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!
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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.
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!
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!
Loaded Smashed Potatoes
Perfect Roasted Vegetables
Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
Lemon & Sea Salt Arugula Salad
Basic No-Stir Polenta
Slow Cooker Smothered Pork Chops
- 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.