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In this stuffed pork tenderloin recipe, juicy roasted tenderloin wraps around a seasonal filling of bacon, collard greens and walnuts combined with cranberries and goat cheese to create a beautiful holiday and special occasions dish that looks fancy but is so easy to make!
As you roast this stuffed pork, earthy aromas will fill your house, rich enough to conjure images of a deep south soul kitchen. Who’s been in that kitchen all day? It wasn’t you! This delicious holiday recipe only takes about 25 minutes to prep and 20-30 minutes to cook.
Stuffed or not, pork is always to easy prepare. And done right, it delivers loads of juicy, delicious flavor. Perfect Pepper-Crusted Pork Tenderloin, Cherry Cola BBQ Pulled Pork and Skillet Pork Chops with Mustard Cream Sauce are just a few pork dishes that make regular appearances in our dinner rotation.
But Cranberry Bacon Walnut Stuffed Pork Tenderloin is one we usually save for special dinners. Not because it’s any harder than the others, but because of its gorgeous appearance and traditional holiday-like flavors! Plus, it can be a welcome break from turkey or ham, especially if you are throwing a holiday dinner party.
Ingredients for Cranberry Bacon Walnut Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
- pork tenderloin– not to be confused with pork loin or pork loin roast
- whole berry cranberry sauce– brings a little sweetness, moisture and acidity to the filling
- bacon– adds rich layers of flavor to the greens, as well as to the other ingredients
- chopped/shredded collard greens- instead of the usual spinach, this recipe uses greens for a decidedly southern feel
- chopped walnuts– adds a nutty layer of flavor and texture to the filling; a substitute for bread crumbs or stuffing mix that other recipes call for
- goat cheese crumbles– adds a creaminess to the filling
- onion– adds flavor to the greens
- salt & pepper– recipe basics
How to Make Juicy Stuffed Tenderloin
Also called a roulade, stuffed tenderloin starts with a pork tenderloin that has been sliced open (or butterflied), beaten thin, stuffed, then rolled up. If you’ve never done it before, don’t worry. It’s actually very easy! Here are the tools I use to make it all as simple as possible:
- kitchen mallet/meat tenderizer
- wax paper
- cast iron skillet (or any stove-top-to-oven skillet)
- instant read meat thermometer
Prepare Filling. Cook & chop bacon. Sauté greens, bacon & onion together using some of the bacon drippings. Measure out walnuts, cranberries and goat cheese. Set all the ingredients aside.
Cut Tenderloin for Stuffing. Slice the pork tenderloin lengthwise, making sure not to cut all way through. Open the tenderloin like a book. Use a kitchen mallet to pound the tenderloin out flat.
Stuff. In the center of your pork, spread you greens, cranberries, walnuts, and goat cheese. Fold each side of the pork over to create a roll. Tuck the ends of the pork in to seal in the stuffing. You can use kitchen twine to hold your roll closed if needed, but the next step will seal its seam.
Sear. Reheat your skillet with bacon drippings. Place tenderloin in your heated skillet seam side down to sear. This will close your seam. Sear both sides.
Roast. Turn tenderloin back on the seam side. Brush lightly with remaining bacon drippings to keep the tenderloin moist. This also will add another layer of flavor, as well as create a nice caramel coloring while your stuffed tenderloin roasts in its preheated oven for 20-30 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 135-140 degrees.
Rest & Serve. Let rest for 10 minutes. Tenderloin will continue to cook while resting and should be at 145 before slicing and serving.
What To Serve With Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
Lastly, serve it as easy comfort food any night by adding some cubed butternut squash to the tenderloin’s skillet while it roasts in the oven for an all in one meal!
Make Stuffed Tenderloin In Advance
This recipe can be prepped in advance to make the day of parties, holidays and special occasions easier. Simply make filling, cut and stuff tenderloin, wrap in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Save some of the meat drippings to use as baste when cooking the next day.
Take out of refrigerator about 20-30 minutes before cooking to remove chill. Baste with meat drippings. Roast in preheated oven according to recipe instructions.
If You Make This Recipe, I Can’t Wait To Hear About It!
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Cranberry Bacon Walnut Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Collard Greens
- 2 lbs pork tenderloin
- 6 slices bacon, chopped
- 2.5 cups shredded/chopped collard greens
- 1-2 tablespoons diced onion
- 1/3 cup whole cranberry sauce
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup goat cheese crumbles
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
- Cook bacon on stove top in a skillet. Pour off bacon drippings except approximately 1 tablespoon. Set aside the "poured off" bacon drippings to use as a baste.
- Heat skillet with 1 tablespoon of drippings over medium high heat. Add onions, greens and bacon. Sauté until greens are bright green and wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Slice pork tenderloin lengthwise without cutting all the way through (about 3/4 of the way through). Open tenderloin like a book, cover with wax paper or plastic wrap to avoid splatter and pound with mallet until about 1/4-1/2 inch thick.
- In the center of the pork, add greens, walnuts, goat cheese and cranberries. Fold each side over to create a roll. Tuck the ends of the pork in to seal in the stuffing. Use twine, if necessary, to keep roll closed tightly.
- Reheat skillet again on stove top. Carefully place tenderloin seam side down in skillet to sear. This will seal the seam. Sear top side also so that tenderloin will cook evenly in oven.
- Turn tenderloin seam side down again. Brush some of the remaining bacon drippings over top of tenderloin to keep moist while roasting. Put skillet in oven and roast tenderloin for 20-30 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 140. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Thermometer should read 145 after resting. Carefully slice into 1/2 inches slices and serve.
Updated October 2021; Originally published November 2016