This spicy pork chops recipe is super flavorful and juicy for an easy weeknight dinner! Topped with onions and garlic and sautéed with that hot habanero flavor, this recipe is not for the faint of heart! Spicy and delicious!
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Habanero, onion, and garlic in a delicious spicy pork chops recipe…what more can you ask for?
These pork chops are seared on the outside for a beautiful, crisp texture, while the inside practically melts in your mouth with all the juice from the pork!
We’ll share our favorite seasonings that flavor these pork chops beautifully and compliment the spicy habanero!
This post will go over everything you need to know to create this spicy pork chops recipe.
Recipe difficulty: Moderate (It’s rare to have a moderate rating, but pork can be tricky to cook!)
While this is definitely one of the easier hot and spicy pork chops recipes, pork can be tricky to cook to get it just right! Overcooked pork is no good, so we’ve listed our top tips below on getting this perfectly cooked!
Sam’s Pro Tips for this Spicy Pork Chops Recipe
Do Not Overcook Your Pork!
We’re looking for juicy, succulent pork chops that cuts easily and is full of that spicy herbed flavor! Therefore, there are two concepts you need to focus on when cooking these spicy pork chops and is very similar to our Juicy Bacon Pork Chops with Apples.
First, the meat should be BROWNED on the outside and second, it needs to be TENDER on the inside. This all will depend on the thickness of your pork chops! See next two bullets for more detail!
How to Brown Your Pork Chops
So, first thing while prepping your pork chops is to pat dry with a paper towel before adding your spicy pork chop seasoning! We discuss this more in our 5-Step Best Beef Salpicao Recipe, but this helps cook the pork evenly and for the outside to get a nice sear.
When cooking your pork in the oil and butter, you want to cook JUST until browned on both sides over medium heat.
It will continue cooking when you cover the pan. You DON’T want to cook until fully browned on both sides as the pork will be overcooked and hardened. As in hard as a rock!
Cover the Pork Chops to Cook the Inside
This is my trick for getting the inside of the pork nice and juicy!
Once I finish browning both sides of the pork, I add a little bit of water and cover the pan. I reduce the heat to medium-low and let it simmer. Literally less than a ¼ cup of water is added!
For how long will depend on the thickness of the pork, but I usually start with 7 minutes at the minimum and eye it.
Keep All the Flavor in the Pan
A good pan is the secret on how to make spicy pork chops! With pork chops, a cast iron skillet or stainless-steel pan works great. A large non-stick can work too if that’s what you have!
By cooking the pork chops with the butter and oil in the pan, then using the SAME pan to cook the onions, garlic, and habaneros, all the flavor stays trapped in the pan. The result? Your onion gets all that juicy flavor from the pork and cooks beautifully with the habanero!
You’ll find as the pork chops brown in the pan, you’ll get these browned bits at the bottom of the pan that totally deglazes when we add the water and the onions. So much flavor in the onions!
We love this All-Clad D3 Stainless Cookware, 12-Inch Fry Pan with Lid to get a nice sear on our meats!
This stainless-steel pan is my absolute go-to for pan frying steaks or pork for a nice, browned exterior while still being juicy on the inside.
Cooking with Habanero
We love habanero in our food! This is seriously like our go-to pepper! However, cooking with habaneros requires some prep work!
In our Spicy Filipino Sardines Recipe with Habaneros | Ginisang Sardinas, we provided a couple tips to working with this pepper. Most importantly, it’s advised to try to leave the stem on when cutting the habaneros and to cut around the seed pit.
Also since these are strong peppers, food gloves are a great alternative to protect your skin! This pepper seriously packs a punch!
Key Ingredients – Spicy Pork Chops Recipe
Below are some key and optional ingredients for this recipe:
- Pork Chops: You can either use bone-in or boneless pork chops. Usually with bone-in, you can help your chances of making juicy, moist pork chops. However, I prefer eating boneless so I can just dig in there and not worry about eating around the bone! I used the Trader Joe’s Boneless, Center-Cut Pork Loin Chops, where the pork was nice and thick with optimal fat.
Herbs and Pepper
- Garlic and Onion: Cooking the garlic and onion with the juice from the pork is how I get so much flavor into both! The garlic and onion tastes so good in this dish, with an almost caramelized flavor!
- Habanero: One habanero is all you need for incredible spice! You can add a second if you’re feeling adventurous, but one is already plenty for this spicy pork chops recipe.
- Lemon pepper seasoning: I used a blend of herbed spices to create a spicy rub for pork chops! Lemon peppers pairs great with the pork and has salt, black pepper, onion, sugar, garlic, celery seed, and lemon oil as the key ingredients. I just used the McCormick’s Lemon Pepper Seasoning, but you can definitely make your own!
- Garlic herb seasoning: For a nice freshness, we also used garlic herb seasoning which has garlic, onion, parsley, fennel, oregano, thyme, cayenne pepper, and rosemary among other delicious spices! You can either make your own or get a generic garlic herb seasoning bottle!
- Spicy Montreal steak seasoning: For a spicier mix to the dried herbs, we like to add the Spicy Montreal steak seasoning as well, which has notes of pepper, paprika, garlic, onion, and other spices. Can’t you just feel the spice?
- Honey (optional): If you would like some sweetness, you can add a drizzle of honey to the pork to tone down the spice! The honey will complement the habanero for a sweet and savory mix!
More Variations to this Spicy Pork Chops Recipe
There are a few ways you can variate this spicy pork chops recipe. Here’s how:
- How do apples sound? Add some apples and bacon to this recipe to pair with the habanero! Check out our Juicy Bacon Pork Chops with Apples for the ingredients you can incorporate into this recipe!
- What can I pair with this dish? Herbed potatoes will work great on the side or spiced vegetables. Both will definitely compliment this main dish and add some variety. See our Spiced Honey Glazed Carrots Recipe with Pecans or our Simple Herb Roasted Potatoes Recipe!
- 5-Step Best Beef Salpicao Recipe
- Spicy Filipino Sardines Recipe with Habaneros | Ginisang Sardinas
- Herb Infused Oven Roasted Peppers in Olive Oil
- Juicy Bacon Pork Chops with Apples
Frequently Asked Questions
What are good flavors for pork?
Common seasoning for pork is thyme, rosemary, and garlic powder. Cumin, paprika, and chili powder are also other seasonings that can be used. For added sweetness, try using honey.
Should you season pork chops before cooking?
Yes! Seasoning with salt and other seasoning will enhance the flavor and texture of the pork.
Why are my pork chops always tough?
This means you are overcooking your pork chops! Pork chops can be easily overcooked and will be hard like a rock. Make sure you are browning the pork chop on each side, and if cooking stovetop, cover the pan with a little bit of water to keep the inside moist.