Glazed Pork Loin Roast — Pork loin is first coated in a FLAVOR-PACKED dry spice rub, then topped with a tangy brown sugar glaze before being roasted. EASY enough to make on busy weeknights, but IMPRESSIVE enough to serve to guests or make for the holidays!
Best Ever Oven Roasted Pork Loin
This roasted pork loin turns out perfectly juicy and tender every time! If you’ve ever made roast pork loin in the oven before, you’ll know that it can be a finicky cut of meat to work with because it’s fairly lean and is easy to overcook.
I’ve finally found a roasting method that works for me every time I want to roast a pork loin and finished dish is just so tender, juicy, flavorful, and perfect.
The recipe starts with a 3-pound pork loin with a nice fat cap on it. You need that layer of fat on top to keep the pork moist and also add flavor — don’t remove it!
I like to whisk together a quick homemade dry rub for the pork loin using a handful of herbs and spices I always keep in my pantry. The dry rub ensures that every bite of the roasted pork loin is coated (literally) in flavor.
The crowning jewel of the recipe is the simple brown sugar glaze. The tangy yet sweet glaze caramelizes over the pork as it bakes and beautifully offsets the richness of the meat and the umami flavor of the dry rub.
And while all of that is great, what I like the best is that this recipe is SO easy! Just 15 minutes of hands-on prep work, and then I can plop the pork loin in the oven and go about my life until dinner is ready.
Love it when dinner recipes are that easy! And even better, when holiday dinner recipes are that easy. This easy pork loin is special enough to serve over the holidays. Whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, or for all those Christmas and holiday parties in between, this roasted pork loin is sure to impress all your friends and family.
Pork Loin Roast Ingredients
Except for the pork loin itself, I keep every ingredient needed for this recipe on hand at all times. No special spices or sauces needed for this brown sugar glazed pork loin recipe!
- Pork loin (see my notes below on the difference between pork loin vs tenderloin)
- Olive oil
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Dried thyme
- Dried rosemary
- Kosher salt and pepper
Brown sugar glaze:
- Brown sugar
- All-purpose flour
- Apple cider vinegar
- Ground dry mustard
Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.
What’s the Difference Between Pork Loin vs Pork Tenderloin?
Before beginning this recipe, triple check that you purchased pork LOIN and NOT pork tenderloin. Using pork tenderloin in this recipe would result in a dinner fail!
I’m putting this critical info in its own special tip box!
Use Loin NOT Tenderloin!
If you can’t tell the difference between pork loin and pork tenderloin, you’re not alone. And if you never even knew there was a difference, you’re not alone! But there is. For this recipe you want to select LOIN and not tenderloin. Read on to learn how they differ.
The two cuts of pork are similar, and even after 15+ years of blogging I can’t tell you how many times I mixed them up at the grocery store. Oops! But they are indeed different cuts of meat.
- Pork loin is wide and thick in shape, with a layer of fat on top. It’s best suited to roasting for a longer period of time (compared to tenderloin, that is!) and the fat cap on top keeps the meat juicy and moist. They can be boneless or bone-in. I used boneless. For uniformity and consistency for cooking times, try to select boneless for this recipe.
- Pork tenderloin is thin and narrow in shape, with no visible fat. This cut of pork is fairly small (about 1 pound each) so it’s typically sold in packs of two. You almost always have to marinate pork tenderloin before cooking it; it dries out and becomes tough otherwise. This cut of pork is best cooked quickly on the stovetop or on the grill.
What’s Another Name for Pork Loin?
You might see this cut of pork also labeled as “center loin roast” or “pork center rib roast” at the grocery store or butcher’s shop.
When in doubt, ask someone at the butcher’s counter for clarification on the best cut of pork for roasting. And then ask someone else! Some people, ahem, really don’t know.
Can Pork Tenderloin Be Used Instead of Pork Loin in This Recipe?
That’s going to be a big, fat NO. If you cooked a pork tenderloin for the amount of time that’s called for this recipe, you’d wind up with a rock-solid, dry, tough, and chewy pork dinner.
Is Boneless or Bone-In Pork Loin Better?
Pork loin can be come boneless or bone-in. I used boneless and the cooking times and temperatures were tested with a boneless pork loin. Try to use boneless so that the cooking times I recommend will line up fairly accurately with your pork loin.
Bone-in cuts of meat of any kind generally take a bit longer to cook, but just how much longer can be anyone’s guess.
How to Cook a Pork Loin Roast
Now that we’ve covered the differences between pork loin vs tenderloin and you’ve gathered all of the ingredients, it’s time to get cooking!
Let’s go over the basic steps to roasting pork loin in the oven:
Step 1: Prep the pork. Pat the pork loin dry with a paper towel, then make a few shallow cuts in the fat cap. Place in a greased baking dish.
Step 2: Coat pork loin with dry rub. Add the pork loin dry rub spices to a small bowl and stir to combine. Then, coat the pork loin with a little olive oil and rub with the dry rub.
Step 3: Roast pork loin for 15 minutes. Roast the pork loin fat side-up at 425ºF for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, make the glaze.
Step 4: Make the pork loin glaze. Add the brown sugar, flour, vinegar, and ground dry mustard to a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 1 minute over medium heat.
Step 5: Add the glaze and finish roasting. Remove the pork loin from the oven and reduce the heat to 375ºF. Pour the glaze over the pork loin and bake for an additional 40 minutes to finish.
I can’t imagine making this pork loin roast without the tangy yet savory tasting brown sugar glaze! I love it so much that sometimes I double the glaze portion of the recipe and use half of it as directed over the pork loin.
But then I take the other half and drizzle it over my vegetable side dishes like Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Herb Roasted Carrots, or Browned Butter Mashed Potatoes. Make sure to see my Serving Suggestions below for more sides and serving ideas.
How Long to Roast a Pork Loin?
In total, you’ll need to roast the pork loin for 15 minutes at 425ºF and 40 minutes at 375ºF. That’s a cooking time of 55 minutes total in the oven, and about 75 minutes total time after you rest the meat.
Make sure to turn the oven down after 15 minutes of cooking!
How to Tell When Pork Loin Is Done?
Cooked boneless pork loin roast will be pale and nearly white in color. The juices will also run clear when the pork is pierced with a fork.
However, the only way to really know if the pork loin is done roasting is by using a meat thermometer. You want to remove the pork loin from the oven when it reaches 145ºF, then let it rest for at least 5 minutes so the juices have time to redistribute within the meat.
Keep in mind that the internal temperature of the pork will rise — even after it’s been pulled out of the oven!
So, if you want to ensure your pork loin remains juicy and tender, you should be fine to take it out of the oven when it reaches an internal temperature of 140ºF since it will raise the extra 5ºF in temperature as it rests on your countertop.
If you want to learn more about internal temperature rising, I discuss it more in my Sheet Pan Whole Roasted Chicken and Potatoes recipe, which is a great one to keep on hand for easy family dinners on one sheet pan.
How to Keep Pork Loin From Drying Out
There are a few key things to remember when roasting pork loin so that it doesn’t turn into shoe leather on you:
- Don’t remove the fat cap. The fat melts down the sides and bottom of the pork loin as it roasts, which keeps the otherwise lean meat super moist.
- Use a meat meat thermometer. Without one, you won’t know when the internal temperature of the pork has reached the target 145ºF.
- Take the pork out of the oven a little early. Once the pork has an internal temperature of 135 – 140ºF, you can take it out of the oven. It will come up to temperature as it rests on your counter for 5 to 10 mins before serving.
- Rest the pork! It needs time for the juices to redistribute throughout the meat and also to come the rest of the way up to the target internal temperature of 145ºF.
Leftovers from your pork loin roast will last up to five days in the fridge or up to three months in the freezer.
Store the slices of meat in an airtight container to prevent it from drying out. Make sure to keep all the glaze drippings too because they are full of flavor!
What to Serve with Pork Loin Roast
You can pair the oven roasted pork loin with pretty much any side dish, salad, or vegetable. Try one or more of the following side dishes:
Glazed Pork Loin Roast FAQs
I am sure you could, however I have not tested it as such and you would have to play around with how long to cook it once it’s in your crock pot. And if you need to sear it beforehand on the stove or not to seal in the juices.
If you want to make a slow cooker recipe with pork, please consult the Related Recipes below the recipe card section because I have a lot. The closest one is this Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin but that is a tenderloin and not a loin cut – take note!
Again, you can I’m sure but I have never tried anything at all similar so you would want to really investigate and research this online before starting.
Because I always have all the spices called for in the dry rub in my pantry, I use dried spices in the dry rub. They don’t call it a dry rub for nothin’!
I haven’t experimented with using fresh herbs and spices but if it were me, I would just stick with dry here.
All the spices in the dry rub are pretty basic and I suggest picking them up to have on hand for all your savory cooking needs.
However, if you don’t have all the spices on hand or just forgot one, you can probably get away without it.
The glaze has a bit of dry mustard in it, which is a spice, and not liquid mustard like you’d put on a hot dog! This bit of dry mustard adds a great flavor to the glaze, but it doesn’t make it taste like mustard.
I use a bit of dry mustard in my famous Better-Than-Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup and thousands of readers over the years agree that it just adds a magical touch. It does in the glaze too so if possible, don’t omit it. Just think you’ll have plenty extra and can make the soup next!
1 hour 15 minutes
- 3 pounds boneless pork loin, with fat cap on (select pork loin, do NOT use pork tenderloin)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
Brown Sugar Glaze
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon ground dry mustard
- Preheat oven to 425F and spray a shallow roasting dish or sheet pan well with cooking spray; set aside.
- Pork Loin – Lightly pat dry the pork loin with a paper towel. Do not remove the fat cap!
- Gently score the top of the fat cap in a criss-cross pattern with a paring knife, as shown in the step-by-step photos in the blog post. This scoring helps give the brown sugar glaze a place to go and cling to.
- Evenly drizzle the pork with the olive oil and rub it uniformly all over the pork.
- Dry Rub – In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients, and mix with a small spoon to combine.
- Evenly coat the pork all over with the dry rub, patting and packing it on so it adheres.
- Roasting #1 – Place the pork in the prepared baking dish or on the sheet pan with the fat cap side up, and roast for 15 minutes. While the meat roasts, move on to step 8.
- Brown Sugar Glaze – While the pork is roasting, to a small saucepan, add all the ingredients, and heat over medium-low heat for about 90 seconds, whisking constantly, or until the sugar dissolves and a glaze forms. Tips – A glaze will always seem thinner in the saucepan and while it’s hot than when it cools, so make sure not to overheat it. However, if you do and it’s a little too thick, that’s ok because it will still adhere to the pork and will caramelize as the meat roasts. If you love glaze like I do, consider making a double batch of the glaze. Use half to be spooned over the pork as indicated in the recipe, and the other half is great over sides like roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, and more.
- After 15 minutes of baking, turn the oven temp down to 375F.
- Remove the roasting pan from the oven and carefully spoon the glaze over the top. If some drips off, that’s okay, but try to keep it at the top, re-spooning it up as best you can.
- Roasting #2 – Continue to roast for another 40 minutes, or until pork is done. Make sure you turned your oven down to 375F.
- Doneness TIps – I highly recommend checking the internal temperature of the pork with an instant read digital thermometer and do not guess. Pork is a protein that you cannot eat even a little raw, however overcooking it will result in a very dry and tough piece of meat that’s undesireable. To avoid guesswork and for the best results, use a thermometer. Boneless pork loin is considered safe at 145F. However, you can pull the meat out when it’s about 135-140F. The internal temp will continue to rise as the meat rests for about 5 to 10 minutes. Do not rush the resting process. This is important for both the internal temp to come up to a safe temp, and for the internal juices to redistribute before slicing and serving. Serve the pork loin with your favorite sides. I listed a dozen of my favorites in the blog post with recipe links.
Leftovers – Extra pork loin will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months. Reheat gently in the microwave, or as desired.
Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 408Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 136mgSodium: 347mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 0gSugar: 11gProtein: 45g
More Easy Pork Recipes:
Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin — Tender and juicy boneless pork tenderloin is slow cooked with hearty vegetables for a complete and EASY meal! Reminiscent of a hearty and rustic recipe, yet fancy enough for a special dinner or holiday entertaining!
Orange Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin – An orange-scented teriyaki sauce keeps the pork so tender, juicy, and flavorful!! Easy, one-skillet recipe that’s ready in 20 minutes and healthy! Under 250 calories with 25 grams of protein!!
French Onion Pork Chops — If you love French onion soup, you’re going to adore these pork chops! They’re ready in under an hour and can be made in just one skillet! Elegant, EASY, and sure to be a new family FAVORITE recipe!
Maple Glazed Pork Chops and Sweet Potatoes — The PERFECT fall-inspired dinner with juicy pork chops that are smothered with the most mouthwatering maple bourbon glaze and cinnamon-and-spiced roasted sweet potatoes on the side! This stunning comfort food recipe is great for family dinners and busy weeknights because it’s EASY to make!
Best Grilled Pork Chops —Learn how to make juicy and tender pork chops on a gas grill thanks to a super simple homemade marinade that provides the perfect amount of savory flavor! When combined with the natural smoky flavor you get from the grill, these marinated grilled pork chops are a FAST and EASY family favorite! Indoor cooking instructions also provided.
Pork Belly Burnt Ends — Crispy, sticky, sweet-and-savory pieces of pork belly are grilled to burnt ends “perfection”! The pork is moist, tender, and everyone goes crazy for it so double the recipe! Perfect for Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, game day parties, or as a special weeknight treat for your family!
Air Fryer Pork Chops — Coated in Parmesan cheese and a rich spice rub, these air fried pork chops are perfectly crispy on the outside while staying tender and moist on the inside! They’re EASY, ready in 15 minutes, perfect for busy weeknights, and a healthier way to enjoy “fried” food. Oven-baking and grilling instructions also provided.
Slow Cooker Hawaiian Pulled Pork — Pork is slow cooked to perfection and has Hawaiian-inspired flavors from pineapple and teriyaki sauce! Sweet, tangy, tender, and juicy! It makes the best pulled pork sandwiches that everyone loves!
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork — The EASIEST recipe for pulled pork because your Crock-Pot does all the work for you! Set it and forget it for this AMAZING pulled pork that’s super flavorful and so tender and juicy! Great for pulled pork sandwiches and tacos!
Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs — Tender, juicy, fall-off-the-bone baby back pork ribs that are finger-lickin’ good! With just 5 minutes of active prep, your slow cooker does all the work in creating ribs that your friends and family will beg you to make over and over!
Tacos Al Pastor — Learn to make this staple Mexican recipe that includes thinly sliced pieces of pork marinated in a tangy, sweet pineapple sauce AT HOME! Juicy, flavorful, tender pork served in tortillas with onions, cilantro, lime juice, and salsa! You’ll want every night to be taco night!
Spicy Pork Lettuce Wraps — EASY, ready in 20 minutes, perfectly SPICY yet wonderfully fresh!! Just enough heat to keep you going back for more! A new dinnertime WINNER!!
Asian Pork Noodles — An EASY comfort food stir fry that’s ready in 20 minutes with so many textures and flavors in every bite!! Juicy pork, tender noodles, crisp-tender veggies in a bath of sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, and chili garlic sauce if you want to turn up the heat!!