What could be better than a perfectly-cooked, savory pork chop entree? Not much. But how about if the pork chops in question are stuffed with a delicious blend of pesto and Feta cheese? That’s what this Pesto Stuffed Pork Chop recipe is all about, and it is over-the-top delicious!
Juicy Pesto Stuffed Pork Chops
Stuffed pork chops are a really great weeknight dinner when you want something special, but still need something easy. They look like a highly-professional restaurant dish, and they taste phenomenal! But, the overall method and recipe couldn’t be easier. Win-win!
You’ll love these wonderful, juicy chops bursting with fresh pesto flavor and the melting tanginess of Feta cheese crumbles!
- Pork Chops: Four pork chops, 1 to 1 ¼ inch thick. I like bone-in chops.
- Feta Cheese: Crumbled.
- Basil Pesto: You can use your favorite prepared pesto, or make your own.
- Fresh Garlic: Three cloves, minced or put through a garlic press.
- Dried Thyme, Oregano and Rosemary: For seasoning the pork chops.
- Salt & Pepper
- Vegetable Oil: For searing the chops.
- Chicken Broth or Water
How to Prepare Your Pork Chops
To stuff pork chops, you need to create a little “pocket” for the filling. Use a sharp knife and cut into the side of the chop, toward the bone, making a slit about two inches deep. Don’t cut through the chop entirely, or the stuffing will fall out while cooking.
How to Make Pesto Stuffed Pork Chops
- Prepare the Oven, Pork Chops and Filling Mixture. Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels. Using a sharp paring knife, cut a 2-inch deep pocket on the side of each pork chop. Set aside. In a small bowl combine cheese, pesto, and garlic.
- Stuff the Chops and Season. Stuff the pork chops with the pesto mixture and secure with toothpicks. Set aside. In a small bowl combine oregano, rosemary, salt, black pepper, and thyme; rub both sides of the pork chops with the spice mix.
- Sear the Chops. Heat the vegetable oil in a large oven-safe skillet; add pork chops and cook for 3 minutes per side, or until browned. Sear the pork chops in batches because it is much easier to maneuver and flip them over when there’s just a couple of pork chops in the skillet.
- Remove chops from skillet and set aside; add onions to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes, then deglaze with chicken broth or water.
- Finish in the Oven. Add pork chops back to the skillet and transfer to the oven; bake for 10 to 12 more minutes, or until the internal temperature of the pork chops reaches 145˚F. Try not to overcook the pork chops because if you do, they will be tough and dry.
- Rest and Serve. Remove the cooked pork chops from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes.
Tips to Avoid Overcooking
- Don’t Be So Cold: The pork chops will cook more efficiently (and therefore, lose less moisture and texture) if you bring it to room temperature before cooking. Cold pork takes longer to cook. I suggest pulling the pork chops out of the fridge 20 to 30 minutes before ready to cook.
- Add Water: While I don’t recommend adding liquid to the actual skillet in this recipe since we’ve already added a bit, you can place a custard-cup or ramekin of water into the oven as it preheats. This will create a slightly steamy environment in the oven, which will dry out the chops less.
- Use Your Thermometer: While you can “eyeball it” with other proteins, it really pays off to use a meat thermometer with pork. Please 🙏 use one. That way, you can really pinpoint the doneness window and avoid undercooking (yuck) OR overcooking, which leads to dry pork chops. 😒
What to Serve With Pesto Stuffed Pork Chops
- Creative and Yummy: Try serving these super-savory pork chops with a fun, yet easy side like my Hedgehog Roasted Potatoes! So fun!
- Healthy Fries: These Crispy Air Fryer Parmesan Zucchini Fries also make a wonderful addition to this meal, and they’re really simple to make!
- Goodness Green: A good, simple veggie side is always appropriate. One of my favorites? Sauteed Garlic Butter Green Beans. Absolutely drool-worthy!
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- To refrigerate, store the pork chops in shallow, airtight containers, or wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Keep in the refrigerator for up to three days.
- To freeze, wrap tightly in freezer wrap or place in freezer bags, pushing as much air as possible out of the bags before sealing. Freeze for up to one month.
- To reheat, thaw the pork chops completely in the refrigerator (if frozen). Place in an ovenproof dish with two tablespoons of water. Bake, covered, for 10-15 minutes at 350°F or until heated through. Do not overcook.
Pesto Stuffed Pork Chops
- 4 bone-in pork chops, 1 to 1 ¼ inch thick
- ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ½ cup basil pesto
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- salt, to taste
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
- ½ cup chicken broth or water
- Preheat oven to 400˚F.
- Pat dry pork chops with paper towels.
- Using a sharp paring knife, cut a 2-inch deep pocket on the side of each pork chop. DO Not cut through. You just want to make a pocket for the stuffing. Set aside.
- In a small bowl combine cheese, pesto, and garlic.
- Stuff the pork chops with the pesto filling and secure with toothpicks. Set aside.
- In a small bowl combine oregano, rosemary, thyme, pepper, and salt; rub both sides of the pork chops with the spice mix.
- Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large oven-safe skillet; add pork chops to the heated skillet and cook for 3 minutes per side, or until browned. (Sear the pork chops two at a time for easier turning.)
- Remove pork chops from skillet and set aside; keep covered.
- Add remaining oil to the skillet and set over medium-high heat.
- Add sliced onions to the hot oil and cook for 4 minutes, or until softened, stirring frequently.
- Carefully add the chicken broth; stir and scrape up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Add pork chops back to the skillet.
- Transfer skillet to the oven and continue to cook for 10 to 12 more minutes, or until internal temperature of the pork chops reaches 145˚F. Try not to overcook the pork chops because if you do, they will be tough and dry.
- Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes.
- Remove toothpicks and serve.