Crushed pork rinds make a crispy, delicious, and keto-approved coating when frying thin boneless pork chops. An easy 20-minute recipe, this is a dinner that everyone in the family is going to love!
I love pork chops. They are filling, flavorful, and very affordable. Simple baked pork chops are excellent, and that's my default recipe.
But when I'm willing to make just a little more effort in the kitchen, I treat my family to these very flavorful keto fried pork chops. They are coated in pork rind "breadcrumbs," then fried in olive oil until wonderfully golden and crispy.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this recipe. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Pork rinds: I use plain pork rinds in this recipe.
Pork chops: Thin-cut (½-inch thick) and boneless.
Dijon mustard: It's creamier and less vinegary than yellow mustard.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the dish could end up too salty.
Garlic powder: Optional, but adds another layer of flavor.
Olive oil spray: I love cooking with this delicious oil. But if you'd rather use an oil with a higher smoke point, you can use avocado oil spray instead.
It's very easy to make keto fried pork chops! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Prepare the coating. Crush the pork rinds by hand or in a food processor. You can also buy them already crushed.
Coat in mustard. Coat the pork chops in Dijon mustard and sprinkle them with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Dredge in pork rinds. Dredge the pork pieces in the crushed pork rinds and press to coat.
Cook. Fry in olive oil until golden brown and cooked through, about 4-5 minutes per side over medium heat.
Expert tip: don't overcook them
Unlike pork shoulder steaks, which are well-marbled, pork chops are very lean. They do have a tasty fat strip on their edge, but other than that, their meat is so lean that you should really take care not to overcook them or they could become quite dry and tough.
In the past, the CDC recommended cooking fresh pork to well-done. Happily, the current recommendation is to cook it to medium (145°F with a rest time of three minutes).
I find that frying these chops over medium heat for 4-5 minutes per side is perfect. But you'll need to adjust my instructions based on what's going on in your own kitchen.
Frequently asked questions
I use pork rind breadcrumbs. They make a tasty keto coating. Since pork rinds are tastier than breadcrumbs, I actually find that these pork chops taste even better than breaded ones!
If you don't feel like crushing pork rinds, you can try using pork rind breadcrumbs (available on Amazon). They are expensive but convenient.
Yes and no. Yes, because it's REALLY tasty. No, because it's definitely not as crispy and it becomes soggy fairly quickly. I would say that it's one of those keto substitutions that are not quite as good as the original version but are still very, very good.
You probably cooked them for too long. Pork chops are very lean (except for that delightful fatty strip on their edge), and like most lean meats, one should take care not to overcook them, as they can quickly dry out and become chewy and stringy.
No! Happily, the recommended internal temperature for fresh pork (except for ground pork) is 145°F with a rest time of three minutes. So that's medium, not well-done.
Variations and substitutions
The best way to vary the basic recipe is to add more seasonings. Tasty options include onion powder, smoked paprika, cumin, and thyme.
One more thing you can do is use a different fat for frying the pork chops. I'm a fan of olive oil, but you can also try avocado oil, bacon fat, or ghee.
Recommended side dishes
This is a very versatile main course. You can truly serve it with any side dish you like. I often serve keto fried pork chops with roasted vegetables or with sauteed kale. They're also excellent with jicama fries. The simplest and easiest side to serve with them is arugula salad, as shown in the photos.
I don't recommend keeping leftovers. As they rest, accumulated juices can make the pork rind crust soggy, especially on the bottom.
Though I can say from experience that even when this happens, the pork chops are still very tasty!
When I do end up with leftovers despite my best intentions (Picky Eater daughter, I'm looking at you!! 😡), I keep them for a day or two in a sealed container in the fridge. I place them on layers of paper towels to absorb any moisture, and I replace the paper towels daily.
When it's time to reheat them, I do so in a 250F oven for about 20 minutes or until heated through. They're not as good as freshly cooked, but they are still very tasty.
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Keto Fried Pork Chops with Pork Rind Coating
- 2 oz plain pork rinds
- 8 thin-cut boneless pork chops ½-inch thick
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Olive oil spray
- Place the pork rinds in a 1-gallon Ziploc bag. Use a meat pounder or a rolling pin to crush them into tiny crumbs, similar to Panko. You can also crush the pork rinds in a food processor. Set the crushed pork rinds aside.
- Use a pastry brush or your hands to coat both sides of the pork chops with mustard. Sprinkle them with kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.
- Place about 2 heaping tablespoons of the crushed pork rinds on a plate. Dip one pork chop into the pork rinds and press to coat on both sides. Repeat with the remaining pork chops. You can also do as I do in the video and sprinkle all the pork chops with the "breadcrumbs" on one side, press to adhere, then turn them to the other side (place them on a new, clean plate) and repeat.
- Coat a nonstick double burner griddle with olive oil and heat it over medium-high heat, 2-3 minutes. Add the coated pork chops.
- Cook the pork chops for 5 minutes. Lower the heat to medium, flip them to the other side, and gently press on them with a clean spatula to flatten them against the pan. Cook them on the second side until they are golden-brown and cooked through, about 4 more minutes. Serve immediately.