Spanish Pork Chops

5 from 3 votes

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A simple rub turns pork chops into a wonderfully flavorful but very easy weeknight dinner.

Spanish Pork Chops

Thee Spanish-inspired pork chops are immensely flavor, but truly easy to make. They start with a quick rub featuring paprika, garlic, cumin, coriander, oregano and thyme, and then lemon brightens up the dish.

Plate with a Spanish Pork Chop, brussels sprouts, and salad.

This recipe was originally inspired by a tapas kebab recipe in David Tanis’s wonderful cookbook One Good Dish. His food is just so pleasingly simple, and so uncluttered. I am always filled with gratitude toward a recipe writer who reminds me that the key to fine home cooking is simplicity, and that the temptation to over-adorn our dishes is where things get sloppy. For instance, the sliced lemons on the pork chop thing is quite pretty, but not necessary. 

Spanish Pork Chop topped with lemon slices on a plate with brussels sprouts and salad.

Rub for Pork Chops

The recipe makes a shy ¼ cup of rub, and if you divide it evenly among all of the pork chops, you’ll have 4 robustly flavored chops. But if you think a more delicately seasoned chop will hold more allure for some of your brood, then simply recuce the amount of rub per chop for the more finicky eaters, using 1 teaspoon of the rub for each chop. Great flavor? Yes. Too much flavor? Nope. 

If you end up with leftover rub, toss it with some cubed Yukon Gold potatoes and some olive oil, and roast those potatoes at 425 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes to go with your pork.

Spanish Pork Chops: A simple rub turns pork chops into a wonderfully flavorful but very easy weeknight dinner.

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Woman placing brussels sprouts on a plate with salad and a Spanish Pork Chop.

In these photos you may notice that the pork chops are kind of gargantuan.  With more than one lemon slice on each.  I got these gorgeous heritage bone-in pork chops that weighed north of one pound each, and so cooked up two of them, and then sliced to serve and share.

Make Ahead Pork Chops

You can make the rub up to 2 days ahead and store it, covered, in the refrigerator. You can also smear the chops with the rub and refrigerate them, covered, for a day before cooking, which will give them even deeper flavor.

Lemon slices atop a Spanish Pork Chop on a plate with salad and brussels sprouts.

What to Serve with Spanish Pork Chops:

Plates with salad, brussels sprouts, and Spanish Pork Chops.

Other Pork Chop Recipes:

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5 from 3 votes

Spanish Pork Chops

A simple rub turns pork chops into a wonderfully flavorful but very easy weeknight dinner.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Marinating Time (optional): 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 4 People
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  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon paprika or pimentón , sweet, spicy, or smoked
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme (optional)
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt , or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper , to taste
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil , plus more for cooking the chops
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
  • 4 bone-in pork chops (each 1-inch thick, about 2½ pounds total)
  • 8 thin slices lemon (optional)
  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley , extra paprika and/or lemon wedges, for garnish


  • Combine the garlic, paprika, cumin, coriander, oregano, thyme, if using, cayenne, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Add the olive oil and vinegar and stir to make a paste. Smear the paste on both sides of the pork chops and place a couple of lemon slices on top of each. Let the chops sit in the fridge for 30 to 45 minutes, or longer (or skip the fridge if you don’t have the time).
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Add a couple of teaspoons of olive oil and when the oil just starts to smoke, add the pork chops, lemon slice side down (you might want to take the lemon slices from the top, place them in the pan, and then invert the pork chop on top of the lemon slices so they stay in a single layer). You may have to do this in 2 batches, using a bit more olive oil if the pan is crowded. Let the chops sear without moving them until nicely browned on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Turn the chops, keep the lemon slices in place, and sear the other side, again without moving them, for another 4 minutes or so, until nicely browned on the underside and a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of a chop registers 145 F (the meat will continue to cook after it leaves the pan).
  • Transfer the chops to a serving plate or cutting board and let sit for 2 or 3 minutes before serving whole, or in slices. Sprinkle with parsley or additional paprika if desired, and serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over the pork.


Excerpted from Dinner Solved by Katie Workman.


Calories: 338kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 36g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 117mg, Sodium: 386mg, Potassium: 651mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 270IU, Vitamin C: 20mg, Calcium: 58mg, Iron: 2mg
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About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

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  1. Thomas Johnson says:

    Most excellent. A little taste of Spain in Texas. Had it with a Tempranillo from Rioja to drink and squash and onions. Thanks for the recipe.