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These juicy, tender maple glazed pork chops pack incredible flavor and are ready in just 20 minutes. Served with rice, a green vegetable, or salad, it’s a favorite fall dinner.
With back-to-school season in full swing, THIS is the kind of dinner that keeps the overwhelm at bay. Pantry and freezer staples to the rescue. If you have a pack of pork chops in the freezer, I bet you can make this happen.
The best part is that it doesn’t TASTE like it took you 20 minutes. Something about the combo of maple syrup, soy sauce, and thyme creates such a complex and umami-packed bite, it’s absolutely delicious paired with meaty, slightly fatty pork chops. That said, it’s great with chicken too, if that’s what you happen to have on hand.
I’m always working on my arsenal of amazing meals that require minimal effort but still taste great, and these maple glazed pork chops just fall perfectly in that category.
This is one of those recipes that has made the shortlist of repeat weeknight dinners I can rely on because 1) I usually have some boneless pork chops in the freezer and the rest of the ingredients are pantry staples, and 2) it’s a super cheap, super fast, super tasty, and super easy recipe.
I use boneless pork chops for these maple glazed pork chops so they cook up pretty quickly, but thinner bone-in chops are great too. Chicken breasts are another great option.
Even if you’re someone who doesn’t have a lot of experience cooking pork, this is a great recipe to try.
Maple Glaze Ingredients
Maple syrup is the key ingredient in this maple syrup glaze, and it gives it its characteristic sweetness and flavor. Be sure to use pure maple syrup, as artificial maple syrup does not have the same flavor or nutritional profile.
Dijon mustard adds a bit of tang and complexity to the maple glaze. It also helps to balance out the sweetness of the maple syrup.
If you don’t have dijon mustard, you can substitute another type of mustard, such as yellow mustard or brown mustard.
apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar adds acidity to the maple glaze, which helps to brighten up the other flavors.
The soy sauce is perfect for adding a bit of saltiness and umami flavor to the sweet glaze. It also helps to caramelize the maple glaze slightly while it is cooking.
The flavor of fresh thyme really elevates this dish, but dried absolutely work too. When using dried thyme, be sure to use less than you would fresh thyme, as it is more concentrated. About 1/2 teaspoon is good.
Rest of the Ingredients
I used boneless pork chops for this recipe, but you can also use bone-in chops. For this recipe, since the chops are pan fried, I prefer chops around a 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch thick. Not too thin so that they overcook in a flash, but not so thick that they need to be finished in the oven to cook all the way through.
Note that a little pink inside is perfectly ok with pork. If you want to be extra-sure you’ve cooked them all the way, the internal temperature on a thermometer should be 145F.
Olive oil and butter
Searing the pork chops in a combination of butter and olive oil will give them a beautiful golden crust and lock in their juices to yield the best, juicy pork chops.
The butter also adds richness and flavor, while the olive oil helps to prevent the butter from burning.
How to Make Maple Glazed Pork Chops
1. Place pork chops on a cutting board and start by drying them off with a paper towel. Then, using a sharp knife, cut vertical slits through the fat on the sides of the pork chops at about 1 inch intervals. This will keep the chops from curling up as they cook, and help them brown evenly.
2. Now sprinkle salt and black pepper on both sides generously.
3. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the maple syrup, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce and thyme.
4. Heat a large skillet (preferably a cast iron skillet) over medium high heat and melt some butter and olive oil in it. Add the chops to the pan and cook on one side until golden brown, for about 4-5 minutes.
5. Now turn, cook for a minute and add the maple syrup glaze to the pan. Continue cooking the chops for about 5 minutes, until done, but still slightly pink (the internal temperature should be 145F). The time will vary based on the thickness of your pork chops. Remove the chops to a plate and cover with aluminum foil.
6. Keep cooking the maple glaze on medium heat until it is slightly thickened and reaches a syrupy consistency, about 3-4 minutes longer. Add the juices from the resting chops while the glaze reduces.
7. Return the chops to the pan and spoon the remaining glaze over them.
Tips to Make the Best Maple Pork Chops
- The best way to ensure that your maple glazed pork chops are cooked to the perfect doneness is to use a meat thermometer. Pork is safe to eat, while still being tender and juicy, when the internal temperature reaches 145F.
- When searing the pork chops, make sure not to overcrowd the pan. This will lower the temperature of the pan and prevent the pork chops from getting a good crust.
- Searing the boneless chops in a hot pan will help to lock in their juices and give them a beautiful golden brown crust. Heat the pan over medium-high heat until it is very hot, then add the pork chops and cook for 3-4 minutes per side, or until they are browned.
- Before slicing and serving the maple glazed pork chops, let them rest for 5 minutes. This will allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in more tender and juicy pork chops.
- Use real maple syrup, not pancake syrup. Pancake syrup contains artificial ingredients and high fructose corn syrup, which will not give your maple glazed pork chops the same flavor.
What to serve with maple glazed pork chops
- Mashed or boiled potatoes
- Roasted potatoes and asparagus
- Maple brown butter roasted sweet potatoes
- Roasted brussels sprouts
- Sweet potato and feta salad
- Fall salad with apples
- Pear and arugula salad
- White or brown rice
To store leftover maple glazed pork chops, let them cool completely, then place them in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days. You can also freeze leftover pork chops for up to 3 months.
To reheat pork chops, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight if they are frozen. Then, place them in a large skillet over medium heat and cook for 3-4 minutes per side, or until heated through. You can also reheat pork chops in the oven by placing them on a baking sheet and baking at 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes, or until heated through.
Maple Glazed Pork Chops
- 4 boneless pork loin chops about 3/4″ to 1 inch thick
- salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried
- Pat the pork chops dry with a paper towel. Using a sharp knife, cut vertical slits in three equal intervals through the fat of each pork chop (see photo in the post). This will help keep the chops from curling as they cook. Sprinkle both sides of each chop with salt and pepper.
- In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the maple syrup, dijon mustard, cider vinegar, soy sauce and thyme, and set aside.
- Heat a skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium high heat. Add the butter and olive oil. When the butter is melted and sizzling, add the chops and cook on the first side until well browned, 4-5 minutes.
- Turn chops and sear for about 1 minute. Add maple syrup mixture to the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook chops for an additional 5 minutes or so, until cooked through but still pink. Remove the chops to a plate and cover loosely with aluminum foil.
- Continue to cook the glaze until slightly reduced and thickened to a syrupy consistency, adding the juices from the resting chops, about 3 or 4 minutes.
- Pour the glaze over the chops and serve.