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Apple Butter Pork Chops are the ultimate fall entree! Seasoned pork chops are seared before being cooked to tender, juicy perfection in a homemade apple butter sauce and served atop a pile of polenta.
Comfort food, how I’ve missed you. Do I love pineapples, seafood, fruity drinks, and all of the other bright flavors summer has to offer? Yes. Do I love curling up with a plate or bowl of something warm, cozy, and comforting even more? Admittedly, YES.
Apple Butter Pork Chops meet every requirement of the “ideal fall entree” category that we all hunt for this time of year. It’s a filling, protein packed meal that is spiced with delicious fall flavor and served on top of buttery, cheesy, and comforting polenta. It’s pretty perfect for a fall evening!
It’s also incredibly easy to make. Simply rub the pork chops with seasonings, make the polenta, sear the meat, create the apple butter sauce, then cook the pork chops through right back in that sauce. You know those dishes that make the whole kitchen smell like absolute heaven when they’re being cooked? This is definitely one of those.
Ingredients You’ll Need:
For the rub:
- Spices – A simple blend of kosher salt, black pepper, and rubbed sage enhance the natural flavors of the meat.
For the pork chops:
- Pork Chops – Make sure they’re boneless and about 1 inch thick.
- Vegetable Oil
- Butter – Keep the sodium level to a minimum with unsalted butter.
- Onion – Use a yellow onion, as it has the most delicious natural sweetness.
- Garlic – I prefer using fresh garlic over pre-minced. It lends the best flavor and aroma.
- Thyme – Use fresh, not dried thyme.
- Apples – Honeycrisp or Granny Smith are preferred.
- Apple Butter – For the BEST flavor, use my Homemade Apple Butter!
- Apple Cider Vinegar – Don’t swap this with any other vinegar!
- Brown Sugar – You can use light or dark.
For the polenta:
- Polenta – Any brand should work just fine.
- Butter – I like using salted butter but you can use unsalted if preferred.
- Black Pepper
- Parmesan Cheese – Freshly grated is preferred for the best flavor and consistency.
How to Make Apple Butter Pork Chops
For more detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this post.
Season the meat. Rub the seasonings all over the pork chops. Refrigerate them for about 90 minutes, then let them come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before cooking.
Make the apple butter sauce. Whisk together the apple butter, water, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, and salt. Set aside.
Cook the polenta. Bring salted water to a boil. Whisk in the polenta. Cook on low, covered, for about 30 minutes. Stir often. Once cooked, stir in butter and cheese.
Sear the pork chops. Heat a pan with oil over medium high. Sear the pork for 3 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and cover with foil.
Finish it off! Reduce the heat and add the butter and onions. Once softened, stir in the garlic, apples, and thyme. Stir in the apple butter mixture. Add the pork back in and cook for about 5 minutes per side.
How do I serve Apple Butter Pork Chops? Add the polenta to your dish first, then top it with pork chops smothered in apple butter sauce.
How do I know when the pork is cooked? Pork is fully cooked and safe to eat when the internal temperature reaches 145°F.
More comforting entrees you’ll FALL in love with!
Apple Butter Pork Chops
For the rub:
- 4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon rubbed sage
For the pork chops:
- 4 boneless pork chops, ~1 inch thick
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons (42 g) unsalted butter
- 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon (7 g) finely chopped fresh thyme
- 2 medium-sized honeycrisp or granny smith apples, thinly sliced
- 1 cup (282 g) apple butter
- ½ cup (118 ml) water
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup (159 g) polenta, dry
- 3 cups (710 ml) water
- 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
- ¼ cup (57 g) salted butter
- Pepper to taste
- ¼ cup (25 g) grated parmesan cheese
The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.
- Stir together the rub mixture in a small bowl.
- Rub the spice mixture evenly on both sides of each pork chop. Cover and refrigerate for 90 minutes. Bring to room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.
- Whisk together the apple butter, water, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, and salt and set aside.
- To make polenta, bring water to a boil and add salt. Slowly whisk in the polenta, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring every 5-7 minutes.
- Once cooked, stir in butter, pepper, parmesan and more salt if needed.
- While the polenta is cooking, preheat vegetable oil in a large cast iron skillet to medium high. Add the pork chops to pan and sear for 3 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and cover with foil.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the butter. Add onion and sauté for about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, apples, and thyme and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Stir in the apple butter mixture and return the pork chops to the pan, covering in some of the sauce. Cook over low heat until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 145 °F (63 °C). This should take 4-5 minutes each side.
- Serve the pork chops over polenta with apples/apple butter sauce on top.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.