Pork Chops with Caramelized Apples and Onions combines juicy, flavorful pork with sweet apples and onions, and a rich and tangy pan sauce for an easy fall meal.
I’m so excited for apple season and absolutely love the combination of pork chops and apples. I use apple cider in both the pork brine and the sauce to tie together the apple flavor in the dish. You can brine the pork chops the night before, and be set for an easy weeknight meal.
- Pork chops: For the juiciest result, go for a bone-in, center cut pork chop. If these are not available to you, a thinner, boneless pork chop is fine too. Just adjust the cooking time, as needed.
- Apple cider: This is not the same as apple juice. It’s unfiltered and generally has a tangier flavor. You may find it in the produce section of your grocery store during the fall.
- Apples: You can use any kind of apple you prefer, but I would go with something firm and somewhat tart. Granny Smith, Honeycrisp and Pink Lady apples work great.
First, brine the pork chops. Mix together the ingredients for the brine and allow the pork chops to absorb all of the flavor for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours. The longer you brine the pork, the more flavorful and juicy it will become.
Next, remove the pork from the brine and sear them over the stove top. Set the pork aside and sauté the onions in the same pan. Remove the onions from the pan and cook the apples.
Then, transfer the pork and onions back to the pan. Add in the broth and cider. Bring to a simmer and braise until pork is fully cooked.
Remove pork and finish sauce with butter. Serve sauce over pork chops with side dishes of choice.
- Mashed potatoes
- Simple salad, such as arugula with pistachios or baby kale with walnuts and a lemon olive oil dressing
Recipe Tips and FAQs
- For the juiciest pork chops, brine them the night before you plan to cook them.
- If you choose to cook with a fairly sweet apple, you can omit the brown sugar I add while the apples cook.
Many apples pair well with pork, including Granny Smith, Honey Crisp, Pink Lady, Braeburn and Jonagold.
When cooking pork chops, it’s important to watch carefully to avoid overcooking them. If you brine or marinade your pork chops they will be more tender and juicy.
Pork chops and apples pair well with mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, polenta, farro and rice. A fall inspired salad would work well on the side.
More Apple Recipes
- Apple Cider Braised Turkey Legs
- Kale Apple Salad with Blue Cheese and Maple Glazed Walnuts
- Old Fashioned Apple Cider Donuts
- Pork Schnitzel Sandwich with Apple Brussels Slaw
- German Apple Almond Cake
- Apple Crostata with Crumb Topping
- Spiced Apple Sour Cream Muffins with Crumb Topping
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Brined Pork Chops with Apples and Onions combines juicy, flavorful pork with sweet apples and onions, and a rich and tangy pan sauce for an easy fall meal.
- 2 bone-in, center cut pork chops (about ¾ inch thick)
- 2 cups apple cider
- 1 cup cold water
- 3 tbsp kosher salt (2 tbsp fine salt)
- 2 tbsp light brown sugar, packed
- 1 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp butter, divided
- ½ medium onion, sliced ¼ inch thick
- ½ tart apple, sliced ¼ inch thick (granny smith, honeycrisp or pink lady)
- 1 tsp light brown sugar, packed (optional)
- ½ cup low sodium chicken stock
- ¼ cup apple cider
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
- Brine the chops: Add 1 cup of apple cider along with kosher salt and brown sugar to a small saucepot. Warm over medium heat and stir until sugar and salt dissolve. Transfer to a large bowl to cool. Add remaining 1 cup of cold apple cider and cup of cold water to mixture. Once cooled, place pork chops in a container and cover with the brine. Brine overnight for up to 24 hours, or at least 4-6 hours.
- Season chops: Remove pork chops from brine and hold at room temperature for 30-60 minutes before cooking. Pat dry and season lightly with salt and pepper. The longer the pork chops brine, the less salt they need.
- Sear chops: Heat a medium-sized pan over medium high heat. Add oil to pan, followed by pork chops. Sear 2-3 minutes per side or until well-browned. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Cook onions: Reduce heat to medium to medium-low. Add one tablespoon of butter and onions to pan. Season with salt. Saute, stirring occasionally, until onions are very soft and translucent, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside with chops.
- Cook apples: Add apples to pan and season with brown sugar, if desired, and salt. Cook until beginning to soften but still with a bite, 3-4 minutes.
- Cook sauce: Add pork chops and onion back to pan. Pour in stock and cider. Increase heat and bring to a gentle boil. Cook for 4-5 minutes, flipping pork chops half way through, or until sauce is thickened and pork chops are fully cooked.
- Finish sauce: Remove pork from pan and cover to keep warm. Add remaining tablespoon of butter to sauce. Stir vigorously to emulsify butter into sauce. Taste for seasoning.
- Serve: Serve sauce over pork chops. This dish pairs well with mashed potatoes or cheesy polenta. I would also serve a salad on the side. Enjoy.
- Cooking time varies depending on the thickness of your pork. If you use thinner, boneless pork chops, they will cook much faster. I cook my pork to approximately 140°F.
- If using sweeter apples, feel free to leave out the sugar while cooking them.
- Simply double or triple the recipe to serve more people. Just keep in mind, you may have to spend time reducing the sauce before adding the butter in order to achieve the same thick, consistency.
- Serve with mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes or polenta. Pair with your favorite fall salad.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Main
- Method: Saute, braise
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 pork chop with apples and onions
- Calories: 670
- Sugar: 13g
- Sodium: 1350mg
- Fat: 42g
- Saturated Fat: 16g
- Unsaturated Fat: 26g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 18g
- Fiber: 2g
- Protein: 55g
- Cholesterol: 200mg
Keywords: pork chops with apples and onions, apple cider pork, apple cider brined pork chops, pork chops and apples