I am SO happy to have my friend Bet from Bet on Dinner with us again today! She is just the best. Bet always shares the yummiest and easiest recipes. If you haven’t seen her 21-Day Fix Meal Plan – you MUST click HERE. Such an absolutely doable, delicious way to get healthy fast. Plus, Bet is a friend of mine from high school and I just love her heart and the way she sees things. Today’s recipe is one of our family’s favorites! I know you will love it AND my friend, Bet!
Who could use a quick, weeknight dinner? Without a fancy list of ingredients? With a make-ahead option that lets you put dinner on the table 20 minutes after you walk in the door? **waves both hands wildly** These honey garlic glazed pork chops check all these wonderful boxes. Plus, this sweet, gorgeous, saucy glaze – it honestly makes my mouth water to look at it!
Since the last time I shared a post on Happy Home Fairy, I had my third daughter and somehow she’s now a super active, determined 8-month-old who likes to play in our dog’s water bowl, chew on used forks scavenged from the dishwasher, and eat the feathers that are coming out of our couch. (Dear couch: please stop shedding feathers.) She’s the most amazing gift to our family – practically a celebrity to her big sisters – but she definitely makes it hard(er) to get dinner on the table! I’ve been embracing simple, quick meals and these pork chops are perfect.
So: mix together honey, lemon juice, minced garlic, and soy sauce for the glaze. I love that it’s only 4 ingredients – and ones that I usually have on hand! The glaze is sweet, but not too sweet – the lemon juice and garlic give it plenty of zip, and the soy sauce adds that salty richness. You can also make the glaze ahead of time (the night before/in the morning/at nap time) to help streamline the cooking process.
The key to developing great flavor is browning the meat, so don’t even touch the pork chops for the first couple of minutes they’re in the pan! Once they’re seared on both sides, turn the heat down and pour in the glaze. Scrape the browned bits on the bottom of the skillet while the sauce bubbles and smells amazing. Simmer the pork chops until they’re cooked through, then give the glaze a couple of extra minutes to thicken if it needs it. I have lots of notes in the recipe about how to tell when the chops and glaze are done, but the sauciness of this dish makes it very forgiving even if things get a little overcooked (because, say, you’re fishing feathers out of a baby’s mouth. For example.).
Recipe – Honey Garlic Pork Chops
Author: Bet on Dinner
¼ cup honey
2 Tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tablespoon)
2 teaspoons soy sauce
4 boneless pork chops (3/4-1″ thick)
salt and pepper, to taste
2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
To make the glass, whisk the honey, lemon juice, minced garlic, and soy sauce together in a bowl, or shake it up in a jar. (This step can be done ahead of time and stored in the fridge until you’re ready to cook the pork chops.)
Heat 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil in a large (12″) skillet over medium to medium-high heat, until the oil shimmers.
Season the pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper. Carefully add them to the skillet and let them brown (3-4 minutes).
When they’re nicely browned on the first side, flip them over and sear the second side, 3 minutes.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the glaze. Use a spatula to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the skillet and stir them into the glaze.
Allow the chops to simmer until cooked through, about 4-8 minutes, depending on their thickness.
When the chops are done (see notes below on temperature), remove them to a plate.
Continue to simmer the glaze until it’s thick enough for a spatula to leave a momentary trail if you scrape the bottom of the pan (about the consistency of pancake syrup).
Pour the glaze directly over the chops on the serving plate, or serve it on the side!
SPECIAL NOTE: Pork needs to be cooked to 145*, but the pork chops will continue to cook after they’ve been removed from the pan, so if they’re in the neighborhood of 130* when you take their temperature (pick up a chop with tongs and insert a meat thermometer through the side of the chop), it’s safe to take them out of the pan. Or, cut into one of the chops – I look for the center to be barely pink so they can cook the rest of the way as they rest.
And done! You just need a couple of sides – I served mine with brown rice so I could douse it with extra sauce (I love this easy oven method) and asparagus (tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper, and the zest from the lemon, then roasted at 400* for 10 minutes). Honey garlic glazed pork chops would also be great with a baked potato or oven fries (because what meal is not improved by fries?). If you need something super speedy, go for the microwavable quinoa/rice packets Julie mentions in her Costco post, and some lovely steam-in-the-bag broccoli or a quick salad!
My dad always called pork chops, “porky chops”, and so that’s how I think of them, too. My 2-year-old kept calling it chicken (and come to think of it, this recipe would also be great with chicken breasts or thighs)! But whatever you call it, I hope you love this quick and easy dinner!