Chipotle-Adobo Pork Chops Recipe

Pork may not be the first thing you think of cooking with spicy chipotle peppers, but a thick-cut pork chop marinated in adobo sauce and garnished with lime is the perfect combination for a late summer dinner. "Chipotle-adobo pork chops are flavor-packed with just the right amount of spice. Grilling them to perfection helps double down on the delicious smoky flavor that the adobo sauce provides," says recipe developer Joe Dillard.

And while these pork chops call for at least 2 hours of marinating time, the actual prep work and cook time take only 30 minutes, so if you plan ahead, it's a recipe you can have ready to go in just half an hour. Dillard also says if you want to skip the marinade time, the recipe is forgiving enough that you can. "It's a super easy take on pork chops. The marinating time is pretty quick, but if you're in a hurry, you can just spread the sauce right on the chops and grill them as is." 

Either way, just don't forget the lime. "If you're a lime lover, be sure to garnish your chops with a generous squeeze for the perfect complement to brighten the dish and enhance the main flavors," Dillard advises.

Gather the ingredients for these chipotle-adobo pork chops

You don't need much to make this recipe (there are only 6 ingredients in total), but you'll likely need to hit the store to make sure you have them all on hand. You'll need the special ingredient, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, which Dillard explains are "jalapenos that have been smoked and dried, then rehydrated and canned with a spiced tomato-based sauce."

Next, grab some limes, garlic cloves, salt, pepper, and pork chops. Dillard says it's important to choose the right chops for this recipe. "While boneless will work, thick-cut chops are less likely to dry out on the grill. Look for those that are 1-inch to 1.5-inches thick," he advises.

Make the chipotle adobo sauce

First up, you need to make your sauce. Grab your blender or food processor and add the whole can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, the juice from 1 lime, garlic, salt, and pepper inside. Process them together until they form a smooth and thick sauce. 

If you haven't cooked with chipotles before, it's important to know that they have some heat, which is possible to adjust based on your personal spice tolerance. "Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce add a smoky taste to your pork chops — and a spicy flavor," Dillard says. "Use less sauce on your pork chops for a milder flavor, or add 2 tablespoons of honey to the marinade for a bit of sweetness to help balance the spice." 

Marinate the pork chops in the sauce

With the sauce made, pull out a baking sheet or glass casserole dish (anything you can marinate the pork chops in) and line it with parchment paper. Spread a couple of spoonfuls of the sauce across the paper to create a thick layer that's wide enough to lie the pork chops on top of. 

Set your pork chops on top of the sauce layer, then spread more sauce on top, coating the pork chops as completely as you can. Discard any leftover sauce, cover the pan with plastic wrap, and pop it in the fridge to marinate. "The longer you marinate the pork chops, the more flavor they will have. Two hours is sufficient time to get that deep, smoky flavor, but feel free to leave them in the fridge for 4-6 hours or even overnight," Dillard says. 

Grill the pork chops

Shortly before you're ready to grill your pork chops, go ahead and preheat your grill to 375 F. When it's nice and hot, place the meat on the grill over indirect heat. Close the top and let the pork chops cook for 10 minutes before flipping and cooking for 10 more minutes on the other side. "Always use a meat thermometer to ensure the meat is cooked to a safe eating temperature. For pork, this is at least 145 F in the thickest part of the pork chop," Dillard says.  

Just be aware that while the suggested cook time is 20 minutes in total, you need to keep an eye on the internal temperature since cooking times can vary. "If you are using boneless pork chops, you may need to reduce the cooking time. Depending on the size, boneless pork chops may take closer to 10-15 minutes to cook," says Dillard. 

Rest the meat before serving

After taking the pork chops off the grill, it's important to let the meat rest for 5 minutes before slicing. "Resting the meat allows it time to redistribute its juices for a very tender and juicy chop. Slicing too soon can cause the juices to run out of the pork chop and leave it tasting dry," Dillard warns.

When the meat is ready to serve, Dillard suggests serving it with a side of homemade grilled Mexican street corn or Mexican rice to lean into those south-of-the-border flavors. And if you have any leftovers, you can store them for up to 3 days in the fridge. Just reheat them by covering them in foil and placing them in the oven at 350 F for about 5 minutes. 

Chipotle-Adobo Pork Chops Recipe
5 from 32 ratings
Chipotles in adobo sauce, lime juice, and garlic are the perfect marinade for juicy, spicy grilled pork chops.
Prep Time
Cook Time
chipotle-adobo pork chop with lime
Total time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • 1 (7-ounce) can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 2 medium limes, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black peppercorns
  • 4 pounds bone-in, thick-cut pork chops
  1. Place the can of chipotles in adobo sauce, the juice from 1 lime, garlic, salt, and pepper into a blender or food processor. Process on high speed for 30-45 seconds until the peppers are broken down, scraping down the sides of the blender as needed. The sauce will be thick when done.
  2. Line a 9x13-inch glass pan or a large baking sheet with parchment paper and place spoonfuls of the sauce onto the parchment, spreading it into a thick layer.
  3. Place the pork chops on top of the chipotle sauce. Spread additional spoonfuls of the sauce onto the pork chops to generously coat.
  4. Discard any leftover sauce, cover the pork chops with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to marinate or up to overnight.
  5. Preheat the grill to 375 F.
  6. Place the marinated pork chops onto the center of the grill over indirect heat. Close the lid and cook for 10 minutes, then flip to cook the other side for an additional 10 minutes. When done, the internal temperature in the thickest part of each pork chop should be at least 145 F.
  7. Allow the pork chops to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
  8. Serve warm with lime wedges on the side for squeezing.
Calories per Serving 795
Total Fat 41.1 g
Saturated Fat 13.6 g
Trans Fat 0.4 g
Cholesterol 313.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 6.7 g
Dietary Fiber 1.7 g
Total Sugars 2.2 g
Sodium 1,252.3 mg
Protein 94.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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