An easy recipe for a juicy, succulent, very flavorful oven-baked boneless pork roast.
It's as simple as can be: Rub the meat with spices, then cook it in the oven until the outside is browned and crispy and the inside is tender and juicy. It's easy, tasty, and affordable!
I really like making roasts for dinner. Similar to casseroles (such as this ground beef casserole), they provide lots of food for minimal work. They practically cook themselves!
When it comes to pork, I do like making baked pork chops, but I have to admit that this tasty roast is much easier to make. You simply rub the meat with seasonings, then bake it in the oven until it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty main dish. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Olive oil spray: I love olive oil and use it frequently in my cooking. But if you worry about its relatively low smoke point, you can use avocado oil instead.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you might want to reduce the amount you use, or the roast could end up too salty.
Spices: I use garlic powder, paprika, dried sage, and dried thyme. I actually prefer garlic powder to minced fresh garlic in this recipe, as it more evenly coats the meat.
Boneless pork shoulder: I usually pick a 3-lb. one. I get them either at Whole Foods or at my local supermarket.
Making a pork roast is truly easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Prepare the spice mixture: Mix together the kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, sage, and thyme.
Next, rub the spice mixture all over the pork. Now spray its top liberally with olive oil.
Cook the pork for 15 minutes at 425°F, then lower the oven to 375°F and continue cooking to an internal temperature of 145°F, about 75 more minutes. When done, it will be beautifully browned:
Let it rest for 20 minutes before slicing and serving.
It's very important to allow the fully cooked roast to rest for at least 20 minutes prior to slicing it. This allows the juices to redistribute and settle.
If you cut into the roast too soon, yummy juices will be lost, and the meat will end up dry and not as flavorful.
Frequently asked questions
After the first 15 minutes of browning the roast, a very rough estimate is to keep cooking it for approximately 25 minutes per pound. But this is just an estimate.
As with all roasts, it's really important to use a meat thermometer (such as this) that you insert into the meat and that alerts you when it's fully cooked. There's really no other way to make sure that the meat is done.
With pork, this is especially important, because the lowest internal temperature you want it to reach is 145 degrees (medium).
I usually get a 3-pound pork shoulder. If your roast is bigger, simply increase the cooking time accordingly. If the top seems to be getting too dark, loosely cover it with foil.
No. In 2011, the USDA lowered its temperature recommendation for cooking whole cuts of pork, from 160 degrees (dry, tough, completely white meat) to 145 degrees (juicy, and slightly pink in the center) with a 3-minute rest period.
This means that a cut of pork may still look pink when it reaches 145 degrees. That, says the USDA, is OK.
After years of being conditioned to expect pork to appear white when fully cooked, this change is not easy for many of us. But this is a good change: meat cooked to medium is nice and juicy, while well-done meat is very dry.
No. You want it nicely browned, so you shouldn't cover it. However, if your roast is big and the top is getting too dark while the inside is not yet fully cooked, you should loosely cover the top with foil to protect it from over-browning.
I prefer a boneless roast because it's easier to slice and serve. The only disadvantage is that once it's done, you don't have bones to use for a tasty soup.
The best way to vary this recipe is to experiment with different spices. Good candidates include onion powder, dried oregano, ground cumin, and ground mustard seeds.
You can also spray the pork with ghee instead of olive oil if you can find a spray bottle of ghee oil. It's delicious!
Pork roast is so rich and flavorful, that I like to keep the sides very simple. I usually serve it with simple microwave broccoli, dressed with lemon juice and melted butter.
Another side dish that goes really well with this main dish is roasted butternut squash. You can cook it in the same oven for 45 minutes at 375°F, tossing midway through cooking.
While the roast stands for 20 minutes, lower the oven to the "keep warm" setting and keep the butternut squash, loosely covered in foil, in the warm oven.
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Reheat them gently, covered, in the microwave on 50% power. They won't be as good as the freshly prepared dish, but they will still be very tasty.
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Easy Boneless Pork Roast
- Olive oil spray
- 1 tablespoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt (not fine salt)
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon paprika (regular or smoked)
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 lb. boneless pork shoulder roast
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and fit it with a wire rack. Spray the wire rack with olive oil.
- In a small bowl, mix together the kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, sage, and thyme.
- Pat the meat dry with paper towels. Place it on the wire rack. Rub the spice mixture all over the roast. Spray its top liberally with olive oil.
- Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Allow the roast to sit at room temperature while the oven is warming, about 30 minutes.
- Insert a meat thermometer probe into the middle of the roast and place the pork in the hot oven. Roast it for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 375 degrees F and continue roasting until the meat thermometer reads 145 degrees F. In my oven it takes 75 minutes (about 25 minutes per pound).
- Remove the roast from the oven. Loosely tent it with foil, and allow it to rest for 20 minutes.
- Carefully remove the butcher twine from the roast, slice and serve.