Thank you to the National Pork Board for sponsoring today’s post for Pork Saltimbocca.
Food can elicit all kinds of feelings. And when it comes to the cozy feeling, it’s often a cheesy pasta or hearty soup that conjures up those warm and fuzzies. And while there’s absolutely no shame in that, sometimes cozy comes in the form of something simpler and healthier like Pork Saltimbocca. In these times, it’s important to not only nourish our soul, but our physical bodies too. It’s what self-care is all about!
Chicken saltimbocca, the classic version, is as the name implies, made with chicken, however who says it has to be? We’ve taken the classic version and transformed it into a showstopper juicy pork chop dish complete with a luscious sauce and plenty of little nuances to make it feel like a whole new dish. Using a lean pork chop, a minimal amount of fat, and leaning on flavor bombs like fresh herbs and citrus ensures we end up with a healthy, well-rounded final dish that doesn’t skimp on flavor.
Instead of wrapping the entire pork chop in prosciutto, we layer sage leaves on top of the pork and then cover it with the prosciutto. The searing process helps to essentially glue the three items together, and it’s pretty beautiful too. Just take a look.
When it comes to the sauce, we add some nutty notes with just a touch of brown butter, stick with a rich marsala wine (like we do in our stuffed saltimbocca), and then finish it off with a briny note of capers (more commonly found in piccata, but just as delicious in Pork Saltimbocca).
To keep things on the healthier side, we like to serve with a side of whole-wheat noodles or a simple roasted veggies, but it’s versatility makes it great to pair with just about anything.
Ingredients in Pork Saltimbocca
Pork. I think pork is often forgotten when it comes to choosing a protein for dinner. We forget that when cooked right, it can be juicy, succulent and downright delicious. Pork is a wonderful way to aid in a balanced diet since many cuts of pork are naturally lean and low in calories.
For this version of pork saltimbocca we went with a trimmed pork chop for its fast-cooking characteristics and pretty presentation when finished. Also, a three-ounce portion has just 165 calories and 6.8 grams of fat, and 24 grams of protein making it the perfect cut to stick with for our healthier mindset.
If you’re interested in more health and wellness with pork, you should check out the National Pork Board’s website. So many delicious well-balance meals!
Sage. Sage is a classic herb used in saltimbocca. It’s slightly woodsy and pairs great with pork.
Prosciutto. When you think about it, it doesn’t even really make sense that saltimbocca is often paired up with chicken since one of the quintessential ingredients, prosciutto is also made with pork. When it comes purchasing prosciutto for cheese boards and such I like to have my deli counter slice it fresh for me so it can be almost shaved in texture, but for pork saltimbocca, anything you can find in the package will work great.
Butter. Butter may not be synonymous with the word healthy, but we only use one tablespoon for four portions, so it really doesn’t throw us off of a healthy track. I love using it in scant proportions because it has so much more flavor than olive oil, especially when browned.
Olive oil. To ensure the pork sears properly, we add just a little bit more olive oil, two teaspoons to add to the fat. Any olive oil will work.
Marsala wine. Many version of saltimbocca use a dry white wine or vermouth to add flavor but our favorite way to make saltimbocca is to use a dry marsala wine. To me, it has a bit richer flavor than the other choices, and makes our version just a little bit different.
Lemon juice. Every sauce needs a little acid to make it pop, and here we do that with lemon juice. About ½ lemon is all you’ll need.
Chicken stock. One of the most luscious parts of our pork saltimbocca is the flavorful pan sauce, adding chicken stock to the drippings, marsala and lemon juice ensures everyone gets ample sauce and no fight breaks out over who gets the last drop.
Let’s make Pork Saltimbocca
Season the pork. To properly sear the pork chops, you want to make sure the flesh is really dry. I dab both sides with paper towels before seasoning with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. In general, you want to use about a teaspoon of salt per pound of meat.
Wrap. Lay a few sage leaves on top of each pork chop. Wrap in prosciutto, overlapping the ends on the bottom.
Sear. Start out by browning the butter in the skillet (we go in to depth about brown butter in this post). Once the butter is brown, add the olive oil and then the pork chops. Try not to move the pork chops for 3-4 minutes so they get a really nice sear on them. When the meat is brown and the prosciutto is crisp, flip over.
How long to cook pork chops on the stove
The cooking time of your pork chops depends on how thick they are. Our pork chops were about 1 ½ inches thick, so after the searing process, they took about eight minutes in the oven.
The key to getting pork cooked to perfection every time is to use an instant read thermometer. Pork should reach 145 degrees F and then should rest for 3-4 minutes after the cooking process. You also want to make sure to put the thermometer into the thickest part of the pork chop without touching the bone. Luckily, pork chops are usually pretty even, so it should all cook at the same time.
It’s myth that the juice will run clear when the pork is done. Instead, they may have a blush hue to it, and you’ll want the inside of the meat to be moist and blush as well.
Make the sauce. While the pork chops are resting, make the sauce. Add the marsala wine to the pan and simmer until it’s reduced by half. Add the lemon juice and chicken stock. Continue to simmer until slightly reduced. Add the pork chops back in, spoon the sauce on top and dig in!
What to serve with Pork Saltimbocca
- We love these Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts. The recipe has them dressed in a umami-packed glaze, but you can skip it and serve them plain.
- This Creamy Garlic Pasta is the perfect side to just about anything. We use whole-wheat angel hair noodles, chicken stock, a little bit of milk, and a LOT of garlic to make this easy pasta dish.
- If you don’t mind a little indulgence, our creamy dream mashed potatoes would be the perfect vessel for all that extra pan sauce.
Substitutions and Tips and Tricks for Recipe Success
- Make sure the surface of your pork chops is very dry.
- Make sure your pan is large enough. You want to be able to comfortably fit all four chops. We use this pan from Staub.
- You can swap out dry white wine or vermouth for the marsala wine.
- Make sure to use low-sodium chicken stock so you can control the amount of salt.
- I highly encourage you to use the assistant of a thermometer to make sure your pork is cook correctly. We love this one.
- Add in capers, sun-dried tomatoes or toasted pine nuts for extra flavor and texture.
Other Pork Dishes We Love
- These Coconut Curry Meatballs just may be the most delicious curry-inspired dish on the planet. Easy to throw together and even easier to eat.
- These Bahn Mi Lettuce Wraps are one of our favorite out-of-the-box ways to utilize pork.
- Our Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Apple Cider Cream Sauce have become a cult favorite amongst reader for good reason.
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 4 bone-in pork chops
- 12 sage leaves
- 4 slices prosciutto
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup marsala winne
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 tbsp capers (optional)
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- Cast iron skillet
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Pat pork chops dry with a paper towel. Evenly sprinkle both sides of each pork chop with salt and a little bit of freshy cracked black pepper.
- Place three sage leaves on top of each pork chop. Wrap in prosciutto.
- Heat a large cast-iron skillet to a medium-high heat. Add butter. Once the butter melts and starts to turn brown, swirl the pan until the butter smells nutty and is completely brown. Add the olive oil, swirl to combine.
- Turn the heat down to medium and add the pork chop, seam-side down in the pan. Sear until the pork is golden brown and the prosciutto is crisp, about five minutes. Gently flip the pork chops over and sear on the other side until golden brown and crisp.
- Check the temperature of your pork. Depending on how thick your chops are, the cooking time will vary. Pork chops are done when the reach 145-degrees F on an instant read thermometer. When they are 145 degrees, remove them from the pan to a plate or platter and let them rest while you make the sauce. If they are not done, transfer the skillet to the oven to finish cooking. Our pork chops were about 1 ½ inches thick and needed eight minutes in the oven to finish cooking. Again, remove them from the skillet when they reach 145 degrees and transfer to a plate or platter while you make the sauce.
- Add the marsala wine to the skillet. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer until the wine is reduce by half, about 3 minutes. Add in lemon juice and chicken stock. Simmer another 2-3 minutes until slightly reduced.
- Add pork chops back in and spoon sauce on top. Heat until pork chops are warmed through.
- For serving, spoon the sauce on top of the pork. Serve with a side salad, roasted veggies, or whole-wheat pasta.