How often do you make Stuffed Pork Chops at home? Some home cooks are hesitant because they can come out dry. No Worries! We’ve got you covered and will have you making the best pork chops ever! Our recipe is guaranteed to come out juicy and flavorful just as long as you don’t overbake them! Pork is always delicious at the dinner table!
Truth is, the pork industry has been raising leaner products over the last few decades, but this Stuffed Pork Chop recipe produces moist and tender results every time thanks to a simple, short brine. This stuffed pork chops also has a thoughtful, sweet/tart, fruit-laden filling designed to add more juiciness and complementary flavor to the pork.
How To Make Ahead Of Time
I’ll tell you the easiest way I know on how to cook pork chops before a long and crazy day at work.
I’ll prepare the brine and let the chops soak from the morning I’m making them while I’m getting the day going. After the brining, I take them out of the brine, rinse them and put them on a plate, covered, back in the fridge. I’ll also prep the stuffing ahead of time and either stuff the chops or just leave it in the fridge for later assembly. However, I leave the sauce and actual cooking of the chops for the same evening I’m going to serve for freshness sake.
What Do You Serve With Easy Pork Chop Recipes
I love to serve these easy pork chop recipes with a slew of tasty sides that help to balance out the sweetness of this style of Pioneer Woman stuffed pork chops with delicious savories.
More Of My Favorite Pork Chop Recipes:
Pork chop recipes have always been a favorite at our house! Here are a few of my other favorites, that are in our regular dinner rotation.
Crock Pot Ranch Pork Chops
Crock Pot Ranch Pork Chops are another super easy recipe for creamy, delicious chops that everyone will love. They use cream soups and ranch dressing to create a whole meal that’s perfect for family gatherings.
Instant Pot Pork Chops
For an easy but faster way to make dinner tonight, try Instant Pot Pork Chops. They’re delicious, easy, and fast since you’re using this amazing electric pressure cooker to cut down on time.
Crock Pot Pork Chops
For a different angle on pork chops, try my Crock Pot Pork Chops made from simple, easy-to-find ingredients you likely already have on hand. They’re delicious, easy, bone-in pork chops, smothered in mushroom and onion gravy, and cooked to tender, juicy perfection.
How To Season Pork Chops-In General
How to season pork chops can be a little tricky for folks new to working with pork. But there are a few basics you can keep in mind as you try other pork recipes: I hope you find them helpful!
- Basic Salt, Pepper, and Oil: A really easy, basic way to get started with seasoning pork chops is just using a straight-up trio of olive oil, salt, and pepper. I tend to lace on a light layer of oil and freshly ground sea salt and black pepper over the chops to get a light but even coating on them before sticking them into the oven.
- Spice Rub: Another option I like to use is a spice rub. I’ll grab a spice mix from the store — usually contain chili, paprika, thyme, and cumin, and then I apply to the chops and pan sear them for a delicious, quick dinner.
- Marinades: The other option I use for prepping pork chops is marinating them in a nice homemade brine or with a store-bought option if I feel like trying something new. For this, always follow the instructions on how you should leave the pork marinating before you cook.
Recipe Notes for Pork Chops:
Best Cut- There are four cuts of chops to consider: shoulder, loin, rib, and boneless. Shoulder chops have a nice amount of fat but lots of gristly bits. For that reason, they’re generally cut thin and not conducive to use in a stuffed pork chop recipe.
Cuts from the loin, on the other hand, are tender but very lean. They may even have loin on one side and tenderloin on the other making accurate cooking a challenge. Both cuts can have bits of bone extending down into the center of the chop and bisecting our lovely stuffing pocket.
Although I do love boneless chicken wings (to keep my fingers clean for safe beer-holding), I actually don’t recommend boneless pork chops for this recipe. They’re on the less-desirable lean side, and you’ll miss out on all the flavor in the bones if you use stuffed boneless pork chop recipes. Bones also make the meat cook more slowly which adds some wiggle room to the otherwise delicate timing of cooking pork.
The best stuffed pork chops are made using rib chops from the center where you can get a thick, uniform cut. The bone is intact, which we want, but it skirts the side of the chop leaving a big “eye” of meat in the center for our stuffing. There’s also plenty of surface area and fat to facilitate the perfect sear and adequate brining.
Cutting Pockets – Take your time cutting the pockets in the pork chops since it’ll make the stuffing process quick and easy. I recommend using a shorter, thinner blade since it’s easier to control than a big chef’s knife.
Lots of stuffing recipes need toothpicks or even twine to restrain the bulky chops. This stuffing’s a bit sticky, though, so it likes to stay in the chop, and the orange skins (from the wedges you cut and juiced) will tuck right into the opening and work like colorful little caps to hold everything in while you’re cooking.
Perfecting the pork – Make sure to pull the pork chops out of the brine and let them warm up for about 30 minutes before you get ready to stuff and sear them. This is particularly true if you stuff them the night before.
Also, don’t skip the resting step. Yes, we’ve brined and cooked these chops carefully to keep them as juicy as possible, but cutting into them before the juices have had a chance to settle down after the cooking process can undo all that work.
Why Brine: Brining is really the essential step to ensuring this, and any other pork recipe, produces really moist results. It’s a simple salt/sugar/water ratio that only needs about an hour to work its magic. That’s plenty of time for the solution to break down some of the muscle fibers and add some seasoned water to the chop. Tender and juicy. Check!
Different Stuffing Options-
- Grilled Stuffed Pork Chops — You’d have to treat these pork chops gently as you flipped them on the grill, else all the stuffing would pour out! But, these are pretty phenomenal done on a charcoal grill. (ok this isn’t actually a different stuffing, but the rest are! Promise ♥)
- Apple Stuffed Pork Chops are another alternative. You’d switch out the cherries for tiny bits of apples and stuff them in with the dates and orange wedges. These are sweeter than the main recipe unless you use tart apples like Granny Smiths.
- Stuffed Pork Chops with Gravy — These would have to have just the right kind of sweet gravy to make them the most decadent meal you’ve ever had.
- Cheese Stuffed Pork Chops are another variation on this recipe I love doing. I swap out part of the cherries and dates for a little bit of bleu cheese or gorgonzola for that gooey zing of flavor. Gorgonzola has a stronger bite than bleu cheese though, so use it sparingly.
- Spinach Stuffed Pork Chops are the other way to go. Instead of dates, stuff in some freshly cooked spinach with the cherries and orange wedges for a delicious veggie-packed dish.
Stuffed Pork Chops
- 3/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar Firmly Packed
- 1/4 Cup Table Salt
- 6 Cups Water
- 4 Center Cut Rib Chops, Bone In, 1 1/2 Inch Thick
- 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- 1 Large Red Onion, Halved and Sliced 1/8 Inch Thick
- 1 Tablespoon Granulated Sugar
- 3/4 Cup Port
- 1/3 Cup Pitted Dates, Chopped
- 1/3 Cup Dried Sour Cherries
- 1 Orange, Cut Into 4 Wedges
- 3 Tablespoon White Wine Vinegar
- 2 Teaspoons Fresh Thyme Minced
- 1/4 Teaspoon Table Salt
- 1/3 Cup Pecans Toasted, Chopped
To Cook and Topping:
- 2 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- 3/4 Cup Blue Cheese Crumbled
Make Brine and Prepare Chop:
- In a large bowl or container that can accommodate all the water and pork chops, dissolve brown sugar and salt in water.
- Using a sharp knife, cut a pocket, on the fatty side of the pork chop, almost to the other side but not through. Submerge pork chops in brine, cover and refrigerate 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat until it begins to shimmer. Add onions and granulated sugar and cook, stirring often, until the onions are soft and browned about 20-25 minutes.
- As the onions cook, mix the port, dates, and cherries in a microwave safe bowl. Cover top with plastic wrap and microwave on high until the mixture is simmering, about 1 minute. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, squeeze the oranges to yield 1/4 cup of juice. Reserve juiced wedges (this recipe will use them again in a later step).
- When the onions are browned, add in the simmered fruit mixture, the orange juice, 2 tablespoons of the vinegar, and thyme. Continue to cook the mixture until it becomes thick and jamlike, about 10-12 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of vinegar and pecans and season with salt and pepper to taste. Allow mixture to sit until it's just warm, about 10-15 minutes.
Stuff and Cook the Chop:
- Adjust oven rack to the lower-middle position and place a rimmed baking sheet on rack. Heat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Remove chop from brine and rinse with water. Dry chop well with paper towels. Place 1/4 of the filling in the pocket of each chop. Trim orange wedge, as needed, to fit into the outside opening of porkchop to contain the filling. Season chops with salt and pepper.
- In a 12 inch, heavy bottom skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil until just beginning to smoke. Carefully place chops in hot skillet and brown well, about 3 minutes. Flip chops and brown well on the second side, about 2-3 minutes. (don't move chops until its time to flip them or they won't develop a nice brown crust).
- Using tongs, move browned chops to preheated baking sheet in the oven. Cook chops, flipping halfway through until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the stuffing reads 135 degrees, about 15 minutes. Transfer chops to a plate and loosely cover with foil. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with blue cheese and serve immediately.
More Chop Recipes We’re Looking At:
Fried Pork Chops
Fried pork chops are one of the easiest, most delicious ways to serve pork chops on last minute notice. I always use fresh chops for this recipe for the ultimate flavor and perfect texture.
Pan Seared Pork Chops
If you’ve got fresh pork chops and don’t want to wait for the oven, you can make these pan seared pork chops for a light, clean tasting recipe that even the pickiest of eaters will enjoy.
Baked Boneless Pork Chops
A popular option for moms with kids under 12 is my baked boneless pork chops. Picky eaters love them, and they’re easier for serving to kids who still need a hand cutting up their food.
Breaded Baked Pork Chops
Whether you’re a fan of breaded stuffed pork chops or just want plain ol’ breaded baked pork chops, this recipe wins the carb lovers over. It’s delicious and easy — my two favorite things!
Honey Garlic Pork Chops
For a sweet and tangy dish, try honey garlic pork chops for a changeup. The title says it all on the flavor, but they’re super easy to make, too.