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Old Favorite, New Twist (Recipe: Baked Pork Chops with Tomatoes and Rice)

October 22, 2013
by Jackie Garvin

While I never lived in coastal rice country such as Savannah or Charleston, rice was an important part of our cuisine.  It was inexpensive and accessible.  It made a better host for gravy than mashed potatoes  because of the ease of preparation.  Chicken and rice was a staple for us.  A favorite side dish was tomatoes and rice.

Taking inspiration from tomatoes and rice, I created a one dish bake-in-the-oven meal.  My choice for rice is Basmati which was unknown to my mother and grandmother. They pretty much stuck with Mahatma Rice.  Basmati is an imported rice that has a butter popcorn flavor.  I don’t know if Basmati would have even been available to them.

The contents of this dinner just fit in my 12-inch cast iron skillet.  It was brimming full but the skillet  managed to contain it all.  For larger quantities, the recipe can be doubled and cook in a big Dutch oven. The cooking times might need to be adjusted. Cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice and the pork chops are tender and the juices run clear.

My mother, especially, would have loved this dish. And she would have thought I was so smart for coming up with it.

I don’t know about smart.  I just know what tastes  good, how to keep it simple and how to add to it to feed lots of people.  If that’s being smart, I’ll accept it.

Y’all come see us!

Baked Pork Chops with Tomatoes and Rice ~ Syrup and Biscuits

Baked Pork Chops with Tomatoes and Rice

yield: 4 to 6 servings

A one dish meal that goes on auto-pilot once it’s put together and in the oven. The pork chops are tender and juicy and the rice is flavorful.

4 to 6 bone in pork loin chops

seasoned salt

2 tablespoons bacon grease

1 1/2 cups rice (I use Basmati)

1 sweet onion, chopped

1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

3 cups water

Sprinkle pork chops generously with seasoned salt.  Let them come to room temperature for one hour prior to baking.  Melt bacon drippings in a large hot skillet.  Brown chops on both sides.  Remove from skillet.

Add rice and onion to skillet and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4  minutes or until rice has started to brown and onion has softened.

Stir in tomatoes and seasoned salt.

Place pork chops on top of rice.

Add water to skillet. Cover and bake covered at 350 degrees for one hour.  Remove from oven, keep covered and let sit for 15 minutes.

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. October 22, 2013 5:27 pm

    I love baked pork chops but add rice and tomatoes and I’d be standing in line with a plate!

  2. November 16, 2013 10:49 am

    Very good comfort meal, perfect for a Sunday home with the family. I did do a combination of other reviewer’s modifications. For the first step I used Campbell’s Healthy Request cream of celery soup, just because my kids don’t like mushrooms. We thought the celery did add great flavor, so will definitely do that again. I used 33% less sodium chicken broth instead of water. I did this step right in a 9×13″ glass dish. Next I seasoned the (bone-in center cut pork loin chop) with a little garlic powder, salt, and pepper. I browned them in a non-stick skillet with a little butter and extra virgin olive oil. After removing them from the pan, I next deglazed the browned bits with a little white wine. I then sauteed garlic, sliced onions, and sliced mushrooms in the same skillet. I stirred some of this mushroom/onion mix in with the rice, placed the pork chops on the rice, and then used the rest of the mushroom/onion mix to top the pork chops (except for the kids’). I covered the 9×13 with foil and baked for 1 hour (a little less time than the recipe said, just b/c the chops had already been browned). They turned out very flavorful and moist, as well as the rice was delicious with a similar quality to risotto. We ate this with homemade applesauce and broccoli. Great meal. Thanks for the recipe!

  3. January 21, 2014 3:31 pm

    I’ve got to try this. It looks very interesting and tasty. I’ve always used fresh cherry tomatoes, halved, and I pop them in toward the end of the cooking. Having lived only a few miles west of Charleston, in Summerville, SC, rice is big on my menu. I love traditional lowcountry rice. But as my local friends would say, “Thay’s real proud if it son,” (it’s expensive). I especially like Charleston dirty rice and Savannah red rice. Oh that’s good!

    • January 23, 2014 11:47 pm

      “They’s is real proud of it.” I don’t know how many times I’ve heard that saying. 🙂

  4. Betty Mogan permalink
    January 21, 2014 10:30 pm

    I have been making this for years. It is really good. I usually use boneless porkchops.

    • January 23, 2014 11:45 pm


      I like to cook meat on the bone as a general rule. There’s lots of flavor in the bones.

  5. September 24, 2014 10:05 pm

    I use onion,and green peppers,red and oranges,all cut in chunks.beef broth instead of water diced tomatoes,one can of title tomatoes for a little kick.I brown the meat but put the vegetables on top of chops then pour on broth ,tomatoes and to hour and fifteen min covered with foil. So good.

  6. September 24, 2014 10:07 pm

    Sorry,it’s one can rotel tomatoes,not little,darn spell check.

    • September 25, 2014 6:50 am

      Sounds good, Cheryl! I saw a funny sign yesterday : Autocorrect makes me say things I didn’t Nintendo. LOL!

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