Capture the essence of the southwest with these juicy, tender pork chops cooked to perfection in your air fryer. Made with a simple seasoning blend that features bold flavors and a little bit of heat. An excellent choice for a quick meal any night of the week!
These thick, bone-in pork chops cook in under 20 minutes and need only a few minutes to prepare. You probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry or spice rack already.
What are Southwestern Pork Chops?
Southwest cuisine in one of my all time favorites. It’s real blend of Americana and Mexican with just the right balance of vibrant, bold flavors and a little bit of kick, without having to call the fire department to put out a fire in your mouth!
We get the primary flavors from chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, and round them out with classic spices such as onion powder, salt, pepper, oregano, etc. Then of course, we get little bit heat from some cayenne. Feel free to adjust the cayenne to your liking. Remember, a little goes a long way. Black pepper is a key ingredient as well. When that pepper forms a crust on the pork chops with the other ingredients, it creates such an awesome, bold flavor profile.
- Chili powder
- Smoked Paprika
- Onion powder
- Garlic Powder
- Black Pepper
What Kind of Pork Chops?
You can use boneless or bone-in pork chops for this recipe. I’ve found the very best results come from bone-in rib chops. They have excellent marbling, tenderness and all around best flavor. And of course, that rib bone gives it that classic pork chop look – perfect for our southwestern recipe!
Generally, pork chops with a thickness of 1 inch to 1.5″ is ideal. You can certainly go thinner, just keep on eye on them as they’ll be done cooking much faster.
The prep for these pork chops is as easy as it gets. Mix the ingredients, apply the rub to the pork chops, and you’re ready to go.
Air Fry at 400°(F) for 10-12 minutes
Start by preheating your air fryer at 400°(F) for 5 minutes. This is important as it helps establish the sear we want on the outside of the pork chops. Once the air fryer is preheated, place the chops into the air fryer basket or tray (depending on the type on unit you have), and set to air fryer at 400°(F) for 10-12 minutes (depending on thickness). The pork chops will be done when the internal temperature of the chops reaches 145°(F) when measured with an instant read thermometer.
Let Rest and Serve
After we remove the pork chops from the air fryer, we want to let them rest on a plate for a couple of minutes before serving. This gives the natural juices a chance to redistribute.
Serve the pork chops with your favorite sides. We love serving these with our Air Fryer Roasted Zucchini and Peppers. The flavors and texture of the peppers and zucchini goes perfectly with southwest pork chops. Some fresh chopped cilantro really adds to the flavor profile as well.
Storage and Reheating
These southwest pork chops will store well in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. These are excellent for meal planning and cooking the night before to enjoy for lunch or dinner the next day. Reheating is as simple as a couple of minutes in the microwave. You can also reheat in the air fryer at 360°(F) for a few minutes until heated through.Print