Cocoa and Chili Rubbed Pork Chops

I don’t know about other grocery stores across the country, but I feel like ours in Kansas City are always running sales on pork!  While it’s not something I’d say I usually crave, I definitely enjoy “the other white meat” every now and then.  (I owe this to being the daughter of my dad, who gets ridiculously excited about pork chops!)  So since they were yet again on sale this week, day five of Cheap Eats Week here on the blog is an ode to the chop.  :)

I think this may also be my first recipe on the blog featuring my favorite chocolate+chili combination!  For those of you who’ve never tried it (and if this is the case, you must before you raise a skeptical eyebrow!), trust me that this doesn’t taste like pork with a Hershey’s bar on top.  Rather, the cocoa just adds a subtle, yet delicious depth of flavor beneath the zing of the chili powder.  I absolutely love the combination — in chilis, in truffles, cupcakes…you name it!

I ended up using ancho chili powder (subtle heat, but with a nice smokey flavor) for this recipe, but feel free to experiment with regular chili powder, chipotle chili powder, paprika, or whatever other favorites you have on hand.  Also, while I made these in a skillet on the stove, I’m sure they would be even better cooked on a grill!  Whatever your method, would encourage you to give these a try.  Too simple, and way too yummy to pass up.  :)

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Cocoa & Chili Rubbed Pork Chops

You’ll love this Cocoa & Chili Rubbed Pork Chops Recipe! So flavorful!


  • 2 boneless pork loin chops
  • 2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. ancho chili powder (or regular chili powder)
  • 2 tsp. light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • sea salt & freshly ground black pepper


In a bowl, mix the cocoa, brown sugar, and chili powder together until well-blended. Sprinkle a little less than 1 tsp. on the tops of each pork chop, and pat/rub in. Flip over and do the same on the other sides. Let sit for about 5-10 minutes, then sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-heat. Test to see if the oil is ready by dripping a drop or two of water in the skillet. (No sound – pan is too cold. Splatter – too hot. Sizzle – perfect!) Add pork chops and cover for about 5 minutes. (Mine were not super-thick, so only left then in for 4 minutes.) Then uncover and flip, and cook for a few more minutes until thoroughly cooked (between 145-160 degrees). If juices start to form on top of the chops, they’re definitely done!

Ali’s Tip:
For extra-moist pork chops, would recommend brining them for an hour beforehand like Food & Wine suggested!  Just stir 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. ground red pepper into a quart of water.  And then add the pork chops and let it all sit together in the refrigerator for an hour.  Then pull them out and continue with the recipe as directed above.

Recipe adapted from Food and Wine

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If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!