In this tantalizing dish of contrasting flavors, Spicy Pork Chops are seasoned with a sweet-spicy rub featuring brown sugar and three ground peppers (cayenne, white and black). The heat of the pork chops is then balanced by the coolness of a refreshing, citrusy Argentine Chimichurri Sauce.

Spicy Pork Chop topped with Chimichurri Sauce

Chimichurri Pork

Pork chops are one of my favorite cuts of meat to cook and serve. Why? They’re leaner and healthier than most cuts of beef, plus easy to prepare, quick to cook – and delicious! I particularly like this spice rub on the pork because it’s a little bit sweet ( from brown sugar) and has no chili powder which sometimes can overpower the other flavors in a rub. And, the Chimichurri Sauce is AMAZING, if I do say so myself! It perfectly balances the smoky heat of the pork with its fresh, lemony flavors.

What is in Chimichurri Sauce?

Chimichurri, a sauce from Argentina usually served with meat, is typically made with parsley, garlic, olive oil, oregano and wine vinegar. For my Chimichurri recipe, I add in red pepper flakes for a bit of spice. For a bit of brightness, I use a mixture of lemon juice and white balsamic vinegar in place of the wine vinegar – and add in lime-infused olive oil, too (you can use regular olive with some lime zest, too).

ovehead showing all the ingredients in Chimichurri Sauce

What does Chimichurri taste like?

When I think of Chimichurri, the words that come to mind are fresh, tangy, refreshing, satisfying and bright. My Chimichurri Sauce pairs perfectly with the spicy flavors in the rub on these pork chops. The sauce is fresh and tangy, while the pork is earthy and a bit fiery.

Spicy Pork Chop Rub

This spicy rub is a mixture of both sweet and spicy flavors – salt, paprika, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper and white pepper. Feel free to vary the amount of ground peppers used in the rub, especially the cayenne, depending on how hot you want the seasoning to be. I’ve tried to balance it in these proportions, so it’s fiesty without being too strong!

close up shot of Spicy Pork Rub

How to make Grilled Spicy Pork Chops

Time needed: 30 minutes.

These pork chops are quick and easy to prepare. The key to keeping them moist is to follow a method of searing on high heat, then finishing on low heat, as I describe below.

  1. Prepare spicy rub.

    In a small bowl, stir together salt, paprika, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder and peppers.
    Glass bowl filled with spicy rub ingredients

  2. Coat pork chops.

    Brush both sides of pork chops with olive oil, then rub both sides of each chop with spice mixture (around 1/2 to 1 teaspoon per side). Place extra in a sealed container to save for the next time you prepare this recipe or to use on pork tenderloin.
    close up of pork chop topped with Spicy Pork Rub

  3. Preheat grill.

    Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill on high. (Can also preheat a grill pan on the stovetop.)

  4. Sear chops.

    Once the grill is heated, bank the coals to one side of the grill, or turn off one burner on a gas grill. Place chops on the hot part of the grill and cook, covered, 3 minutes or until seared. Turn over and grill 2 to 3 minutes or just until seared.

  5. Finish chops.

    Move chops to the cooler part of the grill, cover and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 145 degrees. (If using a grill pan, reduce heat to low to finish cooking.)
    close up of 4 spicy pork chops on a grill. pan

  6. Rest then serve.

    Remove chops from grill and let rest at room temperature for around 10 minutes. Serve with some of the Chimichurri Sauce spooned over the top, passing the rest on the side.

Close up of Grilled Pork Chop topped with Chimichurri Sauce

Note that chops can be pan-fried in a large skillet in 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil. Follow same method – sear each side on high heat, then reduce heat to finish.

overhead of 4 Spicy Pork Chops in a cast iron skillet
(Photo by Rick Souders)

How to make Chimichurri Sauce

Chimichurri is one of those sauces that will become part of your regular rotation. Why? Well, because it’s so easy to prepare, and its fresh, tangy flavors complement most any meat! Here are the steps:

  1. Blend base ingredients.
    In a food processor or blender, combine parsley, garlic, oregano, salt, red pepper flakes, lemon juice and balsamic vinegar; process until the parsley is evenly chopped.
  2. Add oil.
    With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil and process just until blended. Taste and add more salt if needed.
  3. Rest before serving.
    Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving.
overhead showing Chimichurri ingredients in bowl of a food processor

You can make Chimichurri sauce even if you don’t have a processor or blender. Simply finely chop the parsley and garlic. Place in a medium mixing bowl and whisk in oregano, salt, red pepper flakes, lemon juice and balsamic vinegar; whisk until well blended. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, whisking constantly. Keep whisking until well blended.

Chimichurri Pork Chops with Spicy Pork Chop Rub – How to video

What to serve with Spicy Pork Chops

Storing, Freezing, and Reheating Spicy Pork Chops

If you have any pork chops leftover, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat in a 350 degree oven in a covered baking dish. Add a spoonful of water to the pan to keep the chops from drying out.

shot of a Spicy Pork Chop with Chimichurri with the end cut off, showing the inside

Chimichurri Pork Chops FAQs

How do you keep the dry rub seasoning on the pork chops?

To make sure all that tantalizing spicy rub sticks to the chops, I first brush them with olive oil. Then, using your hands, rub the spice into the oil.

How do you keep pork chops from drying out?

As mentioned above, the best way to keep pork chops from drying out is to follow a method of sear on high heat, finish on low heat. Detailed directions are included above under “How To Make Spicy Grilled Pork Chops” as well as in the recipe card below.

How long does Chimichurri last in the fridge?

Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, Chimichurri will last up to 2 to 3 weeks. Note that the parsley will start to darken after a day to two, but the flavor won’t change much.

Can you freeze Chimichurri?

Yes, you can freeze Chimichurri in an airtight container. It will last for up to 3 months.

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overhead of 4 Spicy Pork Chops in a cast iron skillet

Spicy Pork Chops Recipe with Chimichurri Sauce

  • Author: From “Fresh Tastes from A Well Seasoned Kitchen” by Lee Clayton Roper
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Resting time for pork: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: main dish, pork recipes
  • Method: Grill
  • Cuisine: Argentine
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

In this tantalizing dish of contrasting flavors, Spicy Pork Chops are seasoned with a sweet-spicy rub featuring brown sugar and three ground peppers (cayenne, white and black). The heat of the pork chops is then balanced by the coolness of a refreshing, citrusy Argentine Chimichurri Sauce.


Ingredients

Scale

Chimichurri Sauce

  • 1 cup packed flat leaf (Italian) parsley
  • 4 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons lemon-flavored balsamic vinegar (can use white balsamic vinegar)
  • 1/2 cup lime-infused olive oil – see Note

Pork Chops

  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 4 boneless pork loin chops, around 3/4-inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

Chimichurri Sauce

  1. In a food processor, combine parsley, garlic, oregano, salt, red pepper flakes, lemon juice and balsamic vinegar; process until the parsley is evenly chopped.
  2. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil and process just until blended. Taste and add more salt if needed.
  3. Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Pork Chops

  1. In a small bowl, stir together the salt, paprika, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder and peppers.
  2. Coat both sides of the chops with olive oil, then rub both sides of each chop with spice mixture (around 1/2 to 1 teaspoon per side; save extra for the next time you prepare this recipe or to use on pork tenderloin). Set aside.
  3. Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill on high.
  4. Once the grill is heated, bank the coals to one side of the grill, or turn off one burner on a gas grill. Place chops on the hot part of the grill and cook, covered, 3 minutes or until seared.
  5. Turn over and grill 2 to 3 minutes or until seared.
  6. Move chops to the cooler part of the grill, cover and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 145 degrees.
  7. Remove chops from grill and let rest for around 10 minutes.
  8. Serve with some of the Chimichurri Sauce spooned over the top, passing the rest on the side.

Notes

Note on lime olive oil: If you can’t find lime-infused olive oil, use extra virgin olive oil and add some lime zest to the sauce.

Make ahead: Chimichurri sauce can be made up to 2 days ahead, covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Variation – cook chops on stovetop: Chops can be pan-fried in a large skillet in 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil. They can also be grilled using a grill pan.

Variation – make Chimichurri without a processor or blender: Finely chop the parsley and garlic. Place in a medium mixing bowl and whisk in oregano, salt, red pepper flakes, lemon juice and balsamic vinegar; process until the parsley is evenly chopped. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, whisking constantly. Keep whisking until well blended.

Keywords: quick and easy, rub, sauces

Lee Clayton Roper

Welcome!

I’m Lee Clayton Roper, and I’m passionate about making cooking and entertaining easy, elegant and fun. Here you’ll find scrumptious recipes, helpful tips and seasonal menus that will spark inspiration in your kitchen!
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4 Responses to “Chimichurri Pork Chops with Spicy Pork Chop Rub”

    • Lee Roper

      Great! I am serving it with roasted Beef Tenderloin later this week – it’s delicious on almost any sort of meat or poultry.

      Reply
  1. Devan

    Loved this recipe! I’m a big fan of chimichuri sauce and yours was great. I didn’t have any lemons so I used limes and added a little more garlic since I love garlic. Came out fantastic! I don’t have a grill either so I roasted it with a little water, potatoes, and other vegetables. They whole meal came out amazing, even my son ate it and he is super picky! He barely eats anything. Thank you for the recipe.

    Reply
    • Lee Roper

      I’m so glad you and your family liked it! Roasting the pork chops with potatoes and vegetables is a great idea. I’m going to try it that way next time I make this dish!

      Reply

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