Weeknight One-Pan Apple and Herb Pork Chops

An easy one-pan meal featuring juicy bone-in pork chops, apples and loads of fresh herbs. It’s a family-friendly meal that will be on the table in 30 minutes or less!

A beautiful skillet of Weeknight One-Pan Apple and Herb Pork Chops tied off with a black and white gingham hand towel, with a pile of fresh apples off to the side.

You asked, so you shall receive. A couple of weeks ago on Instagram, I asked you all what you wanted to see more of here on CaliGirl Cooking. Responses were a pretty even split between easy, weeknight meals and more ideas for babies and toddlers, so I’ve been working hard behind the scenes to continue to bring you BOTH of these types of recipes.

If you’ve already signed up for my email list, you’ll also see I’ve changed up how I bring that content to you. In an effort to get more personal with you and keep the conversation going, I’ll now be sending out weekly updates chatting about whatever new content I’ve posted each week as well as well, #life. My hope is that it becomes more of a two-sided conversation between you and me because, after all, I’m here to make your life easier and it’s up to YOU to tell me how to do that.

With this Weeknight One-Pan Apple and Herb Pork Chops recipe, I’m also excited to announce a feature I’ll now be including on ALL of my new recipes: Dish Density! I mean, how many of us would cook wayyyyy more often if we didn’t have to worry so much about that big sink full of dirty dishes staring us in the face when it’s all said and done? My goal with Dish Density is to both clearly outline what dishes and tools you’ll need with each recipe before you get started, and also to minimize the amount of dishes and tools needed, presenting the Ingredients and Instructions in a way that will help you reuse things when possible (food safety permitting, of course). I’m still working on the best way to present this to you, so bear with me as I feel things out and, as always, I’m open to suggestions!

A close-up view of Apple and Herb Pork Chops in a cast iron skillet, with whole apples in the background.

Okay, all that fun new business stuff aside, let’s get to talking about these pork chops. Because you need them in your life ASAP. These were inspired by the garage freezer full of meat we happen to have at the moment, thanks to my Costco- and Food Saver-loving hubby [*affiliate link]. (I mean, really though, sometimes you just can’t beat the price and quality of Costco meat and seafood.) He’d been encouraging me to use some of it up, so I started brainstorming dishes I could reasonably manage on any given weeknight.

I love the pairing of apples with bone-in pork chops (thanks, Mom!) so that’s naturally where my mind headed. I also love a dish where I can throw in all the ingredients at pretty much the same time, pop it in the oven, and pull it out to serve less than 20 minutes later.

Before I go any further, I’m going to let you in on my #1 trick for one-pan meals…

The #1 thing you want to keep in mind when cooking one-pan meals is that, no matter what method you’re using to cook them, all of the ingredients need to cook at about the same rate. I find it’s easiest to start with whatever protein you’re using (in this case, pork chops) and build the rest of your ingredients from there.

Because the pork chops would only take 10-15 minutes to cook in the oven once I seared them, I wanted to make sure my apples, onions and herbs would be at a good point after this amount of time as well. In order to achieve this, I cut the apples and onions into smaller pieces and wedges so they’d be sufficiently cooked in this amount of time. This is a great rule of thumb to follow every time you make a one-pan meal!

Another close-up look at Weeknight One-Pan Apple and Herb Pork Chops in a cast iron skillet with a black and white gingham napkin tied around the handle.

Now back to the recipe…

The majority of this dish is cooked in the oven, but I wanted to get a nice sear on my pork chops before I popped them in. I placed my pre-seasoned chops in a hot cast iron skillet [*affiliate link] with some butter, and just got them nice and brown (without worrying about cooking them through) before adding in the apples and onions (plus a little more butter and some apple cider vinegar) and popping the whole thing in the oven.

Less than 15 minutes later, the pork chops registered a safe 145 degrees, and dinner was served!

I love that these Apple and Herb Pork Chops come out with so much flavor with so little cooking time. This makes them the perfect, easy weeknight meal, and your kids are bound to love them as well. To really round out this meal, I recommend serving it with fluffy gnocchi and oven-roasted asparagus (which, hey, you could also roast at the same time as the pork chops!)

Do you have a favorite one-pan meal you’d like to see me make? Let me know in the comments below!

An overhead shot of a cast iron skillet filled with Weeknight One-Pan Apple and Herb Pork Chops, tied off with a black and white gingham napkin with whole apples on the side.

Weeknight One-Pan Apple and Herb Pork Chops
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

An easy one-pan meal featuring juicy bone-in pork chops, apples and loads of fresh herbs. It’s a family-friendly meal that will be on the table in 30 minutes or less!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apple, cast iron skillet, family-friendly, one-pan, pork, weeknight
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 398 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 4 bone-in pork chops
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary, plus more whole sprigs for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, plus more whole sprigs for garnish
  • 1/2 onion, cut into small wedges
  • 3 small Fuji apples, cut into thick slices
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Balsamic glaze (optional)
Dishes needed:
  • Chef's knife
  • Large cast iron skillet (12-inch)
  • Plate or meat-friendly cutting board (for seasoning meat)
  • Tongs
  • Butter knife
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Place cast iron skillet on the stove over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon butter to the skillet and let melt.

  3. While skillet is warming up, season both sides of the pork with salt, pepper, chopped rosemary and chopped thyme.

  4. Once skillet is piping hot, place pork chops on it and sear for about 3 minutes each side. Now that the pork chops are seared, turn the heat down to low.

  5. Add the onions and sliced apples. Pour the apple cider vinegar over top and divide the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter over the top of each chop.

  6. Place skillet in the preheated oven and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into the center reads 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from oven and garnish with additional rosemary and thyme sprigs. Let cool slightly and drizzle with balsamic glaze (if using) before serving.

Recipe Notes

DISH DENSITY: Low

Moo Shu Pork Burgers

Your burger game will never be the same…

These Moo Shu Pork Burgers are a fun spin on the classic Chinese dish.

I hope you’re ready for the ultimate shake-up. That’s right, ASIAN-THEMED burgers that are going to knock your socks off. A total flavor mash-up that’s got so many flavors going on, you won’t know what hit you. A protein bomb that will keep you full for hours yet dreaming of the next time you can bite into something that tastes this good.

You’ve been sufficiently warned, and now I’d like to introduce to you my new best friends: Moo Shu Pork Burgers!

Okay, in all seriousness here, this wasn’t originally my idea. I’ve mentioned many times on this blog the inspiration I get from my dad (like when I made these Pumpkin Praline Cinnamon Rolls with Bourbon Cream Cheese Frosting or his namesake Dad’s Sweet ‘n’ Spicy Chili), and these burgers are another such inspiration. It was one of those random ideas that came to him which he then proceeded to make a couple of times, without writing down any sort of recipe, and then proceeded to forget exactly what he had done.

So when I called him for a low-down on what he had done for these Moo Shu Pork Burgers that I had only heard about and never had the pleasure of tasting, we basically had to start from scratch and brainstorm together exactly what would make the ultimate Moo Shu Pork Burger.

Moo Shu Pork Burgers consist of a juicy pork patty, vegetable-filled egg pancake, sweet hoisin sauce and crunchy sprouts, all on a delicious white bun.

If you’re not familiar with the popular Chinese dish, Moo Shu Pork consists of sliced pork tenderloin, tons of shredded/chopped veggies such as cabbage, carrots, bamboo shoots and green onion, and bits of scrambled egg all served with thin tortilla-like pancakes and a side of hoisin. It’s usually up to you to construct your own “wraps”, and I’ll be the first to tell you it’s easy to go overboard because it is all just soooo delicious.

After brainstorming with dad on how to make a typically taco-like dish into burger form, we decided on the following:

The first step in making a successful Moo Shu Pork Burger is a huge, juicy burger patty made from ground pork and a variety of Asian-influenced spices. I used a combination of cinnamon, fennel pollen, allspice, salt and pepper, but if you have Chinese 5 Spice on hand (I didn’t) you could easily just use that in lieu of everything else.

Juicy Asian-spiced pork patties ready to be made into delicious Moo Shu Pork Burgers!

The second step is to make a “scrambled egg pancake”, loaded with all of the veggies you’d normally include in your Moo Shu Pork. For me, this included bamboo shoots, garlic, shredded carrots, cabbage and green onions.

And, if you’re wondering how to make a scrambled egg pancake, it’s basically just an open-faced omelet. You’ll want to use a nonstick pan with enough room for your egg mixture to spread out fairly thinly, and then just use a spatula to lift up the corners once they are cooked and let any runny egg drain under to cook. Once all of the egg is cooked through, turn off the heat and cut the pancake into wedges like you would a pizza to eventually transfer on top of your pork patty when you are constructing the final product.

Which is what we need to talk about next! After you have your patties cooked and your eggs prepped, the finishing touches of these Moo Shu Pork Burgers come together REALLY quickly. Which is a good thing, because when all these smells start permeating your kitchen you’re going to be chomping at the bit to dig in.

A close-up look at all of the delicious fixings that go into a Moo Shu Pork Burger!

Although the ambitious side of me sort of wanted to make homemade buns from scratch that closely resembled steamed dumpling dough, the pregnant (and more practical) side of me said “Who are you kidding, no one’s going to want to make their own buns for a delicious weeknight meal such as this.” So instead I went for your basic white hamburger buns. Nothing special, but they were just what these Moo Shu Pork Burgers needed.

For assembly, simply plop the pork patty on the bun, add your wedge of veggie-loaded egg pancake, top with a generous dollop of hoisin (which you can find at any large grocery store in the Asian foods sections) and finish off with some fresh sprouts. The final test is to see if you can get your mouth around the entire thing once you’re done!

You may need to cut your Moo Shu Pork Burgers in half to be able to tackle them!

Moo Shu Pork Burgers
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

The classic burger gets an Asian twist with juicy pork patties, a vegetable-filled egg pancake and sweet hoisin sauce. Your burger game will never be the same!

Course: Main Course
Servings: 4 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the pork patties:
  • 2 pounds ground pork
  • 1/2 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, fennel pollen, ground allspice, salt and pepper
For the egg pancake:
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 6 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped bamboo shoots
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped mixed cabbage and carrots
  • Sprinkle of salt and pepper
Other ingredients:
  • 4 classic white hamburger buns
  • Hoisin sauce, for topping
  • Bean sprouts, for topping
Instructions
  1. First, make the pork patties. Combine all patty ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then form into four large patties. I like to use two small, round bread plates with parchment paper on either side to press patties into uniform circles. Once circles are formed, press an indent in the middle with your finger.

  2. Turn your grill on at medium heat and place patties on the grill. Cook for 5-10 minutes each side, or until they no longer feel squishy in the middle. Remove from heat and set aside while you make your egg pancake.

  3. Warm avocado oil in a nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. While oil is warming, add all vegetables to your slightly beaten eggs, then pour entire mixture into pan. Let cook, without stirring, until the edges of the egg begin to harden. 

  4. Once the edges have set up, gently lift go around the pan lifting them up and tilting the pan in that direction so any runny egg flows underneath to cook. Continue this process until there is no runny egg left, then turn off the heat.

  5. Cut the egg pancake into four wedges, then get ready to assemble your burgers.

  6. To assemble, first place a pork patty on the bottom half of the bun, then top with a wedge of the egg pancake, followed by a hearty dollop of hoisin and, finally, a sprinkle of sprouts. Top with the other half of the hamburger bun and enjoy!

Moo Shu Pork Burgers | CaliGirlCooking.com

Pear and Gruyere Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Cippolini Onions

Today’s post comes with allll the mixed emotions.

An overhead shot of delicious Pear and Gruyere Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Cippolini Onions.

There are happy memories, there are sad moments, all of which I will get more into in a moment but, for now, let’s just look at this Pear and Gruyere Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Cippolini Onions as a nostalgic meal best shared with those you love. Because life is all too fleeting, and you need to grasp those moments when you have them.

If you read my Travel Diaries: Tuscany post, you already know that this past April the hubs and I went with both of our parents and my aunt to visit our dear friends Sergio and Stefano at their beautiful Tuscan villa. My aunt and I had been there before, but our parents had yet to experience their over-the-top hospitality and beautiful grounds.

One of the biggest regrets I had on that first trip with my aunt was that we spent every day out and about exploring, and never had the chance to stay at the Villa for a day and take a cooking class, which Sergio and Stefano specialized in. I knew that when we went back to visit this was going to be a MUST. Who doesn’t want to learn what goes into true Italian cooking?

This Pear and Gruyere Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Cippolini Onions is the perfect centerpiece to a meal with good friends and loved ones.

So we spent one day on our last trip in the kitchen, learning all about how to make the fluffiest homemade gnocchi, the beefiest Bolognese and the richest tiramisu. I seriously don’t know how we did it all in the course of half of a day. But Sergio and Stefano had it down to a science, and boy did they make it all look so easy. They’d been teaching classes together for years, even traveling to the U.S. to do so, and it was oh-so-apparent in the way they took us through all of the recipes like a well-oiled machine.

We got some sad news a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately, Sergio had lost a long struggle he had been fighting over some health issues the last couple of years. As would be expected, we were all deeply saddened by the news. At the same time, I feel so grateful that we were able to make the trip and spend so much time with him when we did. Sergio was such a gem: humble, kind, selfless and one of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet. He and Stefano had taken our crew by the hand during our trip, being the most selfless hosts while also escorting us on all of our excursions, serving as our own personal tour guides. They truly made us feel like family.

The hubby and I with our gracious hosts, Sergio and Stefano, at Villa Fabbroni in April of 2017.

Sergio was a true master in the kitchen, shown here making the stuffed pork tenderloin that inspired this very recipe!

Juicy slices of Pear and Gruyere Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Cippolini Onions.

As I often do when struggling with difficult emotions, I decided the best way to both express my sympathy and honor Sergio’s memory would be through cooking. This Pear and Gruyere Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Cippolini Onions is my own personal take on one of the (many) recipes we learned to make during their cooking class and, I have to say, I think Sergio would be proud.

It’s actually a lot more simple than it looks (or sounds,) yet is an elegant dish to serve a dinner table full of guests you care about. The version we made at the villa was filled with apples and Parmigiano, but for this version I decided to sub in one of my favorite combos: fresh pears and gruyere.

The pork tenderloin is already beautifully decadent with the filling, but becomes even more so with the light jacket of prosciutto that’s wrapped around it just before cooking.

Slices of fresh prosciutto are wrapped around this Pear and Gruyere Stuffed Pork Tenderloin before cooking.

It’s cooked completely on the stove top, but with very little hands-on work. A quick flip of the tenderloin about halfway through cooking is all you’ll need. We leave the oven open for roasting the cippolini onions, which are the perfect contrast to the Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with their sweet yet tangy glaze.

Pear and Gruyere Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Cippolini Onions is the perfect main event for any family dinner.

So here’s to all those we’ve loved and lost too soon, and all of the recipes we have to share the memories. Cheers to you Sergio, che tu possa riposare in pace.

Pear and Gruyere Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Cippolini Onions
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 

Pork tenderloin makes the perfect dinner centerpiece when stuffed with pears and Gruyere and wrapped in crispy prosciutto.

Course: Main Course
Servings: 5 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the pork tenderloin:
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless pork tenderloin (or sirloin,) sliced in half and opened like a book
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pear, peeled and sliced
  • 3 1/2 ounces shaved Gruyere
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup sherry
  • 2 cups chicken broth
For the cippolini onions:
  • 14 ounces peeled cippolini onions
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. Begin by pounding the pork tenderloin to a ½-inch thickness. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then layer on the pear and Gruyere.

  2. Lay out the slices of prosciutto on a piece of plastic wrap so that they mimic the shape that the tenderloin has taken. For mine, I made two columns of three slices of prosciutto each, right up next to each other. Place the pork on top of the prosciutto.

  3. Using the plastic wrap to hold everything together, first roll up one side of the tenderloin, then the other, having the two ends of the pork meet at the top, with the prosciutto extending over that seam just a bit. 

  4. Using a piece of butcher’s twine, make loops down the length of the tenderloin to hold everything together. I just kind of made up my method, but use whatever works best for you while losing as little of the filling as possible.

  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for the onions.

  6. Place a large, deep saute pan or Dutch oven on the stove over medium-high heat and melt the butter in it. Once the butter is melted and the pan is nice and hot, add the pork and brown it on all sides (about 2 minutes each side.)

  7. Once the pork is browned, pour in the sherry and let the alcohol evaporate off a bit, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth.

  8. Cover the pot or pan and cook for about 15 minutes. 

  9. While the meat is cooking, prep the onions. In an 8-by-8-inch baking dish, spread out the onions in a thin layer. Cut the butter into tablespoons and drop the tablespoons evenly over the onions, followed by the sugar, white vinegar, salt and pepper. Place in the preheated 350 degree oven and cook for 30-40 minutes, or until the onions are golden brown and can be pierced easily with a fork.

  10. After 15 minutes, remove the lid and pour off the liquid until only about ½ cup remains. Flip the pork over and replace the lid. Cook the pork for another 15 minutes, or until cooked through.

  11. Transfer the pork to a serving dish and surround it with the cooked cippolini onions. Garnish with whatever fresh herbs you may have on hand!

Pear and Gruyere Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Cippolini Onions | CaliGirlCooking.com