Find yourself in a weeknight “what’s for dinner” pinch this holiday season? Pull together a full meal that will please & impress the whole family, starting with this easy, delicious apple cider pork chops recipe.
Anyone else feel like the countdown clock is ticking faster than ever? How is it already December?!
During the hectic holiday season, it’s all too easy for me and my family to fall into the habit of eating take out.
Between work, school, kids’ activities, holiday events, and holiday planning & shopping, it can be extra challenging to find time to sit down to a homemade meal.
Yet I think it’s especially important for us to make time during the busy holidays to enjoy a homecooked meal together as a family. During this time, family meals help us to slow down, breathe, connect, and nourish our bodies with yummy better-than-take-out food.
If the thought of making a full at-home meal sounds daunting right now, I’ve got a simple formula that can truly help make weeknight cooking easier.
Easy as 1-2-3 Weeknight Meal Plan
Putting together a do-able weeknight meal plan is as easy as 1-2-3.
1. Start with a simple yet satisfying main dish.
Since we busy moms don’t have all day long to cook, try focusing on putting most of your time and effort into the main dish. Luckily, the apple cider pork chops I’m sharing today take less than 30 minutes to make from start to finish!
2. Incorporate a stress-free side of nutritious veggies or fruit.
You could cut up some fruit and veggies and serve them with dip.
Or, try my simple yet elegant and tasty Brussels Sprouts with Apples and Pomegranate recipe. It only takes about 5 minutes of prep work and then it roasts in the oven while you’re cooking the pork chops. Tip: buy pre-washed, pre-sliced brussels sprouts from your grocery store’s salad section to save even more time and effort!
3. Purchase a side dish to complete the meal.
Go easy on yourself and buy a few prepared side dishes over the weekend to keep on hand in your refrigerator.
My family adores the delicious taste of Main St Bistro Baked Sides -- and as the head home cook, I adore the ease and convenience they offer!
The Baked Scalloped Potatoes go so nicely with this meal. They add a creamy, rich layer to the meal, which complements the crunch of the brussels sprouts & apples and the savory pork chops.
Another yummy side dish option is the Main St Bistro Baked Macaroni & Cheese. My kids LOVE this mac & cheese!
The Main St Bistro Baked Sides can bake at the same time in the oven as the brussels sprouts while you’re cooking the pork chops.
The entire meal here takes just about 30 minutes to make. That means you CAN enjoy a full, hearty, comforting and delicious family meal together during the busy holidays!
Apple Cider Pork Chops Recipe
This recipe for apple cider pork chops is SO simple. Your family will love it. The bone-in pork chops lock in the lovely flavors of the cider and herbs. They taste fancy without the fuss!
- 4 bone-in pork chops
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 cup hard cider
- 1 tablespoon fresh herbs finely chopped (I use a mix of thyme, sage, and rosemary)
- Salt & pepper pork chops on both sides. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
- Once the pan is hot (it should sizzle when you add the pork), add the pork chops to the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, just until both sides are nicely browned.
- Add the minced garlic and sauté for a minute or two. Lower heat to low-medium, then slowly add the cider.
- Using a wooden spoon, gently scrape up any meat bits and garlic around the pork chops. Return heat to medium-high and allow the cider temperature to come to a low boil - just until it bubbles a bit and starts to slightly thicken.
- Turn off heat and plate the pork chops. Drizzle the cider glaze over the pork chops.
- Serve immediately.
Nutrition information is a general estimate. Actual nutrition details may vary depending on the exact foods & brands you use to make this recipe. It does not take into account any substitutions, toppings, or optional ingredients.
These Main St Bistro Baked Sides also make amazing dishes to bring to families who need meals delivered to them, such as new moms and those who have loved ones in the hospital. They have no artificial colors or flavors, which is an added bonus.
I brought some of these baked side dishes to my brother and his family after my new niece was born, and the five older kids (there are now SIX total!) all ate them up and loved them!
This post was sponsored by Main St Bistro. All opinions, recipes, and photos are, as always, my own.
Sarah Ann says
Love the idea of serving some fruit with chocolate (or even yogurt perhaps?) as a stress free side. Would make ensuring we eat our five a day much easier!
Purchasing a side dish is a good idea when you are pressed for time. I often buy a pre shredded slaw with dressing included and whip it up in about a minute. It's nice to have some raw veg for texture, plus it's healthy. But in the colder months, a baked side makes a lot of sense. Love a 30-minute meal!