Have you ever had one of those days where you’re so busy, you finally glance at the clock only to realize it’s 5 pm and you haven’t even thought about what’s for dinner? I have those days regularly!
I have learned how to condense my favorite meals into 30-minute recipes and wanted to share a new one with you – Cherry BBQ Sauce Pork Chops!
School is Back
It’s hard to believe, but I’m sending my daughter off to 3rd grade in less than 2 weeks! I’ve been trying to get back into the routine of school days by planning 30-minute meals that are nourishing, flavorful, and most of all, easy!
Homemade Cherry BBQ Sauce Recipe
It was about 7 years ago that I stopped buying pre-made bbq sauce. I remember feeling frustrated that so many brands of bbq sauce contained ingredients I didn’t want in my kitchen, like high fructose corn syrup, so I decided to learn how to make my own.
You can find my go-to recipe for a classic homemade bbq sauce here, but with cherries in season (and really affordable!), I wanted to make a homemade cherry bbq sauce. The cherries add a nice sweetness to the sauce, and a pinch of red pepper flakes gives it just a slight kick to elevate the flavor.
This cherry bbq sauce pairs perfectly with pork!
A Cherry Pit Hack
Since I promised you a 30-minute dish, I wanted to share a super easy hack on how to remove the cherry pits from cherries.
You’ll start by washing and removing the stems from 2 cups of cherries. Then place a cherry on the top of a disposable water bottle or a glass bottle with a narrow opening (my kombucha bottle is shown below).
Place a straw at the top of the cherry, then push down into the cherry.
You’ll force the pit into the bottle, leaving you with two cups of pit less cherries in about a minute and a half!
Cherry BBQ Sauce Pork Chops
To make the cherry bbq sauce, you’ll combine cherries, water, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, tomato paste, minced garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes. This mix simmers for about 10 minutes, then is blended and thickened with corn starch.
This recipes makes more than you’ll need for your pork chops, so I recommend dividing it into two containers: one for using on the cherry bbq sauce pork chops and the other to use for another easy weekday dinner. The sauce will keep in the fridge for 2 – 3 weeks.
Just make sure to discard any remaining cherry bbq sauce that was used to baste the pork chops.
You can even recreate this same meal a week later, and with the cherry bbq sauce already made, it’s really a 10-minute meal!
Once the bbq sauce is made, you preheat the grill to medium-high, brush the grate with a little oil (I prefer olive) and grill the pork chops for 3 -5 minutes per side. You’ll brush each side of the pork with bbq sauce 1 – 2 minutes before it’s done.
Printable Recipe – Cherry BBQ Sauce Pork Chops
Do you want to print out this recipe to hang on your fridge or share with a friend? Here is a printable version!
Cherry BBQ Sauce Pork Chops
- 1.5 lbs pork chops
- 2 cups fresh cherries pitted
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1.5 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp corn starch
Preheat an outdoor grill to medium-high heat.
Combine cherries, 2/3 cup water, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, tomato paste, garlic, salt and red pepper flakes into a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 10 minutes, until cherries have softened.
Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Return to the pot over medium heat.
In a small bowl, combine corn starch with 1 tbsp water. Mix well, then pour cornstarch slurry into the bbq sauce. Stir well until sauce has thickened.
Divide the sauce into two containers. Half of the sauce can be used for the pork chops, and the other half can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 – 3 weeks. Discard any remaining sauce that was used to baste onto the pork chops.
Lightly oil the grate of the grill. Place pork chops on preheated grill and cook until no longer pink in the center, about 3 – 5 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the pork. Two minutes before the pork is done, brush on a good layer of the bbq sauce onto each side of the pork chops.
When internal temp of the pork reaches 145 degrees, it’s ready.
Pin it – Cherry BBQ Sauce Pork Chops
Want to pin this for later? Just click on the image below to save it to your favorite 30-minute dinner Pinterest board!
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