Pork is packed with protein and essential vitamins and minerals that make it one of the healthier meats to eat. In fact, a center-cut pork loin is one of the leaner cuts of pork you can choose, as well as the tenderloin. Both cuts are low in fat and calories, and they are still full of flavor! Just wait until you had the jalapenos, bacon, and cheese to the pork to make the Jalapeno Pork Loin!!!
Jalapeno Popper Pork Loin Recipe
In this Jalapeno Popper Pork Loin recipe, I used a center-cut pork loin, not a pork tenderloin. Although the names are very similar, the cuts of meat are actually quite different. Both cuts of meat are very lean and healthy, but the size and cooking times are quite a bit different. The center-cut pork loin is quite a bit larger than a pork tenderloin.
Center-cut pork loin is one of the leanest cuts of meat, so be careful about choosing one. The redder the meat, the leaner it is, but also the tougher it is. I recommend choosing a pork loin with a more pinkish color with some white streaks. Don’t be fooled if you see a pork sirloin. That is a different cut of meat that is not as tender or lean as a pork loin or tenderloin. Who knew there were so many cuts of pork?!? I didn’t even begin to mention the ribs, pork shoulder, pork butt, ham, etc!
Ingredients for Jalapeno Pork Loin
- Pork loin: Remember to look for a center-cut pork loin, not a tenderloin for this recipe!
- Bacon: Although there are recipes that allow you to cook the bacon ahead of time, you will use the bacon grease to sear the pork loin.
- Cream cheese: Two words–room temperature.
- Dry ranch seasoning
- Cheddar cheese
- Jalapeno peppers: I found the best and easiest way to dice a jalapeno pepper is to stand it up on its end, holding the stem. Next, cut along the sides of the jalapeno until all you have left is the center core full of seeds! You will notice you will have 4-5 pieces of jalapeno that can now be easily chopped and diced! Throw away the core of seeds and you are ready to go!
- Olive oil
How to Make Jalapeno Popper Pork Loin
Don’t be intimidated by this Jalapeno Popper Pork Loin. Once you learn how to butterfly a pork loin, what you choose to add to it is up to you!
Preheat the oven to 450°F and cook the bacon in a large skillet. The skillet will be used for searing the pork loin, so don’t clean it out after the bacon has been cooked. Set the bacon to the side until you are ready to add it to your pork loin.
To butterfly the pork loin, use a sharp knife to make a horizontal cut about one-third of the way up from the bottom of the loin. Flip open the thicker, top flap (like opening a book). Then, take the knife and cut another horizontal line through the thicker part of the loin to open it up even more (like a trifold). You should now have a flat surface of meat that will hold the flavor of the Jalapeno Popper Pork Loin. Put a piece of plastic wrap over the laid out pork loin and pound it out to about a 1/3 inch thickness all the way around. The more even the loin is, the more evenly it will cook. Season both sides with salt and pepper before you start stuffing it.
How to Stuff and Roll your Jalapeno Popper Pork Loin
Once the pork loin has been butterflied and pounded to an even thickness, it’s time to load it with flavor! First, layer the loin with the cooked bacon. Next, spread the cream cheese/ranch seasoning mixture over the bacon. Top that with the shredded cheese and jalapenos. It’s ready to roll! Roll up the pork loin, making sure you wrap up all that goodness inside! Then, using cooking twine, tie the rolled pork loin up to hold in all the ingredients. I used four pieces of the twine if that helps.
Remember the oven safe skillet you cooked the bacon? Bring that back over medium heat, add oil, and sear the pork loin on all sides. I know it’s rolled up, so what do I mean by sides? Simply rotate it about four times to get as much of the loin seared as possible. Finally, cook the Jalapeno Popper Pork Loin in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the pork temperature reaches 145°F. Serve it with my Garlic Roasted Asparagus for a complete and yummy meal!
- 1 center-cut pork loin (about 3 pounds)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 10 slices bacon, cooked crisp
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon dry ranch seasoning
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, freshly shredded
- 2 jalapeno peppers, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Butterfly the pork. With the pork on a cutting board, hold a knife blade parallel to the board and carefully make a lengthwise cut about 1/3 of the way from the bottom, stopping about 1 inch from the opposite end, being careful not to cut through.
Open the loin like a book.
Make a second cut on the thick side of the pork loin, horizontal with the first cut. Do not cut all the way through, stop about 1 inch from the opposite edge. Fold that edge over making one long cut of pork loin.
Cover the entire cut of meat with plastic wrap and pound to an even 1/3 inch thickness.
Season both sides with salt and pepper.
Top with cooked bacon strips.`
in a small bowl, combine cream cheese and ranch seasoning. Add a layer of the cream cheese mixture on top of the bacon.
Top with shredded cheese and jalapenos
Tightly roll the pork loin to completely enclose all of the fillings.
Using cooking twine, tightly secure the roll.
In an oven safe skillet over medium heat, add olive oil.
Once hot, add the pork loin to the pan and sear on all sides (about 5 minutes on each side). Turning the loin a total of 4 times.
Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes or until the pork loin reaches an internal temperature of 145 °F. (Depending on the thickness of your pork loin, you could bake up to 50 minutes. Be sure to check the temperature.)
Slice and serve warm.