Pork chops or boneless pork ribs simmer with cranberries, onion and apples to create a delicious dish flavored with balsamic vinegar. Try this easy and delicious crock pot pork chops recipe.
Busy Nights Demand Easy Dinners
As summer turns to fall the sun sets earlier and the days grow shorter. It certainly feels like the days are shorter at the Bren Did home… and it has nothing to do with the autumnal equinox!
Fall always means my days get BUSY. The kiddos are back at school and college classes are in full swing (I teach communication studies). Add in an assortment of sports and after school activities and the days are packed!
What’s For Dinner?
The topic I hate most on busy days? DINNER.
The conversation on the way home from swim practice always turns to the MOST important things… “What’s for dinner?” tops the list. By the time the day is over we’re all starving. If I don’t pre-plan our meal it’s all too easy to turn into a fast food restaurant for take out.
To spare my family the sodium and additives of fast food, I prepare dinner in my slow cooker several days a week. It does the hard work while I drive everyone to swim practice and science club. Then, just when food is most needed, a home cooked dinner is waiting on my kitchen counter.
Crock Pot Pork Chops
My favorite part about this recipe? It’s dice and go; cut up the ingredients and add them to the crock pot. No pre-browning or pre-cooking necessary.
The recipe works great with lots of pork cuts: pork chops, country style pork ribs, or even pork tenderloin. Adjust the cooking time to make sure the pork reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees.
Sweet and Tangy Dish
Crock pot pork chops combine the delicious flavor of cranberries and apples, the perfect seasonal fruit for fall and winter. It’s one of our favorite combos: tender pork with juicy apples and tart cranberries. It is delicious served with mashed potatoes (or sweet potatoes), rice, or noodles.
The recipe is naturally quite tart due to the balsamic vinegar and cranberries, add 1/4-1/2 cup of brown sugar to enhance the natural sweetness of the apples and make the cranberries less sour. I use 1/4 cup if I am cooking a pound of pork chops and up the amount as the amount of meat is increased.
Red and Green Garnish
I garnish the pork with a bit of parsley, diced scallions, or chives. This step is purely for presentation and does not change the taste. You can also serve a green salad or vegetable on the side. I love the contrast of the red and green colors on the dinner table.
Crock Pot Boneless Pork Ribs with Cranberries and Apples
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 360 minutes
- Total Time: 370 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
- Category: Slow Cooker
- Cuisine: American
Boneless pork chops or country style pork ribs simmer with cranberries, onion and apples to create a delicious dish flavored with balsamic vinegar. Try this easy and delicious slow cooker recipe.
- 2 cups white onion (quartered and separated)
- 1.5–2.5 lbs thick cut pork chops or county style ribs (boneless)
- 1/4–1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4–1/2 cup brown sugar (optional)
- 1/2 cup apple juice or apple cider
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- 2–4 cups apple slices (½ inch thick)
- Lightly oil your crock pot to make cleanup easier. Place onions in the bottom of the crock pot.
- Layer cranberries over onions.
- Layer pork over cranberries.
- Combine balsamic vinegar and apple juice, pour over pork. (For a milder flavor combine the vinegar with brown sugar and apple juice then pour over pork). Salt and pepper pork lightly.
- Cook for 4-6 hours on low. *
- Add apples and cook until tender (about 40 minutes). Pork should have a minimum internal temperature of 145 °F
- Remove pork, apples, cranberries and some onions to a serving platter. Use an immersion blender to puree sauce left in crock pot and serve alongside the pork chops.
- Salt and pepper to taste and serve with rice, mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes.
*Please note, all crock pots cook at a slightly different rate. Adjust cooking time if your slow cooker is fast or slow.
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Calories: 320
Keywords: Crock Pot Pork with Cranberries and Apples, pork and apples
More Easy Crock Pot Recipes
I love crock pot dinners that require little to no prep. They are perfect for busy days and help keep healthy eating on track. Try these other easy crock pot recipes that are sure to become family favorites:
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Absolutely delicious! To cut the sweetness a bit I substituted chicken stock for apple juice. This will be added into our meal rotation!
Yep, I did! I put it on manual for 45 mins. Came out great! (I used frozen as well)
Has anyone tried this with an Instant Pot? And…a frozen vs unfrozen pork tenderloin? I get that the temp needs to reach safety but what settings were used successfully?
Amy, I’ve never made it in the Instant Pot. Let me know if you try.
This recipe is now a family favorite! We love it, thanks!
So glad your family enjoys it too!
Would this work adding more vegetables? Having for example a layer of cut up sweet potatoes, celery , carrots, onions, etc and placing the pork chops on top?
Danica, I’ve never made it with other vegetables so I’m not sure how that would work. Let me know if you try. -Bren
Can this recipe be frozen? I’m cooking for two so I would like to freeze half. I wasn’t sure about the onions and apples.
I think they should be fine, a little more tender when reheated but still tasty.
CN I use canned cranberry jelly instead of fresh cranberries?
I’ve never used cranberry jelly in the recipe so I’m not sure how it would work.
Just turned on the crock pot with pork chops in it–I’m so excited to taste it tonite!:) thanks for sharing!
I’m curious what type of apples you’ve tried. What did you like (or not like)? Looking forward to giving this recipe a try this week!
Jamie, I’ve used Fuji, Honeycrisp. Pink Lady, Braeburn, and Granny Smith. I think we like the Braeburn and Granny Smith best… something crisp and tart/sweet.
I’m trying this today with a pork tenderloin. As far as the comment above about cooking 1 chop & not having good results… I would never cook a piece of meat that was that thin for 6-7 hours, even on low. That is really going to cause it to disintegrate. I might consider very thick cut chops, thick pork ribs, though. Otherwise, I’d cook it when I could do it in 4-5 hours max for think pieces of meat. Each crock put cooking temperature is also very different. I’m putting a few apple slices on top for the majority of the cooking, but then will put in the rest towards the end so they won’t be so mushy.
Thanks for the tips, Rhonda! I hope you enjoy the pork loin! Your double apple method sounds great, it will sweeten up the cranberries.
Can I use dried cranberries if fresh or frozen aren’t available in my area?
I have never tried using dried cranberries, Jessica. It should work, but I can’t promise success! Let me know if you try using them.
I work evenings and put meals in the crock pot for my family so they dont have to fend for themselves. Could I put the apples in from the beginning instead of later and cook on high for half the time?
Sarah, yes you can put the apples in from the beginning they will just be more mushy. My kids will eat them either way, just be warned they will be more like apple sauce than apple slices. Still delicious!
Don’t like onion what should I put ?
You can leave them out, add some garlic, or substitute whatever you like to use in place of onion. It’s a matter of personal preference.
Hi, do you think you could cook it on high for half the time….I am a little short on time, thanks!
Yes, this should work. Just make sure the pork reaches a temp of 145 degrees.
Will it work with chicken?
Christine, I have never tried the recipe with chicken so I’m not sure how it would taste. Sorry!
would this work with frozen chops?
Yes, I have used frozen chops. Just make sure they reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees. You can read more at FoodSafety.gov.
Just found this on pinterest, Going to have to try it. Looks amazing, thank you so much for sharing. I love using my slow-cooker on busy days, and there are so many gross slow cooker meals out there. Its nice to try “tested” ones out 🙂
I hope you like the recipe. Thanks for stopping by the blog!