Spinach and Italian Sausage Stuffed Pork Tenderloin (pssssst… it’s wrapped in bacon, too!)
I’d been toying with the idea of making a stuffed pork tenderloin like this for quite some time now.
Pork, stuffed with pork, wrapped in even more pork. That’s like pork heaven to the 10th power! OH YEAH! To me, the concept sounded so insanely delicious, it almost had a bit of an indecent ring to it.
Did I ever tell you how much I LOVE my pork? Ever since I was a kid, I always said that if I had to choose only one kind of meat to eat for the rest of my life, it would HAVE to be pork. Without so much as a moment’s hesitation.
I find that, of all the meats, it is the most flavorful and the most versatile, too. It can be transformed into so many delicious things, like ham and sausage and BACON! Speaking of which, I just got my hands on a whole pork belly last week… You know what that means, right? Oh yeah! Some bacon making action will be happening soon right here, in this very house. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am about this.
Almost as excited as I am about this recipe which I am sharing with you today.
So my pork, stuffed with pork, wrapped in even more pork experiment was a complete success. Not only did this dish live up to my [high] expectations, it totally pulverized them. To say it was delicious would be an understatement. The flavor profile of this roast is simply out of this world. To.die.for. It’ll have your taste buds hold hands and dance in circle while signing “An Die Freude” in unison.
Now this may give the impression that it’s extremely complicated and takes forever to make, but trust me, it’s not the case at all. It is surprisingly easy and I’d even say is a very fun and rewarding cooking project to tackle.
Plus, I’m giving you tons of pictures to guide you and make it real simple.
I’ll give it to you, though. Perhaps this is not your typical quick and easy work-night dinner, but it makes for a fabulous week-end family night feast, and believe me when I say that it’s worth EVERY SINGLE MINUTE you will spend working on it… and then some.
So are you ready? Let’s do this guys… one step at a time!
Melt 1 tablespoon of ghee in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add onion, salt and pepper and cook until the onion turns translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
Add a MOUNTAIN of chopped spinach to the skillet. Yes, this may seem like a lot, but you all know what happens to spinach when it cooks, right?
It wilts and goes down to merely nothing! So cook your spinach until it gets to that point, which will not take long at all…
Then transfer your spinach to a fine mesh sieve and set it to cool for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, return your skillet to the heat source and melt the remaining tablespoon of ghee. Add the mushrooms and cook until softened and golden, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Now, you want to squeeze as much water as you possibly can out of the spinach. I like to do that by pushing it down with a small plate or the back of a ladle.
See all the liquid that’s coming out? Make sure you get every last little drop!
And that leaves you with yet even less spinach to work with! But that’s okay. We still have plenty!
Now slice your tenderloins open. To do that, place the blade of your knife parallel to your cutting board, put your hand flat on top of the tenderloin and carefully slice down the middle almost all the way to the end.
You’ll want to stop about ¾ of the way through.
Lay your tenderloins open on a cutting board…
…and, with a meat mallet or small saucepan, delicately pound them until they’re about ½ inch thick.
Ahem, and no comment, okay? Trust me, I know I could NEVER make it as a butcher…
Sprinkle your now flat tenderloins with salt and pepper, then divide the sausage meat between both tenderloins and spread as evenly as possible without going all the way to the edge; you want to leave about one inch all around and even a little bit more on the side where the seam will be.
Top with spinach mixture, followed with mushrooms.
Roll the tenderloins as tightly as you can, taking care to place the seam underneath, then carefully wrap each of them with the bacon strips.
5 or 6 strips per tenderloin should do the trick. Simply go around in circles…
Transfer your now wrapped and stuffed pork tenderloins to an oven safe baking dish. This will go in the oven for a total of about an hour.
Once it’s done cooking, you’ll want to let the meat rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing. So you might want to plan on getting these babies started about 2 hours ahead of time.
- 30 minutes to prep
- 60 minutes to cook
- 15 minutes to rest
Not sooooo bad, is it? Plus, it’s mainly only passive work…
Now of course you could probably halve this recipe and make only a single tenderloin, but I think this might be cutting it a little short for 4 people. Besides, making two isn’t that much more trouble…
Plus, you’re gonna WANT to generate leftovers: this reheats magnificently well in a covered skillet set over medium heat.
Even if you don’t have a big family to feed, you can very well make the extra roast, pre-slice it and keep it in the fridge for quick and easy access to a delicious meal all through the week. Did I tell you how amazingly good this was for breakfast, alongside pan-fried cauli-rice, some sauerkraut and fresh avocado? It would work wonderfully with a couple of eggs, too.
How could your day ever go wrong after it’s started so brilliantly? But if meat for breakfast isn’t your thing, feel free to end your day with this one instead. It’ll be just as brilliant!
Spinach and Italian Sausage Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
- 1-2 tbsp ghee
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 454 g 1lb spinach, chopped
- 1/4 tsp Himalayan salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/2 lb mushrooms, chopped
- 2 -454 g 1lb pork tenderloins
- 3 spicy Italian sausages, removed from casing
- 10-12 slices pasture raised bacon
- Preheat oven to 375F
- Melt 1 tablespoon of ghee in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add onion, salt and pepper and cook until the onion turns translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add chopped spinach and cook until just wilted. Transfer the cooked spinach to a fine mesh sieve and set it to cool for a few minutes.
- Meanwhile, return your skillet to the heat source and melt the remaining tablespoon of ghee. Add the mushrooms and cook until softened and golden, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- Squeeze as much water as you possibly can out of the spinach by pushing it down in the sieve with a small plate or the back of a ladle. Set aside.
- Now slice your tenderloins open. To do that, place the blade of your knife parallel to your cutting board, put your hand flat on top of the tenderloin and carefully slice down the middle almost all the way to the end. You’ll want to stop about ¾ of the way through.
- Lay the tenderloins open on a cutting board and, with a meat mallet or small saucepan, delicately pound them until they’re about ½ inch thick.
- Place your now flat tenderloins on your cutting board, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then divide and spread the sausage meat on both tenderloins, as evenly as possible but without going all the way to the edge; you want to leave about one inch all around. Top with spinach mixture, followed with mushrooms.
- Roll the tenderloins as tightly as you can, taking care to place the seam underneath, then carefully wrap each of them with the bacon strips by simply going around. You should need 5 or 6 strips per tenderloin.
- Transfer your wrapped pork to an oven safe baking dish, cover with aluminum foil and bake in a 375F oven for 35-40 minutes.
- Remove foil and continue cooking for 20-25 minutes, basting 2-3 times during that period.
- Set your oven to broil and finish crisping up the bacon, which should take anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes. Keep a close eye on the prize, during that time: you wouldn’t want your precious bundles to burn!
- Remove from oven, tent loosely and let the meat rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing.
If you’ve tried this recipe, please take a minute to rate the recipe and let me know how things went for you in the comments below. It’s always such a pleasure to hear from you!
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55 Comments on “Spinach and Italian Sausage Stuffed Pork Tenderloin (pssssst… it’s wrapped in bacon, too!)”
What a dish! Though I’m not as pork crazy as you, I will say that if I showed this recipe to my fiance, he might faint.
Faint, eh? Now imagine if you cooked it for him! 😉 😀
OOO MY GOODNESS…. That just looks amazing… And I’m so gonna make this coming weekend. How can I resist so much porkness? Brilliant! And am I seeing a new blog design? I’m gonna check it out on my computer as it always looks different on my iPad.
Glad you think so, Simone. Just you wait until you get a taste of these babies. OH!
And yes, that is a new look indeed! Couldn’t STAND the old one anymore! You like?
Yes, I like it very much! Looks lovely and clean.. Much crisper than the previous one but it gets that way doesn’t it? You get bored of a certain design at some point (mine will be changed today or tomorrow!)
Wow. This is so tasty. I like its meat. thanks for a tasty post.
K, that needs goat cheese in between the mushrooms & spinach. yup, i’m obsessed with goat cheese. ;o)
Thanx for the recipe!
this is just stunning. you really outdid yourself with this one. will you please adopt me? i can do all the dishes.
Hahaha! Looks like the family is getting bigger and bigger! Maybe I should start a commune. I’ll write you down for dishes! 😀
Joking aside, thanks much for your kind words, Joanna. As always, I greatly appreciate them! 🙂
haha too funny. well, you inspired me enough to go out and buy all the ingredients for this recipe! i just have to make it myself. i could only find turkey sausages in casings at the store so i hope those work. just making one tenderloin since i cook for myself and shouldn’t (but CAN) eat 2 lbs by myself haha
Of course they will work, Joanna. The flavor profile will be slightly different and of course, your final dish will have a little bit less “porkness” to it, but it should be just as good! I can’t wait to hear how it turned out! 😀
so i ended up making this and it turned out great!! my mom helped me but it really wasn’t as complicated as it looks. i cooked the spinach/mushroom mixture before hand so all i really had to do was slice the pork open and stuff/wrap it! it was pretty fun! i flipped my tenderloins over in the oven to get both sides of the bacon crispy. it came out so perfect. i wish i could upload a picture because it looks exactly like yours! haha it was a little spicy from the sausage and had so much flavor.
Oh wow, that is so awesome, Joanna, I am sooooo extremely thrilled to hear! And I want to see that picture!!!!! Can you post it on my FB wall, perhaps? I would LOVE that! 😀
hey sonia! i posted them on your fb wall! you’ve inspired me to try some different stuffings. if you come up with another one, let me know! i was thinking a greek style would be amazing like olives, zucchini, sundried tomatoes, oregano, and some cheese.
Oh man! That sounds YUMMY! Do let me know how it turns out if you make it, and I will definitely let you know if I come up with other stuffing ideas, too! 🙂 And by the way, wow, you really nailed it, girl! Your roasts turned out incredible!!
Wow, damn delicious!!!
first of all, everithing delicious if wrapped with bacon, right?
this stuffed pork tenderloin is a must try recipe, superb!!!
Thank you Dedy, and you got that one right. Bacon does make everything better! 🙂
This is one of the best dishes I have ever made, hands down. Made it for my family on XMAS eve, and was asked for the recipe. It was DELICIOUS and moist!!
I changed the mushrooms to goat cheese (for a mushroom hater) and it still worked. Thank you for sharing!
Wow, thank YOU so much for your kind words, Erica, that is so very nice of you to say! And I bet that goat cheese must’ve been FAN-TAS-TIC in there! Now I think I want to try it for myself…
Omg….thank you for your help in my kitchen on this dish!! I added chive and onion cream cheese,sautéed bell pepper onion,garlic,jalapeño,and shrimp..awesome
Sounds delish, Bridget! 🙂
So funny Bridget, I came here this morning post almost the exact changes (additions) to this recipe my self….and it was Ah-Mazing… Thank you Sonia for a great start.
You are so very welcome, Mike! Happy to hear the recipe was to your liking! Funny that you and Bridget ended up making the same substitutions. Maybe I should give them a go myself… 🙂
I’m nervous about not frying the Sausage first. Does it cook completely inside the pork when you put in in raw?
Yes it does, Carlo. Nothing to worry about! 🙂
Made this last night for guests and followed your recipe to the letter. Our friends are real foodies, as are we and the RAVED about this entree!! I served it with a Mushroom garlic cream sauce( finished with Sherry and a dash of Tequila). It looked beautiful and tasted amazing. Thanks so much for this addition to my repertoire. I am a fan!!
AWESOME!!!! Real happy to hear the dish was a success, and thanks a bunch for taking the time to leave such amazing feedback, too! You totally ROCK! 🙂
Am I missing something here?
Do you cook the Italian sausage first?
No, you don’t.
That’s a killer recipe Sonia!
I am a big fan of spinach since I started to watch Popeye 🙂
Eager to taste it….
Hahaha! I’ve to admit that I have a real soft spot for that one: it’s one of my favorite creations ever. Hope you like it as much as I did, Edgar! 😀
I am planning to make it for my dinner. Will let you know soon Sonia!
Awesome, I can’t wait to hear!
The recipe was damn delicious Sonia!
We really enjoyed each and every bite of it.
Thanks for the recipe 😀
HA! Music to my ears! Thanks, Edgar. Glad you liked. 🙂
Love this one. We usually butterfly the tenderloins into thirds rather than half and pounding… 2 parallel cuts on opposite sides of the tenderloin. Sometimes we spice up the sausage with red pepper flakes. We discovered by accident that if you chill that extra stuffed tenderloin you can slice it as thin as a 16th of an inch and serve it antipasto. Always a hit.
Great tips, all! Thanks a bunch for that, John! 🙂
Oh my Goodness. I wanted a special dish for a luncheon that I’m having next weekend. This seemed perfect, so I cooked a tester for dinner and shared with friends across the street to get their feedback as well. SO GOOD!! Everything about this recipe is perfect, easy to follow, and quite simple and enjoyable to prepare. I’m DEFINITELY adding this to my “special” recipe list. Thank you so much!
So very happy to hear, Sherry! And thank YOU so much for taking the time to leave such amazing feedback, I totally appreciate that! 🙂
It looked beautiful and tasted amazing. Thanks so much for this addition to my repertoire.
I made this recipe again after coming across a link to your page again on Mark Sisson’s page! I knew I had liked it the first time so I figured I’d make it again. Not sure why your FB posts dont show up on my page anymore but I always love seeing your recipes. Do you have an email newsletter/recipe recap?
Facebook is a very strange animal… I’ve quit trying to understand it a long while ago! You can most definitely sign-up to get new recipes delivered to you by email. Look for the subscribe field in the sidebar or right at top of the page!
I’ve made this twice now. The first time was a little over a year ago after I found it while searching for a paleo-friendly recipe for my son and daughter-in-law and their family. I had real concerns about the amount of fat that would be generated by the Italian sausage, so cooked it ahead of time and combined it with the vegetable mixture and cooked the tenderloins on the grill outside. It was lovely, very tasty, and a definitely a hit. The second time was today for another son’s birthday — he and his family are also paleo. I had no time to pre-cook the Italian sausage and went with the recipe, as written. I needed and used quite a few more strips of bacon than the recipe calls for, but going back and looking at your pictures, I think it might be because I didn’t wrap the pieces all the way around and instead just overlapped them underneath. I cooked them as directed, but placed the tenderloins on a rack in a roasting pan. The recipe as written was a LOT better than with the pre-cooked Italian sausage. The finished product looked much more impressive, too, with the layer of cooked Italian sausage between the tenderloin and vegetables and — not greasy at all. So easy, but looks so “fancy,” as my granddaughter said. Thank you for a new favorite.
And thank YOU for sharing all this awesome feedback! 😀
This recipe was a great success and very easy to prepare. Making it again for dinner guests.
Wow! fabulous. I thought it would be too much for the two of us, but we are looking forward to the leftovers, hoping we have enough self-control to make them last us for two more dinners. The only thing I did different—adding a little feta cheese after the spinach mixture and before the mushrooms—was because I love feta with spinach. A Syrah-Zinfandel goes great (we had Cleaver).
What is the prep time for the recipe?
I plan on making this tomorrow. I have 2 one pound pork tenderloins. Once I slice them in half, that will be 4 separate cuts of meat. So, should I end up having 4 separate wraps of pork?
You don’t slice them in half… you slice them OPEN! As mentioned in the recipe, you stop about 3/4 of the way and open the tenderloins then flatten them up so really you end up with 2 flattened tenderloins…
Hope this helps!
Wow. Loved it!
One thing I did: after the pork rested for 10 – 15 minutes (once done cooking,) I put the pork tenderloins on a baking rack in order to get it out of the greasy cooking dish, and let the grease drain off.
Haha! Super happy that it turned out great Ralph! Thanks for the great feedback and stellar rating! 🙂
Hello Sonia. I’m going to try this recipe but I would like to substitute the mushrooms because my son doesn’t eat them. I was thinking of using sun dried tomatoes or roasted peppers. Also you say to use three sausages. My butcher makes his sausages quite large so I would prefer an approximate weight for the amount of sausage meat
So this has become my FAVORITE recipe. However, I had to put my own spin on it. For each tenderloin I cream a half package of frozen spinach with a half package of cream cheese and cooled, sauteed red onions. The mushrooms are mixed with the crumbled cooked one hot and one mild Italian sausage. The two fillings lay side by side in the pork tenderloin. I also found I had to tie some kitchen string every 1.5 inches to keep it together.
Easy to make and delicious! My boyfriend loved it, too!