Pancetta Pesto Stuffed Pork Loin Roast

by Emily Kemme
roast pork loin

For a special meal where you want knock-off-your-socks presentation value for not much effort, give this recipe for Pancetta Pesto Stuffed Pork Loin Roast a try. Pancetta is often layered on top of a rolled pork loin and then tied to secure the roll and bind the two meats together. The pancetta ends up crispy with a flavor that might be described as “über bacon-y”, which can be overpowering. Instead, layer the pancetta — a cured, thinly sliced bacon product — on top of basil pesto and pair with thin slices of mozzarella cheese. But if you prefer a saltier taste, you can lightly fry the pancetta before layering on top of the cheese without altering the recipe. Roll, tie, roast, and slice the pork loin into 1/2 inch rounds for an elegant presentation on the dinner plate.

To prepare the pork loin, the first cut is always the hardest. The key is to slice half an inch from the edge lengthwise, leaving a half inch of meat at the bottom. Cut along the bottom straight across sideways until you are half an inch from the other edge of the loin. As you cut, you can slowly unroll the loin to continue the process, ending up with a flat piece. Pound out any imperfections in the meat with the smooth side of a meat mallet until you end up with a flat piece about 1/2 inch thick.

roast pork loin
Slicing the pork loin into one length is the trickiest part of this recipe, but if you follow directions, you’ll end up with a flat piece of meat perfect for rolling.

Pancetta Pesto Stuffed Pork Loin Roast Recipe


  • 1 – 4lb pork loin roast, prepared as described above
  • 4 ounces prepared basil pesto
  • 1/3 lb thinly sliced mozzarella
  • 1/3 lb thinly sliced pancetta or prosciutto
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • kitchen string to tie the pork loin roast
pork loin roast
Tie the rolled pork loin about two inches apart, making 5-7 segments. Trim remaining string.

Cook the recipe:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Prepare pork loin according to directions, above. Spread inside part of meat with pesto, then layer with the mozzarella, followed by the pancetta. Roll and tie the meat with pre-cut segments of kitchen string about two inches apart. You should have about 5 to 7 ties. Trim remaining string. Sprinkle roast with kosher salt, coarse ground black pepper, and Italian seasoning. Rub spices into meat and place on roasting rack to air dry until oven temperature is ready.

Roast pork loin for 25 minutes per pound, until the internal temperature reaches 150 – 160°F, depending on how well done you like pork. Remove roast from oven, cover with aluminum foil, and let rest for 30 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 450°F and return pork loin to the oven. Roast until the top is well browned, about 10 minutes. Place meat on cutting board and remove ties. Slice pork loin roast into 1/2” rounds and serve. The pancetta will not have a crispy texture but it is cooked. This method allows for a more subtle, less salty flavor.

roast pork loin
Beautiful spirals of pesto, melted mozzarella, and pancetta make an attractive presentation.

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