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Rack of Pork Stuffed with Apples and Herbs

Wow, that sounds fancy, doesn't it? I love giving you a recipe that makes you look like a star in the kitchen. This one will have your family or guests think you're a fabulous gourmet cook, but it's so easy - I'll show you how. 

I do not like boneless pork loin. I don't even like the white meat of chicken or turkey. Yes, these meats are lean but they are boring, totally devoid of taste and dry.  The only decent parts of a chicken is the dark meat. If I ever fix a turkey breast, I butterfly the thing and stuff it, to add some taste.  I do the same thing with pork loin.  There's no use in fixing that cut of meat, in my opinion, unless you add something to it.  And it needs help.  If you like stuffing, why not make up a stuffing that you really love and butterfly the pork loin and put it inside?  And to make it even tastier, buy a bone-in rack of pork loin.  If you can't find a bone-in pork loin, just use a regular loin.  But if you like eating ribs, do try to find the bone-in version.

The stuffing can really be whatever you like. I've stuffed meats like this with a combination of sun-dried tomatoes, spinach and bread crumbs.   Use your imagination. If you make it for the holidays, some cranberries added to the stuffing would be nice.

Rack of Pork Stuffed with Apples and Herbs 


for a printable recipe, click here

serves 5

You will need kitchen twine to tie up this roast.

The stuffing for this recipe is made with fresh bread crumbs.  Just take any bread, fresh or stale, and grind it up in your food processor.  Do not toast the bread.


for the Stuffing:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 small apples, peeled, cored, chopped into small dice (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 1 celery stalk, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced (about 1/2 cup) 
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or grated
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh sage
  • 1 Tablespoons fresh rosemary
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 1 bone-in pork loin, 5 ribs, about 3-1/2 to 4 pounds (a boneless pork loin is fine, if you can't find a bone-in version. Just cut the cooking time by about 15 minutes if using boneless).


for the Herb Rub:

  • 1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped sage
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped rosemary
  • zest of half a lemon 
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or grated 

for the Basting Liquid:

  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil 


In a skillet, heat the oil and add the apple, celery and onion with the sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper.  Saute over medium-low heat for about 6-7 minutes, until vegetables and apple are soft.  Add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Remove skillet from heat and add the fresh bread crumbs, herbs and lemon zest. Transfer mixture to a bowl and let cool completely.

While stuffing is cooling, butterfly the pork loin.

Cut down along rib bones then turn knife on its side and start opening up the loin


Cut four 12" lengths of twine and set aside. Lay out pork loin, fat side down, with bones facing to the right. Insert the blade of a very sharp knife along the rib bones and slice down.  This will release the loin from the ribs.  Do not slice all the way through.  Open the meat up a bit and take your knife and continue to slice through the meat, opening it up as it goes.  When the meat is butterflied, season it with some salt and pepper and lay the stuffing right on top.  Roll the pork loin back up and tie between each rib bone with a piece of the twine to secure the roast.  Trim loose ends of twine.  Season the outside of the pork loin with salt and pepper.

Continue cutting through pork loin, opening it up, until flat


spread stuffing and then roll up roast and tie


Make herb rub:

Mix all ingredients for the herb rub together and rub the pork loin all over with this mixture.  

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a baking pan with foil* and place a grate on top.  Warm the ingredients for the baste in a small saucepan on the stove.  Place the pork roast on the grate and bake for 20 minutes, uncovered.  Baste with about a third of the basting liquid. Loosely cover the roast with foil and lower temperature to 350 degrees.  Continue to cook for about 1-1/2 hours, basting with the liquid twice more.  


Remove pork roast from oven and transfer to a cutting board.  Let rest for 10 minutes, covered.  Cut twine. Slice between rib bones into 5 portions and serve.

* Note:  If you'd like to make a pan sauce out of the drippings, do not line the pan with foil.  When you remove the roast to the cutting board, you can transfer the pan drippings to a saucepan and make a little sauce by adding some more white wine and butter and whisking until smooth. You can strain the sauce over the meat.

Look how gorgeous that is?  It's moist because of the apple cider basting liquid and it's flavorful because of the stuffing.  It's a very forgiving recipe which holds well on low in the oven.  Make this for the holidays and I guarantee it will be a hit.  

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Reader Comments (37)

Wow this looks delicious. I am going to test this recipe out at the Keston Kitchen. Grazie mille!

October 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte

That looks absolutely exquisite! Your step by step pictures are extremely helpful... makes me think I could actually make something like this!

Very nice!! I appreciate the wonderful pictures on how to butterfly and stuff this pork loin. Thanks.

October 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

Thank you! It sounds gorgeous! How could the apple be substituted? I really have a problem with fruit & salt. :D sorry.

October 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMalu

What a gorgeous dish! And your top photo is just spectacular. Drooling here.

October 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKalynskitchen

Gorgeous rack!
I posted apples, sausage, sage and onions yesterday.
I wish fall would never end!

October 28, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterstacey snacks

Wow, this looks amazing! I am definitely going to try this recipe, this sounds like something my kids will eat, not so sure about my 4 year-old (LOL). I have been following your food blog for a few months as I am new to the food blog world. I too come from an Italian family but unfortunately only know how to cook a few traditional dishes. I’ll surprise my parents this holiday season! Just adore your site from the recipes down to the irresistible food photography!

Oh to the previous comment about not liking fruit and salt, I wonder how butternut squash or sweet potato herb stuffing would taste in place of the apple herb stuffing?

October 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

That first photo is a stunner (the others aren't bad either!) Looks delicious.

October 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJoan Nova

Splendid! That looks so good.



October 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRosa

LOVE that opening photo! And I actually like any pork product - so much so that I ordered a half hog from my CSA and he just went into the processor today. This will be tops on my list of recipes to make when I pick up my meat!

October 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCooking with Michele

I'm impressed. I feel like calling myself "a simple country cook" (not that there's anything wrong with that). Pork was never dressed so prettily.

October 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterClaudia

I love pork and I'm always looking for a good recipe. I love anything stuffed, so I'm saving this one!

That look wonderful!!!!

October 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFaith

My favorite cut of meat! I would eat this over turkey any day! I always buy it this time of year, I have never stuffed it I usually rub it down with olive oil, fresh herbs, garlic and dijon. I'm so trying this next time!

October 29, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermarie

I have never made stuffed pork before, but your beautiful pictures make it look so easy! This looks and sounds absolutely devine. Love the stuffing.

October 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRosabela

Magnifico arrosto di carne, grazie per questa bellissima ricetta

October 30, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterstefania

Great recipe and pictures. I agree about pork loin. Just the thought of it makes me a bit sick. I need meat on the bone and with some fat.

November 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAngela@Spinachtiger


November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShannon@Delectalicious!

I put this on my meal plan for next week. Hopefully I can make it as beautiful as you did!

this is the perfect holiday dinner for sure!! Can't wait to try this out on my clients this week :)

November 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGaby

Stuffing a bone-in rack is such an awesome idea. I love it. I'm have to add this to my to-do list. Thanks for sharing!

November 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMatt Kay

I am making this for a dinner party next week. I was able to order the bone in pork loin but it will be approximately 8lbs (8 ribs). How much longer should I bake this in the oven. Your pictures are gorgeous. I follow your blog religiously. Thanks so much.

December 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKim Klatt

From The Italian DIsh:

Kim: Wow, that's a big roast! That should be gorgeous. I would give it an extra 20 minutes in the oven and then make sure it rests, covered with foil, about 10-15 minutes before you slice. Have a great dinner party!

December 11, 2010 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

I made this on Christmas Eve. Had a much larger roast so had to cook it quite a bit longer. I found that stuffing to be lacking something in flavor, which surprised me given the ingredients. It also seemed mushier than expected. Had a hard time carving the end result between the ribs. In the end it was very tasty but if I made it again I would use a boneless loin.

January 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDiana

I tried this one. A bit of work but well worth the effort. Wonderful flavor. Goes well with a nice Pino Noir.

July 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWilliam

New to your blog and cannot WAIT to try so many recipes. This was my first attempt and have never cooked a bone in pork loin I asked the butcher for it....5 ribs. Mine does not look like yours. Its mostly dark meat. One end has a very small piece of white meat....the rest is dark. What cut did I get?? I'm so disappointed. I now have to decide whether to finish making this or save my lovely ingredients for a different recipe. Thoughts?

November 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTC

From The Italian Dish:

TC: It has to be the loin, if it's attached to the ribs. I'm sure it's fine. Can you send me a photo of it in my email? I would be interested in seeing it.

November 24, 2011 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

I send pics via email. Would love your feedback! Thanks!!

November 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTC

If using a boneless tenderloin what size would I need for the recipe? Can you send or post a picture of how to stuff a tenderloin? Thanks

December 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTrish

From The Italian Dish:

Trish: A pork tenderloin is really too small to do this with. You really need a pork loin. You can also buy a boneless pork loin and make this same recipe, if you can't find bone-in or don't want a bone-in. Hope this helps. If you insist on doing it with a tenderloin, you will only be able to make one cut in the tenderloin and open it like a book. Flatten it a little. It will not be able to hold much stuffing.

December 6, 2011 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

Fantastic dish! I made this with a boneless pork loin. Absolutely beautiful, easy to make and killer presentation. Had it on Christmas Day and even my mother-in-law was very impressed with the juicieness. I served it with roasted veggies -broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, onions, and brussel sprouts, and garlic mashed potatoes.

December 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSandy

Thanks for posting this, you know it's always easier when someone else does it first! I've butterflied a boneless rib roast before, but this is something new. Olive tapas with jalapeno and anchovy for stuffing.

I now go to attempt the trimming. Worst case, chicharrones.

December 26, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterglenn

This looks awesome! I can not wait to try this roast. I bet it is moist and much better than making a pork loin roast. (Great idea Sandy on adding garlic mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables! )

Thank you for putting the photos on your site - it is truly appreciated! and makes one comfortable that they are following the recipe instructions appropriately!

January 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDolores

Do you think i could do something similar with just the regular boneless pork chops? I always get bored of the regular breaded and smothered in sauce type recipes.. this looks delish but a whole loin is too much for just my dh and myself....

MMM thanks for sharing

October 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjaclyn

This looks as sublime as it gets! As always, the photos, description and how-to-do is inviting and sumptuous - All your recipes are marvelous and spot on!!! Thank you so very much Elaine. This will definitely be on our holiday table. I can literally ALWAYS count on each and every recipe to be exactly as you describe them. A pure pleasure. Thank you again for sharing these gems with all of us.

November 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

Made this for friends before Christmas. It was incredibly easy, moist, show stopping and delicious! My friends were so impressed. Thank you for such a great recipe.

December 31, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkathy

When the" kids" come for a meal, they love the wonderful filets we purchase from our favorite butcher shop. But it just gets so boring for us to prepare the same old things. I decided this looked like an interesting variation on pork, with a beautiful presentation. It was such a hit the first time, I prepared it again for Father's Day. I used my own variation of stuffing....dried Michigan cherries, pecans, and wild rice mixed with bread crumbs. Just delicious! Thank you for the great recipe!

June 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy

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