When I was growing up, I dreaded a pork chop. They were tough, flavorless pieces of gray meat that filled us up at the expense of, well, any sort of culinary experience. But they were cheap and filled my sisters and me up at dinner time, so they were a staple.
This probably sounds familiar to anyone who grew up in the ’90s. Today, chefs around the world have made better recipes more accessible to all of us laypeople who are just looking for a way to avoid having pork chops and applesauce again.
To help you maximize this cheap(ish) cut of meat, here are 14 recipes that we’ve curated from around the internet. Not only are these big-time crowd-pleasers, but we’ve included recipes that cover several different techniques.
Grilled Pork Chop Dinner Ideas
Although pork chops tend to evoke bland dinner memories, they’re an insanely versatile cut of meat. Grilling them can be a foolproof(ish) way of creating a memorable main course on any night of the week. Here are some of our favorite takes on grilled pork chops.
1. Grilled Lemongrass Pork Chop With Steam Egg Loaf on Broken Rice
This Vietnamese take on grilled pork chops is probably much different than your mom ever thought of (unless your mom is Vietnamese). If you have the patience to make a 15-minute lemongrass marinade and let your pork chops hang out in it for a couple of hours, you’ll end up with a unique weeknight meal that everyone will enjoy.
2. Grilled Pesto Pork Chops
Looking for a way to elevate the pork chop and clean out your refrigerator? This grilled pesto pork chop recipe from Delish D’Lites shows you how to create a tasty pesto marinade for bone-in pork chops using ingredients that you probably have in your refrigerator. Although the instructions require you to marinate for at least four hours, this is the perfect recipe to prepare before you leave for work in the morning and finish up in just a few minutes when you’re ready to eat.
Pan-Fried Pork Chop Ideas
Most of us have had bland, bone-dry pan-fried pork chops. This technique makes it incredibly easy to ruin a beautiful cut of pork. To avoid that inedible fate, here are a couple of ideas to make pan-fried pork chops exciting.
3. The Best Juicy Skillet Pork Chops
Wait, didn’t we just say that pan-fried pork chops are a bore? They are when you slap them in the pan with just a little salt and pepper. But Adam and Joanne at Inspired Taste found some simple ways to turn them into showstoppers. You should check out the recipe, but spoiler: Letting the pork chops come to room temperature before seasoning them with a spice rub does wonders on this piece of white meat.
4. Garlic Parmesan Pan-Fried Pork Chops
Meat, cheese, and garlic. What’s not to love? This easy recipe by Katerina at Easy Weeknight Recipes came up with a way to combine those three ingredients in an elegant way. A honey glaze to finish the dish makes it even more unique. Bonus: You can (probably) whip it up in just 20 minutes.
Pork Chop Casseroles
Casseroles have always been an ideal way to clean out ingredients that are about to expire in your refrigerator and pantry. But imagine a world in which you didn’t just make one out of necessity. The casseroles we’ve curated here are the types of recipes you’ll want to make on any night.
5. Pork Chop Hash Brown Casserole
Hash browns are delicious, but surprisingly difficult to make. People like me tend to just buy them pre-cooked. This recipe by The Country Cook takes this tricky side dish, combines it with a protein that’s easy to overcook, and manages to create a tasty weeknight meal that comes together in less than an hour.
6. Country Pork Chop and Rice Bake
One of my favorite “hacks” is to cook pasta or rice at the same time using a broth. It’s an ideal way to keep the protein moist and cook your grain quickly. This recipe by The Seasoned Mom uses this hack to create a one-pan crowd pleaser using pork chops, rice, and beef broth.
Broiled Pork Chop Ideas
I don’t know about you, but the broiler tends to intimidate me. An open flame in your oven directly over a pan? That seems like a recipe for disaster—or at least a flavorless and overcooked dinner.
Here are a couple of ideas that will make you want to use your broiler, especially if you’re cooking a pork chop.
7. Broiled Pork Chops With Creole Seasoning
A broiled pork chop that’s cooked correctly can be a true marvel. Victor at Craving Tasty came up with a creole spice mix that elevates the flavor and doesn’t burn under the direct heat from the broiler.
8. Broiled Pork Chops With Sun-Dried Tomato & Chipotle Pesto
Here’s a recipe from the food blog Fine Cooking that uses a lot of the broiler best practices that we found in our previous recipe. But instead of a dry creole seasoning, this recipe elevates the pork chop with a chipotle pesto marinade (I know, right?) before going under the broiler flame.
Braised Pork Chop Ideas
Braising (or slow cooking) is a timeless cooking technique that enables home cooks to turn cheap cuts of meat into mouthwatering masterpieces. While thicker cuts of pork chops can be quite expensive, here are a few braised pork chop recipes that can make even the thinnest cuts decadent.
9. Tomato Braised Sicilian Pork Chops
Tomato-based braises are popular for several reasons. Not only do they offer robust flavor, but the acidity from the tomatoes is incredible for breaking down tougher pieces of meat over a long period of cooking. Chef Dennis’ take on braised pork chops is inspired by traditional Sicilian flavorings such as capers, olives, and mushrooms.
10. Braised Pork Chops With Ale and Onions
Speaking of ideal liquids for breaking down tough meats, beer brings a combination of effervescence and hoppy flavors that work wonders on pork chops. As the folks at Craft Beering explain, this recipe showcases some of the more traditional braising techniques that you’ll find in Belgium.
Roast Pork Chop Ideas
When the cold weather months come around, you probably want a braised dish. But what if you don’t have several hours to cook dinner? Roast pork chops can also hit the spot. Here are a few takes on a classic cooking technique that will hit the table quickly and add new dimensions to your cooking repertoire.
11. Peking Roast Pork Chops
Could you order Chinese takeout to get a Peking pork chop? Probably. Will it be as tasty as this recipe from Christie at Home? Probably not. Plus, this is an insanely easy dish to whip up. While this isn’t technically a “roasted” pork chop recipe, the smokiness you get from the pan emulates a lot of the flavors you’d get from a traditional roast and offers a different take on a weeknight dinner.
12. Easy Honey Garlic Pork Chops
Some cuts of pork are delicious when roasted with just a little salt and pepper. But what if you’re trying to feed a crowd on a budget? Try this honey garlic glaze by The Kitchen Magpie. Unlike a lot of recipes in our guide, these pan-roasted pork chops don’t require a long period of marinating. Whip up the sauce using pantry staples, cook the pan-roasted pork chops up until they register 140 degrees on a meat thermometer, and dinner is served.
Sheet Pan Pork Chop Ideas
Most of the recipes we’ve included in this guide can be on the table within about an hour. Sheet pan pork chop recipes take that up a notch by minimizing the number of dishes you have to clean after the meal. Here are a couple of our favorites.
13. Apricot Pork Chop Sheet Pan Dinner
OK, we told you we’d avoid pan pork chops and applesauce. And I know what you’re thinking. This is basically pork chops and applesauce.
But hear us out! This one pan sheet pan pork chops dinner by The Modern Proper is a neat twist on that old, boring pork chop dinner we all know and sometimes tolerate. After you toss the veggies in olive oil and salt, the pork chops get a sweet apricot glaze before going into the oven. See? We didn’t break our promise to avoid the classics.
14. One Pan Ranch Pork Chops and Veggies
Who doesn’t love dipping things in ranch dressing? While this pan pork chop recipe doesn’t require you to break out the bottled dressing, it does maximize the ranch seasoning bags that you’ll find in most grocery stores. A little seasoning, a touch of oil, and suddenly you’ve got tender sheet pan pork chops on the table in less than an hour.
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