Pork tenderloin with caramelized apples baked with an orange juice glaze will melt in your mouth. Easy to assemble and you can do all the prep work ahead of time making dinner a breeze.
If you’re tired of having chicken for dinner every night, make a pork tenderloin with apples that’s so tender you won’t need a knife. Prep it in the morning and all you’ll have to do is pop it in the oven for a restaurant quality dinner that will impress your crowd.
Pork tenderloin does not get the credit it deserves. It can be so tender and juicy and versatile enough to pair with old fashioned mac and cheese or roasted asparagus and mushrooms. It’s easy enough for a weeknight dinner, but sure to impress for a dinner party with friends.
In the past, we will make pork tenderloin with cherries or a bacon wrapped pork tenderloin, but it’s fall so we have added caramelized apples to this recipe and it is fabulous. The apples add a slight sweetness to each bite.
While Pork tenderloin is so easy to prepare, it can be pretty bland by itself. Adding caramelized apples to the center and then letting it bake in an orange juice glaze makes this a company worthy dish.
Why you’ll love it
- Caramelized apples are delicious with pork
- It’s tender and juicy
- Looks impressive without being complicated
- You can prep it ahead of time
- Freezes great for left overs
After trying this the first time, we realized that we were missing out on the sauce, so we went back to the pan and scraped up the remaining syrup to pour over the pork. Not that the pork and apples were not great without the added glaze, but the glaze just puts this over the top. While it has a little brown sugar, it’s not enough to make it sweet.
This is a great recipe to make for when you’re having friends for dinner. You can do everything ahead of time, even a day before and just assemble and cook right before everyone arrives.
Pork tenderloin comes packaged with two 1 lb tenderloins in one package. Just flatten them a bit with a meat mallet or empty wine bottle, stuff them with apples and tie it all together. (If you’re out of cooking twine dental floss will work in a pinch and the mint flavor doesn’t flavor the meat).
What you’ll need
Pork tenderloins – these come packaged with two tenderloins, you will place the filling between the two tenderloins.
Apples – you can use any variety you like, I prefer a fuji or honeycrisp but any type will work.
Orange Juice – this makes a great glaze
Pantry items – brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon
How do you make pork tenderloins with apples
Step 1: cook the apples
Melt butter and add brown sugar. Then add the apples and cinnamon and cook until slightly softened.
Step 2: stuff the pork
Flatten the pork tenderloins so that they are flat and even then cover with apples and tie them together with twine.
Step 3: brown and bake
Carefully brown both sides trying to keep the apple filling inside.
Place in a Dutch oven and pour the orange, brown sugar mixture over the top. Bake.
When it’s done, remove the twine and slice with a serrated knife. Drizzle any remaining juice over the top.
Pro tip: Pork should be cooked to a temperature of 145º to 160º. Remove it from the oven when a meat thermometer reads 145º and tent it with aluminum foil for 10-15 minutes.
Try serving this with au gratin potatoes or creamy mac and cheese.
FAQs and tips
What is the difference between pork loin and pork tenderloin?
They are very different cuts of meat. A pork tenderloin is smaller and leaner and is sold in packages of two with each weighing about a pound. A pork loin is much larger 2-3 pounds and will take much longer to cook.
What type of apples should you use?
A slightly sweet apple that holds it shape is best to use for this recipe. You don’t want the apples to be mush. A fuji or honeycrisp are both slightly sweet and will hold their shaped when cooked.
Some pork recipes you’ll love
Adapted from Jo Cooks
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Pork Tenderloin with Apples
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 apple peeled, cored and diced
- 2 lbs pork tenderloin 2 1 lb tenderloins
- salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup orange juice
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 350º.
- In a large skillet, melt the butter and add ¼ cup brown sugar and cook until it is bubbly. Add the diced apples and cinnamon. Toss the apples so they are fully coated and cook for about 3 minutes, then turn and cook on the other side. Let cool.
- Use a meat mallet tor wine bottle to flatten the tenderloins so that are about the same width.
- Take the cooled apples and spread them down on of the tenderloins. Place the other on top and tie it together in 3- 4 places with cooking twine. The filling will come out a bit, but just push it back in.
- Season the stuffed pork with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large skillet and sear on both sides for about 2-3 minutes. Move it to a dutch oven or large oven proof pot. Mix the orange juice with the brown sugar and it pour over the pork.
- Roast uncovered for about 20 minutes or a meat thermometer reaches 145º. Remove and let it rest under an aluminum foil tent for 10 minutes. Cut with a serrated knife and pour any of the juices from the pan over the top.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- One package will come with two 1 lb pork tenderloins.
- You can use any type of apple you like.
- Make sure you pour the sauce from the pan over the pork, that’s the best part!
- Use a meat thermometer to determine when it is done. Since they are stacked on top of each other, it is difficult to tell without a meat thermometer. It should read 145º.
- Pork will continue to cook once removed from the oven if tented with aluminum foil.
Yum! This is on my Thanksgiving menu this year! I’m using a pork loin roast that i’ll butterfly! I can’t think of anything quick, easy and as flavorful as this!
Barbara Curry says
A great alternative to turkey. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Can I cook this in a crock pot?
Barbara Curry says
I haven’t tried it but I think it would work. Here’s a post for cooking a pork tenderloin in a crock pot. https://www.spendwithpennies.com/crock-pot-pork-tenderloin/