This succulent stuffed pork loin is a mouthwatering centerpiece fit for any occasion when a bit of a special presentation is what you’d like. My stuffed pork loin recipe is prepared with a savory and delicious mixture of pesto, crunchy pine nuts, crispy pancetta, sun-dried tomatoes and shaved parmesan, then roasted until golden on the outside and juicy and flavorful on the inside!
Pork Loin Stuffed With Savory Morsels
When an occasion calls for a special and celebratory meal, I like to serve a centerpiece that's a little extra elegant, unique, and eye-catching...
Whether it's my juicy garlic-stuffed prime rib, herb-crusted beef tenderloin, or a turkey roulade, I really enjoy preparing a meat dish with a little added color, pizzaz and flavor.
Pork loin is something I often like to prepare very simply with a mustard and herb crust (you can check out my pork loin roast), or glazed with some apples alongside (this pork roast with apple brandy glaze), but for a presentation a bit more colorful, I decided to create this delicious and extra savory stuffed pork loin recipe for something a little different.
Butterflied and filled with a mouthwatering mixture of pesto, a sprinkle of pine nuts, some crispy pancetta, sweet-tangy sun-dried tomatoes and a dusting of shaved parmesan cheese, my stuffed pork loin is brimming with lots of Italian-inspired, savory flavor.
It's exceptionally flavorful, juicy, and succulent on the inside, and golden-brown and herby on the outside!
My Recipe for Stuffed Pork Loin
The first thing one needs to do when preparing a stuffed pork loin recipe is to butterfly the pork loin.
This simply means that the pork loin is cut in such a way as to open it up and make it a flatter, thinner piece of meat, one that can be filled with ingredients and then rolled back up, jelly roll-style, tied, and roasted.
If you're not comfortable with butterflying your own pork loin, ask your butcher to do it for you. However, it isn't too difficult of a process to do at home, it just takes a little time and patience…
Good news is, you're not looking for perfection (things get hidden once the pork loin is rolled up), just a method to open up the pork loin so it is larger and flatter, and ready for the filling to be spread over the surface of it.
The butterflied pork loin should be a flat, rectangular piece of meat, roughly a ½ inch thick. I then place some plastic wrap over it, and use a meat mallet to pound it out to even thickness, or help areas to become thinner if needed.
Then, it's ready to be spread with the delectable filling, rolled and tied up, and finally roasted!
Here's a glance my stuffed pork loin recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To begin, I butterfly my pork loin as described in detail below (or ask my butcher to do it) , and season it with salt and pepper.
- I spread my filling ingredients over the entire butterflied pork loin, taking care to leave a ½ inch border all the way around for easier rolling.
- Next, I roll the pork loin jelly roll-style, then tie very simply with a few pieces of kitchen twine or string to secure things, and season the outside.
- I roast the stuffed pork loin at 450° for the first 15 minutes, reducing the temp to 325° to finish roasting to an internal temperature of 145°.
- When done, I allow the stuffed pork loin to rest for 10 minutes, remove the kitchen twine/string, then slice and serve.
Stuffed Pork Loin
by Ingrid Beer
This succulent stuffed pork loin is brimming with pesto sauce, pine nuts, crispy pancetta, sun-dried tomatoes and parmesan!
Yield: Serves 8
Nutrition Info: 533 calories per serving
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total time: 2 hours
- 3 to 4 ounces prosciutto (about 6 slices)
- Olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves, pressed through garlic press, divided use
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- Black pepper
- 3 ½ pound pork loin
- ½ cup pesto (prepared)
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
- ⅓ cup shredded parmesan
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes (patted dry of oil), julienned into strips
- Begin by gathering and prepping all of your ingredient according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- Place a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, and once hot, add the prosciutto slices (work in batches if necessary), crisping them for a couple of minutes as you would bacon. Place the crispy prosciutto onto a paper towel-lined plate to drain, then chop into small bits. Set aside.
- To a small dish, add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, about 2 cloves worth of the pressed garlic, the Italian seasoning, plus a pinch of salt and pepper. Using a fork, mix the ingredients together to form the flavorful rub for the outside of your stuffed pork loin to use a little later. Set aside.
- To butterfly the pork loin, place it lengthwise (fat side down) onto a work surface in front of you, vertically, with the short end closest to you.
- Take a sharp knife, and holding it so the blade is parallel to the cutting board (around the center of the pork loin), make long cuts into the side of the loin, working your way through, taking care not to cut all the way through, until the loin opens up like a book in front of you.
- Then, repeat the process with the left side of the loin (or left side of the “book”), slowly slicing through the center of that, unrolling the meat as you go, until that portion can open up and lays flat. (Once again taking care not to slice all the way through the meat, you're just looking to “unroll” it.) Repeat with the right side of the pork loin, to finish.
- At this point, the butterflied pork loin should be a relatively flat, rectangular piece of meat, about ½ inch thick. (It's OK if it's not perfect.) Place some plastic wrap over top of it, and use a meat mallet to pound it to even thickness, or help areas to become thinner if needed.
- Next, drizzle a small amount of olive oil over the meat, and sprinkle over a little salt and pepper. Then, spread over the pesto sauce.
- Evenly sprinkle over the remaining 4 cloves of pressed garlic, the lemon zest, the 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley, the shredded parmesan cheese, the chopped crispy prosciutto, the pine nuts and the sun-dried tomatoes.
- Starting with the shorter end of the meat, begin rolling the butterflied pork loin jelly roll-style, as tightly as possible until it rests on its seam, with the fat side up.
- Cut about 6 pieces of kitchen twine or string (nice and long, for easier tying), and tightly tie the pieces of string around the stuffed pork every two inches or so, to help it to hold together and stay secure during the roasting.
- Sprinkle the outside of the stuffed pork loin fairly generously with salt and pepper, then spread the olive oil/garlic/Italian seasoning rub you prepared all over the outside of the pork. (At this point you can refrigerate the stuffed pork loin, if preparing ahead.)
- Preheat your oven to 450°, and place a wire rack over a foil-lined baking sheet. Place the stuffed pork loin onto the wire rack, then insert a digital thermometer into the thickest portion of the loin.
- Once your oven is hot, roast the stuffed pork loin at 450° for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 325°, and roast until the internal temperature registers 145° (roughly 1 hour and 5 minutes), for moist, juicy meat. Allow the stuffed pork to rest for 10 minutes (its internal temp will continue to rise).
- Cut the kitchen twine from the roast, then sprinkle the stuffed pork loin with a little extra chopped parsley for garnish, then slice into roughly ½ inch thick slices and serve with your desired accompaniment.
Tips & Tidbits for my Stuffed Pork Loin recipe:
- Butterfly the pork loin yourself, or ask your butcher: The important thing to keep in mind when it comes to butterflying your pork loin is that it doesn't have to be perfect. The main thing is work slowly, making smaller cuts and unrolling the meat gently as you go, and taking care not to cut all the way through the meat. You'll create a large, flat piece of pork this way, and any thicker pieces can be pounded with a meat mallet. (You can also hide any flaws once the loin is rolled up.). Alternatively, you can ask your butcher to butterfly it for you, if you prefer.
- Store-bought pesto, or homemade: To keep things a little more streamlined, I like to use a good quality store-bought pesto sauce, and then jazz it up myself a little to save time. However, if you prefer to prepare a really tasty homemade pesto sauce yourself, you can get use the yummy pesto recipe from my Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Pesto Sauce post.
- Prepare stuffed pork loin ahead: When preparing this recipe, I always prep my stuffed pork loin a day or even two ahead of when I plan on roasting and serving it. (It's not only a huge time saver, but it allows for the flavors to really permeate through the pork loin, creating even more savory flavor and aroma.) Simply prep it up to the point that you roll it up, secure with kitchen twine, and season on the outside. Then, cover with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge until ready to roast, removing it a couple of hours ahead to bring to room temp.
Craving more utterly mouthwatering pork recipes? Check out this Pork Loin Roast, this Pork Roast with Apple Brandy Glaze, this Pork Tenderloin Sandwich, this Braised Pork Shoulder, these Fried Pork Chops, this Schnitzel, or these Smothered Pork Chops in Savory Pan Sauce!
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