Recipe: Chocolate-Spiced Pork Chops

pork recipes, chocolate-spiced pork chops, pork chopsMy go-to easy, healthy weeknight meal is usually a baked marinated chicken breast (here in El Salvador, I vary between homemade marinades and salad dressings, but in the States I loved Wegmans‘ pre-packed, individually sealed marinated chicken breasts), couscous and some kind of steamed vegetable (usually broccoli or green beans). Quick and healthy, but not always the tastiest.pork recipes, chocolate-spiced pork chops, pork chopsA while back I was searching for an alternative protein recipe that was just as easy to prepare but tasted good without sacrificing too much on the health side. I came across this Food Network recipe for chocolate-spiced pork chops, and it has become a somewhat regular feature on our kitchen menu.pork recipes, chocolate-spiced pork chops, pork chopsYou know I’m a fan of make-ahead meals, and while this can’t be completely prepared in advance, the rub can be — and stored in an airtight containter for future use.pork recipes, chocolate-spiced pork chops, pork chopsI had thought of this as a quick dinner for two — not necessarily a crowd-pleaser — but Kail and I tested it out a few months ago when we had some friends over for dinner, and it got positive reviews. The good thing is that it’s a pretty low-maintenance meal to make for guests; once the rub is mixed and the meat prepared, it only takes 9 minutes to cook, so you can spend more time hosting instead of cooking.pork recipes, chocolate-spiced pork chops, pork chopsI made a couple modifications to the original recipe: The recipe calls for bone-in pork chops but I have used both bone-in and boneless. Since I don’t own a cast-iron skillet (or similar shallow dish that can go from stovetop to oven), I use a griddle pan for the stovetop portion (a regular frying pan works also) and a foil-lined cookie sheet for baking. To make it a little healthier, instead of using vegetable oil, I use cooking spray on both the griddle and baking sheet.What are your go-to weeknight meals?pork recipes, chocolate-spiced pork chops, pork chopsChocolate-Spiced Pork ChopsRecipe from Food NetworkPrep Time: 10 MinutesCook Time: 10 MinutesYield: 4 ServingsIngredients

  • 2 tbsp firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 4 pork chops (bone-in or boneless)
  • cooking spray


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, Italian seasoning, onion powder, cocoa powder, garlic powder, paprika, red pepper, cumin, salt, and black pepper. Rub the mixture evenly over pork chops.
  3. Lightly grease a griddle pan or heavy-bottomed skillet. On medium-high heat, cook pork chops for 3 minutes per side.
  4. Transfer pork chops to a foil-lined baking sheet and put in the oven. Bake about 3 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 140 degrees.
  5. Remove and serve immediately.

Published by La Vie Overseas

I'm Natasha -- writer, runner and wife to a Foreign Service Officer with USAID. Current location: Frankfurt, Germany.

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