Last updated on March 29th, 2019.
The most delicious and tender Cajun Pork Chops recipe in a just-spicy-enough tomato sauce. Ready in under 30 minutes with just 5 ingredients.
I first made this pork chops recipe over winter break when we were home from work and wanted something super flavorful, warming, and delicious. My husband LOVES pork chops and I LOVE Cajun flavors, so this pork chops recipe was meant to be.
The pork chops are smothered in a delicious Cajun-spiced tomato sauce. I mean, you can’t even tell there are pork chop under all that tasty sauce! Good thing too, because that sauce came out delicious – perfectly spicy.
The sauce itself is as simple as it gets: crushed tomatoes + onions + Cajun seasoning. Yea, it’s super easy but the Cajun seasoning really transforms the tomato-based sauce into something wonderful.
I am glad there is so much sauce. You can spoon the sauce over some roasted vegetables and potatoes, over pasta or rice, or sop it up with a piece of bread. All of the above are great options. You can’t go wrong here.
And the pork chops themselves came out perfect. I really watched over them for the last few minutes to get the temperature just right so they don’t overcook (I have this simple instant-read meat thermometer, it’s small, inexpensive, reliable, and gets the job done).
The USDA recommends cooking pork chops to an internal temperature of 145F: temperature recommendation for cooking pork. It used to be 165F, just like chicken, but they lowered it in the last few years. If the 145F degree temperature freaks you out, just remember that when you take meat off the skillet, it keeps cooking for a bit longer before it cools down. So don’t overcook your pork chops!
The extra attention to the pork chops in the last few minutes are important. They came out so tender, the knife slides right through them! Perfection.
I love this dish because it’s quick and easy to cook, it requires only 4 main ingredients, plus olive oil, salt, and pepper. It is also pretty healthy, since the pork chops are cooked in a tomato sauce without any fatty creamy sauces. And it’s low carb and gluten free, if you are trying to eat healthier or have any issues with gluten.
What will I need to make these Cajun Pork Chops?
1. Cajun Seasoning
First thing’s first. Cajun seasoning. I absolutely love this Cajun Seasoning from Healthy Solutions. It is the only Cajun seasoning I found that does not have added salt or chemical preservatives. And since it doesn’t contain salt, it is easier to control the flavor of your dishes. I use the Healthy Solutions seasoning for all my Cajun-inspired recipes: Cajun Shrimp Salad, Cajun Shrimp & Vegetable Pasta, Cajun Shrimp & Vegetable Pasta
If you’re using another brand of Cajun seasoning, check the ingredients to see if it contains salt. If it does, I would recommend adding only a tiny bit of salt (or none at all!) to the sauce.
Keep in mind that Cajun seasoning is spicy. So use your judgement and don’ t use 3 whole tablespoons if you are timid when it comes to spice. Or mix the Cajun seasoning 50/50 with mild paprika for full flavor with half the spice. I like things spicy. 🙂
Of course, you can also make your own Cajun Seasoning. This Cajun Seasoning recipe from the Flavor Bender is great because it doesn’t have salt and it’s actually not that spicy because it skips the cayenne pepper. Of course, you can always add a dash of cayenne pepper if you like. 🙂
2. Meat Thermometer
It really helps to have an instant-read meat thermometer when you are cooking meat. It’s really the only way to tell if something is cooked to the right temperature, unless you are a complete pro and know the exact cooking times for the thickness of your pork chops. Or unless you are constantly cutting into the pork chop to tell if it’s done. But ain’t nobody got time for that. I have this instant-read meat thermometer and use it almost daily. The battery has lasted me years. I love that it turns on automatically and turns off automatically since I would never remember to turn it off.
3. Crushed Tomatoes
I find that crushed tomatoes work best in this recipe, as opposed to tomato puree. There’s a little more texture and bite to the crushed tomatoes. You can certainly use canned tomato puree, but don’t say I didn’t warn ya!
A note about cooking tomato sauce in a cast-iron skillet:
Yes, you can cook tomato-based foods and other acidic foods in a cast iron skillet. You just have to make sure your cast iron skillet is seasoned really well, so that the acidity of the tomato sauce doesn’t come into contact with the pan itself. A nice oil-seasoned layer will prevent the acidic sauce from touching the pan. You can read more about it in this article from theKitchn.
If you are not sure if your cast iron skillet is up to the task, you can of course use any other skillet with high sides for this recipe.
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do!
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Cajun Pork Chops
- Rub the pork chops with Cajun seasoning (approximately 1/2 teaspoon per side pork chop,). Allow to sit for a few minutes to let the Cajun seasoning seep into the pork chops while you prepare the onions.
- Thinly slice the onions. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet and saute the onions for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Remove the sauteed onions to a plate and set aside.
- Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over high heat in the same large skillet, and add the pork chops. Sear for about 5 minutes on each side. The pork chops will not be fully cooked yet.
- Add in the sauteed onions and the crushed tomatoes. Top with 1.5 - 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning and give everything a gentle stir. Season with salt and pepper (if your Cajun seasoning isn't already salty and spicy enough), or additional Cajun seasoning if you like things spicy!
- Bring the tomato sauce to a gentle simmer (you'll see small bubbles in between the pork chops). Lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the sauce thickens a bit and the pork chops reach a temperature of 160F in the thickest part. Remove from heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
- Check the ingredients in your Cajun seasoning - some already contain salt. If yours already has salt, you can skip it from this recipe.
- If you don't like things too spicy, use less Cajun seasoning, or substitute some paprika. You'll still get a delicious flavor but with less heat.