Pork chops with balsamic caramelized onions. Pork to me is one of the most versatile meat to cook with.  Here is a very simple recipe that not only is easy to make, as well as it is also fail-proof.

A perfect weeknight dinner for the whole family. Or, the perfect date dinner that even your husband can prepare with ease.

There is nothing sweeter than caramelized onions

When you cook the onion over low medium heat, in another word, sweating the onions, you are allowing the natural juice of the onion to come out. Those natural juices with olive oil or butter, facilitate a beautiful caramelization. Your onions will become sweet and savory.

The most important step is to make sure you stir them frequently in the about 20 minutes that you have them in the skillet. This timing is for a gas stove. It may variate a bit depending on your stove.

The red onion once caramelized is softer and sweeter and a great pairing with balsamic vinegar.

Pork chops with balsamic caramelized onions

What is Balsamic Vinegar?

Balsamic vinegar is sweet, very dark, concentrated, and very richly flavored vinegar.  Used to enhance salad dressing, sauces, marinades. Also used with desserts.

Traditional balsamic vinegar is made only with one ingredient: sweet juice of pressed grapes, boiled to a concentrate, fermented, and highly acidic.

The most expensive balsamic vinegar is barrel-aged from 12 to 25 years or longer,  thus the high cost. Do not be fooled by impostors, the real traditional balsamic vinegar is always labeled Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale and has a D.O.P., Denominazione di Origine Protetta stamp. A European Union certification guarantees the quality, production, and place of origin.

Something that I make and keep in my refrigerator is Balsamic Glaze. Not only does it keep well, but it is also excellent with sauces, roasted vegetables, or over your favorite ice cream just ’cause.


  • Pork chops have a band of fat on them around the meaty part.  With a small knife make a couple of incisions in the fat band. Do not pierce all the way thru.  This step will allow the chop to cook more evenly and not curl up, thus not allowing proper cooking.
  • Ask your butcher if he can get you or special cut  1 1/2 inch thick pork chops. The thicker the chops, the juicier they will be.
  • Do not overcrowd your pan. You want space around your chops so they can cook perfectly and evenly. Work on batches if you need to.
  • Cook the pork chops until a hint of pink is still showing. Letting them rest covered, will finish the cooking process.
  • I also recommend using a skillet with a heavy bottom. Either a copper from Mauviel or enamel cast iron from Le Creuset
  • Use a medium of the way pricing for your balsamic vinegar, no need to break the bank as balsamic vinegar can be quite expensive.
  • Use thongs to turn the chops over.
  • Cover and let the pork chops rest will allow for the cooking to continue while keeping all the juices inside, thus keeping the pork chops very tender.

Although I love and own a few Lodge cast iron skillets when you work with acidic food, balsamic vinegar in this case, the acidity, and the cast iron have a chemical reaction and the vinegar will break down on the cast iron, thus bringing to the surface particles of your skillet.

I would strongly suggest you do not use them with this recipe.

I served the pork chops on a bed of arugula salad, however, couscous, rice, roasted vegetables are also a good choice of sides for this dish or pork in general.

Pork chops with balsamic caramelized onions


More delicious recipes to try:

Honey Balsamic Pork Chops
White balsamic Pork Chops with Roasted Potatoes and Peas
Linguine With Prawns, Fresh Tomatoes and Spinach

Equipment and Ingredients used to create this wonderful recipe

Pork chops with balsamic caramelized onions

Pork Chops with Balsamic Caramelized Onions

5 from 9 votes
Pork chops with balsamic caramelized onions
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 people
A perfect weeknight dinner for the whole family. Or, the perfect date dinner that even your husband can prepare with ease.


  • 4 pork chops 4 bone-in center-cup pork chops 6 ounces each (1 to 1 ½ thick)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion 1 large onion halved and thinly sliced
  • salt salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper 2 teaspoons coarse ground black pepper
  • cup balsamic vinegar ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon thyme 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves


  • In a very large skillet heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook stirring frequently until soft and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Transfer the onions to a bowl and set aside.
  • Pat the chop dry with paper towels and rub with salt and pepper both sides.
    Return the skillet to the heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high. Add all the pork chops, making sure that they are not crowded in the skillet, you may have to cook the chops in 2 batches. Cook the chops until well-browned on one side, around 5 minutes, make sure that they do not burn. Turn and cook the other side until the chops are done. If they start to burn, lower the heat to medium. Remove from the heat and place in a dish, cover with aluminum foil and let them rest.
  • Meanwhile, put the skillet back to medium heat and add the balsamic and scraping the skillet. Add the caramelized onions and simmer gently and the vinegar is reduced to coat the onions. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add the fresh thyme. Serve over the pork chops immediately.


Calories: 333kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 71mg | Potassium: 577mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 24IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg

Giangi's Kitchen provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as a registered dietician does not calculate them.

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Pork chops with balsamic caramelized onions

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Originally posted on September 20, 2020, updated on December 13, 2021