Pork chops worth getting… excited about? Could it be true?! Trust and believe, these Honey Garlic Pork Chops are here to change the way you feel about this much-maligned weeknight staple. Instead of tough, dry, and bland, these pork chops are juicy, tender, and full of big flavors. You! Will! Love! Them!
Why You’ll Love This Honey Garlic Pork Chop Recipe
- Pork Chops, But Not Boring. When you were a kid and asked your mom what she was making for dinner, pork chops was always one of the most dreaded answers. At best, they’re ho-hum. At worst, no amount of sawing seems to cut through them. Like my Smothered Pork Chops, Air Fryer Pork Chops, and Breaded Pork Chops, these honey garlic pork chops are nothing like the bland, boring pork chops you grew up with!
- A Most Versatile Main Dish. You can pair your easy honey garlic pork chops with traditional pork chop sides like Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic, or Sautéed Green Beans, but their sweet-and-savory flavor also works with Asian-inspired sides. Try them with Asian Cucumber Salad for a lighter pairing.
- Fail-Proof Pork Chops. I’ve got all the tips you need to make the most tender pork chops that never disappoint. Just like Baked Chicken Breast, once you know the secrets to making perfect pork chops, you’ll be able to apply them to other recipes too.
- Something Different for a Weeknight. If you’re ready to break out of the chicken-pasta-tacos dinnertime rut, these honey garlic pork chops are exactly what you need. Get them started the night before, then you’re just a few minutes of cooking time away from an easy, family-friendly dinner option.
- Sweet, Savory, and Just a Little Bit Tangy. In my humble opinion, the best sauces and marinades have contrasting flavors—if you need some evidence, look no further than Barbecue Sauce. The combination of honey, garlic (lots of garlic!), and apple cider vinegar makes these pork chops absolutely mouthwatering. Pork Chops with Apples is also a sweet and savory classic.
How to Make Honey Garlic Pork Chops
- Bone-In Pork Loin Chops. As much as we may joke about “the other white meat” commercials, pork chops really are a fantastic lean protein loaded with vitamins and minerals.
- Salt and Pepper. For seasoning the pork.
- Garlic. We go all in here with six whole garlic cloves. I like using fresh garlic because it has more bite and a cleaner taste than garlic powder.
- Honey. Use a runny, pourable honey—not the thick creamed varieties.
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil. You don’t need anything fancy here.
- Apple Cider Vinegar. Just a bit to balance the honey and add a little tang.
- Fresh Herbs. Parsley, basil, or any other herbs you like or have on hand. These are optional, for garnish.
- Prepare. Season with salt and garlic, then rest for an hour at room temperature or refrigerate overnight.
- Make the Sauce. Whisk it together in a small bowl.
- Glaze and Cook. Brush half of the honey mixture onto the pork chops. Grill or broil the pork chops for about 5 minutes.
- Glaze and Continue Cooking. Brush the other side with the remaining honey mixture and continue grilling or broiling until the pork reaches 135 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.
- Rest. Place the honey garlic pork chops on a plate. Cover and rest for 10 minutes, then serve and ENJOY!
- Make It Spicy. Whisk red pepper flakes into the honey mixture to add some heat to the sweet and savory flavors in this recipe. You can also swap the honey for hot honey.
- Use a Different Vinegar. Red wine or rice wine vinegar would work in this recipe, or use one of those fancy flavored vinegars you buy at gourmet shops.
- Double the Honey Garlic Sauce. Then, use the extra to glaze Roasted Brussels Sprouts or Roasted Carrots for serving with your pork chops.
- To Store. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- To Reheat. Gently reheat honey garlic pork chops in the oven at 350 degrees F, in the microwave, or in a skillet on the stove.
- To Freeze. Freeze leftovers in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating according to the instructions above.
Meal Prep Tip
You can season the pork chops the night before you plan on making them; if you’d like, you can also mix the sauce at the same time and refrigerate it until you’re ready to cook.
What to Serve with Honey Garlic Pork Chops
- Potatoes. Go with classic Garlic Mashed Potatoes, or Oven Roasted Potatoes for something even simpler.
- Rice. Make cauliflower rice (or Cauliflower Fried Rice!) or Instant Pot Brown Rice to serve alongside your honey garlic pork chops.
- Vegetable Sides. A large skillet of Sautéed Broccoli with soy sauce or a squeeze of lemon juice, or a batch of Air Fryer Zucchini make light sides for this recipe.
- Salad. Speaking of light sides! Asian Cabbage Salad and Arugula Salad round out your dinner without making it heavy.
- Applesauce. Another classic pairing: Instant Pot Applesauce or Crockpot Applesauce would both be delectable with these pork chops.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Instant Read Thermometer. You’ll never need to guess when your pork chops are done when you have a thermometer on hand.
- 9×13 Baking Dish. An absolute multitasker for cooking, baking, marinating and more. I like this set because it nests and has a variety of sizes and purposes.
- Brush. I like this silicone brush because it doesn’t shed bristles onto my food!
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Use Bone-In Pork Chops. Yes, boneless pork chops are less of a hassle, but they also offer a lot less wiggle room than thick-cut pork chops—in other words, they are super easy to overcook. Plus, not only are you less likely to over-cook bone-in pork chops, they’re also more flavorful.
- Make Sure Your Chops Are Thick. I always use pork chops that are 1 1/4- to 1 1/2-inches thick, which is key to the juiciest meat. If they’re thinner, cut down on the cooking time by several minutes.
- Season Well. The salt, pepper, and garlic combo isn’t just for seasoning, though—it will also tenderize the pork chops and help them retain water during the cooking process.
- Watch That Temperature. Because pork chops are a lean cut, they’ll become tough and dry if you over-cook them (unlike Slow Cooker Pulled Pork which is nearly impossible to overcook). The best way to know when your pork chops are done is to use an instant-read thermometer to monitor the temperature. At 135 degrees F, you can pull pork chops off of the grill or out of the oven and let the carry-over cooking bring them to a safe internal temperature of 145 degrees F.
- Or Know the Visual Signs of Doneness. I highly recommend using a meat thermometer, but failing that, you’ll want to know other signs that your pork chops are done. They will feel just firm to the touch, the juices will run slightly pink, and the meat will be rosy in the center.
- Don’t Skip the Rest. As with turkey, you’ll need to let the honey garlic pork chops rest before you cut into them. During this time, the juices reincorporate into the meat. Cut too soon and they’ll seep out, leaving you with dry chops!
Honey Garlic Pork Chops
- 4 bone-in pork loin chops 1 1/4- to 1 1/2-inches thick
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 6 cloves minced garlic about 2 tablespoons
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Chopped fresh parsley basil, or herbs of choice (optional for serving)
- Pat the pork dry on both sides and place in a 9×13-inch or similar dish. Sprinkle on both sides with salt and pepper. Rub all over with the garlic. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour or cover and refrigerate up to overnight. (Let come to room temperature prior to cooking).
- When ready to cook, in a small bowl, whisk together the honey, oil, and apple cider. Spoon half of it over the pork and brush to coat; reserve the rest.
- To cook: Heat your grill over medium-high heat, or place a rack 6 inches from the oven, turn the oven the broil, and line a sheet pan with aluminum foil. Grill on the first, unbrushed side for 5 minutes, until the pork chop easily releases from the grill; if broiling, broil for 5 minutes.
- Flip the pork and brush on the other side with the remaining honey mixture. If grilling, continue cooking for 4 to 8 minutes more; if broiling, check the pork’s temperature and cook for 2 to 6 minutes more, until the pork reaches 135°F on an instant read thermometer (it will continue to cook and the temperature will keep rising as it rests). The cooking time will vary based upon your grill/oven temperature and the thickness of your pork. When the pork chops are done, they will feel just firm to the touch, the juices will run slightly pink, and the meat will look rosy in the center.
- Transfer the meat to a plate, cover, and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
- TO REHEAT: Gently reheat honey garlic pork chops in the oven at 350 degrees F, in the microwave, or in a skillet on the stove.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze leftovers in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating according to the instructions above.
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