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Best Fall Dinners: Simple Grilled Pork Chops With Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Creamy Parsnip Mash, and Grilled Cipollini Onions

Best Fall Dinners: Simple Grilled Pork Chops With Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Creamy Parsnip Mash, and Grilled Cipollini Onions

This meal..inspired by onions. Not just any onion, cipollini onions (pronounced chee-poh-leen-ee). These little spaceship shaped roots are full of flavor and hale from Italy. They are known in Italy as agrodolce which translates literally to “bitter-sweet”. They are often found peeled of their thin skin and cooked through in a reduction of balsamic vinegar and served as an accompaniment to charcuterie platters (meats and cheeses). They have a higher sugar content than a white or red onion and are oftentimes compared to Vidalia onions when it comes to sweetness.

I decided to parboil my cipollines a bit to not only aid in removing the thin skin but to also partly cook them before placing them on a skewer and grilling them over coals. Instead of using a balsamic vinegar I decided to try the black vinegar I purchased awhile back for Anthony Bourdain’s Macu-style pork sandwich (which was ahhhhhmazing by the way). The vinegar when used straight from the container has a bit of smokiness about it. Once I concentrated this flavor by reducing from 1 cup to 1/4 cup the pronounced flavor of smoky anise shined through. I added a sprig of rosemary while it reduced down. Even with this herb being my least favorite, I could appreciate the herbaceous “piney-ness” it lent to the grilled pork.cipolline onions veggie lilchefchic

The pork chops here are simple. Salt. Pepper. Olive Oil. Boom. Nothing else. Nothing more.


The Parsnip Mash just reminds me of Fall and all the wonderful little roots that are making their way out of the ground and onto our plates. I only added one half pound parsnips to one full pound potatoes to lend subtle sweetness and parsnip zip to this mash. It of course has plenty of butter and just a dash of nutmeg (optional).

The brussels sprouts are simple as well. They are just quartered and then tossed in bacon grease and a glug of olive oil with salt and freshly ground pepper. They only take about 15 minutes to roast in a preheated oven.


This dinner was comforting and an open invitation for the upcoming cooler weather. The zingy onions I playfully added to the tops of each plate added a zippy tangy bite to this dish. I hope you enjoy this Fall dish and this wonderful season. The following recipes are for four servings.

Cipollini Onions:

*10 ounce package Cipollini Onions

*1  cup Black Vinegar

*2 Tablespoons Dark Brown Sugar

*1/2 sprig Rosemary


Soak 4 wooden skewers in water for 20 minutes. Bring small sauce pot of water to a boil. Add rinsed onions and parboil for 3 minutes. Remove onions to ice bath to cool. Remove to plate once cooled.

Bring remaining ingredients to a boil and then immediately turn heat down to simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Reduce down to 1/4 cup. It will have the consistency of syrup and coat the back of a spoon nicely. Remove from heat and hold. This video should give you an idea of what you’re looking for:


Cut off stem ends of onions and remove peels. Place onions on skewers and place on hot grill with chops. Turn every 3 or so minutes making sure each side is browning. Cook until able to pierce with a knife easily. These take 12-15 minutes. Once these are done use a basting brush to paint on the vinegar reduction like a barbecue sauce. Cook another 2 to 4 minutes brushing each side and turning to coat. These make four skewers with 3 -4 onions per skewer.


Brussels Sprouts:

*1 Pound Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and quarteredbrussels lilchefchic

*2 slices Thick Cut Bacon

*1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

*Salt and Pepper to Taste


Turn oven to 400°. On a non stick baking pan cook bacon for 15 – 18 minutes. Remove bacon and hold. Remove grease from pan except for 1 Tablespoon. Add 1 tablespoon Olive Oil and toss sprouts in fat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and roast in oven for 15 minutes or until fork tender. Crush bacon with hands and sprinkle over cooked sprouts and serve.


Pork Chops:

*4 bone-in Center Cut Pork Chops, about 1″ thickpork onions lilchefchic

*Olive Oil To Coat Chops

*Salt and Pepper to Taste


Salt and Pepper chops liberally and drizzle with olive oil. Place on heated grill and cook on each side about 5 to 8 minutes depending on degree of doneness. I like my chops at 155° which after resting for a few minutes will be about medium. My family (on the other hand) still refuses to eat anything pink, so pork in their eyes should be cooked til it’s white-or 300° (j/k…like chicken for them, so 165°).

parsnip mash lilchefchic

Parnsip Mash:

1/2 lb. Parnsips, peeled and chopped

1 lb. Russet potatoes, peeled and chopped

1/2 stick Butter

1/2 cup milk

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)


Bring large pot of water to boil. Salt water to taste like the sea with kosher or table salt. Boil potatoes for 5 minutes and add parsnips (they cook faster). Continue to boil til tender, about 15 minutes. Drain into colander. Place back in pot and mash with potato masher until smooth. Add salt and  Pepper to taste and add optional nutmeg. Add butter and stir in milk. Add more milk if desired until creamy and smooth.


Everyone raved about these flavors. My dad had never had cipollini onions before and loved how they paired with all the other sides. My mom actually cleaned her plate…of course after making sure that the pork chops were well done.

Family..what more can ya ask for?

What are your favorite dishes for this season? When you and all your family are able to come together, what dish is the most coveted? Who makes what? Who’s the grill master? The baker? The cleaner upper of all dishes?

Comment below:) And thanks for reading!


18 thoughts on “Best Fall Dinners: Simple Grilled Pork Chops With Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Creamy Parsnip Mash, and Grilled Cipollini Onions”

  • This sounds like a complicated dish, perhaps for a non expert like my self as compared to you when it comes to cooking, or perhaps most of the ingredients are completely new to me too. LOL.

    But one thing is certain when I read through this article, it smelled of Fall. I would love to try out this recipe someday. Thanks a lot for sharing. You write with so much passion. Great read.

    • Thanks! I always love reading your comments! Your so sincere and thoughtful!:)

  • Oh my goodness this sounds so wonderful.  my mouth is watering as I read through your recipe. My family doesnt much like brussels but I think if I follow your recipe they will devour them as will I.  I like how clear and well explained your technique is and your little video clip visual showing the sauce consistency is so helpful. I have not seen that before. Great job, well done.  Cant wait to share this recipe with my family and I look forward to reading more.


    • Hi Monika! My family isn’t big on brussels sprouts either but once you roll em in some bacon fat…done! Lol

  • Hi

    Well looking at the picture alone got my mouth watering.

    I love the parsnips mash and will be trying it over the weekend.

    This is the first time that I am hearing about the cipollini onions. they were the first items my eyes fixed on when I saw the image, along with that large piece of pork.

    Thank you for showing how to prepare the cipollini onions, just need to look for them when I next go shopping.

    I enjoyed reading recipes and glad I popped over.  Will be back to see what else you have to offer. lol

    I will be sharing this article with my friends and family.

    Many thanks


    • Hi fellow Jennifer! Thanks for visiting and for making me laugh. “eyes fixed on the onions and that large piece of pork”. haha. Glad you like the recipes. Please come back and let me know what your fam thought!

  • Hello Jennifer,

    First the picture of the plate looks amazing and delicious, I liked the way you described the process you went through, both in preparing the meal, and the way each of the ingredients complements the other.

    This has me thinking about a meal like this, recently started to follow a ketogenic diet, which changes the way I look at my meals. I think you could substitute the parsnip mash with cauliflower and be able to eat the rest. Is that right?

    Right now grilling is the food I can eat, but one of my favorites is Turkey and Dressing the way I make it. This year since I cannot eat it will not be making it; my kids don’t like it, and it takes too much time (8 hours to prepare everything) if nobody is going to eat it.

    May try to make something new that they would want to eat; which  is stuff like pizza or noodles. Any ideas on what to serve these picky kids? Any suggestions is greatly appreciated…



    • You could definitely do cauliflower rather than parsnips for this Chad.

      I don’t blame you for wanting to skip the 8 hour cook day..that sounds no bueno.

      Maybe you could do like a spin on the thanksgiving meal with a casserole or something? Maybe turkey tetrazzini?Or with the pizza idea pick up a ready made dough (we have them here at our Publix bakery) and let everyone help put together special toppings for the pizza. It’d be great quality time together and everyone helped. I’m writing this kinda on the fly so if I think of anything more I’ll get back to you! Thanks for the awesome comment Chad:) Good luck with your new diet and keep in touch!

  • Wow, this looks delicious! I like that the mash wasn’t 100% parsnips–I wasn’t sure if I would like that or not, but when I saw it was mixed with potatoes I got excited–it looks a great way to lighten up traditional mashed potatoes! The whole meal looks fabulous, can’t wait to try it. I love making seasonal meals–makes everything about the changing seasons more special.

    • Thanks Holly! Yep..the straight up parsnips would have been a no go for the fam. They loved them like this..especially all buttered up. lol

  • This dish sounds amazing, the picture alone had my mouth watering.  I absolutely love Brussels sprouts, not a lot of people do, but they are my favourite.  I have not heard of Cipollini onions before, I will have to try them.  This dish would be a great Sunday night dinner,  when I have more time to cook.  I will be trying out this dish soon, and I’ll have to share the recipe with my mom who loves trying new dishes.  Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    • Thanks Jenny. Agreed. This is definitely Sunday worthy meal. My family was shocked to be having it midweek…well shocked and delighted…I must say.:)

  • This sounds like a good dish but i am vegetarian so i would replace the pork with something else.I am a non expert in fact i have only manged to fry chips and fish fingers in my life compared to you when it comes to cooking, or perhaps most of the ingredients are completely new to me to. Thanks a lot for sharing. You write with so much passion. Great read.

    • Hi Mohammed! Well chips and fish are a great place to start! I have plenty of vegetarian options here on my blog. I hope you’ll check em’ out. And thanks for the sweet compliments:) Have an awesome day!

  • Awesome, absolutely awesome. This recipe and the beautiful way it was presented had droolig. I love the way you have described the ingredients and prepared them. The photos compliment the written description and the end result is a well presented post and a reader who can’t wait to try cooking it. I love parsnips, so I think I would have more parsnip to potato ratio. Thank you for sharing this delightful meal. 

    • Thanks Judy:) Yep the ratio can definitely be adjusted. For getting people to try parsnips for the first time (a.k.a …my family) I went this route..and they devoured it! lol Thanks for commenting:)!

  • Hi and thanks for these very tasty looking ideas. What I like about these is that they are quite creative and healthy. I love the seasonal ideas and although I am not a great cook, I think I will enjoy attempting to create some of the dishes on your site. Is there a particular one you would recommend? Thanks kenny

    • Hey Kenny! Actually, the cajun stir fry I did a couple weeks back is super easy to make and you can always sub in chicken for the shrimp or steak..or both! Let me know if you get a chance to try it!:)

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