Tender, juicy pork tenderloin stuffed with sauteed spinach, dried cranberries and gorgonzola — impressive enough to be your holiday entree, but so quick and easy that it makes for the perfect weeknight dinner! This pork roulade recipe is bursting with flavor and roasted to perfection in under 30 minutes!
There’s something about stuffed pork tenderloin that just seems a little fancy, but it’s actually incredibly easy to make! This perfect combination makes it ideal for holiday meals and dinners when you want to serve your guests something special, but are short on time trying to organize and coordinate a million other little details!
preparing the pork tenderloin
Tenderloin is an extra lean cut of pork not to be confused with pork loin. This long, boneless cut is narrow and usually weighs a bit over a pound (450 g). Because of its smaller size, it’s best suited to cooking quickly at higher temperatures to ensure its characteristic tenderness.
To prepare the meat for the oven, you’ll first need to make a lengthwise cut into the pork tenderloin, but don’t cut all the way through! Then just open your tenderloin like a book, cover with plastic wrap and use a meat mallet to pound to ½ inch (about 12 mm) thickness.
spinach, cranberries and gorgonzola!
There are so many options when it comes to the fillings for your pork roulade: mushrooms, potatoes, stuffing, apples and nuts! But if you’ve read my apple cranberry chutney with rosemary recipe, you’ll know about my love for anything with cranberries and gorgonzola together — the ultimate sweet and savory flavor combination! For this recipe, I also added sauteed spinach, which resulted in a vibrant and colorful swirl in the middle of the tenderloin that looks so incredibly appetizing!
Before adding the spinach, you’ll saute it with a bit of butter, onion and garlic. If your mixture releases too much liquid, you’ll want to drain it before layering it on the roulade, but a little moisture in there is just fine! As for the gorgonzola, you can definitely switch it out for any other blue cheese or, if you’re not a huge fan, feta would work well too.
roasted to perfection
After you layer your pork tenderloin with spinach, cranberries and gorgonzola, it’s time to roll it up! Try and leave about an inch (2.5 cm) or a bit more around the edges and then roll it up as tightly as you can. The tighter the roll, the better the swirl! Then just secure the roulade with kitchen twine every inch or so to make sure it doesn’t come undone while cooking.
Before roasting, I like to brush a light layer of olive oil on the outside of the tenderloin and sprinkle it with a bit of salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano and paprika. This helps to a get a crispier exterior and adds a nice pop of flavor!
At 400F (200C) it usually takes about 25 minutes to reach an internal temperature of 145F (63C), which is how I like my pork tenderloin. At this temperature, the roulade will be tender with just a bit of pink inside, but it should still be juicy and delicious up to about 160F (71C). I recommend using a meat thermometer and checking the temperature at about 20 minutes to make sure you don’t overcook your tenderloin.
- pork tenderloin 1.25 lbs (550 g)
- butter 1 tbsp
- onion (chopped) ½ small
- minced garlic 1 clove
- fresh spinach 8 oz (230 g)
- dried cranberries ½ c (60 g)
- crumbled gorgonzola ⅓ c (50 g)
- olive oil 2 tbsp
- paprika ½ tsp
- oregano ½ tsp
- garlic powder ¼ tsp
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C). Line a pan with foil and coat with cooking spray or a bit of olive oil.
- Make the spinach filling. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Stir in the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add in the spinach and cook until wilted and then drain any excess liquid. Season with salt and set aside.
- Butterfly the pork tenderloin: cut down the middle lengthwise (but stop before severing the two halves), open like a book and pound to about ½ inch (12 mm) thickness.
- Layer the pork tenderloin with spinach and sprinkle the dried cranberries and gorgonzola on top.
- Tightly roll up the tenderloin and secure with kitchen twine.
- Brush the outside of the tenderloin with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, paprika, oregano and garlic powder.
- Place the roulade on the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the tenderloin reaches an internal temperature of 145 F (63 C).
- Allow to rest for 10 minutes and remove the twine before slicing and serving.