One of the fun things about being a mom is getting to hear your kids scream “I’m hungry!” 223,975,328 times a day. Right? RIGHT?! Wrong. I tryyyyy my best, I really do, to plan our meals ahead of time, but life still seems to get in the way an awful lot. Enter the one kitchen appliance I truly love and the one item I really think everyone should have, my trusty Instant Pot. Because we’re all busy people, living our real lives without a live-in housekeeper/babysitter/chef like Alice from The Brady Bunch. So occasionally we get stuck at work, or the kids get sick, or we just don’t want to spend hours making dinner. These Whole30 Pineapple Pork Chops were made in about 20 minutes flat with ingredients I pretty much always keep in my freezer and fridge anyhow. So even if I don’t plan too well, I can pull together a pretty fabulous dinner on the fly.
Because these Instant Pot Pineapple Pork Chops are BOMB. Seriously, so easy and soooo much flavor! The pineapple is just so bright against all the other rich, savory flavors. I already put (in really BIG writing) “Pineapple Pork Chops” on next week’s meal plan! My husband and my kids loved them, and I did too… but the fact that they’re healthy, squeaky clean, and really easy? That’s kind of what I love most.
Here are a few time-saving tips I always use for this recipe:
1. Use frozen pineapple (just make sure it doesn’t have added sugar). It’s already cut and ready to go which is a gigantic time saver, plus it holds up even a little better than fresh pineapple in the Instant Pot. I got a bag at Walmart for $2.36, and the only ingredient is pineapple. Friendly reminder to check those labels though, because fruit is one of those things that sometimes has sugar snuck into it.
2. Use frozen ginger, too: When you buy a big knob of frozen ginger, peel it, finely chop or grate it, and freeze it spread out flat inside a ziplock bag. Then, as you need ginger, just break off however much you need. Most recipes call for just a little ginger at a time anyhow, so you might as well save yourself a trip to the grocery store and cut down on food waste, too!
If you’d like to thicken sauces and soups when you’re avoiding corn starch and flour, I always recommend using arrowroot powder. It’s a great alternative that’s Gluten Free, Whole30, and Paleo compliant. I thickened the liquid in the IP to make a bit of a sauce for the pork chops. Just make a slurry by whisking together about 2 tsp of arrowroot and 1 tbsp of hot water or broth, then whisk it all into the instant pot liquid and stir, simmering, until slightly thickened. It makes a perfect Whole30 gravy to serve over the pork chops and cauliflower rice!
Instant Pot Pineapple Pork Chops (Whole30)
Paleo, Whole30, Gluten Free
- 2 lbs boneless pork chops
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups diced pineapple I use frozen pineapple
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 tsp grated ginger
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos
- 1/3 cup vegetable stock or water
- 2 tsp arrowroot powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lime sliced
- 7-8 sprigs fresh cilantro
Prepare the vegetables
Quarter the onion and chop the garlic cloves. Prepare cauliflower rice, if you’re planning to serve it with the dish.
Make the dish
Pat the pork chops dry and season on both sides with salt and pepper.
Turn the Instant Pot to Saute mode. Heat the olive oil until it’s shimmering, about 2-3 minutes. Brown the pork chops for about 3 minutes per side.
Add the onion, garlic, frozen pineapple, ginger, stock, and coconut aminos.
Cover and set to High Pressure for 12 minutes (if your pork chops are thin cut, set for 8 minutes).
Vent using a Quick Pressure Release (turn the steam release knob and allow the pressure to release quickly). Just be careful of the steam! I prefer to do this outside or under a range hood set to high.
Remove the pork chops and pineapples and set them aside.
Make a slurry using the arrowroot powder and 1 or 2 tbsp of liquid from the instant pot. Whisk the slurry into the rest of the liquid. Turn the Instant Pot to Saute mode and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain if you’d like, or just spoon a bit of the thickened liquid on top of the pork chops and cauliflower rice.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with cilantro, lime slices, and cauliflower rice.
Honestly, I feel like I should write a love letter to my Instant Pot. It’s the superhero of my kitchen, the thing I wish I’d gotten for myself years ago, and it’s usually my favorite gift to give at engagement parties, because I truly believe it’ll save a few of those early-marriage fights about who needs to make dinner. Oh no, my husband and I never fought about that… ahem. Anyway, it saves time, duh, but it also saves me the very real mental anguish that comes around regularly these days, right around 5pm, when I’m tired from the day and my body says, “Order takeout,” but my brain says, “Cook something — takeout will make you feel like garbage.” It’s made healthy cooking a whole lot more accessible for busy people. If you don’t have one, I really recommend it. But if you want to cook these on the stove top, you totally can! Brown them over medium-high heat, then add all the ingredients, bring to a simmer, cover, lower the heat, and cook for about 45 minutes. The extra time really helps tenderize the pork chops. Enjoy!