Many of my favorite pork recipes take all day to cook—think pulled pork, carnitas, or lechon kawali. Any dish that needs hours in the oven is going to be relegated to the weekend, but that doesn't mean I forget about pork when it's time for a quick dinner. Cuts like chops and tenderloin cook much more quickly than ones like shoulder, making them easy enough for any day of the week. In less than an hour you can grill up some Vietnamese-style chops, throw together a stir-fry with green beans, or even make pressure cooker chile verde. To see just how weeknight-friendly pork can be, check out 12 of our favorite quick pork recipes.
Vietnamese Grilled Lemongrass Pork Chops (Thit Heo Nuong Xa)
While not as popular in the US as banh mi or pho, thit heo nuong xa is a Vietnamese classic that should have a place in your weeknight repertoire. All you need to do to make it is marinate pork chops with shallots, lemongrass, garlic, sugar, pepper, and fish sauce, grill them over high heat until blackened in spots, and serve them with a simple sauce. We like to eat the pork with white rice and slices of raw cucumber.
Adobo-Marinated Grilled Pork Chops
Traditional Filipino pork adobo is made by stewing pork shoulder for hours with cane vinegar, soy sauce, and aromatics until fall-apart tender. Here we take those same flavors and turn them into a marinade for pork chops, which only take 10 minutes to cook. The pork needs to marinate at least eight hours before cooking, so get it started in the morning before work or even the night before.
Breaded Fried Pork Chops
Frying anything can seem intimidating, but once you get the hang of it, these crowd-pleasing pork chops only take 20 minutes to make. We use panko bread crumbs to give the pork a light, airy crust and add in Parmesan and sage for extra flavor. Look for pork chops that are about a half-inch thick, which is just right for the pork to cook through in the same time it takes the breading to turn golden brown and crispy.
Tonkatsu (Japanese Breaded Pork Cutlets)
Once you've mastered fried pork chops, tonkatsu will be a breeze—the basic technique is the same, but we leave the cheese and sage out of the breading. To experience this comfort food staple like you would in Japan, serve it with a big mound of shredded cabbage and plenty of tonkatsu sauce (homemade is great if you want to take the time, but the Bull-Dog brand is a classic for a reason).
Stir-Fried Lo Mein Noodles With Pork and Vegetables
Looking for a more balanced meal? This stir-fry uses sliced pork rib as just one ingredient among many, mixing it with hearty lo mein noodles, crunchy cabbage, and an assortment of aromatics. Soaking the pork in a baking soda solution for 15 minutes while you prep the veggies ensures that it stays moist and tender in the hot wok.
Easy Pressure Cooker Pork Chile Verde
Pressure cooker chile verde has about the best work-to-flavor ratio around—the recipe never gets more technical than roughly chopping some vegetables. Once the prep is done all you have to do is throw everything in a pressure cooker, cook for half an hour, and blend up the sauce. Bring it to the table with tortillas and lime wedges and you have a remarkably easy dinner that feels like a treat.
Easy Stir-Fried Pork With String Beans
Meaty pork and sweet, crunchy green beans are a classic combination in Chinese cooking—in this stir-fry we marinate the pork with salt, soy sauce, wine, sugar, oil, and cornstarch and cook it with ginger-infused oil garlic. Blanching the beans makes them cook super fast once it's time to bring everything together. Stir-frying at home is always a little challenging because the burner in your kitchen is nowhere near as strong as the one in a restaurant, but cook in batches and you'll be fine.
Stir-Fried Sliced Pork With Yellow Chives
Another quick stir-fry, this one pairs the pork with two kinds of Chinese chives—yellow and blossoming—and aromatics like garlic, ginger, and scallions. We marinate the pork in a simple soy sauce mixture with baking soda and cornstarch, which helps keep the meat tender while promoting browning.
Easy Pan-Roasted Pork Tenderloin With Bourbon-Soaked Figs
This looks like a fancy Sunday roast but comes together entirely on the stovetop in just half an hour. We start by searing the tenderloin, then build a bourbon-fig sauce and let the meat come to temperature in the pan as the sauce reduces. The final step is to remove the tenderloin and fortify the sauce with butter to turn it into a rich glaze.
Pork Chops With Apple Cider Pan Sauce
Lean tenderloin is best cooked with an initial sear, but a reverse sear works wonderfully for fattier pork chops. It does mean that this recipe takes a little more than an hour, but you will be rewarded with the juiciest pork you have ever eaten (especially if you brine it first). You don't really need a sauce with pork this tender, but we make a simple one with shallots, thyme, and apple cider anyways.
Pork Chops With White Wine and Leek Pan Sauce
Store-bought chicken stock generally doesn't make a satisfying pan sauce because it doesn't have much gelatin. Our usual trick is just to add powdered gelatin, but that's not the only option. The white wine sauce for these pork chops is made with lots of leeks, which are packed with fiber, and when they cook down they thicken the sauce without any extra gelatin.
Hearty One-Pot Black-Eyed Pea Stew With Kale and Andouille
This rib-sticking stew is made with two kinds of pork: Andouille sausage and slab bacon or salt pork. We cook the meat with Cajun trinity of onion, celery, and green bell peppers and add kale and black eyed peas to make a meal that is filling without being overly heavy.