Here, a simple dry rub seasons the meat with extra flavor, and applesauce makes an ideal condiment. For a twist on the garnish, fry the sage leaves in hot oil until crisp.–Lisa Atwood

A white platter with four pork chops with applesauce in a jar on the side and fried sage leaves sprinkled over the pork chops.

Pork Chops with Applesauce

5 / 2 votes
Though delicious on its own, pork can be wonderfully accepting of flavor enhancers—fruit is the surprising and undeniable favorite.
David Leite
Servings4 servings
Calories387 kcal
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 (8-ounce) bone-in pork loin chops, 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) thick
  • Store-bought or homemade applesauce, for serving
  • Fresh or fried sage leaves, for garnish (optional)


  • In a small bowl, combine the black pepper, salt, cayenne pepper, and mustard. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and stir to mix well.
  • Rub the chops on both sides with the spice mix. If desired, place the chops on a plate, cover, and refrigerate for up to 1 day (remove the chops from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before roasting).
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • In an ovenproof skillet over high heat, warm the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the chops and sear, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
  • Move the skillet to the oven. Roast the chops until the juices released when pierced with a knife are rosy, or an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of a chop away from the bone registers 145° to 150°F (63° to 65°C), 13 to 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over low heat, warm the applesauce.
  • Arrange the chops an a warmed platter or individual plates and garnish with the sage leaves, if desired. Pass the warmed applesauce at the table.


*How do I cook pork chops without drying them out?

Pork chops are notoriously easy to cook until they’re a dry, flavorless, tough piece of meat. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You have a few options to keep ’em juicy. The best place to start is with buying your chops—bone-in pork chops with a nice bit of marbled fat throughout will make a big difference in both moisture and flavor. Letting your meat rest will give it a chance to reabsorb some of those juices, too. This means letting it come to room temp before cooking, as well as letting your cooked chops rest before serving. Finally—and we know how often we say this—a meat thermometer is one of your best investments in the kitchen. A little poke never hurt anyone!

Adapted From

The Art of Preserving

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Serving: 1 chopCalories: 387 kcalCarbohydrates: 1 gProtein: 35 gFat: 26 gSaturated Fat: 7 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 117 mgSodium: 108 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 1 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2010 Lisa Atwood. Photo © 2010 France Ruffenach. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

I was interested to make this recipe because it was quite simple, the chops were something I had already, and wondered if I could improve on what I was already doing. I loved the simplicity of this recipe for pork chops with applesauce and that it had few ingredients. If I was making the recipe again, I’d fry the sage leaves in butter, rather than in oil, for extra richness.

I served the chops with gravy, applesauce, mashed potatoes, peas, sweetcorn, and rose wine (white zinfandel). This recipe basically details how I would cook pork chops—a quick sear on top of the cooker and then cook the meat more thoroughly in the oven. I liked the addition of the applesauce and the fried sage leaves. I’d do these additions again. If you’re unsure how to go about cooking chops then I think this is a good method to follow.

Although the pairing of pork and apples is anything but new, this recipe for pork chops with applesauce somehow elevates both to another level of elegance. Could it be the simple tangy rub? Perhaps. Or is it the crispy fried sage leaves topping it all? Could be. In the end, I think it’s the simple combination of it all. Proof that you really can’t go wrong with simple, quality ingredients, tried-and-true cooking methods, and classic flavor combinations.

I liked the idea of combining a pinch of cayenne with the peppercorn-mustard rub–it gave the peppery crust a bit of heat which I liked. My pork chops each weighed 8 oz., and I had homemade applesauce in the freezer that I’d made a few weeks back, so I thawed that and used it here. I did opt for the crispy fried sage leaves and think that it should be a requirement for the recipe! It really added a last-minute pop of flavor and color to the plate, as well as texture to the tender pork and smooth applesauce. I served my pork chops with the applesauce, some haricots verts with a bit of feta, and some caramelized onion mashed potatoes. This dinner was a real hit.

I like making a simple dinner that delivers on taste. These pork chops with applesauce are easy to make and are very tasty. And making the spice rub ahead and then letting pork chops sit for the day really enhances the overall flavor. I used my cast-iron, enamel-coated pan for this recipe. It is a versatile pan that lets me fry, then goes right into the oven and does an excellent job of roasting.

The applesauce took me back to childhood for this accompaniment was a must-have at family meals when pork chops were the entree. Heating up the applesauce is a must as to not cool off the pork chops. As for the sage, I found that it wasn’t central to this recipe. That said, I didn’t fry the leaves and that may have made a difference. If you’re looking for a change to your usual pork chop dinner, give this recipe a try, you won’t be disappointed.

You can’t go wrong with this pork chop and applesauce recipe. It’s a classic combination and the spice rub very nicely pumps up the flavor profile. The cooking method is spot-on—always the best way to get flavor into your proteins with a quick searing on the cooktop and then finishing in the oven for a perfect degree of doneness. I served these with roasted red peppers and cauliflower.

This easy pork chop with applesauce recipe is both delicious and impressive. The fried sage leaves make a unique and flavorful garnish. Applesauce is a must with pork chops and making applesauce is much easier than it would seem. I used my own simple recipe using three apples, maple syrup, a cinnamon stick and a few tablespoons of water.

I served the pork chops with a choice of orzo, basil and tomato salad, or roasted potatoes. My daughter loves pork chops with roasted potatoes.

This is a simple preparation for pork chops with applesauce that uses ingredients often on hand. I think it could have used a bit more zing of flavor but a solid weeknight meal. This made four servings and paired very well with mustardy potatoes recipe.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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