outdoor BBQ grill.
- 4 bone-in pork chops, about ¾"-1" thick
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon sugar or sugar substitute *
- ¼ cup soy sauce, low sodium
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1-2 tablespoons lemon pepper**
- Combine all ingredients for the marinade and mix well.
- Place pork chops in a large bowl or plastic zipper bag and pour marinade over chops.
- Place in refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
To Grill Indoors
- Use some non stick spray on a large grill pan. Preheat the pan or grill over medium heat.
- Remove pork chops from marinade, pat dry with paper towel and place on grill. Don't move them and let chops cook for about 3 minutes to get a good sear on them.
- Flip the chops and sear on the other side.
- Lower temperature to low-medium heat and continue cooking until meat thermometer registers 145°.***
- Remove from grill and let rest 5 minutes before serving.
- Lightly brush grates with a bit of olive oil. Preheat to 375°F over medium flame.
- Drain pork and pat dry.
- Place chops on grill grate let brown for about 3 minutes.
- Turn pork and let the other side get a good sear.
- Reduce flame to low medium if heat is too high.
- Continue grilling until pork registers 145°F.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a baking pan or baking sheet with non-stick baking spray.
- Drain the marinade and lightly blot dry the pork chops with paper towel.
- Place chops in pan in a single layer and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 145°F.
- Let rest for 3 minutes before serving.
* You can use sugar substitute if you prefer to keep the marinade sugar free.
** Make your own lemon pepper seasoning by combining: 1 teaspoon pepper, garlic powder and lemon zest, ½ teaspoon onion powder and salt.
***Remove pork chops from grill when a meat thermometer registers 145°F. They will continue to cook a bit while they rest before serving. As per USDA, pork is safe to eat when it reaches this temperature.
You can store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Keywords: Lemon Pepper Pork Chops