Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Recipe for Grain-Free Breaded Pork Chops with Mustard Sauce (Gluten-Free)

"Breaded Pork Chops with Mustard Cream Sauce
Breaded Pork Chops with Mustard Cream Sauce are great for Phase One

(Today I got the hard cast on my broken arm, and it's going to be very slow typing for a while.  Luckily I have good things from the past that I can feature for A Month of Daily Phase One Recipes, like these "breaded" pork chops that are really delicious!)

This version of pork chops that are "breaded" with almond meal is a recipe I first posted back in 2005, and it's a favorite of my niece Kara, her husband Tim, and their adorable kids Cooper, Sophie, and Quinn.  (Hi guys!)  When Kara told me a while ago how much her family liked these pork chops, I realized that the photo I'd taken with my very first point-and-shoot digital camera really did need to be updated, and when I made these again recently with Jake, I remembered how good they are!  The almond meal used for the breading here adds a delicious layer of flavor, and also makes this recipe gluten-free as well as very low on the glycemic index.  I'd say this recipe is a winner in lots of ways!

I'm guessing someone might ask about other meats, so I'll add that if you don't eat pork I'm guessing that these same ingredients and cooking technique could be used on chicken or turkey cutlets; just be sure the poultry is pounded thin enough that it can cook thoroughly in the quick cooking time.  I'm adding trying this with chicken to my (ever-growing) to-cook list, but if anyone else tries it with chicken or turkey I'd love to hear from you in the comments about how it turns out!

I used these thick pork loin chops that were on sale at my store, trimming all the fat around the edges.

Then put each pork chop inside a heavy Ziploc bag and pound them on both sides until they are about 1/4 inch thick. 

Here's the pounded pork chops.  Don't be afraid you are making them too thin; they will thicken up a little as they cook.  (By the way, if I was cooking this for kids I would cut some of the larger pork chops in half and then pound.)

Put the almond meal in a flat bowl, then put in one pork chop at a time and sprinkle over the almond coating and press it into the meat.  (Almond meal is a little pricey, but most recipes using it don't use a huge amount and it keeps indefinitely in the freezer.)  I've heard of people grinding up almonds in a food processor to make it themselves, but I haven't tried that.

When Jake and I made the sauce realized we should have used a smaller frying pan, so use the smallest pan you can to fry the pork chops.  Heat the oil to medium high before you put the chops in, and watch them carefully so the almond meal browns well but doesn't burn.

Cook chops on medium heat until they're nicely browned on both sides and cooked through, about 8 minutes (although cooking times will depend partly on your pan.)

When the pork chops are done, remove them to a serving platter, covering with foil to keep them warm if desired.

Turn up heat a little and deglaze the pan with chicken stock, scraping to remove the tasty browned bits of almond.  Lower heat and stir in the mustard and half and half or milk and simmer sauce for a few minutes more, then pour over pork chops and serve.

And just for fun, here's the original picture from my very first digital camera (actually not that horrible when you see some of my photos from those days, but I'm happy to have it improved.)

"Breaded" Pork Chops with Mustard Sauce
(Makes 2 servings, recipe created by Kalyn but sauce inspired by a recipe in Dana Carpender's 500 Low-Carb Recipes.)

2 thick boneless pork chops
salt/pepper for seasoning pork chops
Penzey's Pork Chop Seasoning for seasoning pork chops (optional, but good.  If you don't want to buy this, season the pork chops with a tiny bit of garlic powder.)
1/4 cup almond meal
1-2 T olive oil (will depend on your pan)
1/2 cup chicken stock
3 T half and half or milk
1 T Dijon mustard (or less, can also use milder flavored mustard if desired)

Trim all fat from pork chops, then put between saran wrap or inside a thick Ziploc bag and pound until 1/4 inch thick. For best results, pound the pork chops on both sides with spiky side of meat mallet.  You may want to cut each flattened pork chop in half for more manageable sized pieces for frying.

Season pork chops on both sides with a tiny bit of salt, pepper, and Penzey's pork chops seasoning (or garlic powder). Put almond meal in a flat bowl and press pork chop into it, sprinkling almond meal over both sides of pork chop and pressing on until you have an even coating on each pork chop.

Heat olive oil with medium-high heat in pan big enough to hold all pork chops, then add pork chops and saute over medium heat until well browned and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Turn them a couple of times and be sure not to have the heat too high or the almond meal will burn. Quite a bit of the coating will fall off, but don't worry, there will still be enough left on to give a good brown color to the pork chops. The part that falls off gives a delicious nutty flavor to the sauce

Remove pork chops to plate and cover to keep warm if desired. Turn up heat in pan and add chicken stock, scraping pan until all the browned bits of almond meal are loosened. Cook about 2 minutes over high heat, then lower heat to medium low and whisk in mustard, then half and half. Cook sauce at a very low simmer 1-2 minutes more. Pour sauce over pork chops and serve.

About Ingredients:
Bob's Red Mill Almond Flour is widely sold in the U.S. and is the brand I buy. If you can't find it, people have told me that you can make your own almond meal by using the steel blade of the food processor to chop blanched almonds until it is the consistency of cornmeal. Almond meal is different than almond flour, which is more finely ground, but both of these ingredients can also be used to make Gluten Free Cheese Crackers or Flourless Cookies

South Beach Suggestions:
This recipe uses half and half, but it's only a tiny amount per serving.  Years after I posted the recipe I found that nut flours are technically not allowed for phase one, but since you're only eating the small amount of almond flour that sticks to one pork chop which is not more than the daily allowed amount of nuts, I still would eat this for phase one. Obviously, don't have other nuts as a snack on the day you eat this, since they're a limited food. 

Nutritional Information? I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. 

More Tasty Ideas with Pork Chops:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Milk-Braised Pork Chops from Kalyn's Kitchen
Pan-Fried and Roasted Pork Chops with Apricot-Dijon Glaze from Kalyn's Kitchen
Maple-Planked Rosemary and Lemon Pork Chops from Cooking on the Side
Maple-Brined Pork Chops from Leite's Culinaria
Skillet Boneless Pork Chops with Rosemary Peaches from Food Blogga

(Want even more recipes?  I find these recipes from other blogs from Food Blog Search.)

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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and this blog earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

More to Chew On:


  1. hey kalyn,
    thanks for visiting my blog. I had a look at your kitchen pics and believe u me, I am a serious shade of green right now. You have an awesome , to die for kitchen

  2. Bilbo, thanks. I feel very lucky to have such a great kitchen (and such a great brother-in-law who made it possible).

  3. Kalyn, this is a wonderful series of posts. You're making me think very seriously of trying South Beach again (the first time I tried it, I had headaches) -- but even if not, I'm very much enjoying these innovative dishes.

  4. Things one never knew. I would have thought almond meal was a bit carby. Sounds tasty!

  5. Hey Cookiecrumb, or anyone who is wondering, almond meal has 6 carbs in the 1/4 cup used in this recipe. 3 grams of that is fiber. Lots of it was left on the plate, so probably less than 1 carb per pork chop. It also has 6 grams of protien in the 1/4 cup.

  6. Mmmm, The Husband loves pork chops. Bet these would be great with panko. Thanks for the recipe!

  7. Yes, Sweetnicks, panko would be great for this if you didn't want to use the almond meal. Actually if you used whole wheat panko this would still be pretty ok for the South Beach Diet.

  8. Okay, if any of you are ever in the Portland OR area -- go south of the city out highway 224 and you'll run into the Bob's Red Mill HQ, where they not only sell all of their products, but they serve a kick-ass breakfast, complete with the best grits ever*. We used to live just a couple miles from there and didn't make it there to breakfast nearly enough!

    *well, best grits in the NW, I imagine, anyway :-)

  9. hi! is it possible to use a different kind of nut like cashews?
    will it still be south beach friendly? thanks for your help!

  10. Yes, I think cashews would be good here and it would still be fine for South Beach. I would use half and half of milk instead of cream of you're in the early stages of the diet.

  11. Just made this recipe and was very happy with it. I changed one thing and used ground flaxseed instead and it was fine for me.

  12. I used gluten free baking mix instead of almond meal and replaced the chicken stock with wine. Wonderful recipe, thanks Kalyn!

  13. Made this one last night, yummy! Even the daughter that's suspicious of new sauces agreed it was great. Used ground walnuts instead of almonds.

  14. Like the sound of ground walnuts in this. (And I am saying to myself, this recipe needs a new photo, but then I'm never satisfied!)

  15. I know that you are attending to much more important matters than blogging or thinking about pork chops. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family...but I figure at some point knowing how much you are appreciated will feel pretty good. So, thank you for your amazing blog, the beautiful pictures and the wonderful recipes. I made these pork chops tonight and they were incredible. I am in Phase 2, so I added a bit of white wine to the sauce, which I thought made it really yummy. My boyfriend and I love the delicious flavor of the almond meal. Thank you! Your site is such a gift!

  16. Judy, thanks. I'm not blogging, but I'm trying to keep up with comments, and I do appreciate it.

  17. Dear Kalyn,

    You have made South Beach so simple and enjoyable. While I have enjoyed the principles of The South Beach diet, I have been frustrated by the lack of good food flavor and the lack of variety in heir menus. You have changed all that! You have not only introduced me to almsot an endless variety of yummy menus to choose from, but I am reading labels and looking for new ideas in stores like never before. Many cudos for all your efforts!

  18. Judy thanks! Of course I have to say that I did it for myself before I realized other people might find it helpful! I had to have interesting food or I never could have stuck with the diet!

  19. This recipe was amazing!!! I was really impressed. I used "thin cut" pork chops, simply because they were on sale at the grocery store. The thinness reminded me of the schnitzel I adored while traveling in Germany. Thanks Kalyn. Your blog has really helped me to stick with the south beach diet!

  20. Thanks Jen. So glad you liked it. (Now I need to cook this again, because this post seriously needs a new photo!)

  21. This was a big hit today Kalyn. I used what I had on hand for Sunday dinner, 2 pork tenderloins, sliced diagonally and lightly pounded and added in a few sliced cremini mushrooms. Upped the sauce ingredients proportionally. Didn't have the almond meal but my family loved this and my 5 yr old grandson asked for more meat and sauce and he's very picky! Thank you

  22. Babs, glad to hear it was a hit and also good to know you can make this without the almond meal as well.

  23. We loved this dish! I made it with Bob's hazelnut flour I had on hand. It tasted great. I served it with sauteed Savoy cabbage as seen here

    Thanks for your great blog!

  24. Britney, hazelnut flour sounds awesome for this recipe. The savoy cabbage recipe looks good too, thanks for sharing that! Goad you enjoyed it!

  25. I like to use Low Carb flour Tortillas for my breading needs. It's something I figured out myself. I put some tortillas in a food processor until they're finely chopped, you know, like bread crumbs. I guess you could toast them if you wanted to. I've been quite satisfied with the way they work.

  26. Ross that sounds like a good idea. The difference with almond meal is that it could be eaten for phase one, but your idea would be great for phase 2 or 3.

  27. Our family LOVES this recipe. My picky eaters ask for it all the time. Thanks for the recipe!

  28. Thanks Kara! Your mom told me you guys had made it and I'm thinking it's going to inspire to make this again so I can take better photos!

  29. This looks great! I'm a little concerned about how expensive Almond meal might be after looking on Amazon though. ;)

    My bottle of dijon mustard has a best by date of like a year ago. I don't see any ingredients that look perishable on the list and it smells normal. Would you worry about the best by day on dijon mustard???

  30. You're only using 1 T Dijon mustard, so it's probably no big deal if it smells okay. You can grind up almonds to make your own almond meal if you don't want to buy a big bag.

  31. LOVED it!!!! I shared it on my facebook profile too. Thank you again for all you do Kalyn! I can't wait to try more recipes with almond meal. It was amazing how much it seemed like regular breading.

  32. Melissa, so glad you liked it. This recipe is a favorite of my niece Kara and her family. I keep meaning to make it again so I can take some step by step pictures!

  33. I'm on Phase 1 of SBD (been here before which much success) and tried this recipe last night - YUMMY - and so easy. I'm going to try the same thing with chicken and add fat/sodium free peanut butter (instead of mustard) to make a peanut sauce - I'm thinking it may just work :)

  34. Lisa, I'm so glad you liked it. I should tell you that many years after I posted this recipe I found out that almond meal is technically not allowed on phase one, but personally I still think it's okay as long as you don't eat nuts in your snacks that day. I'll edit the recipe to add that information though (trying to update it everywhere I find.)

  35. I did have to use flour on these since the almond meal was 15 bucks! The sauce is delicious though and we all loved it!

  36. Michelle, yes it is a bit pricey, but it does last a long time in the freezer. Good to know it will work with flour too.

  37. Made this last night...really easy and tasty. I used a pork stock cube and 'breaded' with gram (chickpea) flour. Also used thin bone-in chops. Didn't use the whole stock cube as I thought it might be too salty, but I probably could have gotten away with using the whole thing. Served with steamed broccoli and bulgar wheat. (hubby had boiled potato) I come to your website practically every day now to see what I'm going to make for dinner! Time to check out the salmon recipes...:)

  38. Terri, love the sound of your version, especially the idea of using chickpea flour for the breading.

  39. Thanks for what is sure to be another excellent recipe, Kalyn. I'd still use my Honeyville almond flour for this even though it's much finer, of course. Love pork and Dijon together, and adding the almond factor makes for an even more perfect combination. Hubby will flip over these pork chops when I make them. :-)


  40. I had this for lunch and I enjoyed it. Organic pork loin is currently 50% off at a local supermarket and I saw this recipe on my iphone on my way to buy pork loin :).
    I liked the sauce (might try with white wine next time) and poured some of the sauce over the steamed cauliflower I served this with. However, I've tried a piece of meat without the sauce and it tastes great that way too! I might skip the sauce next time when just cooking it for myself.
    I've never used ground almonds in a fried meat recipe before and I'm glad I've tried it! Won't be the last time! Thanks Kalyn!

  41. Thanks Shirley! Hope you and the hubby will enjoy this.

    Sue, glad you liked it and also good to know that it's tasty without the sauce!

  42. Excellent idea! I once made chicken balls with a coating of toasted almonds and they were terrific; I have to make these now!

  43. Hope you enjoy it. Chicken balls coated with almonds sound fantastic!

  44. Thank you SO much for this recipe, Kalyn! I made it tonight, and it is AMAZING!

  45. I am so glad I found this recipe! I have never really cooked pork, so this was an easy and delicious recipe to make!

  46. Kalyn- So sorry to hear about your arm! You are going to wear your poor little finger out typing with one hand.

    Sending waves of healing wishes your way.

    The pork chops look delicioso!

  47. Hi Kalyn...hope your arm heals quickly and you'll be back to 2 handed typing in no time. As usual another yummy sounding recipe.

    The cookbook you mentioned looked interesting so I went to Amazon and bought a spline copy in like new condition for only $1.95 Looking forward to reading it.

  48. I made these last night and was honestly quite shocked at how delicious they were for such an easy recipe!! I'm lazy, so I bought thin sliced boneless pork chops and didn't pound them out... which left them closer to 1/2 inch thick. But followed the directions as written (using garlic powder/salt/pepper to season) and breaded in Honeyville almond flour before pan frying. Added a splash of white wine to the pan with the mustard. YUM! I just wish I'd doubled the sauce (I had 6 chops for my family of 5). THANK YOU!

  49. This was so good! Thank you for the recipe


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