Skillet Pork Chops with Sweet Coffee Syrup

So here's a thrifty meal, a throwback to another time when nothing-but-nothing went to waste. It's a simple budget supper, on the table in minutes, just meaty pork chops browned in a hot skillet, the pan deglazed with leftover coffee, forming a sweet, syrupy glaze. For anyone who needs to make a meal almost out of air? This is it.

Skillet Pork Chops with Sweet Coffee Syrup, another Quick Supper ♥ Use up that leftover coffee!

Whole Food, Simply Prepared. "Plain" But Resourceful. Mere Minutes to the Table. Another Quick Supper, a Kitchen Parade Specialty. Hearty & Filling. Budget Friendly. Weeknight Easy. Low Carb. High Protein. Weight Watchers Friendly. Naturally Gluten Free.

  • "... we loved it. It's something I can make without any planning ..." ~ Cyndi
  • "... loved the flavor ..." ~ Anonymous

On My Mind: Becoming Our Mothers

On My Mind ♥, still photo of blue glass bottles with cacti, cutting board.

As women grow up, grow older, are we destined to shadow our mothers?

In first unwitting and then unwilling but unstoppable mimicry of her Depression-era mother, my friend Jan finds herself rinsing plastic bread sacks to dry overnight above the sink, a 1950s homemaker frugality that once annoyed, no infuriated, her.

Here, I saved last night’s leftover beans (two whole beans!) for today’s lunch.

More tellingly, the pantry holds a long-empty glass bottle, appealing for its shape and lovely Aegean blue. It might be useful some time – you know, in case I ever make a fruity vinegar or a rosemary-tinged olive oil, never mind that I never have and likely never will.

If I am to shadow my mother — please, please, please, let it be for knowing a thousand tricks for easy suppers like these simple pork chops rather than a thousand potential uses for a thousand pretty bottles.

About This Recipe

  • Skillet Pork Chops with Sweet Coffee Syrup make for a quick 'n' easy meal, just thin or thick bone-in chops seasoned (including a little sugar) then browned on the stove in a skillet in a 1:1 mix of oil and butter. Once the chops are done, they're set aside to deglaze the skillet with hot coffee, thanks to the sugar, it'll turn hot and syrupy.
  • Distinctive Ingredients = pork chops + coffee
  • Short Ingredient List = sugar + salt & pepper + olive oil + butter
  • Thin chops will cook in about 15 minutes, allow another 5 - 10 minutes for thicker chops.
  • The chops are brown, the Sweet Coffee Syrup is brown. If aesthetics are important, serve the chops with colorful vegetables or sprinkle with fresh herbs.
  • This is pantry-friendly recipe, if you drink coffee and have pork chops on hand, dinner's just minutes off.
  • This is a budget-friendly recipe, just easily available pork chops and leftover coffee.
  • As written, the recipe yields four servings, but it's really easy to scale for anyone who's Cooking for One or Two.
  • If your pork chops are quite thick, like our family-favorite Iowa chops which are up to 1-1/2 inches thick (more about Iowa chops here, Thick Iowa Chops with Easy Stuffing Crust), I recommend that recipe or Perfect Thick Pork Chops.
  • Not quite what you're looking for? Check out my other pork recipes, scroll down a bit for more pork chop recipes.

How to Make Skillet Chops

The detailed recipe is written in traditional recipe form below but here are the highlights in two easy steps. You can definitely do this!

  • BROWN THE CHOPS IN A HEAVY SKILLET Season the chops first with salt, pepper and a little sugar. Brown in a skillet in a little oil and butter. When they're cooked, move them on to a warm plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
  • MAKE THE SWEET COFFEE SYRUP While the pan's still hot, add leftover coffee to the skillet, it'll sizzle up. Now "deglaze" the skillet with the coffee, that means to use a spatula to stir the coffee around the pan, collecting up the bits of browned meat (it's called "fond") from the bottom and sides. Let the coffee simmer for a couple of minutes until it turns slightly syrupy.
Skillet Pork Chops with Sweet Coffee Syrup, another Quick Supper ♥ Use up that leftover coffee!

Ingredient Notes & Substitutions

  • PORK CHOPS This recipe is a good choice for any ol' pork chop. I've learned to prefer bone-in chops, the meat is more tender and flavorful. For this recipe, would probably stick to thinner chops since thicker chops will need more time to cook, better suited for a combination of stove top and oven such as Thick Iowa Chops with Easy Stuffing Crust or Perfect Thick Pork Chops.
  • Smoked pork chops would work really well. I also think this recipe would work well for ham steaks cut into serving-size portions as well; since the ham is already cooked, it would take just a few minutes to lightly brown and warm the ham.
  • SEASONING I keep the seasoning here super-simple, just salt, pepper and the sugar that'll sweeten the Sweet Coffee Syrup. But if you have a favorite meat seasoning, go for it, just add the sugar. Need some ideas? Check out my DIY Spice Blends & Homemade Seasonings.
  • COOKING FAT This recipe calls for a mix of oil and butter. The oil has a lower smoke point that prevents burning. The butter has a higher smoke point but all that delicious buttery flavor. The two together? A happy combo.
  • COFFEE We use leftover coffee straight from the coffeepot but it occurs to me that a cold-brew concentrate might work really well, so, even would something like leftover Frappuccino. Get creative!

How About Some Fun Side Dishes? Go For Color!

~ Light Red Cabbage & Carrot Salad ~
~ Roasted Butternut Squash & Apple ~
~ How to Roast Carrots ~

Bookmark! PIN! Share!

How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If this recipe for simple fried pork chops inspires you, please do save and share! I'd be honored ...

Skillet Pork Chops with Sweet Coffee Syrup, another Quick Supper ♥ Use up that leftover coffee!


Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time-to-table: 15 minutes
Serves 4
  • 4 bone-in pork chops, about 5 ounces each, fat removed
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1/2 cup strong coffee
  • More salt & pepper

PORK CHOPS Heat a large, heavy skillet on medium high. Meanwhile, season each chop on both sides with sugar, salt and pepper. Once the skillet is hot, add the butter and the oil. When the fat is hot enough (see ALANNA’s TIPS), gently drop the chops into the skillet, separating as much as possible.

Cook the first side, without touching or turning the meat, for about 4 minutes.

Flip the chops over, reduce the heat to medium and cook the second side for about 5 minutes or until the center of one or two chops reaches the safe cooking temperature, that's an internal temperature of 145F - 160F. (Why 145F - 160F? It's all explained here, Should Cooked Pork Be Pink?)

Transfer the chops to a plate, preferably warm, and cover loosely with foil.

SWEET COFFEE SYRUP Add the coffee to the hot skillet. As it boils up, "deglaze" the skillet by using a spatula and the liquid coffee to loosen the "fond" of meat bits from the skillet's bottom and the sides. Let the coffee simmer for 2 – 3 minutes until it becomes somewhat syrupy. Add salt and pepper to taste.

TO SERVE Transfer the chops to a platter or serving plates, drizzle the Syrup over top.

ALANNA's TIPS If there's time, consider brining the chops for an hour or more, see how here, Juicy Pork Chops. This recipe illustrates the classic technique for quickly pan-frying chops and steaks while retaining flavor and moisture. The trick is to manage the temperature of the pan and the meat. First heat the dry skillet, then add the fat, you'll know when the fat is hot enough when a drop of water sprinkled over top sizzles. Only then add the meat, searing the bottom on the hot pan so the meat juice won’t seep out. The Sweet Coffee Syrup is thinner than maple syrup, say. If you'd like it a little thicker, after it cooks down, stir in a tablespoon or two of butter or cream to thicken. After cooking down, there's about a generous tablespoon of Sweet Coffee Syrup per chop. If your chops are bigger or if you just like the idea of extra syrup, consider doubling the syrup ingredients, that's the sugar and coffee. I'd probably add the extra sugar to the skillet before deglazing, letting it melt before adding the extra coffee.

FOR MORE INFO If you "skipped straight to the recipe," please scroll back to the top of this page for ingredient information, ingredient substitutions, tips and more. If you print this recipe, you'll want to check the recipe online for even more tips and extra information about ingredient substitutions, best results and more. See .
Per Chop: 243 Calories; 17g Tot Fat; 6g Sat Fat; 63mg Cholesterol; mg Sodium; 3g Carb; 0g Fiber; 3g Sugar; 20g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 6 & PointsPlus 6 & SmartPoints 7 & Freestyle 7 & myWW green 7 & blue 7 & purple 7 & future WW points

Seasonal Cooking: Late Summer Across the Years

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If you like Kitchen Parade's recipes, you'll love A Veggie Venture, my food blog about vegetables with more from-scratch recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, home to the famous Alphabet of Vegetables and vegetables in every course, seasonal to staples, savory to sweet, salads to sides, soups to supper, simple to special.

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Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

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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, you'll find my current address in the FAQs. 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, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, 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.

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2005, 2007 (repub) & 2023

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

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


  1. Anonymous7/22/2007

    Coffee and pork sounds like a fascinating combo. I never thought to use coffee as a base for a pan-sauce!

    You get high marks for creativity in my book!


  2. The trick, aside from utter simplicity and speed, is that the sugar adds just a hint of sweet to the coffee flavor. Imagine it if we added cream ... or hmmm ... brandy. HMMMMM!


  3. I made this tonight, Alanna, and we loved it. It's something I can make without any planning, because I always have those ingredients. Maybe next time I will try adding the cream!

  4. Anonymous10/17/2012

    I absolutely loved the flavor of this recipe. I did have trouble with the consistancy of the sauce, it never thickened. What would you suggest?

  5. Hi Anonymous ~ I need to make this again, it's been far too long! The recipe instructions say to cook until "somewhat syrupy" - that tells me it thickens only slightly, not really to the extent of a sauce. It's the fat from the pan that's causing the thickening so depending on your chops, your pan might have more or less oil. A sure way to thicken the sauce? Stir in a little butter at the end. More calories but delicious.


Post a Comment

Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna