Apple and Pork Chop Bake Recipe from New Zealand

Apple and Pork Chop Bake

Apple and Pork Chop Bake Recipe from New Zealand
Region / culture: New Zealand | Preparation time: 2 hours (marinating) | Cooking time: 30-45 minutes | Servings: 2-4


Apple and Pork Chop Bake
Apple and Pork Chop Bake

The Apple and Pork Chop Bake is a delightful dish that combines the savory taste of pork with the sweet and tart flavors of apples, creating a harmonious blend that is both comforting and sophisticated. This recipe is perfect for those who appreciate the art of combining fruits with meats, offering a unique taste experience that is both nutritious and satisfying. Ideal for family dinners or special occasions, this dish is sure to impress with its beautiful presentation and depth of flavor.


The tradition of pairing pork with apples dates back centuries and spans across various cultures. In European cuisine, particularly in countries like England and Germany, apples have been used to complement pork dishes, taking advantage of the natural sweetness of apples to balance the richness of the meat. This recipe is a modern take on those traditional pairings, incorporating root vegetables and a simple marinade to enhance the flavors and create a more complex dish.


How to prepare

  1. Cover the chops with the apple juice in a plastic bag and marinate for a couple of hours if possible. Preheat the oven to 170°C.
  2. Layer the bottom of the roasting dish with a single layer of cut vegetables and apple (cut into small chunks/rings). If using shoulder chops, cut them in half (chops of 2 halves!). Layer the chops atop the vegetables.
  3. Pour over the apple juice marinade. Put a couple of the apple rings on top of the chops. Season it all with salt and pepper. Cook for around 0.5 to 0.75 hour until the pork is cooked. The cooking time will depend on the type of oven and thickness of chops.


  • For a twist on the traditional recipe, try substituting the pork chops with chicken thighs or turkey breasts for a lighter option. You can also experiment with different root vegetables, such as sweet potatoes or carrots, to vary the flavors and nutritional content.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure the pork chops are tender and juicy, marinate them for at least a couple of hours before cooking. This not only infuses them with flavor but also helps to tenderize the meat. When layering the vegetables and apples, make sure they are thinly sliced to allow them to cook evenly and absorb the flavors of the marinade. Additionally, using a meat thermometer can help you cook the pork chops to perfection, avoiding overcooking.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the Apple and Pork Chop Bake with a side of steamed green beans or a fresh green salad to add a light and refreshing element to the meal. A dollop of whole grain mustard on the side can also enhance the flavors with its tangy kick.

Cooking Techniques

Baking is the primary cooking technique used in this recipe, which allows the flavors to meld together beautifully. For an added depth of flavor, consider searing the pork chops in a skillet before baking to create a caramelized crust.

Ingredient Substitutions

If apple juice is not available, you can substitute it with chicken broth or a mixture of white wine and water for the marinade. Additionally, pears can be used in place of apples for a slightly different but equally delicious flavor profile.

Make Ahead Tips

To save time, the pork chops can be marinated overnight in the refrigerator. The vegetables and apples can also be prepped ahead of time and stored in an airtight container until ready to use.

Presentation Ideas

For an elegant presentation, arrange the baked pork chops and apple slices on a platter, garnished with fresh thyme or rosemary sprigs. Serve the root vegetables on the side or scattered around the pork chops for a rustic look.

Pairing Recommendations

A light-bodied white wine, such as a Riesling or a Chardonnay, pairs beautifully with the flavors of this dish, complementing the sweetness of the apples and the savoriness of the pork.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, place in a preheated oven at 170°C for about 10-15 minutes, or until heated through. Avoid microwaving, as it can dry out the meat.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A single serving of the Apple and Pork Chop Bake contains approximately 300-350 calories, making it a moderate-calorie option that fits well into a balanced diet.


This dish is relatively low in carbohydrates, with the main sources being the apples and root parsnips. One serving of this dish contains approximately 20-25 grams of carbohydrates, making it a suitable option for those monitoring their carbohydrate intake.


Pork chops are a source of fats, particularly saturated fats. However, by trimming any visible fat from the chops before cooking, you can reduce the fat content. The overall fat content per serving is approximately 10-15 grams, depending on the size of the pork chops and the amount of trimming.


Pork is an excellent source of high-quality protein. Each serving of this dish provides about 25-30 grams of protein, contributing significantly to daily protein requirements, which are essential for muscle repair, growth, and overall health.

Vitamins and minerals

This dish is rich in vitamins and minerals, thanks to the inclusion of apples and root vegetables. Apples are a good source of vitamin C and dietary fiber, while parsnips provide potassium, vitamin C, and folate. Together, they contribute to a balanced and nutritious meal.


This recipe is free from common allergens such as nuts, dairy, and gluten, making it suitable for individuals with these specific dietary restrictions.


Overall, the Apple and Pork Chop Bake is a nutritious dish that provides a good balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, along with essential vitamins and minerals. It is a wholesome choice for a hearty meal that supports a healthy diet.


The Apple and Pork Chop Bake is a delightful and nutritious dish that combines the savory flavors of pork with the sweetness of apples and the earthiness of root vegetables. With its rich nutritional profile and versatile serving options, it is a perfect meal for any occasion. Whether you're looking to impress guests or simply enjoy a cozy family dinner, this recipe is sure to satisfy.

How did I get this recipe?

I have a clear memory of the first time I saw this recipe for Apple and Pork Chop Bake. It was a crisp fall day, the leaves were changing colors and the air had that distinct aroma of autumn. I was visiting my dear friend Margaret, who was an incredible cook and always had a new recipe to share.

As soon as I walked into Margaret's cozy kitchen, I was greeted by the delicious scent of apples and pork cooking together in the oven. I immediately knew that whatever she was making, it was going to be a hit. Margaret smiled and beckoned me over to the stove, where a bubbling pot of apple sauce was simmering away.

"Hello, dearie! I'm making my famous Apple and Pork Chop Bake for dinner tonight. Would you like to help me?" Margaret asked with a twinkle in her eye.

I eagerly nodded and rolled up my sleeves, ready to learn the secret to this delectable dish. Margaret began by explaining that she had learned this recipe from her own grandmother many years ago. It was a family favorite and had been passed down through the generations.

First, Margaret seasoned the pork chops with a blend of spices that included cinnamon, nutmeg, and a touch of brown sugar. Then, she seared them in a hot skillet until they were golden brown and crispy on the outside. The sizzle and aroma that filled the kitchen were enough to make my mouth water.

Next, Margaret showed me how to peel and slice the apples, which would be the perfect complement to the savory pork chops. She tossed the apples in a mixture of butter, sugar, and more cinnamon before layering them on top of the seared pork chops in a baking dish.

As the dish baked in the oven, the apples softened and caramelized while the pork chops cooked through to tender perfection. The house was filled with the irresistible scent of sweet and savory flavors melding together, creating a dish that was truly a feast for the senses.

When the timer finally dinged, Margaret pulled the Apple and Pork Chop Bake out of the oven and placed it on the table with a flourish. The golden brown pork chops were nestled among a bed of tender, juicy apples that glistened with a sticky glaze. It looked like a work of art.

We sat down at the table and dug into the dish with gusto. The pork chops were succulent and flavorful, perfectly complemented by the sweet and tangy apples. Each bite was a symphony of tastes and textures that danced on my taste buds.

As we savored our meal, Margaret shared stories of her grandmother and the traditions that had been passed down in her family. I could see the love and pride she had for this recipe, and I felt honored to be able to learn it from her.

After dinner, Margaret handed me a handwritten recipe card for the Apple and Pork Chop Bake. She urged me to make it for my own family and continue the tradition of sharing good food with those we love.

And that's exactly what I did. Over the years, I have made this dish countless times for my own family and friends, always thinking of Margaret and her warm kitchen whenever I do. The Apple and Pork Chop Bake has become a staple in my own repertoire of recipes, a reminder of the power of good food to bring people together and create lasting memories.

So the next time you're looking for a hearty and comforting meal to warm your soul, why not give this recipe a try? I promise you won't be disappointed. Just remember to savor each bite and appreciate the love and history that goes into every dish. Happy cooking!


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