Easy and make-ahead company-worthy food is hard to come by. And although my Lasagna recipe has always been my go-to, I can't make it every single time I have people coming for dinner (especially when it's the same people). That's why I love these One-Pan Plum Sauce Pork Chops!
This recipe is quick, simple, delicious, Weight Watchers friendly and can be made ahead or within 30 minutes. This recipe is popular any time of the year and pairs well with rice.
I've made the mistake of trying to make fancy meals and complicated dinners the same night I was having company. It happened not too long after we moved into our house, about 15 years ago. While trying to play amazing hostess (which I am clearly not) to some of my husband's family, I attempted to make this fancy rib roast meal out of some women's magazine. Not only did I make it right before they were coming over, I had never made it before that night. Lesson learned.
You have to step it up a notch when you have company and I honestly find that a little stressful.
💭 Can this be made ahead?
I love this pork with plum sauce recipe because it can be made ahead (and even frozen) or made right after work (in under 30 minutes) and the bonus is that it's completely company worthy! This one-pan plum pork is one of my favorite easy juicy pork chop recipes and I have been making it for years, although I've changed it somewhat along the way.
For this recipe, you'll need:
- pork loin chops ( boneless or bone-in)
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- shredded carrots
- green onions
- red pepper
- green pepper
- plum sauce
- fresh ginger *do not use ground ginger spice, as it won't taste nearly as good
- orange juice
- orange zest
- hot crushed red pepper flakes
- crispy (dry) Chow Mein noodles
📖 Variations & Substitutions
- Peppers: Use frozen mixed peppers instead of fresh
- Pork: You can use any type of boneless (like pork tenderloin) or bone-in pork
- Spice: Spice it up a little more by adding more crushed red pepper flakes, sriracha or sweet chili sauce
- Onion: If you don't have green onion, you can use white onion. Just be sure to cook it for 1 minute 30 seconds in the microwave with 3 teaspoon of water (then drain) before adding it to the dish
- Plum sauce - you can use store-bought or a homemade plum sauce recipe
- Rice - you can use cauliflower rice to bring down the WW points
👪 Serving Size
This savory plum sauce with pork recipe makes 4 servings. However, you can half, double or triple the recipe by clicking on the blue serving number and selecting the number of servings you'd like. The ingredient quantities will automatically adjust.
This recipe is 9 Weight Watchers points per serving if you use bone-in pork chops. If you use boneless (which I often do) it brings this meal down to 7 WW points
*points do not include crunchy chow mein noodle topping
The microwave is not your dinner party friend!
Speaking from experience, you may want to consider heating these pork chops up on the stove (instead of the microwave) if you make it ahead and want to serve it to company. I learned the hard way that the microwave is not your friend when it comes to dinner parties. It may heat things up fast, but it also cools things down really fast too.
When you cook food in the microwave, it cools food down faster than on the stovetop or oven and this has to do with how the microwave heats food, as well as standing time. Read more about that here: why food that was cooked in the microwave cools faster. And here, a microwave scientist answers the question: why microwave food cools faster in a little more 'sciency' detail ( you know, thermodynamics and all that stuff!)
All I know is that by the time I got all 4 of my microwave-heated fancy dishes out onto the table at that dinner party and we started eating, the food was stone cold. I would have been much better off keeping it on warm in the oven or on the stovetop. Or better yet - I would have been better off making something simpler, making it ahead and not reheating it in the microwave! And since most stoves have a warming drawer and/or warming element nowadays anyway, this is even more practical and doable.
It can be difficult to judge when pork is done, especially without cutting into it. The best way to check for doneness is internal temperature, with an instant read thermometer (affiliate link). When inserted, the thermometer should read 145 degrees F or 62 degrees C for pork. This will ensure it's cooked perfectly!
Food Hack-store your fresh ginger in the freezer and grate it into your food!
This easy recipe uses fresh ginger and ginger is usually a real pain to store because it goes bad so fast. I store my ginger in the freezer in a small freezer bag, pull it out and peel it with a carrot peeler, then grate it right into my food. Frozen ginger is very easy to grate. It lasts several months in the freezer and this hack saves you both time and money!
🍰Dessert to accompany this meal
If you need a make-ahead, easy dessert that's also totally company-worthy, which of course you do, try my No Bake Black Forest Tiramisu (shown below)-it's always well-loved by guests and potluck goers alike. And if you are looking for something lighter, try this Light & Healthy Carrot Cake.
Since that dinner party fail all those years ago, I have become a big believer in the KISS principle (Keep it simple stupid) and the rule: don't attempt fancy meals that you have never made when you are having people over for dinner. Better yet, don't make fancy meals at all when you are having guests for dinner, especially ones that can't be cooked in advance or take more than 30 minutes. One just doesn't need the stress or pressure. Plus, wouldn't you rather have that time for socializing and enjoying your guests? I would.
So, if you're looking for a company-worthy, easy, and make-ahead dinner, then you'll love this Pork with Plum Sauce!
📋 Plum Sauce Pork Chops Recipe
- 4 pork loin chops bone in or boneless pork chops
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon each salt and black pepper
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 2 green onions, chopped chopped
- ½ red pepper cored and sliced (julienned)
- ½ green pepper cored and sliced (julienned)
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger grated
- ⅔ cup plum sauce
- 4 tablespoon orange juice
- ¼ teaspoon hot pepper flakes/crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- dry (crispy) chow mein noodles (optional)
- In large non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Mix flour and salt and pepper together.
- Coat both sides of each pork with flour mixture and place pork chops in oil heated pan. Fry pork chops, turning once, for about 3 minutes on each side or until the pork is browned.
- Reduce heat to medium. Stir in plum sauce, orange juice, orange zest and hot pepper flakes. Add carrot, both red and green pepper, onion and ginger to pan, cover and cook, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes.*Use an instant-read thermometer to ensure doneness- internal temperature should be 145 degrees F (62 degrees C).
- Serve over rice or cauliflower rice.
- Garnish with crispy/dry chow mein noodles, if desired.