Olive and Pepper-Stuffed Pork Loin (Paleo, Whole30)

This Olive and Pepper-Stuffed Pork Loin is a show-stopping centerpiece for any special meal.

Juicy pork loin is stuffed with olives, roasted red peppers, garlic, basil and more for a fun, Italian-inspired dinner.

Plus it looks fancy but it’s easier to make than you might think. I’ll walk you through the simple steps.

And it just happens to naturally be gluten-free, dairy-free, keto, Paleo and Whole30 compatible!

a boneless pork roast sliced on a white platter and a slice on a dinner plate covered in sauce with broccoli and mashed pumpkin

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Italian Stuffed Pork Loin

Boneless pork loin is a lean protein that can be a bit bland on its own.

So we’re going to butterfly the loin (opening it up, almost like a book) so we can spread over it a savory paste of olives, red peppers, garlic and more.

And instead of using breadcrumbs in the filling like other stuffed pork loin recipes, we’ll be using a mashed potato. It helps thicken the filling while keeping it gluten-free. Hidden veggies FTW!

Then we roll it up, tie it up and roast it! You end up with juicy pork and an umami-packed filling.

And we’ll create a simple, glossy sauce with butter and balsamic vinegar to drizzle over the top.

So this pork loin recipe is perfect for Christmas, Easter, any celebratory meal or if you just want a special Sunday night dinner.

 

What you need for this stuffed pork loin roast

Ingredients:

Equipment:

a whole roasted pork loin tied up on a cutting board next to a carving knife set

How to make a stuffed pork loin

The instructions look long but it takes longer to explain how to do it than to actually do it.

First, we’ll create the filling.

Microwave the potato: stab the potato 4-5 times with a fork and microwave it for 7-8 minutes, flipping it once halfway through. Let cool.

Make the olive and pepper mixture: In a food processor, combine the drained olives, red pepper, capers, anchovy, basil, garlic, red pepper flakes (if using) and pepper. Pulse 4-5 times until you get a chunky paste. Taste and add salt if necessary. The olives, capers and anchovies all are salty on their own so you might not need any more.

No food processor? You can also chop everything somewhat finely by hand and stir together.

Peel the potato. In a mixing bowl, mash the potato until fairly smooth. Save 2/3 cup of the mashed potato in the bowl. Save any extra for another use.

Combine the potato and olive mixture. Add 1 cup of the olive mixture to the 2/3 cup potatoes along with the red wine vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir until blended. Taste and add more salt if necessary. It might already taste a little salty at this point. That’s okay! It’ll get spread thin in the pork loin, diffusing the saltiness.

Heat the oven to 375°.

Now for the pork (see pics in the recipe below):

Lay the pork loin fat cap-side down on a cutting board with one of the short ends facing you.

Using a chef’s knife or boning knife, make one slice running down the length of the pork about 1/2″ in from the right side (if you’re right-handed).

Now keeping the blade of the knife flat and parallel to the cutting board and about 1/2″ up from the cutting board, keep slicing down the length of the loin over and over again. Make sure to keep the blade flat – it will have a tendency to want to angle upward.

As you slice with one hand, pull open and unroll the pork as you go. Stop slicing about 1/2″ before cutting through the loin entirely.

Now you should be able to open the loin like a book. However, the left side will be thicker than the right. Now start a new slice down the length of the loin at the seam and repeat the process until you can open the loin a second time.

Don’t worry if you see a lot of cuts running up and down the loin. They’ll be hidden when you roll it up.

Cover the loin with plastic wrap and use the flat side of a meat mallet to pound any thicker areas so the loin is an even thickness.

Flip the loin over and season the fat cap side with the salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.

Flip it back over again so the fat cap side is down and season with just salt (there’s already pepper in the filling).

Spread the paste over the loin, stopping about 1″ before all the edges. A small offset spatula is helpful here but you can also use a regular spatula or even your hands.

Starting on the left side, roll up the loin. Don’t press too hard or you’ll squeeze the filling out (it’s okay if some falls out the sides). The fat cap should be facing up at this point.

Cut 6 pieces of kitchen twine, about 12″ long. Slide them under the loin so they’re spread out evenly.

Tie each string with a knot and trim the excess string.

You did it! Bask in the glory of your rolled and stuffed pork loin.

Heat the oil in the skillet over medium high heat.

Place the loin fat cap-side down in the skillet to sear the fat for about 5-6 minutes.

Use tongs to flip the loin over so the fat cap is facing up. Place the skillet in the oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until a thermometer reads about 145°. Make sure the thermometer is only going into the pork itself, not the filling (stab it in a few different places to make sure).

Take the loin out of the oven, place it on a cutting board and cover it loosely with aluminum foil. Let it rest for 10 minutes. This will help make sure all the juices don’t run out when you slice into it.

To make the sauce: remove any chunks of filling or fat that may have fallen out of the loin into the skillet. Put the skillet over medium heat.

Add the balsamic vinegar to the pan. Now stir in the butter or ghee one tablespoon at a time until you have a thick, glossy sauce.

Cut and remove the strings, slice the pork and carefully arrange the slices on a serving platter. Drizzle the sauce over the top and serve.

 

How long to cook stuffed pork loin

Because the loin is pounded thin and rolled, it doesn’t need as long as if you cooked it whole.

As I said above, this stuffed pork loin needs about 25-30 minutes.

This time holds true if you want to cut the recipe in half and use 2-2.5 pound pork loin. It would still need about 25-30 minutes.

 

What to make ahead

You can make the olive and pepper mixture up to a week in advance and kept in the fridge.

The potato can be cooked, peeled and mashed up to 3 days in advance and kept in the fridge.

a boneless pork loin rolled around an olive and pepper mixture on a cutting board

Leftovers

You’ll have some of the olive mixture left over – lucky you! Bring it to room temperature before you try any of the following:

  • Toss with hot spaghetti noodles and maybe a touch of the spaghetti’s cooking water to create a thick, flavorful sauce
  • Mix into scrambled eggs or spoon on top
  • Spread it in a sandwich, grilled cheese or panini
  • Spoon on top of chicken, pork chops, or seafood (salmon, white fish, shrimp, etc.)

Any leftovers of the stuffed pork loin can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days. Warm it up in the microwave or a low oven.

You can store any of the balsamic sauce separately for up to a week in the fridge. Warm it up in a small saucepan on the stove over lower heat.

 

Cutting the recipe in half

You can cut the recipe in half by using a 2-2.5 lb. boneless pork loin. You can either make the filling as is but only use enough to cover the butterflied pork (which means lots leftover! See ideas above) or cut the filling ingredients in half as well. The cooking time will remain the same.

 

What to serve with stuffed pork loin

I think one starchy vegetable and one green vegetable would make the perfect plate with this pork loin recipe.

Mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, mashed butternut squash or mashed parsnips would all be delicious. I used mashed pumpkin in the pics here.

Steamed broccoli or sautéed spinach, kale or green beans would be great.

These roasted green beans and Brussels sprouts would also be delicious.

This braised red cabbage would add a gorgeous ruby color to your plate.

Carrots sliced and sautéed in butter would also be great.

And for dessert?

This Olive Oil Polenta Cake would be perfect.

And this Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake is a crowd-pleaser.

If you’re making this for Easter, this Italian Cassata Cake is a great Easter dessert.

If this is for Christmas, you could also pass around these mini rosemary rum pecan pies.

 

Other pork recipes:

  1. Christmas-Spiced Pork Tenderloin (Paleo, Whole30)
  2. Slow-Cooker Espresso Pulled Pork (Paleo, Whole30)
  3. Apple Cider Pulled Pork (Paleo, Whole30)
  4. Creamy Mustard Pork Chops (Paleo, Whole30)
Olive and pepper-stuffed pork loin sliced on a white platter and on a dinner plate, drizzled with a balsamic sauce
a boneless pork roast sliced on a white platter and a slice on a dinner plate covered in sauce with broccoli and mashed pumpkin
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Olive and Pepper-Stuffed Pork Loin

This Olive and Pepper-Stuffed Pork Loin is a show-stopping centerpiece for Christmas, Easter or any celebratory meal. Juicy pork is stuffed with olives, red peppers, garlic, basil and more for a fun, Italian-inspired dinner. Plus it happens to naturally be gluten-free, keto, Paleo and Whole30 compatible!
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Resting time10 mins
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: boneless pork loin, pork loin, stuffed pork loin
Servings: 8 people
Author: Don Baiocchi

Ingredients

  • 1 large Russet potato
  • 6 oz. jar pitted Kalamata olives, drained
  • 12 oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained
  • cup packed basil, roughly torn
  • 1 tablespoon capers packed in brine, drained
  • 4 anchovy fillets packed in oil, patted dry and roughly chopped (or 1 teaspoon anchovy paste)
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more as necessary
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more as necessary
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 3½-4 pounds boneless pork loin with its fat cap intact
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup butter or ghee (for Paleo/Whole30)

Instructions

  • Stab the potato with a fork 4-5 times. Place on a microwave-safe plate and nuke for 7-8 minutes, flipping it once halfway through. Let cool. Peel and mash.
  • In a food processor, add the olives, peppers, basil, capers, anchovies, garlic, red pepper flakes (if using) and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Pulse 4-5 times until it's a chunky paste.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine ⅔ cup of the mashed potato, 1 cup of the olive mixture, the red wine vinegar and ½ teaspoon salt. Stir until blended. Taste and add more salt if necessary. It might already taste really salty and that's okay! It'll get dispersed evenly through the pork loin. Set the mixture aside. (No food processor? You can also chop everything somewhat finely by hand and stir together.)
  • Heat the oven to 375°.
  • Cut six 12"-long pieces of kitchen twine and set aside next to where you'll be working with the pork.
  • Place the pork loin on the cutting board with one of the short sides closest to you.
    a boneless pork loin on a cutting board with 2 knives
  • Flip the loin over so the fat cap is facing down. Slice down the length of the loin about ½" in from the right side (if you're right-handed).
    two hands using a knife to slice down a boneless pork loin
  • Now turn the knife so the blade is flat and parallel with the cutting board, about ½" up from the board. Slice down the length of the loin, making sure your knife doesn't angle up or down.
    two hands using a boning knife to slice into a pork loin
  • Keep slicing down the length of loin. Pull the pork open as you cut. Stop about ½" from the other long side. Lay the loin open like a book and repeat the process until you can open up the loin a second time.
    one hand using a knife to slice into a pork loin while the other hand is opening it up like a book
  • Cover the loin with plastic wrap and use the flat side of a meat mallet to pound any thicker areas so the loin is an even thickness.
    a butterflied pork loin covered in plastic wrap while a hand holding a meat mallet pounds it
  • Flip the loin over so the fat cap is facing up. Season the whole surface with salt, pepper and the Italian seasoning.
  • Flip the loin over again so the fat cap is facing down. Season the whole surface with salt.
  • Using a small offset spatula, a regular spatula or your hands, spread the olive and potato mixture evenly across the surface of the loin, stopping about 1" from the edges.
  • Roll up the loin from the long side on the left. Don't press too hard so you don't squeeze the filling out the sides (that being said, if some naturally falls out, that's fine).
    two hands rolling up a pork loin that's been covered in an olive and pepper paste
  • Slide the pieces of string under the pork, evenly spreading them out. Tie each piece firmly (but again, not super tight) and trim any excess string.
    a pork loin tied up on a cutting board
  • Heat the oil in a large oven-safe skillet or small, stovetop-safe roasting pan over medium-high heat.
  • Place the loin in the pan fat cap-side down. Sear the fat until golden brown, about 5-6 minutes.
  • Flip the loin so the fat cap is facing up. Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until a thermometer inserted into the meat reads 145°. Make sure the thermometer tip isn't actually in the filling (stab the pork in a few different places to make sure).
  • Remove from the oven and place the loin on a cutting board. Cover loosely with foil and let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Scoop any big bits or chunks of fat or the olive mixture out of the pan and discard. Heat the pan over medium heat. Add the balsamic vinegar and stir to scrape any remaining bits off the pan. Stir in the butter or ghee one tablespoon at a time until you have a thick, glossy sauce. Taste and add more salt and/or pepper if necessary. Pour into a small pitcher.
  • Cut the string and remove from the pork. Slice and carefully arrange on a serving platter. Drizzle first with any remaining juices on the cutting board and then the balsamic sauce. Serve with any remaining sauce on the side.

Notes

If you don't like anchovies, I promise you don't taste them specifically, they just add a briny, salty boost of umami. You can leave them out but then you'll need to add more salt to the filling.
You can cut the recipe in half by using a 2-2.5 lb. boneless pork loin. You can either make the filling as is but only use enough to cover the butterflied pork (which means lots leftover! See ideas below) or cut the filling ingredients in half as well. The cooking time will remain the same.
What to make ahead
You can make the olive and pepper mixture up to a week in advance and kept in the fridge.
The potato can be cooked, peeled and mashed up to 3 days in advance and kept in the fridge.
Leftovers
You'll have some of the olive mixture left over - lucky you! Bring it to room temperature before you try any of the following:
  • Toss with hot spaghetti noodles and maybe a touch of the spaghetti's cooking water to create a thick, flavorful sauce
  • Mix into scrambled eggs or spoon on top
  • Spread it in a sandwich, grilled cheese or panini
  • Spoon on top of chicken, pork chops, or seafood (salmon, white fish, shrimp, etc.)
Any leftovers of the stuffed pork loin can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days. Warm up in the microwave or a low oven.
You can store any of the balsamic sauce separately for up to a week in the fridge. Warm up in a small saucepan on the stove over lower heat.

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