Pictured: Braised Pork Chops and Fennel recipe from CHOW
When you’re sick of chicken and don’t want to add any more red meat to your diet, pork (the Other White Meat) is a fantastic and surprisingly lean protein choice that pairs well with many different flavors. Roasted, sautéed, fried–it doesn’t matter how you prepare it, a good cut of pork is a great choice for a simple dinner that is nutritious and flavorful.
1. Slow Cooker Pork
Pork spareribs and kielbasa sausage mixed together with sauerkraut and some intense seasonings–peppercorns, juniper berries, caraway seeds, and bay leaves–makes for a flavorful and filling meal. Make this on a slow Sunday afternoon and you’ll have leftovers for the week. Get our Slow Cooker Pork and Sauerkraut recipe.
2. Hoisin Pork Tenderloin
This is a fast and simple recipe that you can throw together in a half hour–mix soy sauce and hoisin together and coat the tenderloin thoroughly. After the pork gets to 145°F take it out of the oven and tent for ten minutes to let it get to the perfect temperature. Get the recipe here.
3. Sweet Caramelized Pork
A dry rub made up of brown sugar, cayenne, ground ginger, pepper, and salt makes the base for this sweet and salty combination. The brown sugar in the spice mix caramelizes and the sauce becomes sticky and sweet; serve over rice and you’ve got a quick and delicious meal on the table in no time. Get the recipe here.
4. Chinese-American Pork Roast
An Asian inspired pork roast with ginger, soy sauce, sweet rice wine, onions, shallots, green onions, and garlic make for an addictive pork roast that gets better the longer you let it marinate. Get the recipe here.
5. Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin
Pork wrapped in more pork? Sign me up. This juicy pork tenderloin is wrapped in five ounces of sliced thin-cut bacon that crisps up in the oven. Use any firm, sweet variety of apple for a winning combination. Get our Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin recipe.
6. Cocoa and Chili Rubbed Porkchops
The simplicity of this recipe lets the flavors shine–the cocoa powder, ancho chile powder, and brown sugar combine to be a great dry rub. Cook in a skillet over medium heat and be sure to get a good sear on the meat. Get the recipe here.
7. Asian Pork Ribs
Sticky pork ribs with homemade hoisin sauce are a showstopper. The seasonings for the ribs are a unique combination: juniper berries, peppercorns, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, and salt, but the homemade hoisin sauce (which you can save for other recipes) is really something special. Get the recipe here.
8. Pork Stir Fry
As the recipe admits, pork tenderloin is a little bit more pricey than chicken or tofu, but the combination of ginger, garlic, shallots, asparagus, and snap peas with an Asian-inspired sauce is too hard to resist. Get the recipe here.
9. Lemongrass Pork Kebabs
CHOW’s recipe for pork kebabs calls for two pounds of juicy pork shoulder that is marinated in a mixture of garlic, shallots, lemongrass, brown sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, and canola oil. Garnished with freshly chopped cilantro, these kebabs are a delicious and easy weeknight choice that you can customize with little effort. Get our Lemongrass Pork Kebabs recipe.
Caitlin M. O'Shaughnessy is a New York City–based food writer and editor at Penguin who has worked on and recipe-tested several cookbooks. She is currently in search of NYC's best ramen, and is one of the few people who admit to disliking brunch.