Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

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Photography Credit: Sally Vargas

Making stuffed pork tenderloin is easier than you may think and it’s a terrific party dish, especially around the holidays.

Here’s my trick: Instead of tying the stuffed tenderloin together with twine, just wrap it in bacon instead. It’s less demanding, and the bacon makes this an especially rich and flavorful meal. Plus everything is better with bacon, right?

This bacon-wrapped tenderloin seems fancy-ish, but is actually quite quick and easy. Roast a tray of potatoes in the oven at the same time, and dinner is all set.

Either fresh or day-old bread is fine to use for the stuffing portion of this recipe. Just don’t be tempted to substitute store-bought breadcrumbs; they don’t have the right flavor or texture for this dish.

Butterflying the pork loin might sound tricky, but in fact just means cutting it down the length partway through. Just be careful not to cut all the way through!

Open it like a book and then pound it with a meat tenderizer or a rolling pin until slightly flattened. This makes it easier to wrap the tenderloin around the stuffing and hold it closed while you wrap it with bacon.

If you think of pork tenderloin as dry and bland, then you have to try this recipe. Filled with herby stuffing and wrapped with bacon, you will definitely have something to write home about.

Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Pork Tenderloin Recipe

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  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium apple, peeled and cut into small dice (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 medium yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 to 2 thick slices bread (enough to make 1/2 cup coarse breadcrumbs)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 pork tenderloin (1 to 1 1/4 pounds)
  • 8 to 10 strips of bacon (about 12 ounces), cut in half

Method

1 Heat the oven to 450F. Have on hand a rimmed baking sheet.

2 Make the stuffing: In a skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the apple, onion, rosemary, and thyme, and cook for 7 to 9 minutes, or until softened. Meanwhile, pulse the bread slices in a food processor until you make coarse crumbs. You should have about 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs.

Remove the pan with the onions and apples from the heat, and stir in the breadcrumbs, mustard, salt, and pepper. Set aside to cool briefly.

3 Butterfly the tenderloin: Cut a deep lengthwise slit down the center of the tenderloin, stopping about 1/2-inch from the bottom of the roast. Open it up like a book. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap, and with a mallet or rolling pin, gently pound it until it is of an even thickness.

4 Stuff the tenderloin: Spread the stuffing in a line along the center of the meat. Bring the edges of the meat together to return it to its original shape. Secure with toothpicks.

5 Wrap the bacon slices around the meat: Lay out the bacon slices on a cutting board, overlapping them slightly. Place the tenderloin on top with the toothpicks facing up. Removing the toothpicks as you work, wrap the bacon slices around the pork to form a log. Place the tenderloin, bacon seam side down, on the baking sheet. 

6 Roast the tenderloin: Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of the meat registers 145F to 150F and the bacon is brown and crisp. If the roast is ready before the bacon browns, place the tenderloin under the broiler for 3 to 5 minutes to brown the bacon.

7 Let the tenderloin rest for 10 minutes before cutting into slices. Serve with the pan juices spooned over top, if desired.

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Sally Vargas

Sally Pasley Vargas is a freelance writer and the author of two cookbooks (Food for Friends and The Tao of Cooking, Ten Speed Press). She currently writes the column The Confident Cook for The Boston Globe along with seasonal recipes for the Wednesday Food Section.

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Showing 4 of 12 Comments

  • mtsf

    average cook here. made this last weekend, easy peasy and fantastic; now i’m a star. also served with elise’ creamed spinach (no cream recipe). thanks for keeping up this site.

  • Michael Ableiter

    This was the star of the dinner last weekend. Everyone wanted more! Thanks for this recipe!

  • Bree

    I made this last night, on a weeknight. It really didn’t take very long to prep or cook. I used dried rosemary and thyme because my herbs are currently buried in the snow. It was delicious and not dry. I was skeptical of the apples being too sweet but they weren’t (I used Cortland).

    I would make this again. Thanks for a new way to cook pork tenderloin!

  • Melinda Giaimo

    I made this tonight and it was soooo tasty! My family couldn’t get enough of it! Thank you so much for this amazing recipe.

  • Mike Ableiter

    This sound Excellent! I want to make it this weekend.
    I have a question, my wife and I need to stick to a low (as possible) fat diet. What would you recommend as a substitute for the bacon?

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