Take a break from chicken dinners and instead serve palate-pleasing pork dishes. In addition to tasting terrific with a variety of spices, sauces, and ingredients, this go-to meat also packs plenty of health benefits. Livestrong notes that pork is a solid source of protein, vitamins, and minerals, adding that 100 grams of roasted pork top loin contains 26.45 grams of protein. Roasted pork top loin is much lower in fat compared to most poultry, containing 8.82 grams per 100 grams of pork.
You can consistently obtain perfect pork dishes by avoiding a few common mistakes, according to Bon Appétit. Not all pork is made the same, and foregoing your grocery store pork for well-raised, well-fed heritage pork makes all the difference in the world. In addition, boneless doesn’t always mean better — in fact, bone-in can give the meat a richer flavor. Using plenty of seasonings will ensure your pork is delicious, and allowing your meat to sit on the counter for about 30 minutes prior to cooking will help enhance its flavor.
From bourbon-glazed pork chops with hoppin’ John to Portuguese pork with red peppers, these seven recipes turn plain pork into delicious dinners. Read on to determine which dish you’ll prepare first!
1. Wasabi and Panko-Crusted Pork with Gingered Soy Sauce
Quick, easy, and healthy, Cooking Light’s pork is filled with Japanese flavors and ingredients. Coated in panko and fried to crispy perfection, your pork chops are made even more mouth-watering due to the recipe’s ginger and wasabi soy sauce. Hoping for chops that are extra tender? Pound the meat between 2 pieces of plastic wrap to ¼-inch thickness. For a complete meal, serve alongside Fine Cooking’s basic fluffy white rice.
- ⅔ cup panko
- 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
- 4 (4-ounce) boneless center-cut loin pork chops (about ½ inch thick)
- 1 teaspoon peanut oil
- Cooking spray
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon bottled ground fresh ginger
- ⅓ cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons sake or dry sherry
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon wasabi paste
- ⅓ cup thinly sliced green onions
Directions: Place panko in a shallow dish. Place egg white in another shallow dish. Dip pork in egg white; dredge in panko.
Heat peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat; add pork. Cook for 4 minutes on each side or until done. Remove pork from pan; sprinkle with salt.
Reduce heat to medium. Add ginger to pan; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Combine broth and the next 4 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add broth mixture to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in green onions. Spoon sauce over pork.
2. Portuguese Pork with Red Peppers
Invigorating flavors abound in AllRecipes.com’s Portuguese pork with red peppers. Sweet peppers, aromatic garlic, and tangy lemons combine to create an easy and delicious dinner dish. The recipe yields 8 servings.
- 4 large cloves garlic, peeled
- 1½ teaspoons coarse salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- 2 pounds pork tenderloin, cut into 1-inch medallions
- 2 red peppers, julienned
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 lemons
Directions: With a large mortar and pestle, mash the garlic, coarse salt, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and peppercorns into a fine paste. Transfer to a large bowl. With a mallet, flatten the pork medallions to ¼-inch thick. Place in the bowl with the garlic mixture, tossing to coat. Cover and marinate 2 to 4 hours in the refrigerator.
Heat the remaining oil in a large skillet over high heat. Stir in the pork and remaining garlic mixture. Quickly brown pork about 1 minute on each side. Remove from heat and set aside. Place red peppers into the skillet and sauté 2 to 5 minutes, until tender but firm. Pour white wine into the skillet and scrape up the browned bits. Reduce heat to low, return pork to skillet, and continue cooking 10 to 15 minutes, to an internal temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
Slice 1½ lemons into thin rounds. Transfer the pork and pepper mixture to a serving platter. Squeeze juice of remaining ½ lemon over the pork and peppers, and garnish with the lemon rounds.
3. Pacific Pork Kebabs with Pineapple Rice
Make the most out of your canned pineapple with Martha Stewart’s recipe for pork kebabs. Pineapple chunks are stirred into white rice, while its juice is paired with honey and used as a sweet glaze for the pork. Fire up your grill and make this tonight — we promise this is one dinner that won’t disappoint. It yields 4 servings.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for grates
- 1 cup long-grain white rice
- ⅓ cup honey
- 1 (8-ounce) can pineapple chunks in juice, drained and coarsely chopped (juice reserved)
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 1 pork tenderloin (1 pound), cut into 1½-inch cubes
- 2 medium red bell peppers, cut into 1½-inch pieces
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger (from a peeled ½-inch piece)
- 1 lime, cut into wedges, for serving
Directions: Heat grill to medium; lightly oil grates. Cook rice according to package instructions. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk honey and 2 tablespoons pineapple juice; season with salt and pepper.
Alternately thread pork and bell peppers onto skewers; season with salt and pepper. Grill, brushing occasionally with honey mixture, until pork is cooked through and peppers begin to char, 10 to 15 minutes. To rice, add pineapple chunks, scallions, ginger, and oil. Season with salt and pepper, and fluff with a fork. Serve kebabs with rice and lime wedges.
4. Grilled Pork and Onion Tacos
Quickly grilling the pork in Food & Wine’s recipe not only keeps it moist; it adds a rich, smoky flavor to the meat. The pork tastes terrific on its own, but it tastes even better when placed in a tortilla and paired with avocado, onion, seasonings, sour cream, and lime wedges. The recipe yields 4 servings. Make your dinner taste even more delicious by serving your pork on What’s Cooking America’s perfect flour tortillas.
- 8 (¼-inch) thick pork loin cutlets (about 2 pounds)
- 1 large sweet onion, such as Vidalia, cut crosswise into ½-inch-thick rounds
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 teaspoons chile powder
- 8 (6-inch) flour or corn tortillas, warmed
- 1 Hass avocado, halved and sliced lengthwise
- ½ cup cilantro leaves
- Sour cream and lime wedges, for serving
Directions: Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Arrange the cutlets and onion on a large baking sheet. Brush all over with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Season the cutlets with the chile powder. Grill the onions over moderately high heat, turning once, until charred and tender, about 8 minutes.
Transfer to a cutting board and cover with foil to keep warm. Grill the cutlets, turning once, until just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer the pork to the cutting board. Coarsely chop the onions and cut the pork into ½-inch strips; transfer to a platter. Serve with the tortillas, avocado, cilantro, sour cream, and lime wedges.
5. Pepsi Pork Roast
Pork, Pepsi, cream of mushroom soup, and onion soup mix are all you need to make Food.com’s recipe. It may sound unusual, but when pork is paired with soda, something magical happens. The pork becomes melt-in-your-mouth tender and subtly sweet. You can easily make this a complete meal by serving it with potatoes and carrots. As an added bonus, you can prepare this dish in your crockpot, ensuring you have a ready-made dinner waiting for you when you come home from work.
- 3 pounds pork shoulder butt
- 1 (12-ounce) can Pepsi or other cola
- 1 (10¾-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
- ½ (1¼-ounce) package onion soup mix
Directions: Place roast in crock pot. Mix soup mix with soup. Add cola to soup mixture and pour over roast. Cook on high for 4 to 5 hours. When done, remove roast and thicken juices with cornstarch for wonderful gravy.
6. Perfect Stuffed Pork Loin Roast
Stuffed with dried cherries, pecans, and fresh rosemary, Kraft’s pork loin roast is filled with aromatic flavors. To begin, you’ll create your stuffing by melting butter and celery, adding rosemary, water, cherries, nuts, and stuffing mix to them, and stirring. You’ll then cut through the underside of the roast, pulling back meat and unrolling it while you’re cutting.
The end result will be a piece of meat that is ½ inch thick and 3 times the size of the original roast. Place your stuffing on the cut side of the meat, roll up, tie closed with a kitchen string, and bake. It might take a bit of work, but the end result will most certainly be worth it! The recipe yields 10 servings.
- 5 sprigs fresh rosemary (3 inches), divided
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup finely chopped celery
- 1½ cups water
- ¾ cup dried cherries
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- 1 (6-ounce) package stuffing mix for chicken
- 1 boneless pork loin roast (2¼ pounds)
- ½ cup balsamic vinaigrette dressing
- 3 cups loosely packed baby spinach leaves
Directions: Chop 1 rosemary sprig finely. Melt butter in medium saucepan on medium heat. Add celery; cook and stir 4 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Remove from heat. Add chopped rosemary, water, cherries, and nuts; mix well. Stir in stuffing mix just until moistened. Place roast on cutting board with short ends at 12 and 6 o’clock. Holding a sharp knife parallel to the work surface, make ½-inch-deep lengthwise cut through underside of roast, pulling back meat with your free hand and unrolling it as you continue to cut through roast.
Cover meat with plastic wrap; pound to even thickness. Brush cut side of meat with ¼ cup dressing; top with spinach and stuffing mixture, leaving 1-inch border around all sides. Roll up tightly, starting at one long side. Tie closed with kitchen string. Tuck remaining rosemary sprigs under string. Place in shallow pan; brush with remaining dressing. Bake 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit; continue baking 15 to 20 minutes or until meat is done. Remove from oven; cover loosely with foil. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing to serve.
7. Bourbon-Glazed Pork Chops with Hoppin’ John
Eating Well‘s healthy pork chops have a tangy kick to them thanks to bourbon. In addition, molasses, mustard, and spices ensure this one-skillet dinner dish is bursting with flavor. The recipe yields 4 servings, with each containing 409 calories, 16 grams of fat, 37 grams of protein, and 4 grams of fiber.
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 1 tablespoon bourbon or apple juice
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 4 bone-in pork chops (½ to ¾ inch thick; about 2 pounds), trimmed
- ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
- ¾ teaspoon ground pepper, divided
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 large green bell pepper, diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (15-ounce) can black-eyed peas, rinsed
- ¾ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
Directions: Combine molasses, bourbon, and mustard in a small bowl. Season pork chops with ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper, then brush with half the molasses glaze. Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler to high. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large cast-iron or other broiler-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork chops and cook until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. Add bell pepper, onion, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften, about 4 minutes. Add black-eyed peas, paprika, thyme, and the remaining ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes. Place the pork chops on top of the peas and pour in any accumulated juice. Brush the chops with the remaining glaze. Place the pan under the broiler. Broil until an instant-read thermometer inserted into a chop registers 145 degrees Fahrenheit, 2 to 5 minutes.