Sicilian Stuffed Pork Chops with White Wine and Caper Sauce

4.67 from 3 votes
1 hour 30 minutes
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Sicilian Stuffed Pork Chops with White Wine and Caper Sauce is an elegant way to dress up a dinnertime staple–the pork chop–for a dish worthy of your next dinner party! For another great dinnertime pork chop recipe, don’t miss my Asian Pork Chops!

Photo of Sicilian-Stuffed Pork Chops with White Wine Caper Sauce and orzo on white plate.

The inspiration behind this recipe:

In this tasty Sicilian Stuffed Pork Chops with White Wine and Caper Sauce, pork rib chops (also referred to as pork rib-eye chops) are stuffed with a Sicilian-inspired combination of spinach, garlic, toasted pine nuts, raisins, Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs and crushed red pepper flakes and then braised.

This recipe is inspired by one in The All-New Good Housekeeping Cookbook published in 2001.  I recall buying it at Costco shortly after I began my personal chef business.  It’s one of those great cookbooks you always reach for when you need a good tried-and-true, basic or classic recipe like these stuffed pork chops.

Can pork chops be braised?

Pork chops do very well braised, a slow cooking method that uses moist heat to tenderize tough cuts of meat.  For Sicilian-Stuffed Pork Chops with White Wine and Caper Sauce, I like to use a cooking vessel where the chops fit snugly together as I don’t use a lot of liquid to braise this dish.

If fully immersed, the filling will loosen up too much and come out of the chops. (A small amount of the filling will escape due to the chops shrinking slightly.) To reduce the evaporation of the sauce, I place a piece of aluminum foil or parchment paper over the pan first, then put the lid on the pot. Turn the chops once to ensure even cooking.

How to make Sicilian-Stuffed Pork Chops with White Wine and Caper Sauce:

You could use any cooked leafy green in the filling such as spinach, kale or Swiss chard, but frozen chopped spinach is a great convenience product.

  • Start with one cup of fully frozen spinach.  Thaw in the microwave, but do not squeeze the water out.  The water that is released from the spinach is required to moisten the breadcrumbs to help bind the filling.
  • Lightly toast the pine nuts.  To do that, place them in a small dry skillet on the stovetop over medium-high heat.  They’re small and can burn easily so keep an eye on them and shake the pan frequently.  When they become slightly aromatic and begin to brown, take them off the heat.
  • After filling and browning the chops, you could simply place them in the oven to finish cooking through to the safe temperature of 145 degrees and then prepare the white wine and caper sauce on the stovetop.
  • However, I don’t recommend that because pork chops have a tendency to be dry.  A stuffed pork chop will dry out even more because the center of the filling needs to reach 145 degrees.  This means the pork itself will be overcooked.
Photo of Sicilian-Stuffed Pork Chops with White Wine Caper Sauce and orzo garnished with parsley.
  • Capers add a nice salty bite to this stuffed pork chop dish and a little butter swirled in at the end adds body to the sauce.
  • If you desire a thicker sauce, mix a teaspoon or two of all-purpose flour into the butter before adding it.

A simple side dish of plain, hot cooked orzo pasta is the perfect way to soak up this tasty sauce.  A green veggie or side salad is all you need to complete this tasty meal for two!

More tender and tasty pork recipes:

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Sicilian Stuffed Pork Chops with White Wine Caper Sauce

Sicilian Stuffed Pork Chops with White Wine and Caper Sauce

4.67 from 3 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
Sicilian Stuffed Pork Chops with White Wine and Caper Sauce is an elegant way to dress up a dinnertime staple–the pork chop!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Beef
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2
Calories 452 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 pork rib chops - 1 1/2-inch thick, about 10-12 ounces each, fat trimmed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup frozen chopped spinach
  • 6 cloves garlic - 2 minced, 4 sliced
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts - lightly toasted
  • 1 generous tablespoon golden raisins
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes - or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter - divided
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons capers - drained and rinsed
  • Chopped fresh parsley - for garnish
  • Hot cooked orzo pasta - if desired

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cut a pocket in the chop about 3-4 inches long and almost as far as the bone. Season inside and outside with salt and black pepper.
  • Thaw spinach in a glass bowl in the microwave but do not squeeze the water from it. (Let cool if it’s steaming.)
  • Add 2 cloves minced garlic, pine nuts, raisins, cheese, breadcrumbs and crushed red pepper flakes. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Stuff even amounts of the filling into the pocket of the pork chop. Secure with toothpicks.
  • Heat olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat in an oven-safe skillet, sauté pan or Dutch oven. Brown the chops 2-3 minutes per side or until nicely browned. Transfer to a plate.
  • Add the wine to pan, bring to a boil and scrape up any browned bits. Add chicken broth and sliced garlic and bring back to a simmer. Place chops back in the pan, cover securely and bake 1 hour or until chops are tender, turning once.
  • Stir in remaining butter and capers. Serve chops over hot cooked orzo pasta and drizzle with pan sauce.

Notes

MAKE-AHEAD: Stuff the pork chops up to the point of browning and braising one day ahead.
FREEZER-FRIENDLY: Double the amount of sauce/braising liquid and cook the pork chops per the recipe. Cool thoroughly then place in an airtight container. Freeze up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator and thoroughly heat through to 165 degrees in the center of the filling.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 452kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 927mg | Potassium: 1034mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 9392IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 239mg | Iron: 4mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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7 Comments

  1. This recipe looks great. I always go by temp when I cook.
    I understand that chops can dry out. Have never braised stuffed pork chops. How can I be sure I’m not overcooking?
    Thank you!
    Love your blog!

    Leslie

    1. Hi, Leslie, Thanks so much for your great question and the wonderful compliment! The reason I braised these is that when stuffing anything, the CENTER of the stuffing has to be cooked to the safe temperature that the protein should be cooked to. Pork, although it’s still pretty pink is safe at 145 degrees. However, to get the center of the stuffing to a safe temperature, the pork would overcook. I agree that overcooked pork chops are the toughest thing on the planet. However, the long, slow cooking here will tenderize the pork chops. Thanks again, hope that answers your question and hope you enjoy!

  2. Recently I have convinced my hubby to eat more pork and am sure he’ll love me to make this! Delicious food and gorgeous photography, wow!

  3. Love your suggestions for alternative greens and cooking methods. Love the flavors of the stuffing. I’ve done a stuffed lamb chop recipe from eons ago in Sunset with pine nuts and blue cheese – a show stopper!!!