This delicious roasted pork loin comes out of the oven juicy and tasty! Easy to prep covered in flavorful herbs like garlic and rosemary, this pork roast is perfect for a Sunday family meal or even a holiday.
Pork loin always makes me think of Sunday dinner at my Great Aunt’s house, she had a great recipe. When I visited as a kid, which was always on a Sunday or holiday, she would make big Italian Sunday feasts for the family.
I won’t forget her big platters of pasta and Italian sausages or sometimes the sausages sat on a platter of saurkraut. One of her amazing specialties was Pork Loin with fresh garden green beans (or try my fresh green bean casserole with bacon!) and fresh bread. Sometimes she would make roasted potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes the side dishes too.
Are you smacking your lips yet? Cause I am… Often she made a recipe similar to my Amazing Pork Loin In The Crock Pot. Cooking pork loin low and slow makes it melt in your mouth tender (you should try it Hawaiian style with this Pork Loin and Pineapple In The Slow Cooker!) She would also make the most amazing Honey Orange Ham Glaze on holiday hams, yum.
But last time I tried this, I made an oven variety that the family loved. It’s a little different variation of spices than my crockpot version, and it’s absolutely delicious.
Is there a difference between pork loin and pork tenderloin?
Yes, pork tenderloin is a different cut of meat than pork loin and they are often mistaken for each other and are slightly different.
What is a Pork Loin
Pork loin is a wide cut of meat, and is often sliced into a large slice that is more similar to the size of a steak. Pork loin is sold with bones and also boneless.
Pork loins are usually 3-5 pounds each. This cut of meat becomes tender when cooked low and slow.
What Is A Pork Tenderloin
Pork tenderloin is a smaller cut of meat that is thinner, and when sliced it makes more of a medallion.
Pork tenderloins are usually 1-2 pounds each, but are sometimes sold in packs of 2. This cut of meat can be cooked quicker at a higher temperature.
When it’s easy to confuse pork loin and pork tenderloin…
It gets tricky when you buy a boneless pork loin which is around 3 pounds because it seems like a smaller cut of meat and is often even kept very close to the pork tenderloin in the store!
But if you try to cook a pork loin with a pork tenderloin recipe, it likely won’t be tender enough. So read the label carefully!
If you have a pork tenderloin and an instant pot you HAVE to try this Instant Pot Balsamic Pork Tenderloin. The sauce is SO good!
How To Cook Roasted Pork Loin
I think sometimes with a big piece of meat, we want to make double sure everything is just right. The meat is in the oven for a long time, and we cant’ slice into it to check if it’s done because we will lose some of the flavors. Here are some tips and tricks for how to cook pork loin so your first try is delicious.
Do you cook Pork Loin Fat Side Up Or Down?
With a pork loin you want to place the meet with the fat side facing up. This allows the fat to slowly drip over the meat as it roasts making it more delicious and tender. If you put the fat facing down, most of the flavor falls into the roasting pan.
Do You Need To Brown Pork Loin Before Roasting it?
I think browning the pork loin before roasting it is a matter of preference. Browning the pork loin can add a lot more flavor on the outside, creating a sear crust. This will help to seal in the meat’s natural juices, and make your end result more flavorful
How Long Do I Cook Boneless Pork Loin?
Pork loin should read 145 degrees when you insert a meat thermometer. This is the best way to know the meat is properly cooked.
In general, boneless pork loin needs to cook for 20-25 minutes per pound of meat.
Pork Loin Cooking Times
Here are some estimates of how long to expect your pork loin will be in the oven depending on how big your pork loin is and the temperature of your oven. You should set your oven to 375 degrees for this recipe.
- 3-pound pork loin- 60-75 minutes
- 3 1/2 pound pork loin- 70- 85 minutes
- 4-pound pork loin– 80-100 minutes
If your pork loin is smaller then 3 pounds it is very likely it is pork tenderloin and not pork loin, see above for more info on the difference.
Make sure to rest your meat for at least 15 minutes after cooking. The roast will continue to cook a little, but if you cut it too fast you will loose some of the juiciness in this recipe.
**Note on pink color of Pork Loin– Pork loin should have a slight blush of pink on the inside. This is not the same as raw pork. When the meat reaches 145 degrees, the slight pink color means your pork is juicy. If you cook the pork until there is no pink left, the meat will end up dry.
How do I make this Pork Loin recipe with gravy?
Sometimes I just drizzle the pan juices over this pork loin and call dinner done.
But if it’s a holiday or we are in the mood for gravy we use my super simple pork gravy recipe. It uses the drippings from the pan, can be whipped up while the meat is resting, and is super delicious!
Can I Cook Vegetables In The Same Pan?
You can cook vegetables like potatoes, carrots, apples, and onions underneath the pork loin. But be aware that your dish may need to cook a little longer if you add veggies to the pan. Using the meat thermometer and measuring that the inside of the pork loin is 145 degrees is the best way to know if your pork loin is done.
You can also throw these crispy-skinned baked potatoes in the oven at the same time. While the pork loin cooks at a temperature that is 25 degrees less than I usually recommend for potatoes since you are likely already cooking the pork loin for over an hour the potatoes can cook a little longer at a slightly lower temperature too. Or the recipe also includes air fryer instructions.
Can I turn this into pulled pork?
Yes, you can turn this into pulled pork, but I recommend using any leftovers for pulled pork. A full pork loin will make a LOT of shredded pork!
To make pulled pork, portion off the pork you want to make into pulled pork. Use two forks turned backward to shred the pork by pulling the meat apart.
- Spray a baking pan with oil and add the shredded pork.
- For every cup of shredded meat add 1/2 cup of broth or pan drippings to the pork.
- For every pound of shredded meat add about 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce.
- Stir well, then slide back into the oven for about 20-25 minutes or until the entire dish is bubbling. Enjoy!
How Do I Store Leftover Pork?
Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up about 3 days. You can also freeze leftover pork into portions and it keeps for about 3 months well. Beyond 3 months you start to risk your meat developing freezer burn.
Reheat with a little broth to ensure the meat doesn’t dry out. Or make into pulled pork and freeze already pulled to help keep it juicy.
Oven Roasted Pork Loin
- Paper towel
- Large roasting pan or casserole dish
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Large cutting board
- Medium sized bowl
- Aluminum foil
- 3 pound pork loin roast
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ tsp paprika
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon rosemary
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- Preheat oven to 375 F degrees
- Add pork loin to a roasting dish with the fat side up. Pat the meat dry with a paper towel.
- Pour 2 tablespoons of oil over the pork loin evenly and spread it evenly over the top of the meat.
- Mix the salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, rosemary and ground mustard together in a small bowl. Sprinkle the spice mix all over the pork, then give it a generous rub with a clean hand to ensure the spices are evenly distributed.
- Cook the pork loin for about 60-75 minutes for a 3lb. Use a meat thermometer to make sure the inside of the pork loin reaches an internal temperature of 145.
- Remove the pan from the oven. Transfer the pork to a clean cutting board and allow the meat to rest for 15 minutes. You can add a clean piece of foil over the meat to help keep the outside warm while the inside of the meat rests. Don't cut into the meat before letting it rest, it can make the meat dry! Pork loin will have a slight blush of pink color inside.
- Slice the pork loin into ¾ to 1 inch thick slicees. Serve with a drizzle of the pan juices over all the slices or make my pork gravy with the drippings and serve.
Did you make this recipe? Leave a star rating and tell me about it in the comments!