I absolutely love this time of year.
In the weeks leading up to the holidays, the excitement builds, and that’s when I love to start throwing dinner parties at home.
Let’s face it, the holidays tend to be overwhelming. And once it late November arrives, the idea of hosting a small dinner party for close friends is the last thing on my mind.
I like to take advantage of the coming weeks and spend some quality time with close friends, gathered around a scrumptious spread of food and wine featuring delicious fall flavors.
This apple cider pork chop recipe is the show-stopper that I absolutely adore preparing for those small, intimate dinner parties.
I don’t know if you’ve ever hosted a gathering like this on a weeknight, but it can feel like a bit of a daunting task. Coming home from work and turning around immediately to cook for company is a whirlwind endeavor, so in my opinion, you should do whatever you can to make it the smoothest whirlwind possible.
The key to this recipe is the tasty marinade. It’s full of tangy and slightly sweet flavors that infuse the pork so it’s tender and juicy, with a little zing in every bite.
You can easily whip up the marinade in the morning before you go to work. Leave those pork chops in the refrigerator while you’re away all day, and you’ll come home to deliciously prepped protein that you simply have to throw in the pan and cook for about 10 minutes.
Pretty simple, right?
The combination of fresh pressed apple cider and apple cider vinegar with some dried herbs, garlic, soy sauce, and salt is incredibly flavorful, but in a subtle way. It lends itself well to the lighter meat, and the longer you let it sit in the refrigerator, the better it will taste.
While some marinades are discarded as soon as you are ready to cook the meat, this is one that you add to the pan instead. As you cook the pork chops, the marinade forms a kind of tangy crust on the meat, and a light pan sauce.
Every bite that you take is infused with the marinade, and you won’t believe the level of flavor that it imparts into the meat.
It’s a huge relief that this is such a simple, yet elegant fall meal. Serve these tasty chops with a topping of homemade caramelized apples and onions to really maximize the flavor. You’ll find a link to the recipe included on the recipe card below.
When it all comes together on the plate with a pretty garnish of fresh thyme sprigs, this dish becomes a centerpiece for the table that no one will be able to take their eyes off of. It’s the ultimate representation of fall on a plate, and your guests will think you are the host to beat all others.
This easy dish is just what you need to satisfy those cozy autumn cravings. The only question is, when are you planning your next gathering?Print
Apple Cider Marinated Pork Chops
- Total Time: 2 hrs, 10 min
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
Marinated apple cider pork chops are juicy with a hint of tangy flavor, a delicious addition to an elegant fall meal.
- 1/4 cup fresh pressed apple cider (or apple juice, if you can’t find cider)
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce (or Liquid Aminos)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 4 bone-in pork chops (approximately 2 lbs total)
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- Caramelized Apples and Onions
- Fresh thyme for garnish (optional)
- In a small bowl, stir together apple cider, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, salt, garlic, and thyme.
- Place pork chops in a zip-top bag and pour marinade over the top. Close tightly and turn gently to coat well. Place bag in refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
- Add pork chops to a large skillet coated with oil, and place over medium-high heat. Pour the marinade over the top of the chops. Cook the pork chops thoroughly, approximately 4-5 minutes on each side.
- Add your homemade caramelized apples and onions, and heat through alongside the chops.
- Serve immediately, topped with caramelized apples and onions.
Nutritional information below does not include the optional caramelized apples and onions- see the original recipe (linked above) for this information.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Pork
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Dinner
Keywords: pork chops, apple cider, fall, autumn, pork
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Measure Ingredients
Measure all ingredients as listed, in order so they will be easy to access when you need them.
Step 2 – Marinate
In a small bowl, whisk together the apple cider, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, salt, garlic, and dried thyme.
Add pork chops to a zip-top bag.
Pour the marinade over the top of the chops.
Turn the pork gently, making sure to coat them evenly. Seal the bag and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
Step 3 – Cook
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and coat with oil. Once the skillet is hot, add the pork chops and pour the marinade over the top.
Cook the pork chops until they are cooked through. This should take approximately 4-5 minutes per side, and both sides should be nice and browned.
If you made your caramelized apples and onions ahead of time, add them to the pan alongside the chops to heat through. These are optional, so you can skip them if you like. But they make a lovely addition to this dish, and they serve as a great way to feature seasonal produce in your meal.
Serve the chops immediately, with caramelized apples and onions on top.
What do I Serve with These Pork Chops?
Obviously, you will want to top these gorgeous slices of meat with homemade caramelized apples and onions on top, as I mentioned previously.
As for side dishes, I highly recommend serving our quick and crispy roasted potatoes, pressure cooked carrots, or some parmesan green beans. The vegetables make for a delicious, simple sides so the main star of the meal is still the pork.
Alternatively, you can serve this dish over a bed of white or brown rice, or even with homemade spaetzle if you want to go the extra mile. It’s perfect for Oktoberfest celebrations!
What would you serve with your pork chops? Tell us in the comments below, and don’t forget to rate the recipe when you try it!
And if you love your pork like we do, try some of these tongue tantalizing recipes:
- Balsamic Dijon Pork Loin with Sweet Potatoes, Onions, & Carrots
- Spicy Pork Tacos with Peach & Corn Salsa
- Hasselback Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Pears
- Maple-Glazed Roasted Pork with Root Vegetables
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on October 24, 2011. Last updated: November 30, 2020 at 14:40 pm.
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 Yager
Meghan Yager 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.