These baked pretzel crusted pork chops with an easy maple dijon sauce are an easy and healthy dinner packed with lean protein.
In what seems like a lifetime ago, I shared this almond crusted tilapia (which was probably the last time I actually ate tilapia as it’s not a fish I choose to buy any longer) and it went bonkers.
People really loved that recipe back in the hardcore paleo days of 2013 and for good reason.
It’s a simple, nutritious meal with lean protein and healthy fats and easy to find sides that go with it. Almost exactly (minus the healthy fats part) what I’d say about this pretzel crusted pork chop recipe today.
Let’s hope y’all go just as nuts for a baked pork chop covered in crushed pretzels as tilapia and almonds!
*This post is sponsored by the National Pork Board. All content and opinions are my own.
After my trip to Illinois in October (that you can read about in this recipe for simple skillet pork chops), I’ve been reinvigorated to cook pork a little more often than I normally would.
Pork is a great choice for lean protein.
Some cuts, in fact, are actually just as or, leaner than chicken breast. It’s also a very budget friendly protein.
I find that even when buying organic, pastured, local pork (which is what I opt to buy for any animal protein we eat), it’s still an affordable protein option compared to other choices.
With the information on the appropriate cooking temperature for pork fresh in my mind after our trip, I was eager to test out some baked pork chops coated in a pretzel crust.
Normally, I would steer clear of baking pork chops because too often the result would be a totally dried out chewy piece of meat no one would enjoy.
But, knowing a simple meat thermometer could tell me once the chops reached an internal temperature of 140°F, I felt confident these baked pretzel pork chops would come out perfectly.
The ingredients for pretzel crusted pork chops are simple:
- boneless pork chops (on the thicker side)
- salt & pepper
- pretzels (any size/shape and gluten-free variety if needed)
- garlic powder
- onion powder
To make the pretzel coating, use a food processor to finely chop the pretzels and spices. Or, you can add them all to a plastic baggie and crush them up with something heavy like a rolling pin if you prefer.
Season the pork with salt and pepper then coat in the pretzel mixture and place on a baking sheet.
The pork chops will bake in a 400°F oven for about 25-30 minutes. They’re ready when an instant read thermometer reaches 140°F in the center of the pork chop.
To make the dijon maple sauce to serve with the baked pretzel pork chops, simply mix together maple syrup and dijon mustard in a small bowl.
The spice mixture in the pretzel coating is totally customizable.
The garlic, onion and paprika mix I used is pretty standard and brings just enough to the table in terms of flavor but, you can definitely use whatever spices you like.
I have plans to try adding an everything bagel seasoning to the pretzels next time and also want to try spicing things up with a cayenne/chili powder mixture too in the future.
I was out of dried mustard when I made these but I think that would be a nice addition to the recipe as written to go with the dijon maple sauce the pork chops are served with.
Don’t want to use pretzels? Try nuts instead. This pecan crusted chicken is almost identical to these pork chops and could easily be made with pork instead of chicken
If you want to experiment with another type of meat, this turkey chops recipe is very similar and hard to beat with that crispy fried crust!
What to serve with baked pretzel pork chops
I like to keep the side dishes simple for a meal like this. No point in complicating an easy meal. The pork has 5 ingredients (not counting salt and pepper) so the sides should be just as simple.
Steamed veggies are always the easiest. I love serving broccoli with a squeeze of lemon when I need an easy vegetable side dish idea.
You could also roast some veggies along with the pork at the same time. Green beans are a great one or asparagus would be good too.
For a starch, gotta love a simple baked (sweet) potato or some rice alongside. I highly recommend this easy smashed purple sweet potato recipe!
Rice is nice because it would be ready in the time the pork chops bake.
Potatoes would take a little extra time in the oven unless you microwave them, that’s always a time saving option!
Alternatively, go for something mashed and creamy like this garlic mashed yuca. It’s a great pairing with pork!
The dijon maple sauce in the recipe is just as delicious drizzled over the veggies and starch as it is on the pork so make some extra if you want to do that!
Can I use bone-in pork chops?
You definitely can. Baking time will vary with a bone so just be sure to use a thermometer again to make sure you’ve reached the desired 140°F internal temperature.
Is this a good meal prep recipe?
Yes and no. The pretzel coating will not be as crisp eating these as leftovers as it is when it comes out of the oven. Personally, that doesn’t bother me at all. Reheating in the oven versus the microwave will help with this though.
So if you don’t mind that, I think this is an excellent meal prep recipe option! In fact, I ate these all week long when I made them last.
This easy sheet pan pork chop recipe, however, is a great one for meal-prepping so give that a look!
More healthy pork recipes:
Spice Rubbed Pork Chops with Mango Peach Chutney
20 Minute Ramen Stir Fry with Sweet and Spicy Pork
Cocoa spiced rubbed pork tenderloin with crimini berry sauce
Sticky Honey Soy Pork Chops
Instant Pot Coconut Pork with Turmeric Ginger Rice
Chinese Boneless Spare Ribs
Pretzel Crusted Pork Chops
- 4 boneless pork chops about 1-1.25 pounds
- salt and pepper
- 100 grams pretzel sticks or other pretzel variety, use gluten-free if needed
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 375°F convection bake (or 400°F if you don’t have convection setting)
- Season the pork chops liberally with salt and pepper.
- Place the pretzels, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika in a food processor and process until finely chopped.
- Pour the pretzel mixture into a shallow bowl and beat an egg in another bowl.
- Dip each pork chop into the egg to coat all sides then transfer to the bowl with the pretzels and press down into the mixture to coat on all sides.
- Place pretzel coated pork chops on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone mat.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until internal temperature of each pork chop reaches 140-145°F. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.
- While the pork chops rest, make the dipping sauce by mixing the dijon mustard and maple syrup together in a small bowl.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
Gina Matsoukas is the writer, founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients as much as possible. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.