When it comes to meal prep, we often hear about chicken, beef, and fish stealing the spotlight. But what about pork? This versatile protein deserves some recognition too! With its wide variety of cuts and flavors, pork can be a fantastic addition to your meal prep repertoire. Whether it’s bacon, sausage, ham, pork chops, or pork tenderloin, the possibilities are endless.
Not only does pork offer a delicious taste, but it’s also a great source of protein. You can find healthy pork recipes to suit any cut and cooking method. Whether you prefer using a crock pot, grilling, or using a sheet pan, there’s a pork recipe that will satisfy your taste buds and cooking style.
So, if you’re on the lookout for the sweet, smoky, and savory goodness of pork in your healthy meal prep, look no further! We’ll guide you through some tips on how to perfect your pork chops for meal prep and provide you with mouthwatering recipes to get you started.
Tips for Cooking the Perfect Pork Chop
Pork chops are lean cuts of meat that offer beneficial vitamins and minerals like iron, zinc, selenium, and various B vitamins. To ensure your pork chops are flavorful and juicy, here are some useful tips to incorporate into your meal prep recipes:
Season before cooking: Boost the flavor of your pork chops by seasoning them with salt, pepper, and any other desired seasonings before cooking. This method brings out the best flavors.
Brine before cooking: To keep your pork chops juicy and full of flavor during cooking, consider brining them. Create a brine by dissolving 1/4 cup of salt in 4 cups of water, adding your favorite seasonings, and soaking the chops for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
Allow the chops to come to room temperature: For even cooking, take your chilled pork chops out of the fridge and let them rest at room temperature for 30 minutes to 2 hours. This step prevents uneven cooking and ensures a moist and tender chop. Remember to blot them dry after resting.
Choose the right cut: With various types of pork chops available, it’s essential to select the right cut that suits your recipe. Ask your butcher for guidance and look for chops that are about 1 inch thick with good marbling, as this helps maintain juiciness and tenderness.
Use a thermometer: Avoid overcooking or undercooking your pork chops by using an instant-read thermometer. When the internal temperature reaches 145°F, it’s time to remove the chops from the heat for a safe and tender result.
Pan and oven combo: While many cooking methods work well for pork chops, using a combination of a sheet pan or grill pan with an oven provides excellent results. Sear the chops on high heat for 3-4 minutes per side to achieve a golden-brown crust, then transfer them to a preheated oven at 400°F for 6-8 minutes until they reach the desired internal temperature.
Store individually for freezing: If you’re batch-prepping pork chops for future use, wrap each seasoned chop individually. For saucy chops, use small meal prep containers for a tight and convenient package.
By following these tips, you’ll cook perfectly tender and juicy pork chops that can be enjoyed in your meal prep throughout the week or stored in the freezer for later use.
Best Side Dishes to Accompany Pork Chops
Pork chops pair well with a variety of delicious side dishes. Here are a few ideas to enhance your pork chop meal prep:
Roasted vegetables: Complement the sweetness of pork chops with roasted carrots, Brussels sprouts, or sweet potatoes.
Mashed potato: Creamy mashed potatoes are an excellent choice to balance the savory flavor of pork chops.
Sauteed spinach: Lightly saute fresh spinach with garlic and olive oil for a flavorful and healthy side dish.
Applesauce: The classic pairing of applesauce adds a touch of sweetness that complements pork chops perfectly.
Rice pilaf: Add some variety to your meal prep with a flavorful rice pilaf that includes herbs, spices, and vegetables.
Green beans: Blanch green beans and saute them with garlic and lemon for a bright and fresh contrast to the richness of pork chops.
Coleslaw: Add some crunch and tang by including a crunchy and tangy coleslaw in your meal prep.
Baked beans: The sweetness and savoriness of baked beans make them an excellent accompaniment to smoky-flavored pork chops.
Ultimately, the best side dishes for pork chops depend on personal taste. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different flavors and textures to find the perfect match for your meal prep.
The Top 5 Pork Meal Prep Recipes on the Planet
Once you’ve mastered the art of cooking perfect pork chops, it’s time to spice up your weekly menu with these flavorful pork meal prep recipes. These recipes can also be adapted by substituting pork for chicken if you’re feeling adventurous. Pork not only offers a delicious taste but is also an affordable source of protein. Here are some super easy dinner recipes to get you started:
BBQ Pork Tenderloin & Slaw Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Looking for a quick and versatile recipe? This pork tenderloin requires minimal prep time and pairs perfectly with slaw and sweet potatoes. To add more variety, double the pork recipe and serve it with a side of brown rice and veggies.
Crispy Pork & Rice
Ideal for batch cooking, this pork and rice dish is flavorful and filling. Portion it out into individual storage containers for grab-and-go meals. Customize the recipe by adding your favorite veggies.
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork – Carnitas
Planning ahead for a busy week? Slow cooker recipes are a lifesaver, and this pulled pork dish is no exception. Make a large batch on a Sunday and freeze it in individual bags for easy weeknight options. Create delicious burrito bowls by serving the carnitas with rice, beans, and veggies.
Air-Fried Bacon Brussels Sprouts
Add some variety to your vegetable game with crispy and mouthwatering Brussels sprouts. This recipe works well in an air fryer or oven. The bacon adds a delightful salty and sweet flavor to the dish.
Bacon, Jalapeño & Garlic Green Beans
Looking to spice things up? Try these tasty green beans. The combination of bacon and jalapeño will make your taste buds dance, and you’ll forget you’re eating your vegetables.
For more recipes and meal prep ideas, visit Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ.
Now that you have a wide array of pork meal prep recipes and tips, it’s time to channel your inner chef and create delicious and convenient meals that will keep you satisfied throughout the week. Enjoy the flavors of perfectly cooked pork chops alongside a variety of delectable side dishes. Happy meal prepping!