Seared Maple Balsamic Pork Chops

Want a recipe that will wow your dinner guests, fill you up, and not break the bank? Try these easy seared maple balsamic pork chops!

When I think of elegant meals I can get on the table that will impress friends and be fairly easy, when it’s a small group, I can spring for a good steak . But good God, that gets expensive. Even if you’re shopping in bulk at Costco, steak is costly.

And as much as I’d love to wow friends with filet mignon, I make good money but I don’t make that kind of money! On top of that, I’m trying to cut down on the amount of red meat we eat.

So the last time we went to Costco, I stayed away from the red meat and picked up some of the most beautiful thick-cut pork chops I’ve seen! They were less than half the price of the steak, and I don’t feel like we’ve missed out on an ounce of flavor or protein. And they’re better for you. Go figure.

We’ve experimented with a few different ways to cook them up, but my favorite so far has been searing them similarly to how I sear my steak and dousing them in a healthy amount of sweet and tangy maple balsamic glaze.

There’s so much flavor in this dish, surprisingly few calories, and best of all, you can get it on the table looking fabulous in under 30 minutes. We all need a few of these dishes in our arsenals!

Seared Maple Balsamic Pork Chops

Serves 2 – but can be adapted easily for 6 with additional chops and by doubling the glaze.

What You’ll Need:

For the chops:

  • 2 {or more} thick-cut pork chops
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed

For the glaze:

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp spicy brown mustard
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • salt and pepper

The key to making this recipe both elegant and decadent is the size of the pork chop. We were so happy to find these thick-cut pork chops at Costco {for way cheaper than we’d pay at our regular grocery!}. Also:: not an ad, we are just really excited about Costco these days.

You’ll also need either a cast iron or oven-safe skillet. You can transfer the chops to a pan for finishing them in the oven, but it’s a pain and you lose the sear and flavor. We picked up this Lodge cast iron pan at Target. I absolutely love cast iron – but that’s a post for another day!

How to Make It:

1. Preheat your oven to 400F and stick your cast iron skillet inside to warm it up.

2. Let’s start with the glaze. Mix all the glaze ingredients together in a small saucepan, and heat over medium heat until the mixture starts to bubble {2 minutes}. Cook until the sauce reduces {2 minutes}. If it starts getting too thick, alcohol is your best friend. 1/4 cup of Bourbon and you’re set.

3. Season your pork chops with olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste. Crush 2-3 heads of garlic, and get the butter ready.

4. Pull the skillet {carefully} out of the oven and set it on medium heat. Toss in the butter – you should hear it sizzle right away. It’ll keep your pork chops from sticking. Lay the pork chops in over the butter and brush the top or drizzle with glaze. Sear 2-3 minutes.

5. Flip the pork chops over, brush the other side with glaze, and sear 2-3 minutes. I usually add an extra sprig or two of rosemary to the pan at this point. Rosemary and pork go so well together!

6. Sear the sides of the pork chop so that the fat starts rendering down. I cut most of mine off anyway, but it adds good flavor when it’s rendered. Then stick the skillet and pork chops in the oven and bake 8-10 minutes, or until the thermometer reads 140F {for safety’s sake, don’t mess with undercooked pork!}.

7. Remove the pork chops and let rest 5 minutes.

8. Brush generously with glaze and serve!

We serve our pork chops with a little bit of rosemary for garnish, a healthy helping of maple whipped sweet potatoes, and asparagus spears.

What do you guys think? What go-to quick meals are in your recipe arsenal?

About the ChefKristin

Career Army officer with a tendency toward workaholism. On the side, self taught cook, carpenter, and gardener, working to build a beautiful life for my family. Trying to tilt my balance in the right direction.

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