Has anyone else noticed that last-minute dinner parties tend to pop up more frequently during the summer?
I’m pretty sure this is because the summer is peak grilling season, and prepping your meal on the barbecue is one of the easiest ways to serve up delicious recipes to friends and family.
Whenever I am grilling, I always want to invite people over. Something about being outside inspires visions of my back patio filled with friends, sipping on beers, getting excited about the juicy meats that are going to come off the grill in mere minutes…
This pork chop recipe is my new favorite way to eat pork, hands down. But there’s so much more to this dish than simply grilling the meat.
Now, lots of people can grill a great pork chop, but that juicy, flavorful final product doesn’t come just from the meat itself. The spice rub I put together for these pork chops is a combination of savory and rich Southwestern flavors that come pair perfectly with the meat.
I like to add a little bit of vegetable oil to my rub to make more of a paste, which I find easier to apply. But if you like, you can omit this ingredient.
Just be sure to pat the chops dry before you apply the spices. With less liquid present on the surface of the meat that will need to be evaporated by the heat of the grill, this helps to encourage browning and will create a crisp, flavorful crust.
You take all of this deliciousness and then you pile a big, heaping scoop of mango salsa on top. The fruity and spicy flavors in the salsa are the perfect partner to the savory, juicy pork chops.
The fresh tomatoes and mango are natural partners with their sweetness and acidity, so when you get a bit of heat from a jalapeno, it all explodes in your mouth in a symphony of complementary flavors.
Honestly, you should plan to make a double batch of the salsa, just so you can snack on it the next day with tortilla chips. It’s the best afternoon snack you could ask for – just trust me on this one.
The best advice I can give you is to keep some pork chops in your freezer at all times, since you never know when you might need them. This dinner is so stinkin’ easy to pull together for a fabulous dinner party, or just a simple weeknight dinner with the family. Just be sure to defrost the chops fully and safely before throwing them on the grill.
With the protein already on hand, this delicious dinner is always an option, with just a quick run to the store to grab any of the fruit and vegetables that you don’t already have for the salsa.
It’s a mouthwatering recipe that you’ll be happy to serve up all summer long. And don’t be afraid to use a grill pan when it’s too cold to venture outdoors! I highly recommend pairing this dish with a crisp Riesling or dry rosé to round out the meal.Print
Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or need a quick weeknight meal for the family, this recipe for grilled pork chops with mango salsa is the answer.
For the Pork Chops:
- 4 bone-in pork chops
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil (optional)
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp chili powder (ground ancho or your favorite style)
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
For the Salsa:
- Pat the pork chops dry on both sides with paper towels. Combine all of the spices for the dry rub in a small bowl, and coat the meat with the mixture on both sides. Place in a shallow baking dish without overlapping and set aside in the refrigerator or on the countertop for at least 20 minutes.
- Preheat the grill, and oil the grates if necessary, to prevent sticking.
- Combine all of the salsa ingredients in a medium-sized bowl, and adjust seasoning to taste. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Grill the meat until it is cooked through to an internal temperature of at least 145°F, about 5 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the chops.
- Serve pork chops topped with salsa.
Keywords: pork chop, mango, mango salsa, dry rub, barbecue
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep and Measure Ingredients
Chop the cherry or grape tomatoes, aiming to keep them about the same size as the mango pieces. Add these to the bowl.
Halve and seed the jalapeno (or leave some of the seeds in, if you like it hot!). Finely dice and add it to the bowl as well.
Peel and finely dice the onion. I’ll give you one guess where it goes… (in the bowl!)
Remove and discard the cilantro stems, roughly chop the leaves, and add them to the bowl with the rest of your prepped produce.
Juice the lime, and measure all of the remaining ingredients.
Step 2 – Prep the Chops and Fire Up the Grill
Using paper towels, pat the chops dry on both sides. You want to get them as dry as you can, since reducing the surface moisture of the meat will help to encourage caramelization.
Combine the spices for the rub in a small bowl. Coat the pork chops evenly with the spice mixture on both sides, and place in a shallow baking dish without overlapping.
Set aside on the counter or in the fridge for at least 20 minutes, preferably an hour or more.
Get the grill ready to go, on high heat. Oil the grates to prevent sticking.
Step 3 – Make the Salsa
Add the lime juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper to the bowl with the prepped produce, and stir together to make the salsa. Taste, and adjust with additional salt, pepper, and lime juice as needed.
Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.
Step 4 – Grill
Place your pork chops on the hot grill and cook until they are no longer pink, with a caramelized crust on the outside. This should take about 5 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the chops.
You want the meat to reach an internal temperature of 145°F for medium-rare, up to almost 160°F if you like your chops well done. You can check this with a meat thermometer inserted away from the bone.
Be sure to let the meat rest on a cutting board or serving platter for about 10 minutes before serving, and keep in mind that the internal temp will continue to rise a few degrees after you remove the meat from the grill. Resting allows the protein fibers to relax, and the flavorful juices will be reabsorbed into the meat.
Serve topped with mango salsa.
Sorry, Applesauce – Mango Salsa Is Where It’s At
The combination of sweet, savory, spicy, juicy, crisp, and succulent that’s found in this incredible protein dish simply cannot be beat. Serve it alongside a batch of sticky rice straight out of the rice cooker or your favorite grain, and a simple side salad or grilled vegetables, and you’re ready to eat.
Do you love fruit salsas? Tell us about your favorite fruit and protein combos in the comments below, and don’t forget to check out our grilled chicken with peach chipotle sauce. And if you’re a pork chop fanatic, you’ll love our recipe for a honey mustard version, and this skillet version with tasty quinoa.
Last but not least, please leave this recipe a rating so other readers will know how much you enjoyed it!
Photos by Meghan Bassett, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on August 6, 2010. Last updated: August 10, 2018 at 13:18 pm. With additional writing by Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Meghan Bassett
Meghan Bassett is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.