Crusted Pork Chops with Cranberry Apple Sauce | PALEO, Whole30

Many, many moons ago (January 2014) I uploaded a pork chop recipe.  It's still here on the blog, but I'm not going to link it.  Because, well... it's hideous.

HA- in all seriousness, though... that recipe was at the very start of my blog when it was all about the recipe & nothing about the photography.  And to be honest with you guys- it's still that way (in my heart).  But in what has become a very competitive world of food blogs here on the internet, pictures SO matter now.

You can have the most perfectly crusted pork chops with just the right spices that literally do cook perfect every single time because you have the recipe down to an exact science.  But if your picture looks less than perfect, chances are people won't click on it.  And then they'll never even try your perfectly delicious recipe.  The struggle...

So despite the deep-in-my-soul feeling of "I honestly hate photography, am terrible at it, and could care less about the pictures"-- the pics are important, my friends.  

Which is why I took that ol' "perfect pork chop" recipe and updated it.  With a better camera, better pictures, but the same delicious method that works every time.  

Light, crispy seasoned crust on the outside, juicy tender pork on the inside.

Oh- and I added a sauce!  Because looking at those old pictures with the side cup of apple sauce made me sad, and was not photo-friendly.  And I've been meaning to share my cranberry apple sauce recipe anyway.  And the fact that it's all Whole30... it just made sense.  (And tasted dang delicious!)

Speaking of the sauce:  I love the tart cranberry flavor.  But if you're more of a sweet person, absolutely add honey!  See my "notes" section below before you do- and definitely don't add the sweetener if you are making this on a Whole30.  

If you still want sweetener-free, but cranberries are too tart for you or just not your favorite, you can easily substitute any berry of your choice (I think blueberries or blackberries would be delicious!)

Enjoy this old favorite, with a new twist!  I think it's the perfect meal any time with a crisp salad or chunky mashed potatoes- but it also screams out holiday!  Let me know what you think.


For the Cranberry Apple Sauce

  • 1 (12 ounce) bag fresh cranberries
  • juice & zest of 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce*
  • 1/4 cup water

For the Pork Chops

  • 4 pork chops (about 1" to 1 1/2" thick)
  • 4 tsp almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp each:
    • garlic powder
    • dried herb blend
    • paprika
    • sea salt
    • black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp cooking fat (I like olive oil or ghee)

For the Cranberry Apple Sauce

  1. Add the cranberries, orange juice & zest, water, and applesauce to a saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil.  
  2. Keep it on medium heat, stirring constantly until the cranberries start to burst (about 10 minutes).  
  3. Reduce to a simmer and allow it to cook for about 10 to 15 minutes.  The cranberries will continue to soften and the mixture will thicken.

For the Pork Chops

  1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the almond flour and spices.  Evenly distribute the mixture to coat the pork chops on both sides.  Make sure you pat this on so it really sticks to the meat.
  3. Heat the cooking fat in a large ovenproof skillet* over medium to medium high heat.  Add the pork chops & cook for 3 minutes.  Don't touch the meat once you've set it down- let it brown & form a nice crust.  Flip the pork chops, then cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  4. Transfer the pork chops to the oven and bake for 8 minutes, or until juices run clear.  Let the meat sit for a few minutes before serving (this helps keep it juicy!)


  • If you don't have applesauce on hand, you can dice one small apple.  It will cook down along with the cranberries & can be easily smashed at the end, or puréed in a blender.
  • I don't add sugar for Whole30 purposes, but if you are not on a Whole30:  add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of honey.  It takes this from tart to perfectly sweet.
  • I use a cast iron skillet that can be transferred to the oven when baking the pork chops.  If you don't have an oven safe skillet, simply transfer the meat to a lined baking dish before baking.

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Ed McCulley said...

Don’t lament, Jessie I agree that the food is what your blog should be emphasizing and you do an amazing job giving us healthy and delicious recipes. I’ve made many of your shared recipes and look for your emails. I’m going to make these pork chops this week too.


Ed McCulley

Diane Mahoney said...

Have you tried these with coconut flour? Daughter has a nut allergy.

Jessie B said...

Ed, thank you for always being so kind! You're the best!

Diane: I have not tried it with this exact recipe, but have with chicken- it would work just fine! :)

Chelsea said...

This crust looks perfect and the sauce is so festive!

Sarah said...

Your instagram is my go-to for all things Whole30 and your blog is where I start for my weekly meal plan. Thank you for all the work you put into it.

Paul Clark said...

Thanks Jessie, this was excellent! The cranberries were a little tart for us, but I added a little honey to sweeten them up.

I found the best Asbestos Lawyers Port Arthur said...

I made this for dinner and it was an overwhelming hit! Im adding it to my Christmas dinner menu as well. This recipe will now be a holiday tradition.