This easy Cajun Air Fryer Pork Chop dinner uses just 6 ingredients to easily feed a family of four. The Cajun bone-in pork chops are cooked to tender perfection in the air fryer and served over easy lime rice with roasted peppers and onions. A quick, filling meal for both busy weeknights and tight budgets.
The Star of the Show
If you’ve been to the grocery store lately, I’m sure you’ve noticed that prices are just out of control. What you also may have noticed is that our beloved chicken breast is no longer the most budget friendly meat in the meat department. Up in my area, pork chops and especially bone-in pork chops are running for around $0.99 per pound on a pretty consistent sale.
Many like to stay away from pork, claiming that it becomes dry and tough when cooked. I can understand the frustration and have certainly had that happen myself. What I’ve found to be the biggest culprit is simply over cooking the pork chops. Pork chops are an incredibly quick meal on any given night. With the use of an Air Fryer, they can be done from frozen in just 17 minutes! When thawed, they cook in just 10! That’s enough reason for anyone to consider putting pork back on the menu.
Ingredients for this Cajun Pork Chop Dinner
We’re making this an easy one stop shop. Get a full dinner done for four people really quickly and loaded with spicy Cajun flavor with just 6 ingredients. Below you’ll also find notes for scaling the recipe.
- Pork Chops – These can be bone-in or boneless. Plan for one pork chop per person. You can also use chicken breasts if you have them on hand. Thawed is best but I have tips for cooking from frozen too.
- Peppers & Onions – If you have them fresh, feel free to use them but a bag of frozen mixed peppers and onions that you forgot about at the bottom of your freezer will work perfectly for this meal. You can cook them right from frozen.
- Cajun/Creole Seasoning – Crab a seasoning mix you love. Could be fajita seasoning or taco seasoning if you’re not a fan of the spice, but we like a little heat around here. I like to keep seasoning mixes on hand for times just like this where I don’t want to bother measuring out five different spices. Here we’re using Tony Chachere’s Original Creole.
- Rice – Any leftover rice you have is fine be it white, brown, or even quinoa. We’re just heating it up in the air fryer with a few items.
- Salt & Lime – These are both used just to add some flavor to the rice.
How to cook from frozen
It happens more often than you would think. As a working mom, I usually have a plan that gets abandoned at the last minute and have to come up with something else to feed our hungry tribe. While I love using my Instant Pot to things like whole frozen chickens, the microwave paired with the air fryer works just as well.
If you’re purchasing your pork from the grocery store, you typically don’t have to worry about overlapping pork chops. We get ours from a local farm though that come vacuum sealed, and thus are overlapping.
I thaw the pork chops rapidly by keeping them in the package and placing in a bowl of cool water. Then I microwave on high for about 4 minutes, stopping each minute to flip the bag. By then, I can cut open the bag, remove the pork chops, and separate them pretty easily. They may still be slightly frozen but it will thaw and cook with ease when air fried.
How to make Cajun Pork Chop dinner
Start by thawing and separating the pork chops as mentioned above. Dry them with a paper towel as best as you can. Use a little olive oil on all sides of the pork chops just to help seasoning stick. You can omit if you don’t have any on hand.
Add the Cajun seasoning to both sides of the pork chops and nestle into the air fryer. We only cooked two tonight but you could easily fit four bone-in pork chops or possibly even six boneless pork chops in the Air Fryer basket.
Add the frozen peppers and onions all around the pork chops. A bit of overlapping is fine. If using raw, fresh vegetables, wait until you flip the pork chops during cooking to add them in.
If cooking from still semi-frozen, air fry at 400F for 10 minutes, flip and air fry another 7 minutes. If cooking from fully thawed, air fry at 400F for 10-12 minutes flipping halfway. Remove the pork chops and vegetables once cooked and allow to rest on a plate while warming the rice.
Add the rice, lime juice, and salt to an Air Fryer safe bowl and set to 320F for just 4 minutes. You can also microwave the rice if desired.
Serve dinner with a bed of rice topped with the pork chop and roasted vegetables. Feel free to garnish with more lime or even some fresh cilantro or parsley. Dinner is served and cleanup is a breeze.
How to serve leftovers
I find it easiest to cut the meat off the bone and into an airtight container just as you would plate it. Then all you need to do is pop it in the microwave for 2 minutes on high for lunch the next day. Refrigerated leftovers will last 5-7 days when stored properly. I wouldn’t freeze this. Rice really doesn’t freeze well and it’s such a quick meal, there’s really no point.
What to serve with this Air Fryer meal?
Honestly, nothing. You could serve with another vegetable, but this is a “one-pot” meal itself and designed that way on purpose. If you find something that pairs really well with it, be sure to leave a comment below to let us all know what it was!
Tips and Tricks for making this easy dinner
If you don’t have an Air Fryer but this still sounds good to you, go ahead and make it in a cast iron skillet! A quick sear on both sides will have this done lickety-split. Check out how to make pork chops in a cast iron skillet for the technique.
You don’t need fancy equipment and the latest technology to make your family delicious, healthy, and budget friendly meals. But two items any kitchen should have is a kitchen scale and an instant read thermometer. Be sure to use that thermometer to test the pork chops internal temperature (especially if cooking from frozen). The internal temperature should reach 145F to be considered rare and safe for consumption. Remember that as the pork rests, it will continue to cook a few degrees.
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Air Fryer Cajun Pork Chop Dinner
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil ($0.04)
- 4 pounds bone-in pork chops ($12.98)
- 2 Tablespoons Cajun seasoning ($0.17)
- 10 ounces frozen peppers and onions ($1.20)
- 4 cups cooked rice ($0.44)
- 2 ounces lime juice ($0.16)
- 1 teaspoon salt ($0.02)
- Preheat the air fryer (if needed) to 400F. Rub the pork chops with olive oil on all sides and season liberally with Cajun seasoning.
- Place the seasoned pork chops in the air fryer and try not to overlap. Add the frozen peppers and onions, these can overlap the pork chops.
- Air fry for 10 minutes. If cooking from frozen, flip and add another 7 minutes.
- Remove from the basket and set on a plate to rest. To an air fryer safe container, add the rice, lime juice, and salt. Mix well and cover with aluminum foil to trap moisture. Air fry at 400F for 5 minutes just until warmed through.
- To serve: 1 cup of rice, topped with a pork chop and about 2 ounces of roasted vegetables.