Make Ahead

Roast Pork Loin

October 17, 2022
7 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Prep time 13 hours
  • Cook time 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Serves 6 to 8
Author Notes

A simple and delicious roast—great for dinner and next-day sandwiches. —Cara Nicoletti

Test Kitchen Notes

This is one of the easiest recipes on Food52—yet it’s also one of the most special. When you want to cook a stellar roast pork loin for a special occasion (think: holiday dinners, date night at home, family gatherings, etc.), this recipe should be front and center. 

Pick up a three-pound boneless pork loin and ask the butcher to trim all but about ¼ inch of fat; while you could certainly do this yourself, it saves a little bit of time in the kitchen. At home, the pork gets a dry rub of garlic, olive oil, red and black pepper, fresh rosemary, and fresh thyme; it sits in the fridge overnight absorbing all of those delicious flavors before roasting in the oven for an hour or two. As it roasts, prep the sides (we’ve got several delicious suggestions below!). Use a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the cut to check the internal temperature. Pull the pork loin when the thermometer readers 145℉ for a medium-rare, succulent roast with an earthy, herby crust that looks beautiful to boot.

Though that crust will elevate its look and flavor, a gorgeous pork centerpiece is nothing without delicious sides. Do you hear that? That’s the sound of the roast begging to be served with Emma Laperruque’s Grandma Potatoes or this Stovetop Green Bean Casserole, Veganized. A basket of buttery dinner rolls doesn’t hurt either. As for beverages, choose a light- to medium-bodied red wine, such as Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, or Cabernet Franc. —Food52

What You'll Need
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon coarse black pepper
  • 4 sprigs rosemary, picked and finely chopped
  • 4 sprigs thyme, picked and finely chopped
  • 3 pounds boneless pork loin, fat trimmed to 1/4-1/2 inch
  1. Pass your garlic cloves through a garlic press into a mortar and pestle. Add olive oil, salt, red pepper, black pepper, rosemary, and thyme, and grind them all up in the mortar and pestle until they form a paste. Rub the pork loin all over with the seasoning paste, place it in a roasting pan lined with foil and covered in plastic wrap, and allow it to sit in the fridge overnight.
  2. The next day, remove the roast from the fridge, take off the plastic wrap, and let sit at room temperature for about 45 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 425°F. Roast the pork loin, fat side-up, for 20 minutes.
  4. After 20 minutes, lower the heat to 225°F and allow the pork to cook until the center reaches 135° F about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Marcyfoods
  • Mary LaCharite
    Mary LaCharite
  • miznic
  • Cara Nicoletti
    Cara Nicoletti
Cara Nicoletti is a butcher and writer living in Brooklyn, New York. Cara started working in restaurants when she moved to New York in 2004, and was a baker and pastry chef for several years before following in her grandfather and great-grandfathers' footsteps and becoming a butcher. She is the writer behind the literary recipe blog,, and author of Voracious, which will be published by Little, Brown in 2015. She is currently a whole-animal butcher and sausage-making teacher at The Meat Hook in Williamsburg.

18 Reviews

Jc August 20, 2023
This has potential but …
I made a mistake and didn’t read all the shared wisdom in comments before diving in.

The salt is *way* out of balance. Even though I used about half the amount specified and rinsed off the marinade before cooking, we found it overwhelmingly salty. My husband said he could only taste salt.

So, next time perhaps 1 scant T salt?

I did like the herb-spice mix. I added some sage and ground fennel seed. I brushed some of the marinade on slices of eggplant and zucchini and broiled them. Came out well, not too salty on the veggies.

I have to wonder whether the 1/4 cup salt is a typo.
Marcyfoods January 19, 2021
delicious! after reading other reviews, i decreased the amount of salt a bit and then rinsed off the rub before roasting. my roast was just under 2 lbs, so only had to roast at low temp for about 20 minutes before it reached 135. let it rest for 10 min and made a nice gravy with the pan drippings.
Mary L. December 9, 2019
We made this last night,, adjusting the salt to 1.5 tsp. salt and 4 large "music" garlic cloves. We roasted at 425 for 20 minutes then 325 until the internal temp was 140; tented with foil for 5 minutes. The final internal temp was 145, which is recommended. Delicious!
BrooklynBabette December 14, 2018
The pork was good but too salty. I used slightly less salt for the marinade after reading the comments. I rinsed off the marinade before cooking. Next time I will halve the salt.
Victoria C. August 6, 2018
I think this recipe is DELICIOUS. I did use less salt than the recipe suggested the second (and third and fourth) time I made it. This has become part of my repertoire. Also, if you have any leftover, it makes scrumptious sandwiches. The only change I make is I add some fennel seeds to the mortar and grind them with everything else. I think it enhances the flavor of the pork.
Denise L. February 25, 2018
Mine was delicious. I didn’t have time to marinate over nite. I had a 2.13 lb roast so I cut down olive to 1/4 c and salt to 1/8 c. It was so delicious. I did pierce the roast so marinade could infiltrate the pork. I will marinade overnight next time. So delicious.
miznic July 16, 2017
I had failed multiple times with pork loin roasts and was ready to give up on trying... until I tried this recipe. I read the recipe and the comments before getting started, and it helped a LOT. I used considerably less salt here - 3 tsps, to be exact - and my roast turned out perfect. I really think it's the heat application that helped - 425 for 20 mins, then 225 for an hour and change (mine was an hour and 15 mins). The fat on mine crisped up, but only just so - some people like it crispier and if you do, you probably want to do the 425-degree part for maybe a minute or so longer. At any rate - this is a must-do-again recipe, thanks to everyone here in the comments!
cookinalong April 17, 2016
I reserved comment until I'd actually made this, so here goes. First, this looks to me like a dry brine. Lots of salt, olive oil, garlic, herbs, etc coating the meat & roast left to sit overnight. But unlike with a brine, the salt & seasonings are not rinsed off. And therein lies the problem. I respectfully suggest that that is the missing step. I prepared it as indicated, but cut back to 3 tbsp. of salt. The salt entirely masked the taste of even the garlic & was so over-powering that my mouth is still feeling burnt a few hours later. The meat, as one would expect with a cut that has been brined, was very tender & not at all dry, which I was a bit worried about with the relatively long cooking time. Bottom line, I will make this again, but treat the herb/garlic/salt mix as a brine & rinse off before putting it in the oven.
Amanda T. December 11, 2014
Is the fat suppose to be crispy?
Lisa November 23, 2014
If you're allergic to garlic, I'd just leave it out. Or substitute half an onion, also pounded in the mortar and pestle. We use often in marinades. Though I'd have thought if you're allergic to garlic you'd have some go-to substitutions up your sleeve already?
berkopat November 23, 2014
I am allergic to garlic. Any suggestions for a substitute???
msstein November 18, 2014
I will definitely try this ratio. After all, 1/4 c. of salt as called for is 4 TABLESPOONS! Yikes! Thank you.
Victoria November 18, 2014
I tried this recipe again using 1 teaspoon of kosher salt per pound of pork (America's Test Kitchen's recommendation), and it turned out great.
Victoria November 8, 2014
I agree with the previous comments. Unfortunately, I tried this recipe before seeing them. While the meat turned out to be very tender and flavorful, it was ridiculously salty. Great recipe, but I wouldn't use more than ~1.5 teaspoons of salt.
Cara N. November 10, 2014
Hi Victoria, I'm so sorry this was too salty for you (and the people below!). This pork loin sells out at the shop I work in every day, and was tested by the very capable food52 kitchen, so I assumed it would be just as well-loved by the readers here, but I hate to hear that you ended up having to toss your dinner. I wish I could predict what everyone will find too salty or not salty enough. The salt is part of what makes the meat so tender, but if you want to use 1.5 teaspoons of salt next time please feel free to, I'm sure it will still be delicious!
Amy C. October 27, 2014
The flavor was good once you could past the salt! And I even halfed what was in the recipe. Too much. But the meat was undoubtedly juicy and tender - that is for sure! I will make again, but again will use even less salt. I hope that doesn't dry it out - I don't think it should based on the slow cooking, etc.
msstein October 19, 2014
Made this for dinner tonight, following the directions to a tee. While I was pleased with the tender and moist results, it was FAR too salty. I will certainly make it again, but adjust the amount of salt accordingly.
Lisa October 9, 2014
It'd be good to specify humanely raised / free range pork; pigs are reared in appalling conditions, possibly the worst of all farmed meats. I love my pork, but I will only buy free range. I think if you specify higher welfare meat in the recipe, people will be more likely to buy it.