Pesto Stuffed Pork Loin

Watching what you eat DOESN’T have to mean you can only have bland boring food (that doesn’t even fill you). Whether you are counting calories or fat, my Pesto Stuffed Pork Loin is the answer. It is stuffed with my Healthy (No Oil) Pesto or you can use store bought pesto. Pork Loins are low in calories and low in fat, and filling…but are usually bland – but not anymore.

First, gather all your ingredients and equipment needed because you will be touching raw meat. Grab 2 knifes and 2 cutting boards (or wash the knife and cutting board while the loin is cooking), mallet, parchment paper, 6 pieces of kitchen twine, pesto, salt and pepper (best to put your S&P in a small bowl at this point), 2 spoons or a spoon and a spatula, pan (oven safe), baking sheet with rack (if pan is not oven safe). And preheat your oven to 350o.

To cut open a pork loin, place the loin onto a cutting board and make a slit down the enter (lengthwise) 2/3rd the way down and open it to reveal the inside. Then cut each side 2/3rd down and open the sides.

To eliminates splatter, place a piece of parchment paper over the loin to completely cover it with a few inches extra on all sides (about the size of your cutting board). With the side of a mallet, gently pound the loin to flatten it to about 1/2 inch. Start from the center and pound to the ends. This process may take few times. If you don’t have a mallet, you can use the long part of a rolling pin or even the side of a can. Remember, whatever you use to pound, you need to wash it with soap and water later.

Remove and discard the parchment paper and season both sides with salt and pepper. Get 2 spoons or a spoon and a spatula. Scoop the homemade or store bought pesto with one spoon and drop it on the loin (do not touch the loin with the spoon) and spread the pesto with a 2nd spoon or a spatula on the inside of the loin. Why 2 spoons? To avoid cross contamination of E. coli, salmonella and listeria. You don’t want to touch the spoon to the loin, decide you need more pesto, then put that spoon back in the pesto.

Roll the loin as tight as you can back to how it looked before you cut it. Slide 6 pieces of twine under the loin a few inches apart and tie it up. At this point you’re done touching the raw pork – so wash your hands. Heat a pan with a tablespoon of olive oil. With a pair of tongs, place the loin in the hot pan and sear the outside for a few minutes on each side. Then place the pan (if it’s oven safe) or place the seared loin on a baking sheet pan with a rack into the oven and cook it in the oven at 350o until the center of the loin reaches 140o, about 45 to 50 minutes.

When the pork loin is done cooking, take it out of the oven and place it on a clean cutting board. Let it rest for 15 minutes and the loin’s internal temp should be raised to above 145o, then remove the twine, slice the stuffed pork loin with a clean kitchen knife and serve. I served this with a side of garlic steamed broccoli. I really hope you enjoy this recipe and the pesto recipe. Please follow my blog and enter your email address to get notifications of new recipes – and leave a comment too! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Equipment:

  • 2 knives (or clean 1 after cutting into the raw loin)
  • 2 cutting boards (or clean 1 after using with the raw loin)
  • Pan (oven safe if you have one)
  • Baking sheet pan and rack (if you pan is not oven safe)
  • 2 spoons (or 1 spoon and 1 spatula)
  • 6 pieces kitchen twine
  • Tongs

Prep time 15 minutes
Bake time 45-50 minutes
Rest time 15 minutes
Total time 75-80 minutes


Directions:

  1. Gather all your ingredients.
  2. Preheat oven to 350o.
  3. Place the loin onto a cutting board.
  4. Slit down the enter (lengthwise) 2/3rd the way down and open it to reveal the inside.
  5. Then cut each side 2/3rd down and open the sides.
  6. Place a piece of parchment paper over the loin
  7. With the side of a mallet, or rolling pin, gently pound the loin flatten it to about 1/2 inch, starting from the center and pound to the ends.
  8. Remove and discard the parchment paper.
  9. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
  10. Use 2 spoons or a spoon and a spatula to avoid cross contamination.
  11. Scoop store bought or homemade pesto with one spoon and drop it on the loin (do not touch the loin with the spoon).
  12. Spread the pesto with a 2nd spoon or a spatula on the inside of the loin.
  13. Roll the loin as tight as you can back to how it looked before you cut it.
  14. Tie it up with kitchen twine.
  15. Wash your hands.
  16. With a pair of tongs, place the loin in a hot pan with a tablespoon of olive oil.
  17. Sear the outside for a few minutes on each side.
  18. Place the pan (if it’s oven safe) or place the seared loin on a baking sheet pan with a rack into the oven and cook it in the oven at 350o until the center of the loin reaches 123o, about 45 to 50 minutes.
  19. Remove from the oven when the pork loin reaches 140o.
  20. Place the loin onto a clean cutting board, letting it rest for 15 minutes and the temp is raised above 145o.
  21. With a clean knife, cut off the twine, slice the pork loin and serve.
  22. Enjoy!!!

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