Oven-baked applesauce pork chops are a satisfying meal at any time of the year. Thick-cut, boneless pork chops are pan seared and baked with a chunky homemade Granny Smith applesauce for a meal that will please family and guests alike. Using the microwave for the apples makes this an option for busy weeknight dinners.
If you’ve never eaten apples and pork together, these applesauce pork chops will show you why they were meant for each other!
My #2 Meat Choice
Much to my husband’s dismay, chicken tends to be my go-to meat for meals. I have a TON of chicken recipes that I really love, which is not good news for a Red Meat Man.
However, we have a happy compromise with pork, which is why I chose an applesauce pork chops recipe.
Switching Up My Method
I’ve made applesauce pork chops in the past where I fried the pork chops, poured a jar of applesauce over them, and simmered everything on the stove for a little while longer. It works and it’s good, but that wasn’t what I had in mind for this recipe.
I decided to go with an oven-baked pork chop because they come out very tender that way. Because I was using the oven, I knew I’d have to make an applesauce that would hold up well alongside the pork in the baking dish. That’s what inspired me to make an easy, rustic chunky applesauce.
I debated on the choice of apples to use for the applesauce. Fuji, Braeburn, and Gala all got serious consideration for the role. But in the end, Granny Smith won me over because I liked the idea of the contrast of the tart apples against the mild flavor of the pork chops.
(Plus they’re just so darn pretty in photos!)
Picking the Right Pork For Applesauce Pork Chops
I also decided that I was going to pan sear the pork chops for color on the outside, but let the oven finish cooking the inside of the meat. For this, you want to use thick-cut pork chops. Thin cuts of pork chop will dry out, resulting in classic “Disappointment On a Plate” and no one wants to eat that for dinner.
The pork chops I chose were boneless, but bone-in pork chops would work for this recipe as well. You’ll simply have to raise the baking temperature if you use bone-in chops.
Normally, I’d get my cast-iron skillet super hot and then throw the pork chops in for 1 or 2 minutes per side. The point isn’t to cook the meat all the way through — just to get some nice brown color on the surface.
But I was feeling lazy and didn’t want to dirty a plate for seasoning pork chops. So I put the chops in the skillet, seasoned them on one side, turned them over, and seasoned them on the other side. When it was time to put them over the heat, I just turned the heat up REALLY high.
Again, the point was just to put some color on the outside since the oven was going to do the rest.
It’s Probably Because I Made Those Cookies
This was a last-minute idea that came to me to use a couple packets of apple cider mix for spicing the applesauce. I saw the box of cider packets left over from the apple cider cookies I made a few weeks back and thought “Why not?”
It ended up working really well and it’s a trick I’ll definitely use in the future for other apple recipes.
Applesauce Pork Chops, Start To Finish
The first thing is to make the applesauce. I went the super easy route and used the microwave to soften the apples. If you prefer the stove, feel free to use that method.
Wash, core, and chop your apples. Put them in a microwave-safe bowl or dish.
Sprinkle two packets of apple cider mix over the apples and stir to coat well.
Put the apples in the microwave and cook on high for about 12 minutes. The apples should be quite soft when they’re done.
Once the apples are softened, use a potato masher to mash up the apples, leaving some pieces in chunks. Because the apples will continue to cook and soften more in the oven, I wanted a chunky applesauce that will hold its form alongside the pork chops when I serve it.
Now that the applesauce is done, the pork chops are up next.
Season the pork chops with salt and pepper on each side.
Sear the pork chops over high heat, checking to make sure they aren’t burning. After both sides are seared, place the chops in a baking dish.
Spoon the applesauce to fill in between and around the pork chops. Top each chop with thick fan slices of Granny Smith apple.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. I baked mine uncovered because I didn’t want excess moisture making the applesauce watery. If you’re worried about the pork chops getting dry, cover loosely with foil.
Let your applesauce pork chops rest in the dish for about 5 minutes before plating and serving them.
The Applesauce Pork Chops Review
The applesauce pork chops were a hit with me, my husband, and — thanks to my husband — the dog (now that chow hound’s never going to stop begging for food while we’re eating).
The pork chops were as tender as I hoped they would be and I liked how the pork lent a savory flavor to the applesauce. I even saved the applesauce that was left over and had it the next morning (my husband gave it the college try, but said the applesauce was “too chunky” for him).
Side Dishes For Applesauce Pork Chops
Because it was over 100 degrees on the day I made this, I served coleslaw as the side to accompany our applesauce pork chops. A garden or pasta salad would have been my normal hot-weather side dish, but coleslaw sounded good — probably because of the crunchy texture.
(In case you’d like to make this coleslaw recipe too, I made a substitution of seasoned rice vinegar for half of the white vinegar and I also went a little heavy on the lemon juice.)
In cooler weather, I’d serve seasonal steamed or oven-roasted vegetables on the side. Vegetable casseroles (like this squash casserole) would also pair nicely in the winter.
- 6 Granny Smith apples
- 2 packets apple cider mix
- 4 thick-cut boneless pork chops (about 2 pounds total)
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
- Wash, core, and chop 5 of the apples (the 6th will be used for garnish).
- Place the apples in a microwave-safe bowl or dish.
- Sprinkle the apples with the packets of apple cider mix and stir to coat well.
- Microwave on high for 12 minutes or until the apples are softened.
- Mash the apples into a chunky applesauce consistency.
- Season the pork chops with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Pan sear on each side until there is medium-colored browning.
- Place the pork chops in a baking dish.
- Spoon the applesauce all around the pork chops.
- Top each chop with thick fan slices of Granny Smith apple.
- Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
- Remove the dish from the oven and allow the pork and applesauce to rest for 5 minutes before plating and serving.
If using bone-in pork chops, increase the baking temperature to 425 degrees and bake for the same amount of time. I recommend covering loosely with foil to keep the applesauce from drying out.
If you’re looking for more pork and apple meal ideas, check out this recipe:
If, like me, chicken is another favorite meat, here are some chicken and apple meal ideas:
And if you just love food, in general, visit the Recipes section for inspiration.