Apple & Bacon Stuffed Pork Chops

So last week was the week of dinner parties.  One day, we had James & Brady over for make your own tacos (we served Primal Palate’s Beef Tongue and Liz brought Elana’s Dirty Cauli Rice – yum!).  Then we hosted a cookie making party and dinner with FitDaffy.  On Sunday, we had our Meetup.  And in the middle of it all we had my dad and his wife over.  I cook for flavor, not for fanfare.  Putting on dinner parties fancy enough to show off a little but be kid friendly can be a challenge. Especially 4 times in one week.  It was a mentally exhausting week, but we sure did eat like kings. And now we get to play a game of This Week in Red (ground) Meat!

For my dad, I wanted to make a glamorous Paleo meal… we’ve been trying to get them on the wagon. We thought the half dozen baking pork chops we had from our local butcher would be just the thing. Stacy had originally wanted me to make her this recipe, but I couldn’t find the link. Having just triumphantly made a bacon chicken, I had bacon on the brain and thought it’d be a perfect pairing with the fresh farmer’s market York apples we’d just acquired.

By the way, while this meal was made by me independently, I’d be remiss not to mention that in writing this post I found something similar here and she got the idea from the Food Network. Sometimes something is so awesome that everyone instinctively does it.


Apple & Bacon Stuffed Pork Chops


6 1″ thick pork chops
2 Tbsp lard
2 medium baking apples (Gala and York are our favorites), peeled, cored and diced
10 strips of bacon, diced
1 red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minces
4 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
1/4 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper


  1. Ask your butcher to “pocket” your baking chops.  If you need to do it yourself, use a 4-6″ knife and pierce the fatty side of the chop. Wiggle your knife side to side until your “pocket” is about 5″ long and 3″ wide (70% of the chop)
  2. In a medium pan (we recommend a cast iron skillet or dutch oven), melt lard over medium-high heat
  3. Cook apples, bacon and onion until onion is softened and bacon is crispy, about 8 minutes
  4. Add garlic, sage, paprika and lemon juice and toss for 2 minutes
  5. Remove stuffing from heat, transfer to bowl and set-aside
  6. ♥ Salt and pepper each side of pork chop, stuff it with as much stuffing as you can fit and use a skewer or toothpick to close and prevent spilling (about half of the stuffing will be leftover)
  7. Insert pork chops into the hot pan to sear on each side, cook each side of the chops for 5 minutes in hot pan over medium-high heat
  8. Transfer pan/dutch oven to 350 degree oven and bake uncovered for 35 minutes
  9. To serve, warm remaining stuffing and spoon on top of each chop

Unfortunately, since we’re dealing with high heat and sharp knives, there’s not much your kids can do to help (♥); but, Cole and Finn were both fascinated by what I was doing. I felt like I was on Iron Chef with a studio audience, pulling off something fancy!

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  • I have a hard time cooking pork in a way that tastes good. (Besides sausage and bacon, it’s hard to mess those up) But after purchasing 1/2 a farm hog this summer, I have a good portion of my freezer full of pork in form other than bacon. As a result, I’m always on the lookout for a good pork recipe and this looks awesome! Can’t wait to try it!

    • Great! Pork is really malleable to your taste. I’m sure you’ll find lots of appealing recipes!

  • Curt D

    This is an awesome recipe.

    I came from Chowstalker this time, but also saw this when I started getting a few hits from your site. I appreciate the link you gave to me for my stuffed chops.

    Mine tasted great, but I must admit, I like the stuffing in yours with the bacon. It sounds awesome, and I think I may have to try that one out!

    • I don’t always borrow ideas for my recipes, but when I do I always try to credit my inspirations! Thanks for tickling Stacy’s palate just enough to get me to try this!

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  • Cheryl G.

    Phenomenal recipe! I made this for dinner last week, and will it will grace my table when we have friends in from Houston in a few weeks!  The taste is wonderful and the presentation impressive, yet so easy to get it all together.

    • Thanks! That’s what we were going for and we’re so glad you loved it!

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  • I just tried this out tonight and it was very good.  I loved the paprika and sage, which I don’t cook with often.  I’ll definitely be making these again, especially if I want to show off a little.  🙂

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  • QueenAnna

    I tried the recipe last night and it was amazing!! My husband said it was one of the best dishes I had ever made! I’ll defiantly be making this for my in-laws!! 

    • Thanks! Glad to have helped you impress your husband!

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  • Karjala Marlo

    I wonder if yours came out as good as mine because mine was seriously off the richter! I don’t think it could have turned out better, For the stuffing I used the highest quality, most natural bacon I could find and spanish paprika and used lime instead of lemon. I just cooked the chops in the pan and omitted the baking part. Then I paired the chops with cranberry orange and honey goat cheese kale. The chops were almost like a classic bbq taste with sweet and crunchy texture and the kale was rich and creamy but still retaining it’s original kale flavor. Best dinner I’ve had in A WHILE. I’m on cloud 9 right now! Thank you!

    • Glad it was a hit! It’s one of my proudest accomplishments!

  • I have your “Eat like a dinosaur” cookbook and love it!  I googled “paleo pork chops” the other night to figure out something to make for dinner, and up came a link to this recipe!  I made it for my dear husband and kids, who looked a bit skeptical at first as I was frying the apples and bacon together.  Once my husband took a bite, he just began raving how it was his favorite meal ever, and he doesn’t even usually like pork.  A few minutes later, he said “You can’t quit eating like this.  This food is too awsome. ”  Music to my ears…. 🙂

    •  Awesome! Glad everything turned out so delicious for you. This is definitely a favorite of ours too.

  • Jackie

    O M Gosh!!!!  Made these last night and they were AMAZING! Full of flavor and the chops came out tender.  I used boneless loin chops and decreased the baking time to 20min.  Perfect!

    •  Fantastic! So happy to hear you enjoyed them!

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  • Melissa T.

    This was extremely yummy! My husband was really reluctant to even try this because he has his aversion to fruit and meat together in one meal. Sometimes I just have to say, “I’m making it whether you like it or not and you can eat it or not. I don’t care.” Well, he loved it!. I loved it and my kids loved it! The only thing I would like to say is that I think the cooking time is a little long. We had 1 to 1 1/2 inch chops and they were very done and a little on the dry side. I think the 35 minutes at 350 degrees is a little long for the new pork standards. The older standards that had the pork more well done made for very dry pork and far fewer dinners made with the delicious meat. I will make this again but next time I will shoot for 20-25 minutes in hopes for a more moist pork chop. Otherwise, this recipe is sublime! Thanks so much!

  • Made this for dinner last night and it was amazing!  I added some spinach to the stuffing and it was divine, and very easy.  My husband normally doesn’t like cooked fruit (except pies) but he really loved this.
    Thanks so much for posting!

  • Mblondii

    trying this tonight. Adding spinach like Kelli did.YUMMY!!!!!!!!

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  • I’ve been looking for years for a go-to weeknight pork chop recipe and THIS is it!! It’s simple and delicious and a total crowd pleaser. We have had it our rotation now for the last few months and still love it as much as the first time. I don’t pocket the chops and just pour stuffing on top to make it a little quicker, but still amazing!

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  • Julie

    Made this tonight…total win!! Love it!

  • Shortermama

    Made this for tonight’s dinner – with slight modifications – didn’t have the pocket, so it was more smothered/surrounded pork chops than stuffed. My husband could not stop raving! Thanks!

  • I had to come by and tell you how much I loved this recipe! I made these pork chops with roasted Brussels sprouts and buttered carrots for my non-Paleo mother and father in law and they raved about them! I loved them too… Glad there’s one chop left for lunch tomorrow. 🙂

  • Lori T

    So excited!! I just recentl jumped on the ‘paleo wagon and was afraid I’d get bored. Weeell, my house smells amazing! Chops are in the oven, brussel sprouts are on the stove!! Yum

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  • Alan

    Wow! Superb!!! Made half of the recipe for two large boneless chops and was able to place all of the stuffing in them. Didn’t have Sage, so used Rosemary. Also, wine vinegar instead of lemon juice. Did everything else according to the recipe and they turned out perfect — tender, moist, and flavorful.

  • Sandra Goldstein

    Looks like one happy family. Agree with you on all of this. Changing diet is never easy. It takes courage and no small amount of ‘food grief’ to wean yourself off processed food and all the other easy stuff. Starting your kids on a wholesome eating path has to be to their advantage. You’re helping to avoid an addiction to unhealthy amounts of salt and other chemicals and showing that the best food is the kind you make yourself. My kids hit their teens before they went Paleo, and I wish I’d discovered this when they were younger. But we cut out fizzy drinks with additives and steered clear of heavy dairy products and sugary biscuits. They now know to eat plenty of fruit instead of sweets and the conversion to Paleo has been pretty smooth. Great post – and thanks for a few new recipes. You should get the video on YouTube.

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  • junkgrl

    OMG. These are the BEST chops I have ever made. My go-too pork chop recipe from now on. I gnawed on the bones today at lunch. LOL.

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  • Amber S.

    Found this recipe last night and it was wonderful! This will be in our weekly rotation now. Thank you!

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  • Amy

    These are on my oven right now. Will be served with a wilted spinach salad. Yum! Can’t wait!

  • Ed O

    Skipped the bacon and used cherries in addition to the apples, garlic, and onions to stuff the chops. Awesome. Also used left over apples and some fresh squeezed OJ to to deglaze the pan for a little sauce over the top.

  • tommy

    I have used this recipe with pork tenderloins and it turns out great!! I follow the recipe, sear the tenderloins without the stuffing. I cover the tenderloins with the stuffing and bake in the oven covered for 20 min then uncovered until they reach 160 degrees, med rare pork temp.

  • Jamie

    Awesome recipe, awesome flavors!

  • Angel

    Salt and pepper each side of pork chop, stuff it with as much stuffing as you can fit and use a skewer or toothpick to close and prevent spilling. This meal was made by me independently.

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  • avondarcye

    we have made this several times. It is amazing every time. I do recommend having the butcher pocket the pork chops, much better results

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  • nikki

    So good! Made these for dinner tonight. I threw some brussel sprouts in the iron skillet after the pork chops *with the apple bacon mix – then topped the pork chops with the new mixture. Incredible. Will definitley make again. Thanks for posting!

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  • AmberW

    We are waiting on our lard from UsWellness. What would be the best substitution?

  • Kim KedingPhotography

    I love this recipe. I make it often and is a big hit for everyone’s taste buds!

    • Awesome!! So glad to see feedback like this, and happy to know the recipe is a crowd pleaser!

  • tina scalzi

    I made these tonight for dinner…delicious! The recipe is easy to follow, I did however adjust the baking time to 25 minutes rather than the 35 minutes the recipe calls for. I served pan roasted asparagus and crashed potatoes to complete the meal. Yummy!! 🙂

  • Vicki Starner Powell

    Do you have the nutrition information?

    • No, but MyFitnessPal has this cool feature where you simply drop the recipe URL into their ‘build a recipe’ page and they will give you the nutritional values.