Pork dishes aren’t always the most exciting dinners, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be delicious. The meat can perform well in a variety of dinners just as long as it’s paired with the right ingredients. We’re highlighting seven recipes where pork especially shines, and these are ones you can easily cook on weeknights at home or for dinner guests on weekends. Instead of overdoing it on the chicken and steak dinners, work pork into the rotation and enjoy another meat in your recipe repertoire.
1. Crockpot Apple-Cinnamon Pork Loin
For an especially easy pork dinner, there’s this healthy pork recipe from Paleo Leap that employs the crockpot to do the culinary dirty work. This apple-cinnamon pork loin is perfected in the crockpot for 6 to 8 hours, and then it’s ready for the eating. Better yet, the dinner is even paleo-friendly, so it can appeal to all palates. Flavored with apples, honey, cinnamon, and onions, this pork loin hits all the sweet spots and is a delicious dish anyone can make.
- 2 pounds boneless pork loin roast
- 3 medium apples, peeled and sliced
- ¼ cup honey (optional)
- 1 red onion, halved and sliced
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup chicken stock
- Cooking fat
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Head to Paleo Leap for the full recipe.
2. Pork Teriyaki
For an Asian twist on a pork dish, here’s this pork teriyaki from Taste of Home. Instead of relying on Japanese restaurants to help you get your teriyaki fix, buy yourself some teriyaki sauce mix and make the dish at home. Coming together in all of 15 minutes, this dish couldn’t be more simple or fun to make, and because this recipe serves 4, it’s perfect for the whole family (or just for you if you’re interested in leftovers).
- 1 envelope teriyaki sauce mix
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 pork tenderloin (1 pound), cut into ½-inch slices
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- Hot cooked rice
Head to Taste of Home for the full recipe.
3. Cornbread and Bacon Stuffed Pork Chops
Dare to make your pork chops more interesting? Check out this devastatingly delicious recipe from Betty Crocker. As involved as the name sounds, the dish isn’t even difficult to make. You’re simply going to brown your stuffed pork in a skillet before cooking it in the oven for 45 minutes, and then it’s time to eat.
- 6 bone-in pork rib or loin chops, 1 to 1¼ inches thick
- 4 slices bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup cornbread stuffing crumbs
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- ½ teaspoon seasoned salt
- ½ teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
Head to Betty Crocker for the full recipe.
4. Pork and Cider Stew
This pork and cider stew from Food & Wine is easy enough to serve on a weeknight yet sufficiently sophisticated to cook for a dinner party. It’s made with pork, bacon, garlic, onions, and sparkling apple cider, and it’s even sinfully finished with a little heavy cream. Anyone who believes pork can’t be decadent should try this dish.
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 pounds trimmed boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1½-inch cubes
- Kosher salt
- 10 ounces skinless, meaty bacon, cut into ½-inch dice
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 750-milliliter bottle sparkling dry apple cider
- 1 quart chicken stock or low-sodium broth
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons grainy mustard
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped sage leaves
Head to Food & Wine for the full recipe.
5. Shredded Pork Tacos
Another great way to enjoy your pork is on a tortilla. These tacos from Martha Stewart are served with queso fresco and cilantro, are fresh and flavorful, and they’re a welcomed alternative to typical beef and chicken tacos. Work a new meat into your taco rotation and you won’t regret it. Martha’s recipe only requires 30 minutes of prep time and serves 8.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 (3-pound) boneless pork shoulder, cut in half lengthwise
- 1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes in juice
- 1 large chipotle chili in adobo sauce (from a small can), minced (about 4 teaspoons)
- 16 (6-inch) toasted corn tortillas
- 1 cup crumbled queso fresco, feta, or goat cheese
- 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
Head to Martha Stewart for the full recipe.
6. Pulled Pork
A tried-and-true pork dish is pulled pork. No can resist the juicy goodness that tastes great served on a bun, on a salad, or on its own. Take this recipe from Cooking Channel and serve it on a weeknight when you’re looking to treat yourself. While some home chefs master their pork in the crockpot, this recipe instructs you to simply cook the good stuff in a Dutch oven. The pork should cook for 4 hours and will easily shred when it’s done.
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 oranges, zested and juiced
- 1 3-pound boneless pork shoulder roast, trimmed
- 2 onions, thinly sliced
- 3 cups chicken stock
- Soft rolls, for serving
Head to Cooking Channel for the full recipe.
7. Southwestern Pork Soup
Concluding with some soup, we come to this supper with a southwestern flare. Cooking Light has a southwestern pork soup recipe that is loaded with veggies, pork tenderloin, beans, and spices. It’s a fun spin on traditional soup and it requires minimal prep time. You can customize the soup to your liking and then eat it for an easy weeknight dinner or when you’re on the go. Enjoy this soup with cornbread and a hearty avocado garnish.
- Cooking spray
- 1 cup pre-chopped onion
- ⅔ cup pre-chopped green bell pepper
- 1 tablespoon bottled minced garlic
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
- 1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 (15-ounce) can pink beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 cup diced avocado
Head to My Recipes for the full recipe from Cooking Light.