Oven-Baked Pork Chops with Delicata Squash

A perfect fall dinner that comes together quickly, this recipe for Pork Chops in the Oven is everything you want in a weeknight meal. It’s easy to make and easy to clean up, beautiful on the plate, and full of well-balanced nutrition. But perhaps best of all is the complementary ingredients that make each bite a harmonious symphony of flavor you’ll love. Juicy, tender pork chops nestle among sweet delicata squash and smoky poblano pepper with a crunchy garnish of squash seeds to top it off.

This post was created in partnership with the Minnesota Pork Board

Easy Pork Chops in the Oven with Delicata Squash

This easy one-pan dinner features a wet rub. That is, spices mixed with olive oil which are then gently pressed into the pork and vegetables to distribute deep flavor in every bite.

We love to create easy dinner solutions that you can feel good about serving again and again. This Oven-Baked Pork Chop recipe is just the thing to make when you’re short on time but craving slow-cooked, cozy flavors that will nourish your whole family.

All ingredients for Oven Baked Pork Chops with a wet rub and roasted poblanos and delicata squash arranged together on a counter.

Ingredients to Make Oven Baked Pork Chops

The cozy, smoky, and toasted flavors of the Sheet Pan Pork Chop recipe come forth from the combination of great-together ingredients and a few key spices. Here’s what you’ll need to make this easy dinner tonight:

  • Pork chops – we call for 5- to 6-ounce boneless pork chops because they fit well on the sheet pan with all the other ingredients. However you could use bone-in pork chops if you prefer, and spread the ingredients among two sheet pans.
  • Delicata squash – you could also use half of a butternut squash or acorn squash or swap in cubed sweet potato
  • Poblano pepper – this pepper adds smokiness and very little spice. You could also use a sweet bell pepper or an Anaheim pepper
  • Olive oil or avocado oil
  • Smoked paprika – a delicious seasoning that brings all of the ingredients together; you could also use Spanish paprika or half the amount of chili powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Ground sage – with its slight eucalyptus and citrus notes, this herb is a perfect match for pork, squash, and peppers
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Fresh cilantro – an optional garnish that adds both color and great flavor
Delicata squash cut into strips laying on a cutting board ready for roasting.

What is Delicata Squash?

This recipe calls for delicata squash, which is unique among squash types. It is sturdy, with creamy sweet flesh, similar to other types of winter squash like butternut and acorn squash. However, the outer skin of delicata is thin and tender (aka delicate) and can be eaten. In that way, delicata is like summer squash, such as zucchini and yellow squash.

Delicata squash is also sometimes called peanut squash, Bohemian squash, or sweet potato squash. It has an oblong shape with yellow skin and dark green or orange stripes. We love delicata squash for its sweet and buttery flavor and also its ease of use – no need to peel these squash, and the seeds scoop out so easily. If you can’t get your hands on delicata (it’s in season from early September to January), then you can also use a half of an acorn or butternut squash, or diced sweet potato instead.

Delicata squash cut into strips laying on a cutting board ready for roasting in the oven.

How to make Pork Chops in the Oven

This Pork Chop recipe comes together quickly for a healthy weeknight dinner where the main dish and side dish cook right alongside each other. Here’s how you can make it in 4 simple steps:

  1. Start by prepping the delicata squash and poblano pepper. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds; set the seeds aside in a small bowl. Cut the squash halves into ½-inch thick half-moon slices and place in a large bowl (remember, you don’t need to peel the squash). Next, cut the poblano into rings or ½-inch wide strips (remove any seeds) and add pepper strips to the bowl with the squash. 
  2. Next, make the spice rub by combining the oil, paprika, garlic powder, sage, salt, and pepper. Using your hands, rub half of the spice mixture over both sides of the pork chops (a little goes a long way). Pour the rest of the spice mixture over the squash and peppers; use your hands to work the spice mixture into the vegetables. 
  3. Spread the pork chops and vegetables in an even layer on the sheet pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the thickest part of the pork reaches 145 degrees on a meat thermometer.
  4. While the pork chops and vegetables are cooking, prepare the squash seeds (see next section). To serve, divide pork chops, squash, and peppers among plates. Sprinkle squash with a pinch of salt and garnish with cilantro and the toasted delicata squash seeds.
Overhead view of seasoned pork chops on a sheet pan with poblano peppers and delicata squash.

how to Roast Delicata Squash seeds

For extra flavor and crunch (and less waste), we give you instructions for roasting the delicata squash seeds to use as the perfect garnish for the pork chops. You can roast delicata squash seeds in the same way you would roast pumpkin seeds. Here’s how to roast the squash seeds:

  1. After cutting the squash in half lengthwise, use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Rinse the seeds in a colander and remove any squash flesh from the seeds.
  2. When the seeds are clean, pat them dry on a kitchen towel and transfer to a bowl; toss with 1 tablespoon oil and ½ teaspoon salt.
  3. Spread the seeds on a parchment-lined baking sheet. When the pork chops have 10 minutes left to cook, add the sheet pan with squash seeds to the oven to toast (watch seeds closely as they can burn easily). 

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