Easy Apple Cider Pork Chops

Tender pork chops are covered with apple cider sauce to make an elegant meal that is on the table in thirty minutes!

Apple Cider Pork Chops | A quick, elegant weeknight fall meal! | Club Narwhal

Okay, so you might not have been able to tell from the Stretchy Pants beast of a Black Magic Cake shared last week but I’m totally doing Whole 30 right now. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this challenge, you basically eat meat and vegetables with a bit of fruit for 30 days.

That means no gluten, no dairy, no sugar (no fun)!

I know.

The whole point is to cleanse your system and my specific goal is to kick my sugar habit (I made that cake in September, knowing that I would not be able to resist if I made it during these 30 days).

Apple Cider Pork Chops | Club Narwhal
It is a cruel fate that led me to accepting said challenge the same month I returned to work after maternity leave. All last week (my first back at work) there was pizza, cheese puffs, and an ENTIRE FALL FESTIVAL (caramel apples, apple cider donuts, popcorn!) that taunted me with their forbidden fruits.

Warren even made Cake Batter Truffles for a bake sale at his work while I looked on from afar, yearning. Evil man.
Apple Cider Pork Chops | Club Narwhal
All I wanted to do was eat my feelings. Is that too much to ask?

And then my coworker told me about a brand new pizza joint that has her obsessed and since she knew my love of pizza is comparable to the love I now feel for my child, she figured we should go there to welcome me back.

Foul temptress!

But the point is that I didn’t. No, I ate my sad kale salad while watching my compatriots down slice after slice of pizza.

But then I went home and made these ridiculously tasty Apple Cider Pork Chops. Sure, they aren’t pizza, but they hold their own. Plus, they’re on the table in thirty minutes. I highly, highly recommend!

Have you ever done Whole 30? How did you fare?

Apple Cider Pork Chops | Club Narwhal

5.0 from 1 reviews
Easy Apple Cider Pork Chops
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Tender pork chops are covered with apple cider sauce to make an elegant meal that is on the table in thirty minutes!
Recipe type: Meat
Serves: 4 servings
  • Olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 4 boneless pork loin chops*, 1 inch thick
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 gala apples, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ cup pure apple cider**
  1. Put 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large nonstick pan over high heat. Salt and pepper pork chops. Cook meat in a hot pan, turning ever 45 seconds or so to form a brown crust. Cook for about 6-7 minutes and remove to a plate and cover with foil. Let meat rest for 10 minutes while you cook the apples and onions.
  2. Put a little more olive oil in the pan if needed (or ghee--or butter, if not Whole 30). Saute apples and onions until onions soften, about 3 minutes. Add dried herbs, garlic powder, and cider. You will probably want to add a bit more salt and pepper as well. Bring to a boil and let cider reduce, about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add chops back to pan and turn to coat each side with cider sauce and remove pan from heat.
  4. Serve with sauteed kale and your favorite starch!***
*Feel free to substitute chicken breast.

**Fruit juices are frowned upon on strict Whole 30 but since I used pure (no sugar added) apple cider as a flavoring agent I rationalized it 🙂 If you're doing strict Whole 30, feel free to substitute the cider with gluten free chicken stock!

***I used a cubed sweet potato.

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  1. says

    I’m in the middle of a Whole 30 too! I’m really getting creative with my meals and the sugar-withdrawal headaches have finally subsided. I miss pizza the most! Stay strong! This recipe looks great, apple cider has been my crutch these past few weeks.

    • amyleescott says

      Oh man, congrats on Whole 30! Pizza was definitely the thing I missed the most, too. I’m glad you use apple cider to get your through Whole 30, too–I was worried I was the only one!

  2. says

    This dish IS Fall, Amy, and it’s absolutely beautiful. It beats pizza any day and you’ll feel a whole lot better after eating it.
    I haven’t done the Whole 30 but I pretty much eat like that all the time except I eat more fish than meat. I added meat back into my diet this past year and I’m loving it. Once you go this way, you won’t go back. You’ll feel so light, you’ll feel like you’re flying, lol.

    I love that this dish is so quick and easy. Quicker than driving to the pizza joint, lol. Sharing all over!

    PS. Your little man is so adorable!!

    • amyleescott says

      You are SO sweet, Robyn! And you’re so right, I felt much better eating this than pizza (though I still, in my heart, missed pizza ;). I love your fresh, flavorful recipes with or without meat (and I’m sure adding it back in expanded your cooking repertoire exponentially!) I definitely feel like I crash less and less during the day without all the sugar and refined carbs. I think now that I’m done I can look at sugar as truly a treat 😉

  3. says

    This looks absolutely beautiful, Amy! Definitely an elegant meal, and the fact that it’s ready in 30 minutes is fabulousss! I love that! I haven’t tried Whole 30, but one time I tried to do a diet where I didn’t eat any bread or dessert for 1 week. I lasted one day!! It’s really hard to eliminate foods out of your diet, well at least for me it is (obviously!). :p I find the best “diet” tip that’s worked for me is the 50/30/20 rule where I basically fill half my plate with salad/veggies, 30% with meat, and 20% with carbs. If I’m having a dish like pasta, where there’s no meat and obviously much more carbs, I’ll eat 30% pasta and the rest salad. I also watch how much sugar I’m eating in the day, especially those “hidden” sugars like the ones in a granola bar or the honey I drizzle in my yogurt, etc….Sugar is by far the biggest contributor to weight gain (and it’s my major weakness!). But overall, portion control is the only thing that has ever worked for me. 🙂

    • amyleescott says

      I so agree with you, Beeta! It is crazy hard to eliminate foods and also I think crazy hard to maintain the Whole 30 parameters when you love food as much as I do 😉 Now that I’m done, I can see so many benefits (more energy, for one) but also with my personality I know that I thrive best on moderation–love your 50/30/20 rule because it allows me to have the things I love in moderation. Portion control is so hard for me but visually dividing a plate like that helps a lot!

    • amyleescott says

      Thanks, Rachel! It was definitely hard doing Whole 30, especially with breastfeeding, but I’m glad I did! Though, of course, I binged on Halloween candy right after 😉

  4. says

    These look so good! I’ve never done a Whole 30… I’m not sure I could give up all those good things for 30 whole days! I tend to eat a pretty healthy, balanced diet in general, though, so I haven’t ever really felt the need to. But I will probably make this recipe regardless of not doing the Whole 30. Yum! 🙂

    • amyleescott says

      Thanks so much, Erika! It was REALLY hard giving up all my favorite things but it also got easier as time went on. I was shocked that I didn’t miss dairy (cheese is, like, my all time favorite thing)! And you’re right, when you’re already eating well there is no need to do something extreme like Whole 30 😉 We make this recipe a lot in the fall, mostly because it is so quick and tasty!

    • amyleescott says

      Haha, yeah, I totally Whole 30’d! And while I’m glad I did it because it was great to kick some bad eating habits, I’m also glad that I can have a little more wiggle room now that I’m done! It showed me that I don’t need a treat every single day, even if I want one, and I fell back in love with kale 😉

    • amyleescott says

      I totally agree with you, Nora! As the weeks went by, I knew there were standard things I could eat (and loved) which made life so much easier! Post-Whole 30 I’m allowing myself to add whole grains back in (oatmeal, quinoa, etc.) because I feel better when I eat them (and the don’t make me crash like my beloved white pasta dishes do)–sometimes compromise is the easiest way to stay on a healthy eating track!

  5. says

    I would take this any day over pizza! It looks amazing! I haven’t tried the Whole30 yet but I’ve done similar more subtle nutritional challenges – I might have to give it a go, though, since I really do need to clean out the clutter in my system!

    • amyleescott says

      I really liked how it helped me kick my sugar habit and it was fun to push outside my usual go-to meals to make something a little healthier!

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