With no ingredient prep and only one skillet, these boneless one pan pork chops with spinach and mushrooms make the ultimate easy weeknight meal.
I just discovered today that Alton Brown’s Good Eats is on Netflix! Do you know how happy that makes me? So it looks like it’s only one season, or 25 episodes, but they used to have NONE. I’m certain I’m far behind the times here and it’s probably been on Netflix for like two years or something, and I just haven’t checked since then, but I always ended up looking for contraband low-resolution episodes on Youtube whenever I wanted Alton’s dorky expertise on something. I know what I’ll be binge-watching next!
In the meantime, Mike and I are continuing our quest for simplicity in dinners during the work week, and you may be too. Life is busy, and while I do love occasionally taking on a big, complicated, fancy cooking project that takes half the day, recently I’m just too DONE after a day of work to spend another two hours in the kitchen.
This one takes about 30 minutes total and uses only one pan, and doesn’t even require a cutting board! Thirty-minute one pan pork chops? That’s what I’d call an easy weeknight dinner, for both me and my amazing husband slash dishwasher Mike.
This recipe, or the pork chop part of it, is from my mom. My sister, blogger extraordinaire Emily Chapelle, posted a question on her Facebook page recently that asked readers to describe their cooking style in four words. I said “Glad Mike does dishes.” My mother said something like “Put wine in it.” So in the name of quick and easy, I went her route instead of mine with these one pan pork chops that taste like there’s so much more to them than 6 easy easy ingredients.
When I’m trying to go the easy route, boneless pork chops are a top choice for me because there’s no prep to them. I don’t have to cut off globs of sticky raw fat like I do with chicken, or cut them into pieces, or really anything. They’re there, perfect and pristine, right out of the styrofoam package.
Same with vegetables. Don’t you hate it when a recipe says it takes 20 minutes, but then you notice the ingredient list says things like “Two bell peppers, diced finely” and “1/4 cup chopped basil” and six other similar items? Sure, if you have a bunch of pre-chopped things in your fridge ready to go, it’ll take you 20 minutes, but by the time you prep the ingredients it’s been 4 hours already and you haven’t even turned on the stove.
Yeah, they give you a false sense of quick-and-easy for the recipe by sneaking most of the prep into the ingredient list.
That’s why this truly quick-and-easy meal uses a bag of spinach and a pint of sliced mushrooms. No cutting board. No prep. Just dump and go, and it’s totally fresh, flavorful, and amazing. It’s also low carb and pretty healthy!
Back to Alton Brown, he says to treat mushrooms like meat when you cook them. Basically, heat up your pan, put them in, and don’t touch them until they start to get nice and golden on the first side. Don’t stir them around with a spatula. I know it feels like you’re doing something productive when you’re standing over a pan stirring vegetables around but in doing so, you miss out on the possibility of having gorgeously golden mushrooms, and also of doing less work by walking away and doing something else for two minutes while they transform in the pan.
In that amount of time, just think of what else you could be doing besides stirring mushrooms. You could get your plates and drinks ready for dinner. You could text a friend hello. Or you could watch this space cats video. Twice. (Seriously, I cannot stop watching these cats. I guess that makes me a crazy cat lady, in the works at least. I also have two kittens chilling on my chest as we speak right now, making it impossible for me to see the keyboard.)
This recipe is pretty failsafe. I actually thought I screwed these one pan pork chops up so badly yesterday that I wouldn’t be able to photograph and blog about it for you. While I didn’t burn the pork chops themselves, they left so much blackened residue in the pan I was certain the smoke detector was going to go off and I wouldn’t be able to save the sauce.
Enter the incredible miracle of deglazing a pan.
I said a couple choice curse words, took the smoking pan off the burner, removed the pork chops, threw in about a half a cup of wine, and scraped it up into the most lovely rich, deep brown, complex tasting sauce. I would have taken photos for you, but I was going for speed in that moment to avoid setting off the alarm.
It’s just butter, wine, and blackened pork drippings mixed with dry ranch mix (you would never know it!), but it’s like pure gold it’s so good. Seriously, just give me a glass of it to drink. Maybe just a shot glass; it’s kind of salty for a large beverage.
I made six pork chops here because the value pack was on sale, but really there’s only enough spinach and mushrooms for two to four pork chops, which is what I’d recommend, because I looooove spinach and mushrooms and I don’t want to have to share that love six ways. So if you don’t want to end up with a teeny tiny pile of spinach, keep the pork chops to a maximum of four for this recipe, or double the veggies.
Anyway, this easy one pan pork chops recipe is one of my favorite weeknight meals to make, and it looks and tastes like it was much more complicated than it really is.
What would you do with two extra minutes you DIDN’T spend stirring mushrooms? Do you have a favorite easy weeknight meal? Tell me in the comments!
One Pan Pork Chops with Spinach and Mushrooms
- 2-4 boneless pork chops
- 1 packet dry Ranch seasoning mix
- 3 tbsp butter, divided
- 1/2 cup white cooking wine
- 1 pint sliced mushrooms
- 1 5-oz. bag spinach
- Sprinkle Ranch seasoning liberally on one side of the pork chops while they're still in the package.
- Melt 1 tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium to medium high heat. Place pork chops seasoning-side down in the pan. Sprinkle Ranch seasoning liberally on the other side of the pork chops to coat.
- Cook pork chops for 6-10 minutes, depending on thickness, flipping once after 3-5 minutes. If you cook longer than that they will be dry as dust and you won't want to eat them. Not moving them while they cook helps them get a nice bit of caramelized brown on the chops.
- Set chops aside and add about half a cup of white wine to deglaze, scraping up all the browned (or blackened) bits that stick to your pan to make a nice rich brown sauce. Melt in 1 more tbsp of butter and stir to combine. Set the sauce aside in a small bowl.
- Melt another 1 tbsp of butter in the pan and add mushrooms, trying to get as much mushroom surface area in contact with the pan as possible. Do not disturb for at least 2 minutes (you want them to get nice and caramelized too). Shake the pan or stir it up with your spatula and cook for another 2 minutes without disturbing to brown the other side of the mushrooms.
- When mushrooms are browned and cooked to your liking, add in spinach a handful at a time, stirring in between to wilt. When all the spinach is barely wilted, remove from heat.
- The spinach and mushrooms should only take 5 or so minutes to cook, which is a good amount of time for your pork chops to rest so they stay juicy when you cut them.
- Serve pork chops alongside the spinach and mushrooms, and drizzle both meat and veggies with lots of sauce (the best part!).