Do you ever just wish dinner would take care of itself?
For me, the fourth quarter of the year always starts off with a lot of craziness. Whether it’s prepping for the busy holiday season or simply trying to get ahead to prepare for time off in the coming months, there seems to be so much more to do.
By the time I log off my computer, feed the dogs, and finish up my workout for the day, I am BEAT.
The exhaustion is so real, my friends. I just want to collapse into a heap on the couch. But then, I have to start thinking about dinner.
At that point, I just really want to have food delivered, or have magic fairies come in to make my dinner (as well as finish up all the dishes, clean my house, and rub my feet, since we are on the subject…).
Without fail, one-pan dishes are the one thing I turn to on these kinds of days.
Frequently, a one-pan meal implies a skillet or something made over the stove where you have to do some actual tending to the recipe.
Instead, this is a one-pan meal that requires nothing but simple roasting.
Seriously, that’s it.
You start with marinating a pork loin in a delicious and oh-so-flavorful balsamic and Dijon mixture that’s enhanced with salt, pepper, and freshly chopped rosemary. It’s bright and bold, making it a fantastic centerpiece to any fall dinner table.
It’s so easy to make the marinade and stick it in the bag with the pork that’s been dotted with slices of garlic cloves. All you have to do is leave it in the refrigerator, and by the time you are done with work, it’s ready to be added to the pan with the rest of the ingredients.
The best part is, you can even prep this recipe far in advance. I love to get a fresh pork loin from the butcher, add it to a bag with the marinade, and vacuum seal the whole thing. You can then stick it in the freezer, and the protein is ready to go.
Simply let the pork thaw and it will be ready to cook up with the vegetables, just like that.
The pork loin is surrounded by seasonal vegetables, including sweet potatoes, red onion, and carrots. These hearty vegetables are the ideal mix to serve alongside the pork, as they have a good flavor, but won’t overpower the white meat.
It’s such an easy dish to pull together, and once the simple prep work is complete, it only takes about 45 minutes in the oven, freeing you up to do something else while it roasts.
Do you know what that means?!
It means you can sit back and relax while dinner is coming together. Whether you love to read or you simply want to sit and watch an episode of your favorite show, you can do just that while dinner is coming along merrily in the oven.
At the end of a long day, not only do you need that ideal meal, you need that time to yourself to decompress before sitting down to enjoy it. Do yourself a favor, and try this for dinner on your next busy weekday.
- 2 lbs pork tenderloin
- 2 large cloves garlic, sliced thin
- 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 large red onion, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 cups peeled and sliced carrots (approx. 5 medium)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Lay pork tenderloin on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut about 10 slits that are one inch in length and about 1/4-1/2 inch deep, evenly spaced from one end to the other.
- Insert one garlic slice into each slit.
- Place pork into a gallon size zip-top bag.
- Add Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, rosemary, salt, and pepper to the bag.
- Seal the bag and gently rub the pork loin to cover with the marinade.
- Refrigerate for 4 hours, or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350˚F.
- Place pork loin in a shallow baking dish. Place the cut vegetables around the pork loin.
- Sprinkle vegetables evenly with salt and pepper.
- Place in oven and roast for 45 minutes, or until the center reaches 160˚F on an instant read thermometer.
- Remove from oven and let pork rest for about 5 minutes.
- Slice and serve with the vegetables.
Keywords: balsamic, dijon, pork loin, dinner, supper, marinated pork
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Slice Garlic, Chop Rosemary, and Measure Marinade Ingredients
Thinly slice the garlic cloves. You should have 10 slices of garlic total. Set aside.
Remove rosemary leaves from the stem and chop until you have 1 teaspoonful to use in the recipe.
Measure Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.
I prefer to use freshly ground black pepper, since it offers the best flavor. If you don’t have a set already, check out our review of the best salt and pepper mills! They’re a great investment that I’m thankful for every time I cook.
Step 2 – Marinate Pork Loin
Lay the pork tenderloin out on a clean cutting board, and use the end of your knife to cut 10 1-inch slits in the pork loin about 1/4-1/2 inch deep (I prefer to use a boning knife for this type of work). Make sure they are evenly spaced from one end to the other, cut parallel to each other across the width of the meat.
Insert one slice of garlic into each slit, and gently place the pork into a zip-top plastic bag.
Combine the mustard, vinegar, rosemary, salt, and pepper in a small bowl, and whisk together. Add the marinade to the bag, seal it, and gently rub the pork with the mixture.
Refrigerate for 4 hours, or overnight.
Step 3 – Prepare Vegetables
When you are ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350˚F.
While the oven is preheating, wash and peel the vegetables. Cut the sweet potato into 1-inch chunks. Slice the carrots into thick rounds. Slice the red onion into 1-inch pieces. Set all of the vegetables aside in a medium bowl, and stir to combine and separate the onion.
Remove pork from the bag and place in a shallow baking dish. Add the vegetables around the pork loin.
Step 4 – Bake
Bake for 45 minutes, or until the thickest part of the pork registers 160˚F in the center on an instant read thermometer.
Let the pork rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving with vegetables.
How Long Is the Ideal Time to Marinate the Meat?
In the recipe, you will see that you can marinate the loin from anywhere in between 4 hours to overnight. Of course, I think any time that you can marinate pork for longer than the minimum is best.
I personally aim to to marinate the pork as long as possible. The longer the better, because the more time the meat has to absorb all those yummy flavors, the better it will taste when you cook it. Marinades also help to add moisture, and tenderize meat.
if you can, marinate the night before you plan to cook it. You can even make it in the morning before you head to work so when you get home, you simply have to prep the vegetables and add everything to the baking dish.
Would you like to make this dish for dinner tonight? Tell us why you’re excited about it in the comments below, and be sure to come back to rate the recipe.
And if you love pork as easy-to-make weeknight meals, then try out these tasty recipes:
- Hasselback Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Pears
- Easy Skillet Pork Chops with Quinoa
- Honey Mustard Pork Chops
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on March 11th, 2014. Last updated: December 31, 2018 at 7:46 am.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Meghan Yager
Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.