We love cooking with apples. These Pork Chops with Apples and Onions are always in our regular dinner rotation during fall season. It’s our favorite comfort meal!
You’ll love the combination of sweet and savory flavors, perfectly balanced in a delicious pan sauce. Plus, I share tips on how to keep pan-seared pork chops juicy and tender.
These pork chops with apples are perfect for weeknights. Easy and simple, ready in just 40 minutes.
This pork chops with apples dinner is one of the best things about fall. I love the sweetness of the apples paired with the savory, seasoned pan-seared pork chops in a delicious pan sauce.
To make it even better, we love to spoon the pan sauces over a generous serving of red skin mashed potatoes or these fluffy mashed potatoes. You can even make your own apple cider at home. So ridiculously delicious!
Why we love making these pork chops with apples:
- Easy to make: Just a few simple steps to follow.
- Cozy and comforting: Anything with apples please! We love fall.
- Great for weeknights! 40 minutes is all you need.
You’ll love the sweet and savory flavors of the pan sauce, made with butter, apple cider, chicken broth, and fresh herbs. Also, those delicious onions and the soft yet crisp apples are to die for.
These pork chops with apples are an easy weeknight recipe that takes about 40 minutes to make. Plus, below I share all the tips and tricks to make sure those pork chops stay juicy and tender.
Types of Apples to Use
For these pork chops with apples recipe, you want to make sure the apples stay crisp even after being cooked. The best apples to accomplish this texture are either Honeycrisp or Fuji apples.
They maintain their shape really well and stay fresh. Plus, they have the perfect amount of sweetness that blends well with the sauce.
If you’re looking for a sweet and tart flavor profile, try a combination of Honeycrisp and Granny Smith apples. Always a lovely combo!
No matter what, stay away from Red Delicious apples. They will disintegrate and turn mushy.
Bone-in vs Boneless Pork Chops
I make these pork chops with apples recipes with either bone-in or boneless pork chops. It really depends on what I have in the fridge or how busy I am on a certain day.
Boneless pork chops are usually smaller and cook more easily, faster, and evenly. It’s my go-to choice for super busy weeknights, when I just want to make dinner simple and straightforward.
Bone-in pork chops are usually larger in size and have more fat around it, so they are juicier and more flavorful. They also take a few minutes longer to cook on the skillet, especially around the bones. I often finish them in the oven for a few minutes to ensure the pork is cooked through.
Either way, your best bet is to use a meat thermometer to ensure the meat is cooked properly. The safe temperature for pork is 145 degrees F (medium), but I like mine cooked at 155 to 160 degrees F (medium well to well).
Tip for Juicy Pan-Seared Pork Chops
The last thing you want are tough and dry pork chops! In reality, the only way to ensure that pork chops turn out juicy is using a brine, but really…that’s a lot of work for a simple weeknight dinner. Here’s where quick dry brines come in!
What is a dry brine? A dry brine basically involves salting the meat and letting it rest before cooking. Salt naturally removes excess moisture. So, in this case, the salt uses the meat’s moisture to make a “brine” and then soaks it back into the meat, which helps keep the meat juicy and tender. Plus, this method will season the pork chops throughout.
Typically, for smaller cuts of meat, I tend to dry brine for 45 minutes to 1 hour, but even 15 to 20 minutes does the trick. This is great for weeknights. You can also do this overnight.
You only need a few ingredients to make this pork chops with apples for dinner. Below are a few ingredient notes from recipe testing. As always, the full ingredient list and quantities can be found in the recipe card down below.
- Pork chops: Boneless or bone-in.
- Unsalted butter: For the sauce. It adds richness and flavor.
- Onions and garlic: The flavor base for the sauce.
- Fresh herbs, such as thyme and rosemary add aromatic tones that are perfect for a cozy fall dinner
- Dijon mustard: Adds flavor and helps to thicken the sauce.
- Apples: I’d recommend using Honeycrisp apples
- Apple cider: Adds some sweetness and cozy apple flavors. Don’t worry, the sauce won’t be overly sweet – it’s the perfect balance between sweet and savoty. Note: Not apple cider vinegar.
- Chicken broth: For the savory base of the sauce.
- Olive oil, salt, and pepper
Only a few simple steps needed to make these pork chops with apples for dinner! I usually season the pork with salt and pepper overnight, so it’s ready to go when I want to start cooking. This process is called quick dry brining and keeps the meat juicy and tender.
Step 1 | Pan-sear pork chops
Season pork chops with salt and pepper. Let them sit for 15 to 20 minutes on the counter. By doing this, we’re quick dry brining the pork, which will help tenderize it so it stays juicy.
Drizzle olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Cook the pork chops, about 5 minutes per side or until a thermometer registers about 160 degrees F for medium-well. Transfer to another plate and set aside.
Tip: If using bone-in pork chops, you may need to transfer them to the oven to make sure they are properly cooked. Sometimes, the heat of the pan may not be enough to cook the meat around the bones. To be safe, I finish them in the oven at 400 F degrees for 5 to 8 minutes.
Step 2 | Cook the onions
Reduce to medium heat. In the same skillet, melt the butter and cook the onions for about 12 to 15 minutes, until softened. For better caramelization, let them cook mostly undisturbed and stir only occasionally.
Step 3 | Sautee aromatics
Next, add the garlic, rosemary and thyme. Cook for another 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant.
Step 4 | Add liquid and apples
Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, dijon mustard, chicken broth, and apple cider until incorporated, scraping the pan’s brown bits. Add apples and simmer for about 5 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally.
If the liquid is evaporating too much, add equal parts broth and cider as needed. At this point, the sauce should slightly thicken, but still be relatively thin.
Step 5 | Return pork chops to skillet
Return the fully cooked pork chops into the skillet, nesting them under the apples and sauce. Simmer for another 1 to 2 minutes.
Serve these apple pork chops with your favorite side dish – I often go for mashed potatoes or steamed vegetables.
Pairing and Serving Ideas
My favorite side dish for this meal is a generous serving of red skin mashed potatoes or these fluffy mashed potatoes. I love how the sauce soaks into the potatoes. Rice would also be a great option – try my Coconut Jasmine Rice or Wild Rice Pilaf.
Aside from that, I like serve these pork chops with apples dish along with the following side dishes:
Choose firm and sweet apples. My favorites are Honeycrisp and Fuji. You can also use a combination of Honeycrisp and Granny Smith for a sweet and tart flavor profile.
It’s up to you! Boneless pork chops are easier to cook, faster and more evenly. Bone-in pork chops tend to be juicier and more flavorful, but take a few extra minutes to cook, especially around the bone. It’s always best to use a meat thermometer.
A minimum of 145 degrees F in the thickest park, plus 5 minutes of resting time, for medium-rare. 150 to 155 F for medium and 155 to 160 F for medium-well. 160 F and higher is well-done. I personally like mine cooked medium-well.
For best flavors, I’d recommend using apple cider (note: NOT apple cider vinegar). Bottled apple juice tends to be very diluted and extra sweet. Cider is more concentrated with apple flavors, which is what you want to make a good pan sauce.
This recipe was published in 2020 and updated in October 2022 to include new photos and information, plus a few recipe modifications.
Tips for Success
- Slice the apples to about the same size so they cook evenly. There’s no need to peel the apples. Use Honeycrisp or Fuji apples. Do not use Red Delicious, as this type of apple will become mushy with heat.
- For a sweet and tart flavor profile, try using a combination of Honeycrisp and Granny Smith apples.
- Make sure you use apple cider and NOT apple cider vinegar. Do not substitute with apple juice.
- Use either boneless or bone-in pork chops. Bone-in pork chops tend to be juicier and more flavorful, but take a few extra minutes to cook, especially around the bone. Always use a meat thermometer to be sure.
Pork Chops with Apples and Onions
- 4 boneless or bone-in pork chops - about ½ inch thick, see notes below
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil for the pan
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced
- 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon fresh thyme
- ½ teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- ½ tablespoon dijon mustard
- ½ cup chicken broth, plus more as needed
- ½ cup apple cider, plus more as needed - NOT apple cider vinegar
- 2 Honeycrisp apples, sliced - no need to peel
- Season pork chops with salt and pepper on both sides. Let them rest for 15 to 20 minutes (or alternatively season overnight, refrigerated). Use about ½ teaspoon of Kosher salt and a few grinds of pepper per pork chop. Tip: In this step, we are “quick dry-brining” the pork with salt. This will keep it juicy and tender.
- In a large skillet, heat some olive oil over medium high heat. Cook the pork chops, about 5 minutes per side, until fully cooked through or until internal temperature reaches 155 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from pan and set aside. Note: Bone-in pork chops may take an extra 2 minutes to cook, especially around the bone.
- In the same skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Cook the sliced onions, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 12 to 15 minutes. Tip: try not to stir too often so that the onions have a chance to caramelize.
- Then, add the minced garlic, rosemary and thyme. Cook for another 1 to 2 minutes, stirring, until fragrant.
- Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, dijon mustard, chicken broth, and apple cider until incorporated. Scrape the brown bits with a wooden spoon.
- Add the apples, and simmer for about 5 to 7 minutes, until softened but still crisp. Season with more salt and pepper to taste, if needed. At this point, the sauce should slightly thicken, but still be relatively thin. If needed, more liquid (equal parts broth and cider) until desired consistency.
- Return the cooked pork chops to the pan, nesting them under the apples. Simmer for another 1 to 2 minutes. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
- Apples: Use firm and sweet apples, such as Honeycrisp. Also consider combining Honeycrisp with Granny Smith apples for a sweet and tart flavor profile.
- Use bone-in or boneless pork chops, depending on your preference. Boneless are easier and faster to cook, they cook more evenly. Bone-in pork chops tend to be juicier and tastier, but take longer to cook, especially around the bones. Always use a meat thermometer to be sure.
- When using bone-in pork chops, I like to pan-sear the pork and finish it in the oven at 400 degrees F for 5 to 8 minutes just to be sure it’s fully cooked.
- Safe temperature for pork: A minimum of 145 degrees F in the thickest park, plus 5 minutes of resting time, for medium-rare. 150 to 155 F for medium and 155 to 160 F for medium-well. 160 F and higher is well-done. I personally like mine cooked medium-well.
- Storage and reheating: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave oven.
- Fresh herbs: You can use dried herbs, about half of the quantity of fresh herbs.
- Chicken broth: Vegetable broth.
- Do not substitute apple cider with apple juice.