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With juicy, fall-apart tender pork and a rich caramelized onion gravy, these crock pot smothered pork chops are a delicious dinner the whole family will love!
These crock pot smothered pork chops are serious comfort food made easy! It doesn’t get much better than fork-tender pork chops covered in caramelized onions and rich gravy. For me, this recipe feels like classic Sunday dinner food. It is perfect for prepping on Sunday morning then eating for a simple dinner that feels special on Sunday evening.
Fed + Fit Real Food Tip
When you look up recipes for slow cooker smothered pork chops, you’ll find that most of them are some combination of canned condensed soup and dressing or soup mix packets. Here, we’ve taken inspiration from those classic recipes and chosen to use fresh, real-food ingredients instead, so you still get a comforting, satisfying dinner that’s just a little bit better for you.
Why make pork chops in the crock pot?
We love making pork chops in the slow cooker because they come out perfect every time! If you’ve had trouble with dry, tough pork chops in the past, the crock pot is the answer. When slow-cooked, pork chops come out fork-tender with minimal work and absorb all the flavor of the gravy.
The trick to perfect pork chops is to look for a pork chop that is thick cut and well-marbled with fat. You can use either bone-in or boneless here, but skip over super lean cuts. Our favorite choices for slow cooking are shoulder chops (also sometimes called blade chops) and sirloin chops. Both of these are fattier, tougher cuts that require slow cooking to become tender. If you can’t find those, we’d recommend looking for rib chops.
How to Make Crock Pot Smothered Pork Chops
These smothered pork chops require a bit of work up front, then you’re free to set it and forget it. The process is made a lot easier if you have a slow cooker like this one where you can heat the insert on the stove so that you don’t have to dirty multiple pots. Here’s what you’ll need to do to make this dish:
- Caramelize the onions. Don’t worry, this is going to be a quick caramelization, not an hour-long wait! Simply dice an onion and saute in butter for 7-10 minutes, until the onions have softened and browned, then remove from the pot.
- Dredge the pork chops. Once the onions are caramelized, you’ll dredge the pork chops in arrowroot flour seasoned with salt, pepper, cayenne, onion, and garlic powder. The arrowroot will help create a crisp coating on the pork chops and thicken the gravy.
- Sear the pork chops. Next, you’ll sear the pork chops quickly for 2-3 minutes per side, until browned, then transfer to the slow cooker.
- Make the gravy. Add a few more tablespoons of arrowroot to the pot and whisk with the melted butter, until a paste forms, then pour in the milk and whisk until smooth. Finally, stir in the broth.
- Place everything in the slow cooker. Pour the gravy over the pork chops and top with the caramelized onions, then set to cook on low for 4-6 hours, until the pork chops easily come apart with a fork.
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Crock Pot Smothered Pork Chops Frequently Asked Questions
Searing pork chops should only take 2-3 minutes per side max! The intention here is to build flavor by getting the pork chops nice and browned on the outside, but not to actually cook the pork chops all the way through (that’s what the slow cooker is for!).
You can! We think that searing your pork chops first is the best way to go here but that’s because searing the pork builds flavor. The slow cooker does all of the cooking, so raw is totally fine!
This recipe calls for the pork chops to cook on low for 4-6 hours. We’ve found that this is the perfect amount of time for juicy, fall-apart pork chops!
Because these pork chops are cooked in the slow cooker, the finished product should definitely *not* be tough. If your pork chops are tough, chances are that you’re searing them for way too long – remember to keep the searing time to 2-3 minutes per side!
Just like with the answer above, your finished product should definitely not be dry! Cooking them in the crock pot actually prevents the dry pork chop issue, so if your finished product is anything less than juicy and tender, it’s likely because you seared them for too long. Remember to only sear your pork chops for 2-3 minutes per side!
Low and slow, y’all! Generally speaking, any animal protein that you cook low and slow in the slow cooker is bound to turn out tender and delicious!
I typically serve these with classic mashed potatoes and sauteed green beans. Here are a few more ideas to round out your meal!
- 6 thick-cut boneless pork chops
- 1/2 cup grass-fed butter may sub with ghee or coconut oil
- 1 medium yellow onion finely diced
- 1/3 cup arrowroot flour
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 2/3 cup whole milk or 1 can full-fat coconut milk
- 2 cups chicken or beef broth
- In a large saute or frying pan, melt 1/4 cup of the butter. Add the finely diced onion to the pan plus 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt and cook until browned and soft, about 7-10 minutes. Spoon out the caramelized onions and set aside in a separate bowl, leaving the melted butter behind in the pan.
- In a large bowl or pie pan, make the seasoned flour for dredging the chops. Whisk the arrowroot flour, remaining 1 teaspoon sea salt, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, and black pepper together.
- Place each pork chop in the flour and be sure to coat on all sides. Lay the dusted chops into the hot buttered pan and cook on high for 2-3 minutes each side (until golden brown). After both sides are browned, remove the chops from the pan and place them the bottom of a slow cooker.
- To make the gravy, turn back to the saute pan now with some meat drippings, a little leftover melted butter, and some flour, add the remaining 1/4 cup of butter and stir until melted. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of the seasoned arrowroot flour mixture (it may start to form a paste at this point) and then whisk in the milk. Slowly whisk in the 2 cups of chicken or beef broth until the gravy has a smooth consistency (this may take a few turns of the whisk). If you feel like the gravy is too thin, whisk in one more tablespoon of the seasoned flour. Note that it will continue to thicken in the slow cooker.
- Pour the gravy over the pork chops in the slow cooker, sprinkle the top with the caramelized onions, cover, and turn heat to medium. Cook in the slow cooker for 4-6 hours on low/medium heat.
- When they’re finished, carefully pull each chop out and place on a plate. Spoon extra gravy and onions over top and serve.
- Turn the Instant Pot on Saute and add 1/4 cup butter. Add the finely diced onion to the pan plus 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt and cook until reduced, translucent, and starting to brown. Spoon out the caramelized onions and set aside in a separate bowl, leaving the melted butter behind.
- In a large bowl or pie pan, make the seasoned flour for dredging the chops. Whisk the arrowroot flour, remaining 1 teaspoon sea salt, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, and black pepper together. Place each pork chop in the flour and be sure to coat on all sides. Lay the dusted chops into the hot butter cooking in the Instant Pot and cook on high approximately 5 minutes each side (until golden brown) and remove from Instant Pot and set aside.
- Add the remaining 1/4 cup of butter, the entire can of full-fat coconut milk, and 2 cups of chicken or beef broth, whisking to mix well.
Add the pork chops back in and place the lid on the pot and set the valve to sealing. Cook on manual for 8 minutes. Allow for 10 minutes for the pot to come to pressure, 8 minutes of cook time, and 10 minutes to natural pressure release.
After 10 minutes of natural pressure release, release any remaining pressure from the pot and remove the lid. Remove the pork chops from the pot to a serving plate.
- Set Instant Pot back to Saute. In a small bowl mix approximately 1/4 cup water with 1 tbsp. arrowroot flour and then whisk mixture into the remaining liquid in the Instant Pot. Simmer and whisk until thickened, then turn off the Instant Pot.
- Serve pork chops with gravy and caramelized onions.
Can arrowroot flour be substituted for a different flour? Thanks! LOOKS AMAZING
Absolutely! You can also use tapioca flour or potato starch.
My daughter is allergic to coconut, can anything be substituted for the coconut milk?
Great question! If y’all tolerate dairy, you could use heavy a grass-fed whipping cream. If dairy is not tolerated, you could use almond milk plus at least 1 tablespoon more butter, but know that it won’t be as creamy.
I can’t find what temp on the slow cooker…so I’m doing the temp on high and hoping that’s right!
Hi Natasha! I would turn it to “low.”
So, I did them on high for six hours and I think maybe I should have done low because they got a little more brown but HOLY DELICIOUSNESS. I don’t like pork and these are amazing!
Haha awesome!! So glad you liked them!
WOW. These are shut the front door kind of awesome!!! Thanks for this recipe. I left out the coconut milk cause BF doesn’t ike it (gasp! I know.) but it was still amazing. He said it was his new fave pork recipe – and I can’t help but agree!
Awesome!!! Great feedback. Thanks, Heidi!
How many oz should the can of coconut milk be?
Hi Chris! Cans of coconut milk usually come in around 13.5 fluid ounces. Hope that helps.
Can I use coconut flour instead?
Hi Miranda! Coconut flour is a whole different beast from arrowroot flour as it has a different consistency and is very absorbent. It is hard to say if it would turn out as good with coconut flour and you need to use a different amount. If you can’t find arrowroot I would suggest trying tapioca flour or potato starch. Hope that helps!
Really delicious! I did a mixture of bone in and boneless pork chops and both were fabulous.
Thanks for trying it out! Good idea with mixing bone in and boneless!
Rachel Larson says
how big of a can of coconut milk am I using?
Hi Rachel! The can of coconut milk should be around 13.5 fluid ounces. Hope that helps!
Thanks so much for a great recipe! I’ve made these twice and my family loves them 🙂 I was wondering if I wanted to add mushrooms to the dish when would be a good time to do that… thanks!
So glad you are enjoying it Jessika! The recipe hasn’t been tried with mushrooms, but I would say you could sauté them when you are browning the onions and throw them in the crockpot with everything. Let us know if it turns out!
Hi, just curious as if you have the nutritional information on this recipe, at least the carbs, fats and proteins for portions. I’ve made it before and it was definitely a hit! My family loved it!
Hi Christina! We don’t have the nutrition information for this recipe but you could easily put it into an online recipe nutrition calculator to find out. My favorite to use is MyFitnessPal. Hope that helps!
Looks like chops are cooked whole, not cut up in to smaller pieces?
Also are they trimmed of fat? the chops i found have a lot of fat on them. I love fat but would this effect the dish?
Can you prep and freeze this recipe?
I am looking very forward to trying this recipe. Have you or anyone you know tried this in an Instant Pot? I am curious about cooking time and how it turned out. Thanks!
Madeline Gamble says
These were absolutely INCREDIBLE. Thank you for your creativity and warmth through your recipes and blog. Thankful I am able to feed my family a delicious and healthy meal this Thanksgiving with your recipes. ❤️
This recipe is awesome!!! Well, I know the gravy is!!! lol It’s still in the crockpot as I type! I have a few hours to wait until it is completely done! But the gravy looked so good, I had to taste and sho nuff! It is! I can’t wait to taste the chop! I keep going back for more gravy!!! Definitely a keeper!!!
I did realize a little later that it required six chops instead of the 3 I had but I improvised. I did have to add water and more arrowroot to the gravy so that it would not be salty (I’m sure it would have been fine as is had I used the correct amount of meat) I used the same amount of spices for the six chop recipe. And I also used 1 cup of coconut milk instead of the whole can. I’m new to Paleo recipes and the whole can of something I’m not use to using scared me!!! But I think I would actually keep it at 1 cup. Just a personal preference!!! But I LOVE THIS RECIPE!!!! I WILL SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOF TOPS! LOL
I’m getting a Instapot for my Christmas present and I’m definitely trying them in it at some point. I would have to wait so long for my chops right now if I had that bad boy! lol
Did you try in Instant Pot? If so, what was the cook time? Thanks
What is the nutritional breakdown for this recipe?
Can any coconut-flavor haters tells me if this tastes coconuty? I’d like to make the whole batch so I have leftovers, but I’ve made that (expensive) mistake before when it’s something I’ve never tried before and ended up tossing it.
I have the same concern/question.
I have made this recipe several times. My husband is not a fan of coconut flavor and he has NEVER tasted the coconut!! We make this as a week meal prep item for his lunches. He loves them, especially the gravy!
Amber Goulden says
So glad to hear that Patty!
After eating this meal my husband said to me “How do we save this recipe?!?!” Said it was one of his top tens recipes. It really was amazing the gravy was so good and the pork chops fell apart. Thanks!
I made these the first time with boneless chops as per the recipe. The second time with bone-in chops. Bone-in were much more flavorful and tender. In fact, they were the best chops I’ve ever had. 5 stars!!!
Amber Link says
So glad you liked it Tiff! Bone-in definitely adds great flavor.
My husband suffers from acid reflux so I try to avoid spicy. Would paprika be the best substitute for cayenne pepper, or what would you suggest? So excited to try this recipe!
Amber Goulden says
Yes Paprika would be a perfect substitute! And no, it does not taste like coconut!
Sarah G. says
This sounds fantastic! Think it would work with chicken thighs?
I made this for the first time in the instant pot and my husband RAVED about it. He was surprised to learn it is gluten and dairy free. He requested it be added to our meal rotation – thanks for a yummy recipe!!
Can I use regular white flour instead of arrowroot?
Can we use bone-in chops? And if so, what modifications should I do?
Brandi Schilhab says
You can! No modifications needed! Enjoy!
Amy Tassone says
Any thoughts on adding something like mushrooms to this? Anyone tried it? If so, would you just put them in the crockpot at the same time as the meat?
Brandi Schilhab says
We haven’t tried it, Amy, but it’s definitely worth a try! Yes, I’d add them in with the pork!
10/10 recommend!! This was absolutely delicious. I’m not great at cooking pork, but this was a perfect recipe. The pork turns out fork tender!!
Brandi Schilhab says
Wahoo! That’s so great to hear, Julie! Thank you so much for taking the time to share this with us!