Thursday, January 09, 2014

CrockPot Salsa Pork Chops Recipe with Cumin, Garlic, and Lime (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free, Can Be Paleo)

These tasty Salsa Pork Chops simmer in the CrockPot while you're busy doing other things!

CrockPot Salsa Pork Chops with Cumin, Garlic, and Lime found on

(Today's choice for the month of Daily Phase One Recipes is these Slow Cooker Salsa Pork Chops that I made during the holidays and took new photos. You can see all the recipes from the month by clicking the link above for Daily Phase One Recipes, and check after the recipe for Phase One Flashbacks from this day in 2012 and 2013.)

When I first tried this recipe for Slow Cooker Salsa Pork Chops, I made the recipe twice to try to get a better photo, and in both cases I wasn't completely satisfied with the photos.  However, I was completely happy with these tender Southwestern-flavored pork chops in a sauce that was just slightly spicy. Even though the sauce kind of ran out over the plate on this latest photo of this dish, I'm happier with it, and I promise this is an easy slow cooker meal that will make you happy as well.

I adapted this recipe from one found in Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Recipes for Two, a book with recipes designed for small slow cookers and that serve two people. I chose to double the recipe for four servings, but if you're interested in slow cooker recipes that don't serve a crowd, this book has a lot of good ideas. (And it's a very old book, so you can follow that link and buy it very cheaply at Full disclosure: Kalyn's Kitchen does earn a small commission when people buy through that type of link, so thanks!)

I used pork loin sirloin chops and trimmed off the fat on the edges.  (Remember the guildeline of less than 10% total fat if you're doing the South Beach Diet. These pork chops don't need the fat because they are tender from simmering in the flavorful sauce.)

I mixed equal parts of ground cumin, garlic powder, Vege-Sal, and black pepper and used it as a rub to season the chops before browning.

I know some people don't like to brown meat when they're using the CrockPot, but I wouldn't skip the browning step, which adds a lot of flavor.

For the simmering sauce, mix 1 cup of your favorite salsa with 2 T fresh-squeezed lime juice. (For Paleo or Gluten-Free be sure to check salsa ingredients.)

Put the browned pork chops in the bottom of the slow cooked and pour the sauce over, then cook for 2-3 hours on high and that's it.  (I switched the pork chops halfway through so the bottom ones were on top, but it's probably not essential.)

And just for fun, here's the original photo that I never could warm up to.

CrockPot Recipe for Salsa Pork Chops with Cumin, Garlic, and Lime
(Makes 4 servings; recipe adapted from Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Recipes for Two.)

4 pork chops with fat trimmed (I used pork loin sirloin chops, remember the guideline for 10% fat or less if you're making this for the South Beach Diet.)
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. Vege-Sal (or use a smaller amount of regular salt)
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper (or less if you're not a pepper fan)
1 T olive oil (or less for a non-stick pan)
1 cup salsa (I used Pace Picante Sauce Mild, but choose the level of hotness and brand you like.)
2 T fresh-squeezed lime juice
(If you want more sauce you could use 1 1/2 cups salsa and 3 T lime juice)

(I used my Crock-Pot 2.5-Quart Slow Cooker for this recipe. If you only have a larger slow cooker, the recipe could easily be doubled.  The leftovers from this were great, so don't be afraid to double it.)

Trim all fat around the edges of pork chops and discard fat.  Combine ground cumin, garlic powder, Vege-Sal or salt, and fresh ground black pepper in a small bowl; then use the spice mixture to rub the trimmed pork chops on both sides. 

Heat the oil in a heavy frying pan, add pork chops and cook over medium heat until well-browned, about 5 minutes per side.  (The pork chops don't need to be done clear though, but they should be nicely browned.)  

Spray sides and bottom of the slow cooker with olive oil or non-stick spray.  Put browned pork chops into the slow cooker, pour over salsa-lime mixture, and cook on high for 2-3 hours, or until the pork chops are very tender when pierced with a fork.  (I switched them halfway through so the ones on the bottom were on the top, but it's not essential.) 

Serve hot, with a little sauce spooned over each pork chops.

I'm guessing this freezes well, but I don't know for sure because I gave my frozen leftovers to my brother Mark and his wife Lisa to try.  Maybe they will report back here about how the frozen pork chops were when they reheated them.

South Beach Suggestions:
As long as you choose lean pork chops and trim the fat on the edges, this is a great recipe for any phase of the  South Beach Diet.  For phase one, I'd love to eat this with Spicy Mexican Slaw.  In the photo I'm serving it with Georgette's Really Lemony Greek Pilafi for phase two.

Phase One Flashbacks:
January 9, 2012:  Baked Halibut with Sour Cream, Parmesan, and Dill Topping
January 9, 2013:  Ground Chicken (or Turkey) and Chickpea Curry Stew with Yogurt and Cilantro

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. 

CrockPot Recipe for Salsa Pork Chops with Cumin, Garlic, and Lime

Five More Tasty Ideas for Pork Chops:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)

Pork Chops with Balsamic Glaze from Kalyn's Kitchen

Pan-Fried and Roasted Pork Chops with Apricot Dijon Sauce from Kalyn's Kitchen

Pork Chops with Garlic-Lime Sauce from Dine and Dish

Braised Pork Chops with Cabbage from French Kitchen in America

Pork Chops with Simple Mushroom Gravy from Green Lite Bites

(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and this blog earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

More to Chew On:


  1. I'm simmering pork blade steaks as I read this. Had thought about a southwestern twist too. I love pork in all of it's forms. I'm am particularly fond of sirloin.

    Your recipe is not only South Beach friendly, but requires easy ingredients on readily on hand, is a snap to put together and then practically takes care of itself with a crock pot. Perfect for busy families or folks like you and I. And it's definitley company worthy. ;o)

  2. Thanks, CJ! I liked it a lot, even if I found it to be not particularly photogenic!

  3. My post tomorrow is about the same thing...a fabulous recipe, not-so-fabulous photo.

  4. Pam I guess I'm glad to hear I'm not the only food blogger who struggles with that sometimes. Some days the light is just wrong, or for whatever reason I just don't get a good shot! (Your photos are never bad so I'll look tomorrow to see what you mean, lol!)

  5. Kalyn, this recipe is brilliant because it can be assembled in no time. Based on the ingredients used, I can tell it's seriously delicious.

  6. Oh, yes, the curse of the disappearing photo mojo -- or is the disappearing cooking mojo -- it's a good day when both of my mojos are present, but it doesn't happen as often as I'd like it to. You are not alone!

  7. Nisrine, thanks! And I have to say it, definitely *was* seriously delicious

    Lydia, good to know I guess, although I don't wish the lack of photo mojo on anyone else, that's for sure.

  8. Some foods are just hard to photograph. And sometimes there is just no way around it. However, I trust you enough to know that if you say this is amazingly delicious....then damn it, it is DEFINITELY amazingly delicious!

  9. Kalyn, this looks fantastic! Ever since I was gifted a slowe cooker last year, I've been at a bit of a loss as to what to do with it, but this looks like a great idea! Especially since Autumn has just rolled around to Australia and I'm beginning to crave real comfort food...

  10. I find that saucy dishes just don't photograph as well, but one can't stress too much over it ... especially when everything else is "there." ;-) I know we'd love these pork chops at our house, Kalyn. Will be making them soon for sure!


  11. Joanne, thanks. I'll definitely cook this and try again but if the third time is not the charm I will just admit my inadequacies as a photographer and move on, lol!

    Ellie, hope you will try it. This is a great recipe to get started with the slow cooker.

  12. Shirley, I must have been replying to others at the same time you were writing! Thanks for the nice thoughts about the recipe; hope you try it.

  13. Hmmm...we have pork chops on the menu for Saturday night but hadn't decided how we were going to cook them. I might just have to make this!

  14. Karen, as long as you like salsa, you'll love it! (And who doesn't like salsa?)

  15. This looks delicious! I"m always looking for a new way to dress up pork for my family. Looking forward to trying this tonight! Thank you.

  16. I've done a similar recipe with chicken breast, but in the regular oven. I am inspired to try each in the crockpot--thanks for the ideas!

  17. I couldn't agree more, food blogging is not just about cooking a recipe. Sometimes a recipe turns out to be a real disappointment, other times it is the picture. Some days you just have writer's block and cannot get a single word out....the worst is the winter, when I get home late from the office have to cook quickly and then the light is so bad, I can't even get one decent picture.

  18. Ha! Meat is so difficult to photograph, which is why I often stick to veggies and cake!

  19. Nuts About Food, so true. I love those times when it all comes together, but it certainly doesn't happen every time.

    TW, so true! I am still going to try one more time with this one, but only because the recipe is so good!

  20. This looks excellent! I'm going to try this for sure, thanks! I think your photos are beautiful! :-)

  21. Debbi, thanks, you are sweet! I just think the plate of food looks awfully messy in the top photo, lol! My friend Bonnie always tells me I'm too hard on myself.

  22. Hi Kalyn ~

    I made these pork chops last night and my husband LOVED them! Well I did too - they were delicious! I love your site and love your recipes! Thank you!! :)


  23. Michelle, so glad to hear the pork chops were a hit!

  24. One quick question, please...

    Do you think that this would be as good if it was cooked on low for 6 to 8 hours instead of high for 2 - 3 hours?

    Thank you!

  25. Truthfully I am not sure, but I think 6-8 hours might be too long unless the pork chops are pretty thick.

  26. Regarding brown when using a crock pot: I have the greatest crock pot I got from my grandparents when I graduated from high school. I can brown in the non-stick coated crock pot on the stove and then return it to the base to braise. I love this feature as it allows me to brown and heat first thing in the morning, then cook all day while I'm at work.

  27. Reluctant Carnivore, that sounds pretty cool. Will look for that type of crockpot.

  28. It was so delicious... I did it to my hubby and he was so thankful for this recipe :)

  29. I made these on low for 6-8 hours last time and they were amazing! I am making them again tonight. My husband loves them. Great recipe - thank you!

  30. Peyton so glad you liked them. BTW, I have a great-niece named Peyton, love the name!

  31. Very good, Kalyn! The addition of the cumin and lime was spot on. I served this with black beans and rice, and the sauce was fantastic over that.

  32. Cee Jay, so glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  33. Do you think these would be good in an oven? I was hoping to cook this on a weeknight.

  34. Yes, I think you could make this in the oven in a heavy pan with a tight fitting lid, or probably even on top of the stove on very low heat.

  35. Thanks! I ended up making them in the slow cooker anyway, and they turned out great. Amazing how much flavor such a simple recipe has!

  36. Hi! If I made this on the stove or oven how long do you think I should cook it and at what heat?

  37. I really wouldn't be able to answer that since I haven't ever done it. But I'd guess you'd need more liquid to cook it on the stove.

  38. These pork chops look so yummy! I haven't made pork chops in the crockpot for a long I know that I need to!

  39. Thanks Karen. I've made these a couple of times; always a hit!

  40. Just wanted to pop in and thank you for this recipe. Made it tonight and it was a big hit. My husband was very happy I doubled it and he has already packed it up for his lunch tomorrow :)

  41. I love this recipe - so easy and so good! I do not follow South Beach, but I follow your blog since I like to cook healthy recipes. I make this regularly for my husband and I and serve over rice with a side salad.

  42. Samantha, so glad you've been enjoying it!

  43. It's in the slow cooker right now! I can't wait to taste it. I'm thinking I'm going to try topping it with low fat cheese and a little Greek yogurt. Yummy!! Thanks for posting the recipe!


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