A delicious dinner of Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin that takes a little prep but then it's hands-off until it's done. The pork tenderloins are seasoned with an herb paste, wrapped in bacon, then roasted beside potatoes, onions, and green beans for the perfect one-pan dinner.
Ever had one of those days when you're under the weather and just want to get something on the table with as little effort as possible? When those types of days hit, having pork tenderloins on hand makes the choice of what to make an easy one.
I love cooking with pork tenderloins. It seems no matter how you cook them they always come out tender, juicy, and delicious. Plus there are so many recipes to choose from, favorites like Honey Garlic Pork Tenderloin, Grilled Asian Pork, Cuban Pork with rice, and this bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin recipe.
This bacon-wrapped pork recipe takes a little prep, which you can do the day before, but once you prepare the pork, the rest goes together pretty quickly. The rub is a simple mixture of herbs and oil and the bacon wraps easily around the small tenderloin. Then just cut your potatoes and vegetables, pop it on a sheet pan, and bake.
Fennel Seeds Add Nutrition & Flavor
This recipe adds an unusual ingredient to the rub, fennel seeds. If you've never cooked with this herb before you've been missing out. Not only is the fennel seed highly nutritious, full of antioxidants and dietary fiber, but it lends an earthy taste with a light but distinct licorice flavor and sweet aroma to any dish.
Their addition elevates this pork from ordinary to extraordinary. You might even get asked what your secret ingredient is that makes this meal so delicious. Try it, I guarantee you'll love it!
Pork Tenderloin vs Pork Loin
It is important to purchase the right cut of pork for this recipe. Make sure to choose pork tenderloins, which are smaller, thinner, boneless cuts of meat that come from the muscle that runs along the spine. They tend to be about 1 to 1.5 pounds each and have very little fat. This cut can be compared to a filet mignon for tenderness.
A pork loin is much larger, about 2-5 pounds, and is wider and flatter than a tenderloin. It can be boneless or bone-in, is fairly lean, usually with a thick cap of fat, and comes from the muscle that runs along the back between the back fat and the ribs. It is often sold as a center loin roast or cut into pork chops.
It's also good to note that the pork tenderloin is better when cooked quickly at a higher temperature while the pork loin is usually seared and cooked slower with moderate heat.
Sheet Pan Dinners Save Time and Cleanup
Adding potatoes and vegetables to this pork tenderloin is a no-brainer for busy weeknights. They all cook at the same time as the pork, using just one pan, which makes cleanup a breeze. Of course, the extra flavor derived from cooking these sides next to bacon is always a plus!
For a change of pace, try substituting carrots, broccoli, or cauliflower for the green beans and switching out the potatoes for delicata squash, butternut squash, or parsnips. This has the added benefit of making this meal keto-friendly.
Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Brown Sugar - make a glaze to baste pork by mixing brown sugar with mustard or mix with maple syrup and butter
Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin - butterfly pork tenderloin then stuff with a seasoned mixture of cream cheese, spinach, green onions, garlic, bell pepper, and basil then wrap with bacon
Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin BBQ - replace the herb paste with your favorite BBQ sauce
- Pork Tenderloin - is a wonderfully flavorful, tender, lean cut of meat. Make sure to use both 1 pound tenderloins that come packaged together and let them sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes so they cook evenly.
- Bacon - Make sure you use enough strips of bacon to cover the pork tenderloin completely. The bacon should not be too thin or too thick and of adequate length to wrap around the tenderloin. The bacon acts as a barrier and keeps the pork moist as well as adding flavor. I love to use applewood smoked bacon for the extra flavor it provides.
- Olive oil - or avocado oil if you prefer, is the base of the paste or herbal rub that flavors the pork.
- Lemon Zest /Rosemary/Garlic - the zest adds a bright citrus pop while the rosemary and garlic lend a savory edge to the rub
- Fennel Seeds - often used in making pork sausage, lends a faint sweet, licorice flavor to the rub. It's an absolute must addition!
- Vegetables/Potatoes - make this pork tenderloin into a meal. Add your favorites or adapt them to fit your dietary lifestyle. It's all good!
How to Make Pork Tenderloin Wrapped in Bacon
- GATHER the ingredients needed to make the flavorful rub. You'll need fennel seeds, minced garlic, lemon zest, rosemary, salt and pepper as well as the olive oil to hold them together.
- GRIND them in a chopper (I like the small but useful Ninja Chopper) with the olive oil until they make a paste.
- RUB the paste into all sides of each pork tenderloin that has been rinsed and patted dry.
- WRAP the bacon around each tenderloin, securing it with toothpicks if necessary. Set aside.
- CUT UP potatoes and onions, wash and snap green beans and slice and halve lemons. Place them in a large bowl and toss with 3 tablespoons of olive oil then season with salt and pepper.
- PLACE pork tenderloins on baking sheet with rim and surround with cut up vegetables, potatoes and lemons.
- ROAST for 40 minutes then remove pork and cover and continue baking vegetables for another 20 minutes or until tender.
This meal is perfect for busy weeknights and delicious enough to serve for company. Prepare it ahead of time and just pop it in the oven when dinnertime rolls around. Make this bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin even faster in the air fryer or on the grill and serve with side suggestions below. Whatever way you have it, enjoy!
Air Fryer Smoked Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin
There's no quicker and easier method to cook this pork tenderloin with bacon than in the air fryer. Preheat the air fryer to 380 degrees for 5 minutes. Prepare the tenderloin as indicated in the recipe then air fry for 20 minutes. Check out my Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin for more information.
Grilled Pork Tenderloin Wrapped in Bacon
If the weather is nice, try grilling this delicious dinner. Preheat the grill to 350-450 degrees or moderate heat. Make sure to secure bacon on the tenderloin by wrapping with kitchen string, Grill for 15-20 minutes over direct heat with cover closed, turning every 5 minutes. Check out my Grilled Tex Mex Pork Tenderloin for another variation.
What to Make with Leftovers
This pork wrapped with bacon makes enough to serve 6-8 people. So, now that you've had a delicious dinner, you're asking yourself "What do I do with the leftovers"? There are so many recipes that use cooked pork such as BBQ pork sandwiches/sliders, pulled pork pizza, or delicious pork enchiladas to name a few, and the best part, they taste nothing like leftovers! It really is a meal that keeps on giving!
What to Serve with Bacon Wrapped Pork
When just cooking the tenderloin, without the sheet pan additions, there are many sides to choose from that go well with pork. Try any of these for a balanced delicious dinner.
Mashed Potatoes or Mashed Sweet Potatoes
More Pork Recipes
Pork Chop Potato Casserole with scalloped potatoes and a creamy sauce.
Korean BBQ Pork Kabobs are flavored with a simple Korean BBQ marinade, skewered with your favorite veggies then grilled. Ready in less than 30!
Italian Pork Chops is a one-pot dinner, simmered in a rich tomato basil sauce, and served over pasta.
Find more pork recipes here on 2CM!
Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 Tablespoons fennel seeds
- 2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 lemon, zested, halved lengthwise & cut in thin slices
- 6 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 3 lbs. pork tenderloin (usually 2 tenderloins each weighing about 1.5 lbs.)
- 8 oz bacon (applewood smoked bacon is the best)
- 1 lb. potatoes, about 3 large russet or 10-12 smaller potatoes)
- 1 sweet onion, cut into 8 wedges
- ½ lb fresh green beans, snapped in half
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Combine garlic, fennel seeds, rosemary, lemon zest, salt & pepper with 3 tablespoons olive oil and run through grinder until it makes a paste.
- Rinse pork, pat dry and place on work surface.
- Rub herb paste over both tenderloins.
- Take bacon strips and wrap each tenderloin. It will take about 4-5 strips each. Secure with several toothpicks where edges of bacon are on top.
- Place pork on baking sheet with rim.
- In a large bowl, toss cut up potatoes, onion, green beans and lemon slices with remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil. Salt & pepper to taste.
- Place vegetables around pork tenderloins.
- Add ¼ cup water to baking sheet.
- Roast in oven for 40 minutes or until the meat reaches a temperature of 138 degrees. Remove meat & cover with foil.
- Turn vegetables several times to coat with drippings then return to oven for another 20-30 minutes or until potatoes are done.
- Slice pork, drizzle with some of the pan juices and serve surrounded by vegetables.
This post has been updated and was first published on January 22, 2017.