Can You Pan Fry Shake and Bake Pork Chops? A Detailed Guide

Shake and Bake pork chops are a classic American dish that many of us grew up enjoying. The crisp seasoned coating provides a burst of flavor while the tender pork inside stays juicy. But you don’t have to bake Shake and Bake pork chops – you can also pan fry them for a quick and easy meal.

In this detailed guide we’ll walk through everything you need to know to pan fry perfect Shake and Bake pork chops right on your stovetop.

What is Shake and Bake?

For those unfamiliar, Shake and Bake is a packaged breadcrumb coating mix. It was introduced by General Foods in the 1960s and originally marketed with the tagline “Pork chops as quick as chicken”.

The concept behind Shake and Bake is simple – you take raw pork chops, coat them in the Shake and Bake mixture, then cook them until the coating becomes crispy and the pork is cooked through. The coating contains breadcrumbs, seasonings, and binders that help it stick to the meat.

While the oven is the traditional cooking method, pan frying Shake and Bake pork chops is a quick and easy alternative.

Benefits of Pan Frying vs Baking

There are a few advantages to pan frying Shake and Bake pork chops rather than baking them:

  • Faster cooking time – Pan frying takes only about 5-6 minutes per side, while baking can take up to 30 minutes total. This makes pan frying a better option for weeknight meals.

  • More control over doneness – In the oven, it’s harder to control how done the pork gets. Pan frying allows you to better monitor the chops and pull them off the heat at the perfect moment.

  • Crispier crust – The direct contact with the hot pan gives the Shake and Bake coating a deliciously crispy, browned crust. The high heat helps it get extra crunchy.

  • Less chance of drying out – With oven baking, there’s a higher risk of the pork chops ending up dry and overcooked. Pan frying keeps the interior juicier.

  • Smaller portions – It’s easier to pan fry just a few chops rather than heating up the whole oven. This works well for cooking for 1-2 people.

How to Pan Fry Shake and Bake Pork Chops

Pan frying Shake and Bake pork chops takes just a few simple steps:


  • Pork chops, about 1/2 inch thick (4-6 chops)
  • 1 package Shake and Bake pork chop coating mix
  • Butter or oil for cooking


  1. Prepare the coating: Place the Shake and Bake crumbs in a shallow dish or pan. Add the recommended amount of water (around 1/4 cup) and mix until moistened. The texture should resemble wet sand.

  2. Coat the chops: Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels. One at a time, press chops into the coating mixture, flipping to coat both sides evenly. Gently shake off any excess.

  3. Heat the pan: Place a skillet over medium heat and melt 1 Tbsp butter or heat 1 Tbsp oil. Make sure the pan is fully preheated.

  4. Pan fry the chops: Carefully place the coated pork chops in the hot pan. Fry for 4-5 minutes per side until the coating is crispy and browned and the pork reaches an internal temperature of 145°F. Work in batches if needed to avoid crowding.

  5. Finish and serve: Remove the chops from the pan and let rest for 5 minutes before serving. The coating will stay ultra crispy! Enjoy with your favorite sides.

Tips for Perfect Pan Fried Shake and Bake Chops

Follow these tips for the crispiest, tastiest pan fried Shake and Bake pork chops:

  • Use a thick, heavy skillet – this helps the pork chops brown properly and prevents burning. Cast iron or stainless steel work best.

  • Let the pan fully preheat before adding the chops. Starting with a hot skillet is key.

  • Don’t crowd the pan. Cook chops in a single layer with space between them.

  • Press the coating onto the pork chops firmly so it adheres. Wet your hands slightly if the coating won’t stick.

  • Flip the chops gently to avoid knocking off the coating. Use tongs or a thin spatula.

  • Cook until the crust is golden brown. The darker color equals a crispier texture.

  • Let chops rest after cooking so the juices redistribute. Never skip this step!

Cooking tips

  • Brush chops with a little oil before coating for extra crispy results. The oil helps the coating brown.

  • For added flavor, season the pork chops directly with salt, pepper, garlic powder, etc before adding the Shake and Bake.

  • Customize the coating by blending in extra spices, grated parmesan, panko crumbs, etc. The options are endless.

  • If the coated chops don’t fit in one batch, keep them warm on a baking sheet in a low oven while cooking the rest.

  • The internal temperature should hit 145°F for juicy, safe-to-eat pork. Always use a meat thermometer.

Serving Suggestions

Shake and Bake pork chops are extremely versatile. Here are some fun serving ideas:

  • Serve with potato wedges or fries for an easy meal-on-one-plate

  • Pair with roasted veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, or brussels sprouts

  • Make pork chop sandwiches on toasted buns with lettuce, tomato, and your favorite condiments

  • Top a salad with sliced pan fried pork chops for added protein

  • Dress up the plate with sides like baked beans, coleslaw, or cornbread

  • Use pan fried pork chops in breakfast tacos, omelets, hash, or biscuits and gravy


Can I use boneless or sliced pork chops?

Boneless and sliced chops work great. Just reduce the cooking time by 1-2 minutes per side since they’ll cook faster.

What about thick-cut chops?

Thicker chops over 1 inch may need an extra 1-2 minutes per side. Check for doneness with a thermometer.

Do I need to flip the chops?

Yes, it’s important to flip the chops halfway through cooking to finish and brown both sides evenly.

What if the coating falls off?

Pressing the coating on firmly before cooking and gently flipping the chops will help prevent this. If some bits fall off, don’t worry – the pork will still taste delicious!

Can I use an air fryer instead of pan frying?

Absolutely! Coat the chops in the same way then air fry at 400°F for 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway. The shakes will get nice and crispy.

The Verdict on Pan Frying Shake and Bake Pork Chops

Pan frying creates tender, juicy Shake and Bake pork chops with an incredibly crispy, flavor-packed coating. It’s quicker and easier than baking yet still delivers that nostalgic crunch we know and love.

As long as you start with hot pan, don’t overcrowd, and cook the chops until nicely browned, you’ll get picture-perfect results. Shake and Bake pork chops are hard to mess up!

So next time you’re craving this classic, skip the oven and break out your skillet. With the simple Shake and Bake method, you’ll enjoy crisp, golden pork chops in minutes. They truly are “as quick as chicken”!

Shake ‘n Bake Pork Chops

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