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Cream/ Hearty Dinners/ Pork

Creamy Lemon Thyme Pork Chops

June 28, 2023 (Last Updated: August 10, 2023) by Chris Collins

Pork chops drenched in the easiest and most irresistible creamy lemon thyme sauce!

I must admit, I did pinch and adapt this sauce from my Pork Schnitzels, just because I love it so much! Turns out it works really delightfully with regular pork chops. Follow me…

close up shot of lemon thyme pork chop on small white plate with potatoes and asparagus

Pan-Fried Pork Chops

When it comes to preparing the pork chops, you’ll want to do 3 things:

  • Room temp – I like to bring the pork close to room temp to help relax the meat and ensure it cooks through evenly.
  • Dry – Patting the pork dry will remove moisture, which in turn helps it caramelise in the pan more efficiently.
  • Season – No fancy seasoning needed, just some salt, pepper and garlic powder!

What kind of pork chops should I use?

Here I’m just using boneless pork loin steaks. They’re relatively small/thin, so they cook through quickly. You can use thick cut pork chops, or even pork shoulder steaks, you’ll just need to adjust the cooking times slightly. You only want the pork just about cooked, because it’ll carry on cooking slightly as it rests and when you put it back in the sauce.

Pork Fat

Unless the pork chops are lean, or you’re using pork medallions, there will likely be a thick strip of fat on one side. Depending on how thick it is, you might want to consider scoring it (making small slices in it). This will prevent the chops from curling up in the pan when you fry them. I also like to flip the chops on their side and render down the fat in the pan. This will add a huge amount of flavour to the sauce.

Process shots: pat pork dry (photo 1), season (photo 2), add to pan (photo 3), fry (photo 4), stack (photo 5), render fat (photo 6).

6 step by step photos showing how to cook pork chops

Creamy Lemon Thyme Sauce for Pork

The sauce actually starts where the pork left off, so don’t drain away any of the leftover fat!

How lemony is the sauce?

This is completely in your control! I recommend the zest of a whole lemon, which adds a subtle lemon flavour. From there I typically add in the juice of half the lemon, but I recommend working to taste. Just a note for when you’re removing the zest to only remove the waxy yellow part, not the white part (that part is very bitter!)

Process shots: melt butter (photo 1), fry shallots (photo 2), fry garlic, thyme and lemon zest (photo 3), stir in chicken stock and cream (photo 4), stir in Dijon mustard and lemon juice (photo 5), simmer (photo 6).

6 step by step photos showing how to make creamy lemon thyme pork chops

Lemon Thyme Pork Chops FAQ

Can I use a different cut of pork?

Any type of pork chop or steak will do the trick. Pork tenderloin would also work really well! I recommend following my Creamy Mustard Pork Tenderloins for guidance on cooking the pork, then just use this recipe for the sauce.

Won’t the lemon juice curdle the sauce?

So long as you’re using heavy (US) or double (UK) cream, the sauce won’t curdle. As such, I don’t recommend using anything lighter (half & half/single cream).

How do I thicken the sauce?

It will thicken – promise! Just keep gently simmering and stirring away. The lemon juice and mustard will both also help thicken the sauce.

Can I use dried thyme?

Fresh thyme is a must. You don’t simmer the sauce long enough for dried thyme to efficiently infuse the sauce.

overhead shot of creamy lemon thyme pork in large cast-iron pan

Serving Creamy Lemon Thyme Pork Chops

Here I’ve served with Roast Potatoes and Asparagus. I used my Roasted Baby Potatoes Recipe and chucked in some asparagus for the last 10 mins or so of cooking. Mashed Potato would also work really well!

For the salmon version of this recipe check out my Creamy Lemon Salmon!

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this creamy lemon thyme pork shall we!?

overhead shot of creamy lemon pork on small white plate with roast potatoes and asparagus

How to make Creamy Lemon Thyme Pork Chops (Full Recipe & Video)

close up shot of lemon thyme pork chop on small white plate with potatoes and asparagus

Creamy Lemon Thyme Pork Chops

Pork chops drenched in the easiest and most irresistible creamy lemon thyme sauce!
5 from 1 vote
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Servings (click & slide): 4
Course: Dinner / Main Course
Cuisine: Western
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Calories per serving: 371kcal
Cost per serving: £2.50 / £3

Equipment:

  • Large Heavy-Based Pan & Tongs
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Kitchen Paper
  • Jug (for stock)

Ingredients (check list):

  • 4x Pork Chops, brought close to room temp (see notes)
  • Salt, Black Pepper & Garlic Powder, to season pork
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 2 Shallots, very finely diced
  • 2 cloves of Garlic, very finely diced
  • 2 tsp Fresh Thyme Leaves, finely diced
  • 1 Lemon, zested and halved
  • 180ml / 3/4 cup Chicken Stock
  • 180ml / 3/4 cup Double/Heavy Cream, at room temp
  • 1 heaped tsp Dijon Mustard

Instructions:

  • Pat the pork chops dry with kitchen paper then season both sides with a pinch of salt, pepper & garlic powder.
  • Add 1 tbsp olive oil to a large heavy-based pan over high heat. Add the pork chops and fry both sides for a couple of minutes, or until golden brown on the outside and just about cooked through the centre (timings will depend on thickness of the chops). Stack the chops on top of each other with the fat aligning, then use your tongs to flip them on the sides and sear the fat for a couple of mins. Remove from pan and place to one side. Lower heat to medium.
  • Melt in the butter, then fry the shallots until they begin to soften and turn golden. Add the garlic, thyme & lemon zest and fry for another 30 seconds or so.
  • Stir in the stock and cream, then stir in the mustard and your preferred amount of lemon juice. I usually go for 1 tbsp lemon juice (~ half a lemon), but start with less and work up if you'd prefer. Simmer for around 5 mins until the sauce thickens, stirring somewhat frequently.
  • Stir in any resting juices from the pork, then season to taste and adjust if needed. Add the pork chops in and baste in the sauce, then serve up and enjoy!

Quick 1 min demo!

Notes:

a) Pork Chops - Here I used some boneless loin chops which were about 120g/4oz each. They're pretty thin, hence the quick cooking time. You could also use larger pork chops, they'll obviously just take longer to cook. In all cases, you'll want to get the internal temp of the pork to at least 63C/145F (will be a blush of pink at this temp). Also, if the strip of fat is quite thick consider scoring it so it doesn't cause the pork to curl up in the pan.
b) Lemon - I find the zest of the whole lemon and the juice of half of it gives a pretty good punch of lemony flavour, without it being too overbearing. If you're at all wary just start off with less juice and work your way up. Make sure you only remove the very outer layer of the lemon (the yellow waxy part) and not the white part. If you haven't got a zester just use a fine cheese grater and finely dice it from there.
c) Sauce - Ensure you're using heavy (US) or double (UK) cream, otherwise you risk the lemon juice curdling the cream. 
d) Serving - Here I've served with Roast Potatoes and Asparagus. I used my Roasted Baby Potatoes Recipe and chucked in some asparagus for the last 10 mins or so of cooking.
e) Calories - Whole recipe divided by 4 (no sides).

Your Private Notes:

Nutrition:

Nutrition Facts
Creamy Lemon Thyme Pork Chops
Amount Per Serving
Calories 371 Calories from Fat 265
% Daily Value*
Fat 29.44g45%
Saturated Fat 15.501g78%
Trans Fat 0.267g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.619g
Monounsaturated Fat 10.099g
Cholesterol 145mg48%
Sodium 135mg6%
Potassium 437mg12%
Carbohydrates 3.58g1%
Fiber 0.3g1%
Sugar 1.97g2%
Protein 23.3g47%
Vitamin A 855IU17%
Vitamin C 6.4mg8%
Calcium 56mg6%
Iron 0.87mg5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
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Looking for more?You'll find plenty more delicious comfort food like this in my Debut Cookbook 'Comfy'

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Kristen H
    July 22, 2023 at 3:18 am

    5 stars
    I am not a cook and this was so delicious. My son who has a lot of sensory issues loved it. Will be making again.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      July 24, 2023 at 10:45 am

      Hey Kristen! So great to hear this went down well with you and your son 🙂 Thanks so much for the review! C.

    5 KNOCKOUT

    DINNERS

    YOU'LL NEVER STOP MAKING!

    A FREE EMAIL SERIES, FROM ONE FOODIE TO ANOTHER