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!
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!
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!
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!
Weeknight One-Pan Apple and Herb Pork Chops
- Chef's knife
- Large cast iron skillet (12-inch)
- Plate or meat-friendly cutting board (for seasoning meat)
- Butter knife
- 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)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place cast iron skillet on the stove over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon butter to the skillet and let melt.
- While skillet is warming up, season both sides of the pork with salt, pepper, chopped rosemary and chopped thyme.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- DISH DENSITY: Low
- Be sure to cut your onion and apples into small enough pieces so that they will cook sufficiently with the allotted cooking time for the pork chops.
- You could also use a round, shallow stovetop- and oven-proof dish (like a Lodge or Le Creuset) instead of the cast iron skillet, you just won't get as nice of a sear on the pork chops.