Italian Stuffed Pork Tenderloin is incredibly soft and tender, and the delicious mixture of Italian flavors stuffed inside of the perfectly cooked meat makes it truly irresistible. This pork tenderloin is stuffed with pesto, onions, mushroom, bell peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, and freshly grated parmesan cheese. To take it over the top, the stuffed pork is also wrapped in bacon!
Italian Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
Something that always brings me joy is preparing dishes that I know won’t just satisfy everyone at the table, but thoroughly impress them and fill their bellies. That’s why I love this easy to make Italian stuffed pork tenderloin so much! I’m a big fan of pork tenderloin in general, but there’s something really phenomenal that happens when it’s stuffed with bold Italian ingredients.
As thoroughly impressive as this dish is, it’s shockingly simple to make. This is an ideal entrée for when you’re hosting a dinner party and or just want to make a fancy family dinner.
Pork is a nice and mild meat and pork tenderloin is also super soft and tender. It goes great with many different flavors because of its mild nature. One of the reasons why I love this stuffing is how well it goes with pork. There is a layer of pesto and then a delicious mixture of sautéed onions, mushrooms, and peppers with sun-dried tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese. It’s fantastic!
Just as an extra step and more flavor, the whole thing is wrapped in bacon. How can you ever go wrong with wrapping something with bacon?!
Ingredients You’ll Need
For the pork:
- Pork Tenderloin – You’ll need a single package of 2 tenderloins. This is how most pork tenderloins are sold.
- Bacon – Any brand of bacon should do the trick. Just make sure it’s plain bacon with no added flavors.
- Black Pepper
For the filling:
- Pesto – For the most vibrant, mouthwatering flavor, use my favorite Homemade Pesto Recipe!
- Olive Oil – I like to use extra virgin olive oil for the best flavor.
- Onion – A yellow onion works best, as it has a delicate sweetness to it that compliments the other flavors perfectly.
- Red Bell Pepper – Red bell peppers are naturally the sweetest, and help to balance out the more savory ingredients here.
- Baby Bella Mushrooms – If you can’t find any, dice up some shiitake mushrooms.
- Sun-Dried Tomatoes – use sun-dried tomatoes in oil, but drain the oil before using.
- Parmesan Cheese – freshly grated parmesan cheese is the best for flavor and melting.
- Italian Seasoning
- Black Pepper
How much pork tenderloin per person?
The two stuffed tenderloins should serve approximately 6-8 people. The best thing to do is to estimate about 3-4 slices per person, depending on how many sides you serve and how thickly you cut the pork. With most meats, the standard serving estimate is 1/2 lb. per person. You can always lessen that a little by serving hearty side dishes if needed.
How to Butterfly Pork Tenderloin
Take pork out of the package: remove the pork tenderloins from the package and pat them dry with a paper towel. Place the tenderloins on a large cutting board and remove as much silver skin as you can, if there is some still attached.
Butterfly pork tenderloin: Use a sharp knife to cut the tenderloin through the center, lengthwise. Cut almost all the way to the other side, but NOT all the way in half! The goal here is to be able to butterfly the tenderloin, or open it like a book. Repeat this process with the second tenderloin.
Pound pork to even it out: Place a sheet of plastic wrap over each opened pork tenderloin. Then, use the flat side of a meat tenderizer to pound it. Make sure the whole piece has an even thickness of about 1/2 inch. Lastly, remove the plastic wrap from the meat and discard it.
How to Stuff Pork Tenderloin
Sauté the vegetables: To make the Italian stuffing, start off by sautéing the diced onion and bell pepper until they begin to soften. Then, add the diced mushrooms. Stir and season the vegetables as desired. Let the vegetables cook, stirring occasionally, until they’re fully cooked.
Mix the filling: In a mixing bowl, stir together the cooked vegetables, diced sun-dried tomatoes, and freshly grated parmesan cheese. Set aside.
Stuff pork tenderloin: season the pork with some salt and pepper. Divide pesto in two portions and spread each portion over each tenderloin. Divide the Italian filling as equally as possible among the two tenderloins and spread it out. Roll up the tenderloin lengthwise and place the seam down.
Wrap the pork in bacon: Wrap each tenderloin in half a pound of bacon, overlapping each strip slightly so that they stay in place while baking. Make sure to tuck in the loose ends of bacon under the previous ones to keep everything in place.
How to Cook Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
Place onto the baking sheet: Place the bacon wrapped pork tenderloins onto a rimmed baking sheet. It needs to be large enough to fit them comfortably. Insert the leave-in meat thermometer probe into the center of the thickest part of the larger tenderloin to safely track the temperature.
Bake stuffed pork: Bake the pork tenderloins at 400° for 45-50 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches approximately 145°F. Once fully cooked, take out the tenderloins, and let them rest on the cutting board before slicing for about 10 minutes.
Tips for the Best Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
- The drippings from cooking this stuffed tenderloin will be fantastic! You can either make an incredible Pan Dripping Gravy with it, or use a larger baking sheet to roast the tenderloin and spread some chopped veggies or potatoes around it about half way through cooking.
- If you want to crisp up the bacon a little bit, switch your oven from baking to broil when the pork reaches about 140°F. Make sure the over rack is set 6-10 inches away from the broiler to avoid burning the bacon. Watch it carefully, and let the bacon crisp up for just a couple of minutes.
What to Serve with Pork Tenderloin
This is a fabulous entrée for a holiday dinner, or really any dinner party! You can serve it with a lot of different holiday side dishes like
Italian Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
For the pork:
- 2.5 lb pork tenderloin 1 package of 2 tenderloins
- 1 lb bacon
- black pepper
- 1/2 cup pesto
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion
- 1 red bell pepper
- 8 oz baby bella mushrooms
- 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil oil drained off
- 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
- black pepper
To Prepare The Tenderloin:
- Take pork tenderloins out of the package and pat them dry with a paper towel. (Most pork tenderloin packages will come with 2 tenderloins inside.)
- Place the tenderloins on a large cutting board and remove as much silver skin as you can, if there is some still attached.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the tenderloin through the center, lengthwise. Cut almost all the way to the other side but NOT all the way in half! You will want to be able to butterfly the tenderloin (open it like a book). Repeat with the other one.
- Place a sheet of plastic wrap over each opened pork tenderloin and use a flat side of the meat tenderizer to pound it. Make sure the whole piece has an even thickness of about 1/2 inch. Take plastic wrap off and discard it.
Prepare the Filling:
- Preheat a medium cooking pan over medium heat and add oil. Sauté diced onion and bell pepper until it starts to soften and add diced mushrooms.
- Stir and season the vegetables. Let them cook, stirring occasionally, until completely cooked. In a mixing bowl, mix together cooked vegetables, diced sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
- Season the pork with some salt and pepper and then spread half of the pesto all over one piece and the other half over the other.
- Divide the vegetable filling equally among the two tenderloins and spread it out. Roll up the tenderloin lengthwise and place seam down.
- Wrap each tenderloin in half a pound of bacon, overlapping each strip slightly so they stay in place. Make sure to tuck the loose ends under the previous one to keep in place.
Cooking Stuffed Pork Tenderloin:
- Preheat the oven to 400°.
- Place the wrapped stuffed pork tenderloins onto the rimmed baking sheet, large enough to fit them comfortably.
- Insert the leave-in meat thermometer probe into the center of the thickest part, of the larger tenderloin to track temperature. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until internal temperature reaches about 145°.
- Take out and let the tenderloins rest on the cutting board before slicing for about 10 minutes.
If You Need to Crisp Up The Bacon:
- If you want to crisp up the bacon a little bit, switch your oven from baking to broil when the pork reaches about 140°F.
- Make sure the over rack is set 6-10 inches away from the broiler to avoid burning the bacon. Watch it carefully, and let the bacon crisp up for just a couple of minutes.