Stuffed Pork Tenderloin for our Vintage Recipe Swap

pork tenderloin stuffed with spinach and sausage

Last February I was invited to participate in a recipe swap of sorts, using a vintage cookbook that the swap organizer Christianna from Burwell General Store had found during her travels.   Here it is a year later and a new cookbook and Christianna’s recipe swap is still going strong!   This month’s recipe comes from  The Second Ford Treasury of Favorite Recipes from Favorite Eating Places first published in 1954.   This month’s recipe comes from the Pine Tavern, located in Bend Oregon where after 75 years in operation you can find it still today.

The featured recipe for the swap is a Wild Rice Dressing, and depending upon the area of the country you come form they can mean the same thing or something completely different.  Generally a stuffing is as it suggests stuffed into the cavity of  what ever meat you are roasting, where as dressing is made in a pan and served on the side of the dish, I’ve even seen the term dressing used as a loose vegetable topping used on meats.    Well, I’m from the Southern part of the US and have heard the terms pretty much interchanged my entire life, so when I heard dressing I automatically thought of a stuffing… least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Throughout my career as a restaurant chef,  I always enjoyed creating flavorful dishes stuffed with a variety of ingredients, taking a lackluster dish and turning it into culinary adventure!  I think the greatest joy a chef can have is walking through the dining room and hearing an occasional moan while someone is enjoying one of your creations.   This dish caused that very reaction when I served it for dinner, even it was just from me…..sigh.    I do miss my days in the restaurant, to me nothing was better than making people happy with food!

My recipe for the swap is a little bit more than just a dressing, its an entire entree and it was truly delicious, especially with my marsala sauce.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

pork tenderloin stuffed with spinach and sausage

5.0 from 12 reviews
Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 6
Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
  • 2 Pork Tenderloin (usually two in a pack)
  • 1 lb sweet sausage
  • 8 oz bag baby spinach
  • 2 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups stale bread cubes
  • 1 eggs(lightly beaten)
  • 4-6 oz chicken stock
  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
Marsala Sauce
  • 1 cup Marsala
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 12 oz mushrooms - sliced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 oz heavy cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Pork Tenderloin
  1. begin by cleaning up the tenderloin, removing silver skin and fat.
  2. Split tenderloin down the middle
  3. Cover the split tenderloin with plastic wrap and using the flat side of a meat hammer, pound out the pork to increase the size of the tenderloin.
  1. remove the casing from the sausage and cook in a frying pan breaking up the pieces so they look like ground meat. (allow to cool slightly)
  2. in another frying pan with a little water in the pan cook the spinach leaves until completely wilted, then squeeze out any additional water
  3. Using stale bread, cut it into cubes or small pieces
  4. In a large bowl, mix together the bread, sausage, spinach, mozzarella, egg and chicken stock, blend all the ingredients together*
Stuffed Tenderloin
  1. divide stuffing between two pork tenderloins, and roll tenderloins, along the long side making a log, tucking the edges in to seal it.
  2. dredge the stuffed tenderloin in seasoned bread crumbs.
  3. Place cookie sheet into preheat oven with olive oil in pan and allow it to get heat for about 10 minutes.
  4. remove pan from oven and very carefully roll the tenderloin in the hot oil to sear it slightly, Be very careful hot oil can burn!
  5. Place pan with tenderloins back into the oven and bake for 25 minutes
Marsala Sauce
  1. saute mushrooms in a little olive oil for about five minutes or until they are tender.
  2. add marsala (reserve two tablespoons) and chicken stock, reduce heat and allow to simmer
  3. roll pieces of the butter in flour to make a Beurre manie, then add to the simmering stock to help thicken the sauce.
  4. add cream and continue to simmer
  5. before serving add the remainder of the marsala to boost the flavor.
  1. slice stuffed pork tenderloin about ½ thick and serve with mushroom marsala sauce
*use additional stock if stuffing is too dry


I wanted to take a minute to talk about Marsala.  Every time I read about making a marsala dish they say to buy dry marsala.  I disagree, If there is a distinction between marsala’s (which not every brand does) buy sweet not dry,  it makes a much tastier sauce.   That being said my favorite marsala is Pellegrino brand, it is a bit more expensive but the best I’ve ever used.  After that I like either Florio or Cribari, sometimes I will start the sauce with Cribari and then finish it with Pelligrino, what ever you put in last in the sauce will be the flavor that you taste the most.

Thanks so much for stopping by today, and thanks again to Christianna for running the swap and allowing me to participate, I always have fun re inventing the recipes!

Just realized this is my 300th Post!!  Time flies when you’re having fun!

Have a great week my friends!



  1. What’s great about reading around the recipe swap circle is that everyone seized on a different part of the recipe. I love that about the swap. You, stuffed. Others, the grain. A few others, the bacon. A wonderful, accessible recipe again, Dennis! So glad you’re a part of the swap.

  2. I’m totally with you on sweet Marsala. So much better for sauces! This dish looks absolutely unctuous, in the most sexy and glistening way!

  3. It’s fun to see how everyone interprets one dish and often it is a regional take on something. I tell ya…I would take this stuffing in a heartbeat. Oh my good.

  4. Yay – smart minds think alike – I picked pork too! Such a lovely little post

  5. What a great roast. I love the creamy marsala sauce you get for scaloppine, I bet this one would be even better!

  6. I love the original recipe, but I really love what you did with it. I didn’t used to care for pork tenderloin much when we lived in the U.S. but now that we live in the Middle East, I would LOVE to have one to prepare. When ever we go back state side, I’ve got a list of pork recipes and now I’ve got another to add to the list!

  7. Stuffed pork tenderloin is such a treat, your rendition of the original recipe is so well thought out and sounds delicious. And topped with Marsala sauce… perfect finish!

  8. Dude, seriously…you’re killing me here. This is one pretty and perfect piece of pork. I like the tip about the marsala, as a alcohol doofus I would have never known that.

  9. First of all congratualtions on your 300th post! Bravo! I googled your website on my (beloved) iPhone and somehow it went to photo instead of links first. I was floored at the pages and pages of your photos really illustrating all the work you’ve brought to your blog and so many readers. A lotta love you’ve put into this and touched many.

    You are a clever Mr.! What a delicious sounding recipe. I have never stuffed a pork tenderloin but the outcome looks gorgeous. It’s funny, this recipe really did not strike me much when looking at it (the original swap reicpe to be clear) but I think it may have produced the most creative swap round yet. Love this.

  10. This is a great roast. I love the creamy marsala sauce

  11. That is a great tip about using an alternate marsala at the end for finishing – I would have never thought of that approach to make the best use out of spirits when cooking.
    Beautiful tenderloin…

  12. I love this recipe, Chef Dennis! I had no idea that Marsalas were that different. Thanks for the tip!

  13. Lemme wipe the drool off the keyboard. I pinned that photo before I left a comment. Who could stand not to? Looks fantastic.

  14. Dennis, this looks fabulous! I love that you stuffed a pork loin and the recipe looks hearty, warm, and comforting. The perfect winter meal. Great contribution to the swap, as always!

  15. Thanks for the clarification on the marsala! You made a stunning dish with it, that’s for sure!

  16. This looks amazing-pure comfort food! Good to know about using sweet vs dry marsala. Looking forward to making this!

  17. This looks absolutely beautiful and tender. I love the creaminess evident just from the pictures.

  18. Dennis, I can almost taste your beautiful dish! Pork tenderloin is wonderful when stuffed and serving it with Marsala-mushroom sauce is divine. Great take on the original recipe (and my Southern husband would agree about stuffing=dressing:)
    So many creative and versatile approaches to this month’s swap, but I am not surprised at all:)

  19. Wow Chef this looks amazing!! I love stuffed meats, I think they are so delicious and so versatile!

  20. Oh, my, this looks divine, yet simple to make.

  21. Oh, that is lovely–I particularly like the looks of that stuffing!

  22. What a perfectly fantastic recipe for number 300!

  23. I’m with Maureen–I’m drooling over here. Dennis, this looks so good! Love the recipe swap posts–you went above and beyond the requirements but hey, I’m not complaining one bit! Yum!

  24. This is a dinner me and my husband would just love. Saving!

  25. Yummy! This looks SO great… I should bookmark this and make it for a special dinner soon! Thanks for sharing, Chef Dennis! 🙂

  26. I love old cookbooks and stuffed meats 🙂 This one would definitely be a winner in my house…and maybe the recipe I’ve been looking for to make on Valentine’s Day!

  27. This is almost torturous as I’m REALLY hungry and REALLY REALLY want to be eating this right now!!! And I haven’t made pork tenderloin in forever – on the brain now. Thanks Chef!

  28. Congrats on top 9. And I forgot to say woot woot on 300!

  29. This looks wonderful! I love Marsala!

  30. This looks like such a warm, comforting dish that I should most definitely try out this winter – thanks for the inspiration!

  31. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe with us. The dish looks delicious!

  32. Congrats on top 9! stuffed meat always makes for a delicious meal.

  33. This looks amazing! And I agree completely on the sweet marsala!

  34. i LOVE pork tenderloin! have never had it stuffed before, tho. this looks so good on screen – i bet it tasted even better “in person”. 🙂

  35. This has “dish for Laura’s next dinner party” written all over it. Thanks!

  36. What a beautiful dish! It looks just as sigh-provoking as you say it is. Even if lucky restaurant patrons didn’t get to try this, you did treat yourself to a well deserved feast!
    My meat-eating husband would love this! He loves chicken marsala so the marsala sauce would be a huge hit! Maybe I’ll make him a special Valentines Day treat.

  37. Great tip about the marsala, thanks!! Lovely recipe, as well. I love these vintage swaps. What a fun idea.

  38. Bored old lady clicking from link to link ….found you through the “Use Real Butter” blog.

    My mouth is watering over just the photos of this dish. Is this what they call Food-Porn?

    Trying it out this weekend when the family flocks back home with their off-spring in tow!

  39. Oh Chef! This is phenomenal!

  40. You have given me inspiration to make pork tenderloin…and a stuffed version, at that! I would actually like to dive through the computer and take a forkful of this picture…looks so delicious!

  41. Chef Dennis – i am at work and shouldn’t be perusing recipes but organising publicity for a security report on libya – instead I am drooling over this – yum – port tenderloins here i come!


  42. wow i cant believe am writing to someone who can make dishes as decadent as that. how i would love to bite into tht lusciousness and moan for the rest of my life…:p
    it’s truly a cut above.
    wasn’t working in a restaurant stressful. i’ve read Anthony Bourdain’s Underbelly book and boy the grind doesn have competition.

  43. I love your recipes especially those of the stuffed variety!

  44. Chef, I stumbled across your blog Feb 5th for the first time; the very day you posted this tenderloin Nirvana. I knew I had to try it for my husband for Valentine’s Day.

    We just finished dinner and I truly think you understated this amazing dish. Both my husband and I have agreed it goes immediately into the “keeper” file. Thank you so much for sharing this; I’ll be visiting regularly for inspiration.

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

    • Hi Sheryl

      I’m so glad to hear that the recipe worked well for you and that you and your husband enjoyed your dinner! I look forward to hearing from you!


  45. Hi Dennis,

    I just came across your delicious looking recipe, & want to make it ASAP. Just one question … Have you prepared it a few hours in advance of baking? I’d like to get it all ready to pop in the oven after guests arrive,, but wonder if it would work.

    Thank you in advance, going to have a look at the rest of your site.


    • Hi Jackie,

      yes indeed you can make the stuffed pork up ahead of time, in fact the extra time in the refer, will allow it to set up really well, making it easier to handle when cooking. I would make it completely with breading, and then right before you cook it, roll it in bread crumbs again in case any parts got damp.

      You can even precook it if you like, which is what I would do in a restaurant, saute for color, then refrigerate. and when the time comes close, just pop it in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes to finish cooking. as soon as the center hits 165 it will be ready to serve.

      thanks for stopping by,and if you have any other questions don’t hesitate to contact me!


  46. Thank you for answering my question Dennis.

    I actually ended up making the dish shortly after I posted my note. I didn’t have marsala in the house, so used white wine & a little port, which worked out very well.

    It was delicious – I’ll definitely make it again!

  47. delicious, will definitely repeat again. Came together perfectly

  48. delicious, will definitely repeat again. Came together perfectly, cooked to 145, rest 20 minutes perfect

  49. I actually looked up this recipe online and came across your site and boy am I happy I did. I’ve been trying different dishes lately and this is by far the best ingredients to use. Thanks for sharing, will be trying this dish for the first time tomorrow.

  50. I cooked this tonight and instead of marsala gravy i made sweet onion gravy with garlic and mushrooms, and it was amazing! Thanks for this recipe!!!

    • Thank you so much for letting me know, You’re version sounds really tasty! My wife won’t eat onions sadly, but I know how good it must have made that dish!

  51. Christi Brice says:

    This recipe is amazing, I found it earlier and made it for dinner tonight! I used a boneless porkloin instead, and it was so moist and flavorful! My family adored it! Thanks!

  52. john davies says:

    Hello Chef! This was definitely worth the time to make after coming home from work. My wife and I worked together and the meal wasn’t just delicious, it was fun to make. Besides the good food, its a learning experience. I didn’t know what the Beurre maine was, its a great and easy way to thicken the sauce. I have never had Marsala before; my wife purchased the sweet Pelligrino as you suggested and was that good. One has be careful not to sample more than you need for cooking. Back to the meal; the stuffed tenderloin came out as good as your photo’s portrayed, very tender and flavorful. We served it with red mashed potatoes and corn accompanied by the delicious Marsala sauce. The baby spinach in the stuffing was exceptionally good adding great taste and color to the meal. Thanks again for another great recipe.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your success with me John, and I’m so happy to hear that you and your wife had a good time making the pork together! I will be starting a new cooking show on Google+ at the beginning of March and you’ll be able to cook along with me. The videos will be archived on Youtube, so you can watch them when you have time.
      Thanks again for letting me know and so glad you enjoyed a wonderful dinner!


  1. […] I give to try out a slice of his Meyer Lemon Butter cake with Blueberries or a bite of his deluxe stuffed Pork Tenderloin. […]

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