Filled with protein and healthy fats, this pistachio-crusted pork chop is a nutritious dinner that the whole family will love!
Disclaimer: I received free samples of Wonderful Pistachios mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Wonderful Pistachios and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
As my blog slogan says, I’m all about simple, healthy recipes that are worth celebrating, and this pistachio-crusted pork tenderloin is exactly that! The coating for the pork comes together quickly in the food processor, and once coated, the pork takes just 30 minutes in the oven. Easy enough for a weeknight dinner, but flavorful and pretty enough to serve at a dinner part or holiday meal.
What really makes this pork dish stand out is the use of Wonderful Pistachios. When I was counseling, I’d always hear clients say that they were staying away from nuts because of the high fat content and concern that it’d lead to weight gain. So you can imagine their surprise when I’d recommend my go-to snack for weight control: shelled pistachios. Yes, pistachios have fat, but they’re the healthy, monounsaturated fats, which research has suggested may help with weight loss. Plus they’re filled with protein, are lower in calories than most other nuts, and eating the one’s in the shell help with portion control. Still not convinced? Here are all the reasons that I recommend pistachios as part of a healthy diet:
- Known as The Fit NutTM, pistachios are one of the highest protein and fiber snack nuts, making them perfect for a heart-healthy lifestyle. Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as pistachios, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Shelled pistachios get called The Mindful NutTM, as seeing the leftover shells can provide a visual cue for portion control and help to “fool yourself full.” A recent preliminary behavioral study found that participants who consumed in-shell pistachios ate 41-percent fewer calories compared to those who consumed pre-shelled pistachios (average consumption of 125 calories compared to 211 calories, respectively). This study suggests that those empty shells may provide a visual cue for portion control and help to curb intake.
- Pistachios are often called The Skinny NutTM, as they are one of the lowest calorie and lowest fat snack nuts.
- It’s no wonder that pistachios are also called The Colorful NutTM, thanks to their signature green coloring with bits of purple and red. While pretty to looks at those green and red-purple hues actually come from antioxidants, which help prevent chronic disease.
- Finally, pistachios are also known as The Happy NutTM because there’s no need to snackrifice – you get the great, slightly salty taste while also making a healthy choice.
I specifically love Wonderful Pistachios, as they sell both shelled and in-shell pistachios. As mentioned above, the in-shell pistachios make for a perfect snack (I like to keep a small bag of them in my purse), but the shelled ones make cooking and baking so much easier! Either type will work, but the pre-shelled ones will save you a bit of time.
To make this a balanced, healthy meal, I recommend serving the pistachio-crusted pork with roasted veggies and a whole grain, such as farro or brown rice. P.S. The leftovers taste awesome as a sandwich with extra dijon mustard!
So here’s a toast to pistachios, a versatile, tasty, healthy addition to any meal or snack!
Pistachio-Coated Pork Loin ChopPrint Recipe
- 4 pork loin chops
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup shelled lightly salted Wonderful pistachios
- 2 sprigs of thyme, stems removed
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400F and cover baking pan with foil or parchment paper. Place pork chops in prepared pan.
In a food processor, pulse together remaining ingredients until a rough paste is formed.
Spoon about 1 Tbsp of pistachio topping on top of each pork chop. Spread toping evenly over the top of each pork chop, you may have some leftover.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until pork reaches an internal temperature of 155F.
Remove from oven and let rest at least 5 min. Serve with vegetables and a whole grain.
Nutrition for 1/4 recipe: 372 calories, 2 g saturated fat, 8 g carb, 3 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 29 g protein