Mexican Pork Chops With Salsa Verde

Mexican Pork Chops With Salsa Verde is an attention-grabbing main dish on any dinner table! A spice-rubbed pork chop is grilled, slathered with salsa verde, and garnished with cotija. Simple enough for a weeknight, yet elegant enough for a special meal… You’ve got to try this one!

Mexican-Spiced Pork Chops With Salsa Verde and Cotija on a bronze ceramic plate with tomatillo and Hatch chile salsa and fresh cilantro in the background.

Mexican food is delicious, but is it healthy?

So, you love Mexican food right? Me too.  😊 Chiles, garlic, earthy spices like cumin, fresh limes and juice, and a copious amount of gooey, melting yellow cheese, right? Wrong. Not for this girl!

I love those flavors, but I work too hard at watching fats and calories to throw it all away on a plate of gooey enchiladas… Admittedly, I do indulge in a plate of New Mexico Hatch green chile and cheese enchiladas topped with a runny egg (one of life’s guilty pleasures) but rarely.

If you love Mexican flavors but tend to avoid Mexican restaurants or even cooking Mexican dishes in your own kitchen, you might be surprised that you can enjoy all the flavor without the fat and calories.

I need to hire someone to follow me around and knock unhealthy food right out of my hands.

~~ The DO IT Program

🥩 About Mexican Pork Chops With Salsa Verde

I love thick (1 1/2″) bone-in all natural pork chops for this recipe. It’s simple. Bone-in cuts have more flavor, and more flavor is always a good thing. Get your grill very hot. Mix up the spice rub – ground cumin and chipotle powder, raw sugar, lime zest, minced garlic, and sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Drizzle the chops with olive oil, then massage it into the chops. Rub the spice mixture into them.

Sear the chops (nice grill marks) about 2 minutes per side. Thick chops will NOT be done in the center. Lower the heat and move them to a cooler part of the grill. Lower the lid, and cook until the chops reach about 135-140°. Allow the chops to rest 10 minutes before serving. This allows the internal temperature to rise another 10 degrees, and the juices to stay with the meat rather than on the plate.

At this point, you will have a very tasty chop. But DON’T STOP NOW. Top this beautiful grilled chop with Roasted Tomatillo and Hatch Green Chile Salsa, a bit of tangy crumbled cotija, and a sprinkling of chopped cilantro.

Fight the temptation to break open a bottle of commercially prepared salsa verde okay? Do you really want all that salt, sugar, vegetable oil, calcium chloride, pectin, modified food starch, xanthum gum, guar gum, dextrose, and potassium sorbate. If you’re really lucky you might also get beet powder and canthaxanthin (for color), and sodium benzoate or citric acid (to preserve).  🤢

It’s really not that hard to make your own, and the salsa is fresh and contains only healthy ingredients. Bonus: The recipe makes about 4 cups! You can have it the next day on your Lengua Tacos With Salsa Verde and Caramelized Onions or  Grilled Green Chile Polenta With Citrus Shrimp.

2 Mexican Pork Chops With Salsa Verde on a bronze and white plate beside whole garlic, cilantro, and salsa.

💭 Tips

  • Cook until internal temperature hits 135 to 140 degrees (medium). Please allow 10 minutes resting time prior to serving. If you want your meat more well done (this is for medium), cook to a higher internal temperature, and allow to rest.
  • Allow 10 minutes resting time prior to serving. If you want your meat more well done (this is for medium), cook to a higher internal temperature, and allow to rest.
  • No time to make the salsa verde? Read labels. There are some very good commercially prepared salsas out there! We like this Hatch green chile salsa and this salsa verde. We choose one that is either a blend of tomatillos and green chile or one that is just green chile. Tomatillos are somewhat acidic, and the green chile balances it out just right!

🍺 Pairing Suggestions

What to pair with this delicious and healthy dish? Beer might be an obvious choice. I’m not a fan of Mexican beers or predictability. I’d be drinking a citrusy IPA like Lagunitas Citrusinensis or St. Bretta Citrus Saison.

If you really want to “pull out all the stops,” try a farm fresh cocktail. Is wine your thing? Mexican food and wine is difficult (at best). I enjoy a dry gewurtztraminer with spicy Thai food, and I think it’d be a decent pairing with these Mexican Pork Chops.

Salsa Verde
Digital Thermometer
Chipotle Powder

Next week, I’ll bring you 2 simple sides to serve with your Mexican Pork Chops With Salsa Verde A honey, lime, and roasted chipotle Glazed Delicata Squash and a fabulous and flavorful Mexican Cilantro Rice. Olé!

Mexican Pork Chops With Salsa Verde and Cotija on a bronze and white plate with cilantro rice and chipotle glazed delicata squash.
Signature in red and green with chiles and limes.

Yield: 2 servings

Mexican Pork Chops With Salsa Verde

2 Mexican Pork Chops with Salsa on a plate covered with salsa verde and sprinkled with cotija cheese.

Lots of spicy Mexican flavor in a healthy south-of-the-border main dish! A spice-rubbed pork chop gets grilled then topped with salsa verde and crumbled cotija. Delicioso!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

Rub

  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1 teaspoon raw sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • zest of one lime
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • drizzle of olive oil

Pork Chops

  • 2 thick center cut bone-in pork chops
  • 1/4 cup +/- salsa verde (see Tips)
  • crumbled cotija (amount is up to you)

Instructions

  1. Heat grill to very high heat.
  2. Massage olive oil into the pork chops. Sprinkle the spice rub over the pork chops, and rub it into the meat.
  3. Sear chops (nice grill marks) about 2 minutes per side.
  4. Reduce heat (gas) or move to a cooler section of the grill. Lower the lid.
  5. Continue to cook until internal temperature hits 135 to 140 degrees (medium).
  6. Remove and tent with foil to rest 10 minutes. The internal temperature will rise to about 145 degrees, and the chops maintain their juices.
  7. Top with salsa verde and cotija as desired.
  8. Pour a cold one and enjoy!

Notes

Please allow 10 minutes resting time prior to serving. If you want your meat more well done (this is for medium), cook to a higher internal temperature, and allow to rest.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 299Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 68mgSodium: 1273mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 3gSugar: 7gProtein: 23g

This is ONLY an approximation for reference purposes!

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18 Comments

  1. Ive given up all carbs…. (well, the good ones anyway, the ones in veggies are ok) so this recipe is perfect for me. I canned and froze about 40 pounds of hatch chilis for the winter this season. Im going to use this in the winter!

  2. Now that’s a meal!!! Pork and green chile is such a perfect combination and I love that rub that gives it a little different flavor and more of a kick. Love this!

  3. This is so gorgeous! I don’t really like bottled salsa verde either and make my own too, but I didn’t even think to use Hatch Chile 🙂 This is delicious Tamara! I can’t wait to try it (I’ve still got some frozen Roasted Hatch Chile in the freezer too!)

  4. I love, love, love Mexican food but hate the overall feeling, including the guilt, after indulging in it. Loving that you can get the robust flavors in this gorgeous dish. . .but in a feel good sort of way. And I have to agree. . .long, techy names aside. . .freshmade salsa always tastes better.

  5. I love Mexican food, it’s my favourite! I have to admit, I don’t always care about all the fat and calories (I mean, have you seen my blog?! haha!) – but a healthy option is always better! And this looks totally delicious, especially with the homemade salsa verde!

    1. Yes, I’ve seen your blog and drooled Michelle! Fortunately, my healthy options don’t sacrifice any flavor. And I need to splurge on one of your recipes!

  6. Pah – who needs bottled Salsa Verde when you’ve supplied us with so many complicated and chemically sounding names listed in the ingredients to make me want to throw out any jar I might have lingering in my cupboard. Sometimes it’s easy to overlook such things, but now I’m armed with your fresher and more natural recipe and I think these chops sound divine.

    1. Haha! Thanks Jane 🙂 I guess that list stems from the fact that I’m a daughter of a PhD Chemist and a healthy food nut. I hope you’ll try it sometime!