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Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Apples

Pork Chops with Apples is a simple dinner recipe perfect for a busy weeknight any time of year!  The apples are caramelized in butter with brown sugar, cinnamon, and honey. The pork chops are pan-seared to a beautiful golden-brown crust and are tender, juicy, and moist.

pork chops with apples in a cast iron pan

Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Apples

Pan-seared pork chops with apples are very flavorful – there is a lot of interplay going on between the savory and sweet flavors, fruity and meaty.

  • The fruit perfectly complements the flavors of generously seasoned pork chops.
  • Pork is juicy and moist every time! I provide cooking tips below on how to ensure the pork is tender and juicy and seared to perfection.
  • And, if you’re looking for a perfect appetizer for these pan-seared pork chops, try baked brie with caramelized apples.

Simple weeknight dinner with basic ingredients

  • This is a super easy dinner recipe that you can make any day of the week.  It’s simple enough to make on a busy weeknight, yet it makes an appealing presentation and you can make it for the holidays or when you have guests over.
  • Since pork chops and apples are available all year, you can make this dish year-round.
  • If you have an apple tree, this recipe is a delicious way to use up some apples!
  • This dish also makes a beautiful presentation!
  • It’s also gluten-free!

pork chops with apples in a cast iron pan

Main ingredients

  • Pork chops. I used boneless pork loin chops. The meat is pan-seared to a perfect golden-brown crust. The pork chops are tender and juicy.
  • Apples. 2 apples are used in this recipe – 1 red apple and 1 green apple (for presentation purposes).  I used Gala apple and Granny Smith apple.  The apples are caramelized in butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and honey. After cooking the apples, you will also have a delicious sticky glaze that is so flavorful, you’ll want to double the recipe just for the apples!

What kind of pork chops to use?

  • Boneless pork chops. In my experience, they cook more evenly and are much easier to pan-sear than bone-in pork chops. Boneless pork chops have the excess fat and the bone removed, so they cook much faster than bone-in pork chops. A great choice for quick dinners.
  • Bone-in pork chops are usually larger in size than boneless pork chops and require longer cooking times. If you use bone-in pork chops, use a meat thermometer, and you might have to cook them in batches.
  • Use a meat thermometer. Boneless pork chops are easy to overcook, so be sure to use a meat thermometer. Bone-in pork chops, on the other hand, take longer to cook because they are thicker and have a bone – also a good reason to use a meat thermometer. Pork chops are cooked when they register an internal temperature of 145 F using a food thermometer.

How to sear pork chops

  • First, prepare the pork chops. Pat pork chops dry with paper towels.  Brush pork chops with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and Italian seasoning.
  • Next, prepare the pan. For best searing results, use a cast-iron pan. Heat an empty large pan over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes to heat it through.
  • Start searing the pork chops undisturbed. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil – the oil should shimmer. Add the pork chops, and sear them on one side for 5 minutes, without moving.
  • Flip to the other side to sear. Reduce the heat to medium, flip the pork chops over to the other side, and sear them on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Cook longer (depending on the thickness of your pork chops) until the pork chops are cooked through.  Use a meat thermometer for guidance.

Cooking tips for juicy and moist pork chops

  • Use cast-iron skillet. It retains heat very well which helps get a nice sear on the pork chops while sealing the moisture inside. I’ve cooked pork chops both in a stainless steel pan and in a cast-iron skillet, and the results are definitely better if you cook them in a cast-iron skillet. A cast-iron skillet is great for searing meats.
  • Bring pork chops to room temperature. Take them out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking them. Tip: Season the pork chops, first, and set them aside. Then, while the pork chops reach room temperature, prepare and cook the apples. After the apples are cooked, start searing the pork chops!
  • Preheat cast-iron skillet first.  Heat an empty large cast-iron skillet on medium heat for about 3 or 4 minutes.  Only then, add olive oil until it shimmers, and add the pork chops.  This allows the cast-iron skillet to be heated through BEFORE you add pork chops, which creates a nice searing.
  • Cook the pork chops on each side undisturbed for 5 minutes.  This sears the pork chops and seals the moisture.
  • How do you know when pork is cooked? Pork chops are cooked when they register an internal temperature of 145 F using a food thermometer.

Pro tips

  • Use 2 different colors of apples.  1 red apple and 1 green apple for presentation purposes.
  • Do not peel the apples. Keep the apples’ skin on – not only does it add color and vibrancy to the dish, but why also get rid of the fiber contained in the apples’ skin?! Also, since you are caramelizing the apples, the skin softens and tastes amazing!
  • Use fresh herbs such as thyme to add more flavor to this sweet and savory dish!

Storage and reheating tips

  • Fridge. Store seared pork chops with apples in an airtight container for up to 4 days. I do not recommend freezing because that will dry them out.
  • Reheat in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Check and reheat for 30 seconds more or longer.
  • Reheat on the stovetop. You can also reheat pork chops on medium heat in the skillet on the stovetop. When reheating, heat olive oil in the skillet first until it shimmers.

pork chops with apples in a cast iron pan

What to serve with pan-seared pork chops

  • Potatoes. Serve this dish mashed potatoes or roasted potatoes. Try these delicious mashed potatoes with roasted garlic.
  • Mashed cauliflower will work as a lower-carb substitute for mashed potatoes.
  • Veggies. Pork chops with apples will go well with roasted or steamed vegetables, such as asparagus, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts.
  • Rice. Pair the pork chops with rice, such as jasmine rice, basmati rice, or long-grain rice. You can also use cauliflower rice for a lower-carb option.

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pork chops with apples in a cast iron pan

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Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Apples

Pork Chops with Apples is a simple dinner recipe perfect for any time of year!  The apples are caramelized in butter with brown sugar, cinnamon, and honey. The pork chops are pan-seared to a beautiful golden-brown crust and are tender, juicy, and moist. 

Prep Time 20 mins

Cook Time 20 mins

Total Time 40 mins

Course Main Course

Cuisine American

Servings 4 people

Calories per serving 558 kcal

Author: Julia

Ingredients

Apples

  • 1 green apple Granny Smith
  • 1 red apple Gala
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons honey

Pork Chops

  • 1.5 lb pork loin chops boneless (4 pork chops)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • fresh thyme

Instructions 

Prepare the pork chops

  • Pat dry pork chops with paper towels.

  • Brush pork chops with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and Italian seasoning.

  • Allow the pork chops to rest while you prepare the apples as follows below. This brings pork chops closer to room temperature which will help them sear better.

Cook apples

  • I used 2 apples (1 red Gala apple and 1 green Granny Smith apple, for presentation purposes). Core the apples and slice each one length-wise.

  • Place sliced apples into a large bowl, add brown sugar, cinnamon, and mix. Let apples sit for about 10 minutes to release juices.

  • In a large pan (I used a large stainless steel skillet), heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil on high heat. Add sliced apples (without juice at the bottom of the pan) and cook on high heat for about 3 minutes on one side, checking periodically. After 3 or 5 minutes, flip sliced apples to the other side, reduce heat to medium and cook the apples for another 3 or 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

  • Cook the apples in a single layer, without overcrowding to get a slightly “roasted” appearance. That means you might have to cook apples in 2 batches. Use the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter for the second batch.

  • Depending on how hot your stove gets, it might take you less or more time to cook apples, the key is to brown them or even get a slightly “burned” effect. But don’t overdo it, remove the cooked apples from the skillet once the apples have this “roasted” appearance.

  • Right after you remove the pan with roasted sliced apples from the heat, immediately add honey to the hot skillet – it will make apples sizzle and will caramelize them beautifully, off the heat.

Cook pork chops

  • For best searing results, use a cast-iron skillet. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes to heat it through.

  • Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil – the oil should shimmer. Add the pork chops, and cook them on one side for 5 minutes, without moving.

  • Reduce the heat to medium, flip the pork chops over to the other side, and cook them on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Cook longer (depending on the thickness of your pork chops) until the pork chops are cooked through.

Assembly

  • Spoon the cooked apples, together with the sauce from cooking the apples, over the pork chops. Top with fresh thyme.

Notes

  • Use cast-iron skillet. It retains heat very well which helps get a nice sear on the pork chops while sealing the moisture inside. 
  • Bring pork chops to room temperature. Take them out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking them. Tip: Season the pork chops, first, and set them aside. Then, prepare and cook the apples, while the pork chops reach room temperature. After you’ve cooked the apples, start searing the pork chops!
  • Preheat cast-iron skillet first.  Heat an empty large cast-iron skillet on medium heat for about 3 or 4 minutes.  Only then, add olive oil until it shimmers and the pork chops.  This allows the cast-iron skillet to be heated through BEFORE you add pork chops, which creates a nice searing.
  • Use 1 green apple and 1 red apple for presentation purposes.  I used Gala apple and Granny Smith apple.
  • Do not peel the apples.  Keep the apples’ skin on for texture, color, and vibrancy!
  • How do you know when pork is cooked? Pork chops are cooked when they register an internal temperature of 145 F using a food thermometer.

Nutrition

Nutrition Information

Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Apples

Amount per Serving

% Daily Value*

Saturated Fat

Trans Fat

Polyunsaturated Fat

Monounsaturated Fat

Cholesterol

Potassium

Carbohydrates

Vitamin A

Vitamin C

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. It should not be used as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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