These pork recipes are so good, you NEED them in your meal plan rotation today. Easy, quick, and oh-so tasty—these recipes check ALL the boxes!
When it comes to meat products, pork is one of the cheapest you can buy. Don't let the affordability fool you, though—it doesn't lack on pizzaz! With its mild flavor, pork can be used in SO MANY recipes. We'll show you how to cook pork like a pro and keep your tummy and your wallet happy.
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Not sure where to begin? We'll break down everything you need to know with a quick Pork 101 and give you some of the BEST recipes to get you started. Let's do this!
PORK 101 – CUTS EXPLAINED
There are SO MANY types of pork at the supermarket; it can be a challenge knowing what to buy. Before we get to the recipes, let's break down each cut so you'll never be left staring blankly at a wall full of pork again!
- Pork Chops – These come bone-in and boneless. The thicker the pork chop is, the juicer it will be, so get them thick if you can! Pork chops are great for grilling, pan-frying, or baking.
- Ground Pork – This is usually made from pork shoulders or butts and contains about 20-30% fat.
- Pork Roast, Shoulder, or Butt – While these cuts are technically all different, they are similar enough that most consumers never know the difference! Roasts, shoulders, and butts all need low, slow cooking.
- Pork Tenderloin – Pork loin, or tenderloin, is the leanest cut of pork and one of the most pricey! Be careful not to overcook a tenderloin because it can dry out easily.
Now that you know the basics of each pork cut, lets get to the recipes!
PORK CHOP RECIPES
Pork chops are a great go-to for a quick and easy meal. Make them savory or sweet, grilled, baked, or fried—you really can't go wrong!
- Smothered Pork Chops – Whip up your favorite baked or fried pork chop recipe and smother with your favorite gravy. Yes, it's really that simple! Toss your smothered chops on a bed of white rice for a cheap and filling side.
- Easy Oven Baked Pork Chops – Rub your pork chops with olive oil, cover with your favorite seasoning, and pop them in the oven at 400°F until they reach an internal temperature of 145°F. Boneless pork chops cook for 7 minutes per ½-inch of thickness and bone-in cook for 8 minutes per ½-inch of thickness.
- Pork Chops and Potatoes – This easy one-dish pork chops and potatoes casserole from Just a Pinch is incredible. Comfort food at its finest!
- Leftover Pork Chop Stir Fry – Not sure what to do with leftover pork chops? Pork chop stir fry to the rescue from Fun Cheap or Free. They won't even know it's leftover! Shhh… We won't tell!
Pork chops have a reputation for drying out when they cook too long, so keep an eye on those babies!
PORK BUTT, SHOULDER, AND ROAST RECIPES
The great thing about these recipes is you can interchange any of these pork cuts and get fantastic results! Use what you have on hand or buy what's on sale at the store. Remember, the fattier the cut, the juicer the flavor!
- Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Bowl – This Cafe Rio sweet pork bowl restaurant copycat will make all your sweet pork dreams come true.
- Mississippi Pork Roast – This slow cooker Mississippi pork roast from The Recipe Critic takes only minutes to prepare. Whip up some mashed potatoes for a side and use leftovers inside some yummy quesadillas. It's the meal that keeps on giving!
- Dr Pepper Pulled Pork Sandwiches – So incredibly tasty your family won't believe how easy this one is! Throw your pulled pork ingredients into the crockpot and let it do all the work. #MomWin
- Slow Cooker Carnitas – Toss your pork in the slow cooker with your favorite Mexican spices, a diced onion, and one cup of liquid. Once it's done, shred and crisp it up in a skillet before serving. You can even use it inside these yummy baked taquitos. Seconds, please!
- Instant Pot Cuban Pork Sandwiches – Embrace the Cuban flair with these scrumptious Cuban pork sandwiches from Cook Dinner Tonight.
These meals may be budget-friendly, but they sure aren't budget-quality!
GROUND PORK RECIPES
Using ground pork is a great way to spice up a dull meal routine. It can be used in place of other meats in tons of recipes for a different spin!
- Pork Fried Rice – Cook up your go-to fried rice recipe and level up with some ground pork. *Wiping drool from mouth…
- Ground Pork Egg Roll in a Bowl – This one-pan dinner will satisfy your Asian craving and have you begging for more. Seriously, it's soooooo good. One Lovely Life's egg roll in a bowl recipe is delicious and is gluten-free for those who need it!
- Pork Tacos – Swap out the ground beef for ground pork and you have a tasty new taco Tuesday option!
- Ground Pork Rice Bowls – This Hawaiian chicken and rice recipe can easily be made with ground pork instead. What a delicious shelf cooking swap!
Having trouble finding ground pork? Grab a butt or shoulder on sale and ask the butcher in the meat department to grind it for you!
Pork tenderloin is excellent baked in the oven or slow cooked in the crock pot. Here are a few of our favorite ways to make pork tenderloin!
- Crockpot Apple Pork Tenderloin – Toss your tenderloin into the crockpot with some sliced Granny Smith apples, onion, your favorite seasonings, and a drizzle of honey mustard. Cook six hours for a juicy pork tenderloin, then enjoy. Warning: Your house will smell amazing!
- Hawaiian Pork Loin – Make parallel cuts every 1.5 inches down your pork loin and place a slice of pineapple inside. Smother your tenderloin with BBQ sauce, diced bell peppers, and onions. Bake at 400°F for 12 minutes, then lower heat to 350°F for 35 minutes or until it's done. Mmmmm.
- Traeger Smoked Pork Loin – This official Traeger smoked pork loin recipe is great for anyone with a pellet smoker. It takes five minutes of prep time and almost no effort for a delicious pork tenderloin!
- Smoked Pork Loin Tacos – Use leftover smoked pork loin to make incredible smoky pork loin tacos. Make them Mexican or with an Asian flair!
No matter how you slice it, pork is a delicious and affordable meat to include in your meal plan. Buy what's on sale and use what you have to make it your own. As a result, you'll have an affordable meal that satisfies every belly in your house… even the picky ones!
Do you have a favorite pork recipe you'd love to share? Sound off in the comments below!
Want more kitchen hacks and budget-friendly recipes? Check out these posts below!
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- Learn how to build your own kitchen herb garden and never buy fresh herbs again!
- You definitely need to know these 40 food hacks that will seriously change your life!
Now, in the words of Porky the Pig… “Th-th-that's all, folks!” 😉