Oven roasted pork loin is an impressive main course that turns out tender, juicy, and flavorful. Perfect for a weeknight meal or to serve to company! Topped with a sweet and tangy apricot glaze.
Looking for a new way to spice up those weeknight pork dinners? Give this apricot glazed pork loin a try. You only need a handful of ingredients to get started.
First, you'll need a boneless pork loin roast for this recipe. Pork loin is a lean cut of meat - the same cut you'd use to slice into pork chops (it's basically a thick pork chop roast!).
Since pork loin has a mild flavor, it pairs well with a sauce or glaze. Today, we're making an apricot glaze. Made with just four ingredients! It's tangy and sweet - the perfect a pairing for a pork roast.
Serve pork loin with mashed potatoes, roasted bacon brussels sprouts, or some creamy asparagus pasta. Perfect for a nice weeknight meal, and impressive enough to serve to company. Pork loin also makes a nice holiday main course!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Pork loin - You'll need a 3 to 5 pound boneless pork loin roast for this recipe.
- Olive oil - Can be substituted with vegetable oil.
- Salt & pepper
- Apricot jam - If you'd like to try a different flavor, try peach jam or orange marmalade (like in my marmalade glazed ham recipe).
- Brown sugar - can be substituted with maple syrup.
- Dijon mustard - can be substitute with yellow mustard in a pinch, but dijon mustard will offer the best flavor.
- Seasonings - Dried thyme and salt. Thyme can be substituted with dried rosemary for a different flavor.
What type of roast should I use?
What to use:
- Boneless pork loin - Pork loin is a thick, round roast - the same cut of meat you'd slice up to make pork chops. Since it is a lean cut of meat, pork loin requires just enough time in the oven to cook to 145 degrees Fahrenheit - no more.
What not to use:
- Pork tenderloin - It's longer and thinner than a pork loin, and requires much less cooking time. While they have very similar names, they are not interchangeable. Do not use pork tenderloin for this recipe.
- Pork shoulder/pork butt - These are fattier cuts that are best cooked low and slow to break apart that connective tissue. Think stews, shredded barbecue pork, and slow cooker pork roasts. Do not use pork shoulder or pork butt for this recipe.
How much pork loin do I need?
The general rule of thumb is to buy 8 ounces of pork loin per person. This takes into account any shrinkage that happens during cooking, and provides a large portion per person. It's better to have a few leftovers than not enough food.
Taking this method into account, a 3 pound pork loin should feed at least 6 people, and a 5 pound pork loin should feed at least 10 people.
How to prevent a dry roast
- Use a meat thermometer. Remove your pork loin from the oven as soon as your roast reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Since this is a lean cut of meat, baking for longer will dry out your roast.
- Does your pork loin have a fatty side? Place the pork loin fat side up when roasting. The fat melts in the oven and bastes your roast as it cooks.
- Don't skip the glaze - this adds moisture to your roast as it cooks, and also adds tons of flavor!
- Don't slice your roast immediately. Remove the pork loin from the oven, loosely tent with foil, and allow to rest for a minimum of ten minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute into the meat, so they don't come pouring out as soon as you slice it.
What to serve with pork loin
A few of my favorite side dishes to serve with a pork loin roast:
- Creamy mashed potatoes
- Bacon garlic mashed potatoes
- Maple bacon brussels sprouts
- Creamy asparagus bow tie pasta
- Parmesan roasted frozen broccoli
- Roasted potatoes and carrots
Oven Roasted Pork Loin with Apricot Glaze
- 3-4 pound pork loin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup apricot jam
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and set aside.
- Pat pork loin dry with a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper. In a sauté pan over medium heat, add olive oil. When hot, add pork loin and sear on all sides, about 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer pork, fat side up, onto prepared baking sheet.
- Add glaze ingredients to a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until sugar has dissolved and glaze thickens slightly. Reserve half of your glaze for serving. Brush roast with remaining glaze halfway through baking (about 30 minutes in).
- Bake roast, uncovered, until pork loin reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit when a meat thermometer is inserted into the thickest part of the roast, about 20 minutes per pound of roast (I highly recommend using a meat thermometer and not relying on time alone.).
- Remove roast from oven, lightly tent with foil, and allow to rest for 10 minutes to allow juices to redistribute. Slice, top with reserved glaze, and serve.
- Pork loin should not be substituted with other cuts like pork tenderloin, pork shoulder, or pork butt. These cuts all require different cooking times (see post for additional information).
- To prevent a dry roast: Cook just long enough to reach 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Baking for longer will dry out your roast. Do not slice into your roast immediately. Rest before serving to allow juices to redistribute. This prevents juices from running out when slicing. Do not skip the glaze - this adds moisture and flavor to your roast.
- *calories calculated using a 3 pound pork loin.
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