Thick Chops with Mustard Crust

The Recipe: This is one of my very oldest recipes, the way I've been cooking my family's favorite "Iowa chops" in the oven for ever so long. The chops are topped with a mustardy crust of mustard (naturally!), bread crumbs and fresh herbs.
Thick Chops with Mustard Crust ♥, just top pork chops with mustardy bread crumbs, then bake.

This 2003 column was published online for the first time in 2007 to accompany a special piece, The Heartbeat of Iowa, about my recent trip to Iowa to visit some "happy pigs".

Simple But Special.

Here’s a recipe destined to become a household staple because of its simplicity and flexibility.

It’s simple enough for weeknight fare but special enough for guests. It makes up in minutes and can be made in advance.

Most of all, the recipe invites your culinary creativity.

Out of mustard? That’s okay, substitute a tangy horseradish sauce. No parsley? Try rosemary or tarragon or cilantro or oregano or …

French bread crumbs are soft and delightful but what about trying rye or pumpernickel? No time to make bread crumbs? Use dry crumbs (but cut the quantity by about half).

Prefer a bit more spice to your meat? Sprinkle the chops with cayenne pepper or chili powder. Not in the mood for pork? Experiment with chicken or fish or lamb.


Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Oven time: 25 minutes
4 servings
  • 4 1-inch "Iowa" pork chops
  • 1 tablespoon good mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons good mustard
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs from French bread

Preheat oven to 350F/175C.

CHOPS Coat tops and bottoms of chops with thin mustard coat. Season with salt and pepper.

CRUST Stir together crust ingredients and divide equally on top of chops. Press crumbs lightly with back of a spoon to adhere. Transfer to lightly oiled heavy baking pan.

Bake for 25 minutes or until meat reaches an internal temperature of 145F - 160F. (Why 145F - 160F? It's all explained here, Should Cooked Pork Be Pink?) If the crumbs don’t brown, place under the broiler for one or two minutes – watching carefully to prevent burning!

ALANNA's TIPS If your butcher looks puzzled by the term "Iowa chop", just ask for rib chops cut one-inch thick. If there's time, before baking, first brine the pork chops in a quart of water with 2/3 cup of brown sugar and 2/3 cup kosher salt for up to 24 hours. It will add moisture to the meat.
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Serving: 397 Calories; 13g Tot Fat; 5g Sat Fat; 20g Carb; 1g Fiber; 320mg Sodium; 133mg Cholesterol; 46g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 9 & PointsPlus 10 & SmartPoints 9 & Freestyle 9 Iowa Chops are large, the “ladies” typically share a large chop, while the men go for whole ones.

More Ideas for Pork Chops

(hover with a mouse for a description; otherwise click a photo to view the recipe)

Pork Chops & Rice Oven Dinner Juicy Pork Chops Thick Chops with Sauerkraut & Apples
~ more pork recipes ~

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2003, 2007 (online), 2012, 2016 & 2019

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.