Superfast Pork Recipes
Make a quick and healthy meal using tender, lean pork with these 20-minute pork recipes.
Asian and Mexican flavors collide with excellent results in this seven-minute dish: The pork first cooks in a ginger-soy mixture, then is doused with a sweet cilantro salsa. If you like heat, be sure to use an extra-spicy salsa. If you really like heat, chop a jalapeño or a couple serranos and add to the salsa.
Spicy and fruity flavors make excellent partners, especially when paired with pork. Raspberry's tangy bite is great here, but almost any kind of fruit preserves, from apple to apricot, will work. Baked or mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes make great sides for this dish―try Smashed Potatoes with Goat Cheese and Chives.
Crunchy bell pepper and spicy chili garlic sauce highlight this surprisingly healthful dish. At 338 calories for a whole-meal serving it's an excellent dinner choice, and it takes less than 10 minutes to prepare. For simple variations try rice or another kind of Asian noodles like udon or somen, or sub another favorite vegetable―carrots or broccoli work well―for the bell pepper.
Southern-style white gravy in a light recipe? Yes, it's possible, thanks to a moderate amount of butter and a low-fat milk-flour slurry. Each hearty serving of this dish―a pork chop with a big dollop of potatoes and a generous pour of gravy―has just 322 calories. Refrigerated mashed potatoes are perfectly good, and perfectly fast, but you can also make homemade mashed potatoes if you want.
Anchovies melt into the pepper mixture, adding a savory, salty quality. If you don't like anchovies, omit them and add 3 tablespoons minced olives. Serve with mashed potatoes.
Traditional fattoush doesn't contain any meat―the salad with crisp pita pieces is delicious, but best as a starter. We add pork tenderloin to turn this Lebanese specialty into a main course without sacrificing nutrition: The dish has just 314 calories per serving. Kick up the flavor by adding chopped red onion, carrot, olives, or feta cheese if you like.
Japanese flavors and ingredients dominate this quick, easy, and healthful take on the deep-fried pork cutlet dish tonkatsu. Pan-fried, panko-dredged pork chops end up nice and crisp, doused in a sweet-hot ginger and wasabi soy sauce. For extra-tender and crispy pork, pound the chops between two pieces of plastic wrap to ¼-inch thickness, or try chicken breasts or tenders instead.
Highly seasoned beef dishes are a staple all over the world―goulash in Hungary, sloppy joes in the United States, and picadillo all over Latin America. With its olives and raisins, our version is closer to the Cuban and Puerto Rican variations on the dish. A picadillo sandwich makes for fun eating with your hands, but you can also serve the meat with black beans and rice or as the filling for tacos.
This three-ingredient recipe is the ultimate last-minute party dish. It'll make a light meal for 10 or hors d'oeuvres for 15 to 20 in just a few minutes. The strong flavor of smoked cheese (cheddar or mozzarella works as well as Gouda) stands up well to the saltiness of prosciutto. Of course you can also cut the recipe down to make a great quick lunch for just a few―you need a little over half an ounce each of prosciutto and cheese per sandwich.
A dredge in cornstarch before sautéing gives the pork a silky texture, and more cornstarch in the sweet-salty-spicy orange sauce makes it thick and glossy, just like restaurant Chinese, but with only 214 calories and 586 milligrams of sodium per serving. For a complete homemade-Chinese-takeout meal, add an appetizer like pot stickers or shrimp toast, or try Hot and Sour Soup.
Cured pork products perform culinary magic: A single ounce of salty, meaty prosciutto gives all four servings of this pizza a nice, savory flavor. A base of pesto and toppings of bitter arugula and slightly sweet artichoke hearts complete the picture for a gourmet pie that beats delivery any day and takes only 13 minutes start to finish.
Pancetta is an Italian version of bacon that isn't smoked, so it has a slightly more delicate flavor than its American cousin. But it still brings a salty, meaty punch to this dish, which matches well with the earthy, savory flavor of cremini mushrooms. If you have any pancetta left over, use it to make luscious, creamy pasta carbonara for another Italian meal.
This 10-minute recipe is so easy and adaptable that it should be a part of everyone's repertoire. This version flavors pork and beans with the zesty flavors of cumin, jalapeño, and cilantro, but you can add other meats or vegetables and different spices to create a totally unique soup. Add corn and sliced tortillas for tortilla soup, or try chicken and pasta with oregano and black pepper for a minestrone variation.
Scoring the surface of the meat, and then rubbing it with a brown sugar spice mix before searing gives these chops a crisp and caramelized, almost blackened, surface. For authentic flavor, serve over rice with nuoc cham, a mix of fish sauce, garlic, lime, and chiles that's part of almost every Vietnamese meal.
Red currant jelly may sound exotic, but you can find the tart condiment with other jellies and jams in most supermarkets. The spice rub gives the pork deep, smoky fall flavor, and the easy sauce brightens the taste. Serve with a salad and a grain like grits or polenta.
The delicious Polish dumplings called "pierogies" are often filled with fat-laden ingredients and then loaded down with sour cream. We serve them over a tasty mixture of caramelized onions, peas, and bacon, while keeping a bit of tangy reduced-fat sour cream in the mix (you can use yogurt instead to cut more fat). Frozen pierogies make this easy, but if you want you can make yours from scratch.
Thai cuisine balances big flavors like the spicy curry powder and paste, pungent fish sauce, and creamy coconut milk in this recipe. You'll love the contrast between sweet, tangy mango and savory, tender pork. Though it takes a bit longer to cook than boil-in-bag rice, fragrant jasmine rice is ideal for this dish―try it!
Smoked paprika, called pimentón in its native Spain, brings amazing meaty, savory flavor to any dish without adding any fat, salt, or calories. It should be a critical part of every pantry. If you love that smoky flavor, toss some potato wedges with salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and olive oil and roast until crisp for a great side to serve with this dish.
The key to using flavorful but indulgent ingredients like bacon and andouille sausage in a healthful way is to let a small amount shine through in the finished dish. This recipe uses just one ounce of andouille per serving, but it cooks the vegetables in the sausage drippings, so everything acquires some of its spice-and-smoke flavor.
Traditional dessert spices like cinnamon and cloves add warmth to savory dishes without the heat of ingredients like cayenne. Combine that with the sweet and sour flavor of dried plums and you've got a comforting fall or winter meal. Pair with couscous as shown, or try another grain, like barley, bulgur, or rice pilaf.