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Apple-Balsamic Pork Chops & Rice Recipe


The combination of tangy balsamic vinegar and sweet apples in this one-pot pork chop dish is one delicious experience you would not want to miss. Check out this Apple-Balsamic Pork Chops Rice recipe!

Why Is Apple Sauce Served With Pork Loin Chops?

The practice of pairing apples and pork comes from a centuries-old tradition that was brought over to America by early European settlers. They came to raise pigs and grow apples, and the combination of the two together became a staple in their diets.

Apple sauce goes very well with pork as its sweetness compliments the rich taste of the meat. The apples also help cut through the fat of the pork. Additionally, the soft texture of applesauce offers a great contrast to the chewy texture of pork chop cuts.

How Do You Cook Pork Loin Chops So It Isn’t Tough and Dry?

Chops are lean cuts of pork meat and they can be tricky to cook. There is a very small window between cooking them perfectly and overcooking them. If overcooked, chops can be dry and tough. But if you cook them well, the chops can be juicy and tender. 

One of the things that you can do to ensure that your chops aren’t tough and dry is to select bone-in cuts. Go to a quality butcher and ask for bone-in ones as the bone conducts heat, helping the meat from overcooking.

Then, if you want to have a juicy chop, you have to quickly sear the meat on the stove and then transfer it to the oven. Searing creates a crust that will seal in the juices and keep your chops tender while cooking. Finishing in the oven will ensure that the chop is cooked through without the risk of overcooking it.

When searing over the stove, add a splash of stock to give it a layer of protection and prevent it from drying out. Add a few spoons of butter as well to increase the moisture. 

Next, one of the most important things that you can do to ensure you’ll have tender chops is to buy a meat thermometer. This way, you’ll know the exact temperature of the meat while it is cooking and when it is done. According to the USDA, the chops should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees.

Finally, once you’re done cooking, let the meat rest. Don’t dive in straight away to slice them up and eat them. Let the chops rest for at least 10 minutes, covered, before slicing them up. This will allow the fibers of the meat to relax, resulting in a more tender bite and a juicier piece of meat.

Apple-Balsamic Pork Chops Ingredients

  • 4 boneless pork loin chops
  • 2 medium Gala apples, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups instant brown rice
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme


  1. Sprinkle the pork loin chops with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. 
  3. Brown pork chops on both sides, then remove from the pan.
  4. Add apples, mushrooms, and onion to the skillet. Cook and stir for 4 to 5 minutes or until tender.
  5. Stir in the rice, broth, vinegar, thyme, and the remaining salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce the heat and cook covered for 5 minutes.
  7. Place pork chops over top and cook covered for 4 to 6 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the pork reads 145 degrees.
  8. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  9. Serve.

Recipe Tips

  • This dish asks for brown rice but you can use any instant medium or long-grain white rice that you like.
  • While this recipe requires medium Gala apples cut into 1/2-inch chunks, you can use any sweet-tasting apples that you have on hand. 

Final Note

Chops combined with the sweet taste of apples can certainly turn any normal weeknight dinner into a more special one. Together with rice, you get yourself a hearty meal that can keep you full and satisfied for the entire night. Best of all, since this dish only uses one pot, you don’t have to exert extra effort in cleaning up. Try it out today!

Looking for more delicious dishes to serve to your family? Have a look at our recipes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you soak pork chop in milk?

Marinating pork chop cuts in milk is an effective way of tenderizing the meat. While the exact mechanism is unknown, it’s suggested that the enzymes in milk may be acting on the proteins in the meat to break them down and soften the fibers.

Why do you soak pork chop cuts in vinegar?

Soaking pork in vinegar allows the acidic properties of the vinegar to help break down the connective tissues in the meat. The collagen and muscle fibers are what make meat tough and chewy and breaking them down with vinegar can turn the meat more tender and juicy. Vinegar also helps in enhancing the flavor of the pork, especially if you’re cooking with leaner cuts.


Hailing from California, USA. Ji-hyun is a Korean American 🇰🇷🇺🇸 with two growing boys who eat their weight in rice each week. After graduating UCLA & becoming a mom she started We Know Rice as a guide for all the students and moms out there looking to cook healthy and filling meals.

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