This simple but elegant Italian Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry Balsamic Glaze will take center stage at your Christmas Dinner table!
This recipe came about because on Thanksgiving we were going to have our “Christmas” dinner. Being a food blogger, we eat a lot of our holiday meals early, or twice. It’s fun to be able to have all of these great Sunday dinners, and explore new flavors! We love going grocery shopping as a family and getting inspiration for future meals and blog posts so that we can eat up and share! When we went to the grocery store to buy our Bone-In Prime Rib, they didn’t have any, and because a frozen turkey wouldn’t have been defrosted yet, we decided on pork tenderloin. I got an almost 6 pound pork tenderloin for $9 and was able to get this roast, with leftovers, 8 pork chops and some pork for stirfry from the “scraps” for future meals. Talk about a budget-friendly protein choice!
This recipe seems complicated but it really is simple. I got inspired to make this dish by looking in my fridge. I found a little leftover Cranberry Sauce from our Thanksgiving dinner, and it just screamed Christmas to me, so I put an Italian spin on the whole thing, and came up with this easy Italian Stuffed Pork Tenderloin. If funds are tight this Christmas because you spent too much money on gifts, this recipe is perfect. The pork loin makes for many meals and the remaining ingredients you’ll either find in your fridge or freezer and the ones that you won’t are relatively cheap.
For Pork Tenderloin:
1, 3-5 lb pork tenderloin
8 oz baby bella mushrooms, finely diced
1/4 fennel bulb, finely diced
1 small onion, finely diced
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tbsp salt
1/2 tbsp black pepper
1/2 tbsp each; fresh rosemary, sage and parsley
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 lb ground pork or 2 links Italian sausage, casing removed
For Cranberry Balsamic Glaze:
1 tbsp butter
1/2 small red onion, minced
1/2 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tsp each; black pepper, parsley and rosemary, oregano
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup cranberry sauce
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
pinch red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a small pan over medium-high heat, cook ground pork or Italian sausage, breaking it into small pieces, until no longer pink – about 5 minutes. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon.
In the same pan, add salt and pepper, mushrooms, onion and fennel. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring constantly until the onions start to soften and turn translucent. Add vinegar and garlic and cook until you start to smell the garlic – about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in fresh herbs and set aside to cool.
Prepare pork tenderloin by carefully slicing in half like a book. To do this, use a sharp knife, and insert about 1 1/2” above the bottom on the left or right side. Carefully cut across horizontally being sure not to slice all the way through. Open up pork loin and season with a pinch of salt and black pepper.
Carefully place stuffing in the middle of the pork loin, and fold the top of the pork loin over the top to secure filling in place. If you have kitchen twine, now would be the time to tie the pork loin together in 3 spots. If you do not have kitchen twine, place pork loin in a tight fitting casserole dish and place in preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes.
While the pork loin starts to cook, make the cranberry balsamic glaze. Heat butter until shimmering. Add onion and seasoning then cook until it starts to soften and turn translucent – about 5 minutes. Add garlic, and cook for another 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and stir in cranberry sauce and balsamic vinegar. Let cranberry glaze simmer for about 10 minutes.
After 45 minutes, open oven, and pour about 1/2 cup of cranberry balsamic glaze over the top of pork loin.
Return to oven and bake another 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of your pork loin. An internal thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the pork loin should register 155 degrees for a well-done pork. If you prefer your pork medium, remove from oven when the thermometer register 145 degrees. The pork will continue cooking as it rests.
Let pork rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing. Slice pork roast and serve with remaining cranberry balsamic glaze.
For the FREE printable version of this recipe to add to your collection, click the link below for a PDF version!
Still prefer turkey on Christmas? Try this foolproof herb roasted turkey recipe. Turkey 101 with a turkey gravy recipe too!