Pork Chops with Cherry Pan Sauce

These are the best pan fried pork chops! Simply seasoned bone-in chops are treated with an extra special thyme and cherry pan sauce to make weeknight dinner seem like a weekend affair! On the table start to finish in 45 minutes.

Close up of the bone-in pork chop topped with cherry pan sauce.
Aaron Hutcherson

Here, pork chops are simply seasoned and pan-seared to play the supporting role to a wonderful herb-cherry pan sauce—the true star of this recipe. The sauce is made up of sweet cherries, fresh thyme, and tawny Port wine—it’s mounted with butter at the end for a luscious texture and beautiful sheen.

What Are the Best Pork Chops?

My favorite pork chops to cook with are bone-in, center-cut chops. Center-cut chops are how I usually see them labeled in the grocery store, but sometimes they are labeled ribs or loin chops.

I prefer bone-in chops, because the bone makes it less likely for the pork to dry out while cooking, but boneless pork chops will work in this recipe too.

A platter of pan fried pork chops with a small bowl of cherry sauce on the side.
Aaron Hutcherson

Best Port for This Recipe

Port wine is a sweet wine often enjoyed with dessert that comes from Portugal. It's most commonly made from red grapes and is also fortified, meaning that additional alcohol has been added to it.

I prefer tawny Port because it is aged and tends to have more complexity than ruby Port, but feel free to use whatever variety you might already have on hand.

Best Cherries for This Pan Sauce

I used bing cherries for this recipe, but any variety of sweet cherry will do. I find that a little bit of sweetness goes particularly well with pork dishes.

If you're only able to find sour cherries, then I'd recommend adding one teaspoon of sugar to the sauce as it reduces. This dish tastes great with either fresh or frozen cherries, so use fresh if they are in season and go for frozen if they aren't.

If pitting fresh cherries, my favorite pitter is this one made by Obecome that does six at a time.

Close up of the best pork chop on a plate topped with a cherry sauce. A forkful of pork chop and cherry are in front.
Aaron Hutcherson

Tips and Tricks for Making a Good Pan Sauce

It all starts with taking advantage of the fond, aka the brown bits stuck on the bottom of the pan after searing a food.

The way to do this is by deglazing the pan, which means to add liquid to help scrape up the brown bits to incorporate into your pan sauce. Then you reduce the liquid so that when it reduces the sauce has a rich consistency. Lastly, swirling in a bit of cold butter into the sauce gives it a luscious texture and nice sheen. (And don't forget to season it, of course!)

Swaps, Suggestions, and Substitutions

Feel free to use this recipe as a blueprint to come up with dishes of your own using a similar technique.

  • I've already talked about the different types of cherries that you can use, but you could also try different types of fruit, like plums or figs.
  • If thyme isn’t your favorite herb, mix it up. I think rosemary or tarragon would work beautifully in this sauce.
  • Replace the pork with chicken thighs or boneless chicken breasts.
  • If Port is hard to come by, substitute any red wine, plus one to two tablespoons sugar.

The possibilities are endless!

a seared porkchop with cherry sauce alongside a serving of green beans
Aaron Hutcherson

More Great Pork Chop Recipes

Pork Chops with Cherry Pan Sauce

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Servings 4 servings


For the pork chops:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 4 bone-in center-cut pork chops, about 3/4-inch-thick and 8 to 9 ounces each

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

For the herb-cherry pan sauce:

  • 2 cups pitted halved sweet cherries (fresh or frozen)

  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 cup tawny Port wine

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter


  1. Season the pork chops:

    Sprinkle the pork chops on both sides with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

    Four raw bone-in pork chops covered in seasoning to show how to cook pork chops.
    Aaron Hutcherson
  2. Cook the pork chops:

    Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat.

    Add the pork chops two at a time, so as to not crowd the pan, and cook until browned on the first side, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip pork chops over and cook on other side for 3 to 4 minutes more.

    Transfer to a tray or platter and cover with foil to keep warm. (You can also put them in a low oven if you wish.) Repeat with the remaining pork chops, adding more oil to the pan if dry.

    Two bone-in pork chops cooked on the stovetop.
    Aaron Hutcherson
    Four bone-in pork chops on a baking sheet to show how to cook pork chops.
    Aaron Hutcherson
  3. Make the herb-cherry pan sauce:

    Add the cherries, thyme, and salt to the pan and cook so they start to release their juices and soften, scraping up the stuck-on bits on the bottom of the pan, 3 to 4 minutes.

    Add the Port and let simmer until reduced by about half, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the butter until emulsified and the sauce is nice and glossy. Taste and adjust with more salt to taste.

    Simmering cherries in a cast iron skillet for stove top pork chops.
    Aaron Hutcherson
    Cherries bubbling in a cast iron skillet for pan fried pork chops.
    Aaron Hutcherson
    Cherry sauce bubbling in a cast iron skillet for fried pork chops.
    Aaron Hutcherson
    Cherries with a pat of butter and liquid to make cherry sauce for the best pork chops.
    Aaron Hutcherson
  4. Serve:

    Serve the pork chops with the sauce on the side for diners to spoon on their plates or over their chops. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
240 Calories
14g Fat
16g Carbs
11g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 240
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 5g 26%
Cholesterol 48mg 16%
Sodium 1095mg 48%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 11g
Vitamin C 5mg 27%
Calcium 29mg 2%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 360mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.