Have you tried wrapping pork tenderloin in bacon? It's life-changing. The bacon adds flavor and fat to the lean meat, making it juicy and flavorful.
It's such an easy recipe to make yet it looks so impressive! Leftovers are good too, so you can make a couple of them to ensure tasty leftovers.
Bacon really does make everything better. 🥓 In this particular recipe, it adds juiciness and flavor that the naturally lean pork tenderloin lacks. Wrapping the pork in bacon does more than enhancing the flavor. It also ensures that the meat stays nice and juicy.
My roasted pork tenderloin is juicy and very flavorful, but I think this recipe is even better, and my family agrees - it's one of the dinner entrees they request most often! I'm actually happy to oblige since it's a truly easy recipe.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty main dish. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Olive oil spray: I love this delicious oil! But if you're unsure about cooking with it, you can use avocado oil instead. It has a higher smoke point.
Honey: You can try replacing this with a sugar-free sticky sweetener. But I think the real thing is worth it.
Dijon mustard: It's creamier and less vinegary than yellow mustard.
Seasonings: I keep it simple and use kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.
Pork tenderloin: I usually get a piece that weighs around 1.25 lb. They can sometimes go up to 1.5 lb. and then you would need to roast for a little longer.
Bacon strips: Try to pick medium bacon slices - not thick and not thin.
Despite the impressive presentation, making bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin is easy. Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
1. Make the glaze. Start by mixing the honey-mustard glaze. Divide it into two portions. You want to separate the portion you'll spread on the cooked meat from the portion that you'll spread on the raw meat.
2. Prepare the pork. Season the pork, then wrap it in bacon, as shown in the video below. Brush the top and sides with half the glaze.
3. Cook the pork. Roast it to medium doneness, about 40 minutes in a 450°F oven. Loosely cover it with foil after the first 15 minutes. Otherwise, the bacon will burn.
4. Rest it before slicing. Let the meat rest, then brush it with the remaining glaze, slice, and serve.
You'll see in the recipe card below that I cook the pork to 145°F (medium doneness).
A wonderful thing happened a few years ago. The USDA lowered its safe temperature for whole cuts of pork (not ground pork) from 160°F to 145°F, with a 3-minute rest period.
So thankfully, we can now cook whole cuts of pork to a wonderfully juicy, slightly pink medium temperature. There's no need to dry them out completely!
Frequently asked questions
Yes! As explained above, it is now considered acceptable to cook whole cuts of pork to an internal temperature of 145°F, which means the meat will be slightly pink. Ground pork, however, should still be cooked to 160ºF.
Since I cook it in a very hot oven (450ºF), I do find that it's best to loosely cover it with foil after the first 15-20 minutes, to protect the top and prevent it from burning.
I have found that it's best to cook it in a hot oven for a relatively short time, rather than use a moderate oven and cook it for longer. And another great way to keep it juicy is to wrap it in bacon!
Variations and substitutions
If I feel like varying the basic recipe, I'll usually sprinkle the pork with a few more spices prior to wrapping it. Good options include paprika, cumin, and dried thyme.
Recommended side dishes
One of the reasons I love making this recipe is that it goes well with many different sides. But since I cook it in a 450ºF oven, I like to serve it with a side dish that I can cook in the same oven, such as:
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Reheat them covered in the microwave on 50% power. The bacon will lose its crispiness, but the leftovers should still taste good.
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Juicy Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin
- Olive oil spray
- 2 tablespoons honey or a sugar-free syrup
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt or ½ teaspoon fine salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 pork tenderloin (1¼ lb.)
- 6 bacon strips
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Line a roasting pan with foil. Fit it with a roasting rack and spray the rack with olive oil spray.
- In a small bowl, mix together the honey and Dijon mustard. Divide the mixture into two equal portions. Set aside.
- Pat the pork dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic powder all over the pork.
- Wrap the tenderloin with the bacon strips, wrapping each bacon slice crosswise around a section of the pork and securing the end by tucking it underneath. It will feel a bit loose at this point, but will all meld together while roasting.
- Place the wrapped pork on the prepared roasting rack. Brush the top and sides with half of the honey-Dijon sauce.
- Place the meat in the hot oven and roast it until an instant-read thermometer registers 145 degrees F (medium), about 40 minutes. Loosely cover it with foil after the first 15-20 minutes, to prevent the bacon from burning.
- Remove the tenderloin from the oven. Allow it to rest for 15 minutes. Brush it with the remaining portion of honey-Dijon sauce, slice, and serve.