12 Tasty Pork Recipes for Weight Loss
When it comes time to think about which protein you want to cook up for dinner, it's often chicken and steak that become the usual suspects, with the occasional fish dish sneaking into the rotation. But a meat option that might get overlooked is pork. Pork actually happens to pack a long list of nutrients, including more than a third of a day's dose of selenium, a trace mineral that has been shown to be effective in cancer prevention. Plus, it's quick to make, and with our pork recipes, you'll never run out of ways to cook it either.
Here, we rounded up 12 flavorful and healthy pork recipes. And yes, they do go beyond just the basic pork chop!
Smothered Pork Chops
If you see the word "smothered" on a restaurant menu, your first thought is usually to stay away, as whatever heavy sauce the dish is covered in most likely is anything but healthy for you. Here, though, our smothering is done with a mixture of healthy ingredients, such as chicken stock, low-fat buttermilk, and sharp mustard, which combine perfectly with pork's natural flavors. Serve this piece of meat with roasted garlic mashed potatoes and honey-roasted carrots for a perfect comfort feast.
Get our recipe for Smothered Pork Chops.
Pork Chile Verde
Pork chile verde might not be the most popular of dishes across the U.S., but it should be! Tender pieces of pork stewed in a slightly spicy broth studded with vegetables—you can't beat that. Add a few warm tortillas and some lime, and you'll feel like you're on your way to Mexico.
Get our recipe for Pork Chile Verde.
Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder
Preparing pork this way might look and taste like it's something out of a restaurant, but you'll save yourself plenty of money making this in your own kitchen. You can serve the pork in different ways, too—add salsa, guac, and corn tortillas for tacos, or wrap the meat in lettuce leaves and Asian condiments for Korean-style wraps.
Get our recipe for Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder.
Teriyaki Pork Chops With Sautéed Apples
Move over, Homer Simpson. While yes, this is a remake of the beloved cartoon character's special of pork chops and applesauce, we kick it up a notch. This pork is soaked in a sweet, garlicky teriyaki marinade, and the apples are sautéed with ginger and Chinese spices, guaranteeing this version is much healthier than the one Homer was eating!
Get our recipe for Teriyaki Pork Chops With Sautéed Apples.
Low-Calorie Pulled Pork Sandwich
If you've ever ordered a pulled pork sandwich, there's a good chance you've bitten into it and immediately tasted that the pork has been drenched in an overly sweet sauce that's just filled with sugar. So in our recipe, we go for the more traditional North Carolina-inspired version, dressing this pulled pork with nothing more than a bit of spicy cider vinegar, bringing an intense flavor to a sandwich that is light on calories.
Get our recipe for a Low-Calorie Pulled Pork Sandwich.
Porchetta-Style Roast Pork Loin With Lemony White Beans
We took some cues from a classic Italian staple in this dish. See, porchetta is a whole suckling pig stuffed with fennel and herbs and roasted until crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. We didn't go with the whole pig, but applied the same flavor-packed treatment to a lean piece of loin.
Lean Pork Chops With Balsamic Honey Glaze
If you're going to splurge on something, let it be on heirloom pork, especially when it's bought directly from a local source like a farm or market. It's packed with amino acids, and these nutrients are good for your overall health. And once you take a bit of these honey-glazed chops, we have a feeling you'll be turning to this meal again and again.
Get our recipe for Lean Pork Chops With Balsamic Honey Glaze.
Grilled Pork Tenderloin With Pineapple Salsa
Fun fact: cooked pork tenderloin has only 3 grams of fat! So when in doubt, it's never a bad idea to whip some up for dinner. In this recipe, you get a burst of flavor in the pork tenderloin, thanks to the mustard and chili powder rub and a pineapple and jalapeño salsa, for only about an additional 25 calories.
Get our recipe for Grilled Pork Tenderloin With Pineapple Salsa.
Savory and Sweet Grilled Pork Chops and Peaches
Taking more inspiration from the pork chops and applesauce pairing, we incorporate grilled fruit and add on blue cheese to punch up the flavor without skyrocketing the calorie count in this pork recipe.
Get our recipe for Savory and Sweet Grilled Pork Chops and Peaches.
Fiery Jerk Pork
There simply is nothing comparison-wise to the flavors of real jerk cooking as done by the pit masters in Jamaican coastal communities. We attempt to channel all the deliciousness you would get there by turning to a stash of fiery habanero or even Scotch bonnet peppers to coat this pork. Just remember to use gloves and proceed with caution—when we say these peppers are hot, we mean it!
Get our recipe for Fiery Jerk Pork.
Thai-Inspired Red Curry Pork Kebab
There's just something about eating food from a stick, isn't there? Plenty of chain restaurants such as Olive Garden, Macaroni Grill, and Red Lobster have adopted kebabs on their menus, often replacing heavy carbs and fatty sauces with lean protein and vegetables. These red curry pork kebabs have plenty of both, which are coated in a Thai coconut milk curry sauce that you'll find yourself dipping everything in. Adding in some pineapple chunks will elevate the flavors in the pork, too.
Get our recipe for Thai-Inspired Red Curry Pork Kebab.
BBQ Pork Shepherd's Pie With Sweet Potato Topping
Now, this is a shepherd's pie unlike any other you've had before! This healthy recipe uses a barbecue sauce, along with unsweetened plain almond milk, which cuts down on extra calories, but still gives the dish a tangy, creamy, texture. We also swap out regular potatoes—which are usually used in a traditional shepherd's pie—and use sweet potatoes instead. Plus, the extra kale sneaks in even more nutrients into the meal.
Get our recipe for BBQ Pork Shepherd's Pie With Sweet Potato Topping.