It’s the most popular meat in the world for good reason: pork is inexpensive, easy to cook, and full of flavor.
However, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut when cooking pork. If you’re tired of the same old same old, don’t worry! There are tons of delicious pork dishes for dinner to inspire you and make your mouth water.
Whether you’re looking for a quick family dinner or an extravagant spread, make pork your go-to meat. Keep reading to get inspired by our six favorite pork dish ideas that you can cook today.
1. Pulled Pork
Pulled pork is a staple for any barbeque. To make it, start with a pork butt or other cut of meat. A pork shoulder (also known as Boston butt) works well because it has enough fat to melt into the meat and add delicious flavor.
Marinate as desired, then slow-cook or roast the pork on low heat until it shreds easily. Shred the meat and remove any bones or cartilage. Add a generous amount of your favorite homemade barbeque sauce, and your soft, sweet, tangy meat is ready.
Once you have your meat prepared, there are so many pulled pork dishes you can make, like:
- Open-faced sandwiches
- Rice bowls
You can even try your pulled pork in enchiladas for a twist on the Mexican classic. Let’s be honest — there is no food that’s not improved with some delicious shredded pork.
2. Hoisin Pork Stir-Fry
Pork holds a special place in Chinese culture, giving rise to a plethora of Chinese pork dishes. They can range from the complex “four happiness” dish to easy weeknight meals. One of the most straightforward, yet delicious, Chinese pork dishes is a simple marinated hoisin stir-fry.
Here’s how to make this dish:
- Cube 1 lb of boneless pork (any cut)
- Make a marinade from 1 part soy sauce, 2 parts rice wine, and a pinch of garlic and ginger
- Toss the pork in the marinade and let stand for 20 minutes
- Separately mix 1 part hoisin sauce and 2 parts water to make a sauce
- Over high heat, stir fry the marinated pork until done
- Removing pork from pan, stir fry sliced carrots and snow peas
- Returning the pork to the pan, add the sauce, then cook for another 30 seconds
Serve over rice or noodles.
3. Classic and Cozy Pork Chops and Apples
There are so many side dishes for pork chops, but we can all agree that apples are one of the best. With this recipe, you can save a dish (and meld flavors together) by cooking the apples and pork chops together.
Here’s how to make this quick and easy dish:
- Peel and slice 2 apples
- Line a baking dish with the apple slices
- Lay the prepared pork chops over the apples
- In a saucepan, melt together 2 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp brown sugar
- Add cinnamon and nutmeg to the sauce to taste
- Pour the sauce over the pork chops and apples
- Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes or until pork chops are done and apples are soft
Serve this easy glazed chop recipe with potatoes, rice, or just on its own!
4. Pellet Grilled Pork
When it’s time to kick your love of pork up a notch, you have to try cooking pork loin on pellet grill. Grilling your pork loin whole is an impressive way to cook for your big dinner.
Even better, you can achieve unbelievably rich flavors with a variety of wood pellet types. Experiment with the flavors you can get by grilling your pork over wood pellet types like:
Apple is a classic choice for smoking or grilling any pork, but stronger flavors like mesquite and hickory
5. Mexican Carnitas
Carnitas is the fork-tender, flavorful, fall-apart-when-you-touch-it pork filling that’s common in Mexican dishes. You’ll find it in enchiladas, tacos, and on its own.
Similar to pulled pork, you make carnitas by simmering or slow-cooking pork for several hours, then pulling it apart. The delicious difference? To finish carnitas, you’ll roast them in the oven to give them a crispy oven-fried texture.
Carnitas are the star of your Mexican dishes, so don’t let them be bland. You can customize the flavor of your carnitas by simmering your pork with different spices and aromatics. Try spices and flavors like:
- Brown sugar
- Chili powder
- Orange juice or zest
The best part about carnitas is that you can use an inexpensive cut of meat, like pork butt or pork shoulder. This is because the slow cooking process will make any meat buttery soft.
6. Pork Belly Ramen
Pork belly — the cut of meat from underneath the pig’s torso — is full of layered fat. That means it’s flavorful, versatile, and tender. No wonder this cut makes it into dishes from around the world.
When you add slow-roasted pork belly to a hearty dish of ramen, you get the full, bacon-ey flavor of the meat adding to the medley of ramen flavors. The crispy pork also adds a delicious texture contrast to the softer noodles and slurpy broth.
Start by placing a 1 lb pork belly on a rack set on top of a baking sheet to catch the grease. Roast for 1 1/2 to 2 hours at 310 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, increase the temperature to 500 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes to crisp the skin.
Slice the pork belly and place it in a prepared bowl of ramen, or add it to your favorite pork belly dishes.
Pork Dishes and More
Your go-to list of dinner recipes isn’t complete without a variety of pork dishes. With these mouthwatering pork ideas, you’ll never be out of options, no matter what cut of pork you have on hand. From China to Mexico, there’s no shortage of ways to cook this versatile meat.
What are you waiting for? It’s your turn to head to the kitchen and cook up an incredible dinner!
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