Savory Southern Pork Loin with a Tangy Twist

Picture this: succulent, tender, and juicy pork loin infused with the rich flavors of molasses, cider vinegar, and tomato puree. This oven-baked southern pork loin recipe will leave your senses in full bloom as you inhale the sweet and tangy aroma wafting through your kitchen.

As a chef specializing in southern-style cuisine, let me tell you that there is nothing quite like the taste of mouthwatering roasted pork. Whether it’s for a family dinner or a special occasion, a perfectly cooked pork loin is always a hit.

In this recipe, I’ll be sharing with you my tried-and-tested method for oven-baking a boneless pork loin to perfection. From preheating your oven to letting the meat rest before serving, I’ve got all the steps covered. Trust me when I say that your taste buds will revel in delight with each bite of this tender and flavorful southern pork loin recipe.

So get ready to roll up your sleeves and get cooking! Let’s delve into this delicious oven-baked Southern Pork Loin Recipe that you won’t want to miss out on!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Oven Baked Southern Pork Loin
Oven Baked Southern Pork Loin

Listen up, y’all – this is the Southern pork dish you’ve been waiting for. If you’re craving that perfect tender, juicy meat with just the right amount of flavor and kick, look no further than this Oven Baked Southern Pork Loin Recipe.

Why will you love this recipe, you ask? Well, let me tell you. First of all, it’s versatile – whether you’re cooking for a crowd or just for yourself, this recipe can be adjusted to fit the occasion. It works just as well as an elegant dinner party centerpiece as it does for a casual family meal.

But perhaps most importantly, this recipe delivers on taste. With a marinade featuring molasses, cider vinegar, and tomato puree; topped off with butter and aromatic onions and celery; and seasoned to perfection with salt and pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder – your taste buds will take a trip straight down South with every bite.

Plus, it’s baked in the oven for maximum tenderness and easy preparation – no fussing over the stovetop required. And with a suggested pairing of lemon juice-roasted vegetables or classic macaroni and cheese (not to mention endless substitution options), this dish is sure to please both adventurous eaters and picky palates alike.

So go ahead and give it a try. Trust me, once you taste this tender, flavorful pork loin hot out of the oven, smothered in its own delicious juices – you’ll be hooked.

Ingredient List

 The juiciest Oven Baked Southern Pork Loin you'll ever taste!
The juiciest Oven Baked Southern Pork Loin you’ll ever taste!

Before we dive into the recipe how-to, let’s make sure you have all the necessary ingredients. Below is a comprehensive list that includes everything you’ll need to make the best southern-style oven baked pork loin.

Here are the ingredients:

  • Pork Loin Roast: For this recipe, we’ll use a 3-pound boneless pork loin.
  • Olive Oil: 1 tablespoon of olive oil is enough to preserve juiciness while adding flavor.
  • Butter/Margarine: We’ll use 2 tablespoons of either butter or margarine to add flavor and help brown the meat.
  • Garlic Powder & Onion Powder: These powders will be synthesized with salt and pepper as rub to season the meat. We’ll use 1 teaspoon of each powder.
  • Tomato Puree: Add depth and richness to the dish with 2 cups of tomato puree.
  • Cider Vinegar: Mix in 1/2 cup of cider vinegar with the tomato puree.
  • Molasses: Sweeten things up with 1/2 cup of molasses.
  • Lemon Juice: Add a touch of acidity with 1/4 cup of lemon juice.
  • Onion and Celery: Chop half an onion and two stalks of celery and mix them into the tomato sauce.

With all these ingredients at hand, let’s get ready for some serious southern-style flavors!

The Recipe How-To

 A delicious pork loin that will wow your guests
A delicious pork loin that will wow your guests

Now that we have introduced all the ingredients, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty of how to make this oven baked southern pork loin recipe.

Preparing the Pork Loin

We’ll start by preheating our oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (fully preheated). While waiting for the oven to reach temperature, let’s work on preparing our porkloin roast. First, take your boneless pork loin and dry it off with some paper towels, making sure it’s completely dry before proceeding.

Next, season the pork with a mix of 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Rub this mix all over the meat until it’s thoroughly coated on all sides.

Cooking the Pork Loin

Once you’ve seasoned your pork loin, get out a roasting pan and line it with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Place the seasoned meat in the center of the pan, making sure that the fat side is facing up.

In a small mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup tomato puree, 1/2 cup molasses, 1/2 cup cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1/4 cup melted butter or margarine until fully mixed. Pour this mixture over your pork loin, making sure it gets evenly distributed across the top.

Now, put your roasting pan in the preheated oven and let it bake for about 25 minutes. After that time has passed, turn down the oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and continue baking for another hour or so. You can check if the pork is done by inserting an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the meat; if it reads 145 degrees Fahrenheit, then your pork loin is cooked through.

Resting and Serving

Once your Southern-style pork loin is fully cooked, it’s time to let it rest. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and let the pork rest for about 10-15 minutes. This step is crucial in ensuring that your pork is tender and juicy. After that time has passed, slice the loin roast into thin slices and serve it up!

Optional Gravy

If you want a gravy to go along with your roasted pork, here’s how to make one: Pour the leftover drippings from your roasting pan into a skillet over medium-high heat. Add some celery and onion, and cook until they’re soft and translucent. Then, add some flour to thicken the mixture, stirring constantly for about a minute or so until the flour is fully incorporated. Gradually pour in some chicken broth while continuing to stir, then add a splash of lemon juice for flavor. Let the gravy cook for another five minutes or until thickened to your liking.

Now that you know how to make this delectable Southern-style pork loin roast, it’s time to get started on whipping up

Substitutions and Variations

 The perfect dinner for cozy winter nights
The perfect dinner for cozy winter nights

I’m not one to stick to the standard recipe, and sometimes I love to experiment with different ingredients or techniques until I find the perfect combination. In this case, you can switch things up if you prefer or if you have some ingredients on hand that are more appreciated.

Firstly, let’s talk about the pork. You can use boneless pork loin or pork tenderloin for this recipe. Pork loin roast is also a great option if it fits your preference. The cooking times may vary depending on which cut of meat you choose, so make sure to adjust accordingly.

As for the ingredients, if you don’t have molasses on hand, try using honey instead. It will give a similar sweetness without being overpowering. Swap out the cider vinegar for red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar for some added depth in the flavor profile.

Have no tomato puree? No problem! You can use tomato sauce or diced tomatoes too in this recipe. Just expect slightly different results. Replace margarine with butter for a richer flavor profile but don’t worry too much about it since they are interchangeable.

If you’re looking for additional flavors and aromas, consider adding some minced garlic or even onion powder to the rub before roasting. And finally, if you want an extra kick of tanginess, add a splash of lemon juice to the mix and watch how it transforms!

You could also try some additional recipes such as pulled pork or smothered pork chop recipes along with this dish. Or perhaps branch out into other types of roasts such as pork shoulder roast or serve it up as BBQ pulled pork too! A tasty variation is using a dutch oven and marinated pork which takes this dish to another level.

Whatever variations and substitutions you choose to make in this recipe, just remember not to experiment too much all at once! Start small by swapping out one ingredient before moving onto another until you achieve your desired taste. The possibilities are limitless!

Serving and Pairing

 A beautiful centerpiece for your family gatherings
A beautiful centerpiece for your family gatherings

When it comes to serving and pairing this oven-baked southern pork loin recipe, there are a plethora of options to choose from. The tender, juicy flavor of the pork pairs perfectly with a variety of different sides, making it a versatile main course.

One classic pairing for this southern style pork loin roast is a generous helping of coleslaw on the side. The cool and refreshing crunch of the cabbage and carrots perfectly balances out the richness of the pork. Another great option is macaroni and cheese or mashed potatoes, which provide a creamy, hearty base that complements the tender pork.

If you’re looking to up the ante on your side dish game, consider adding some sweet and tangy baked beans. The molasses and cider vinegar flavors in these beans pair incredibly well with Southern-style pork dishes. Alternatively, you can try some roasted vegetables such as carrots or sweet potatoes for added nutrition.

When it comes to beverages, a bold red wine like Malbec or Shiraz would be an excellent choice to complement the rich flavors of this dish. For non-alcoholic drinks or those who prefer beer or cider served cold, you might want to go for a spiked lemonade or fruit punch instead.

When all is said and done, preparing the perfect side dishes provides the perfect complement to this Southern-style recipe’s deliciousness. Whether you’re serving guests at a barbecue or preparing dinner for your family, this recipe is sure to be a hit when paired with the right sides and drinks.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The secret to a delicious pork loin? Southern spices
The secret to a delicious pork loin? Southern spices

One of the great things about this southern-style pork loin recipe is that it can be prepared ahead of time and stored or reheated easily. After cooking the pork loin, let it cool to room temperature before storing or reheating.

To make-ahead, simply cook the pork loin according to the recipe instructions and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and place the pork loin in a baking dish with some additional sauce or marinade from the recipe. Cover the dish with foil and heat in the oven for 15-20 minutes until heated through.

For longer storage, you can freeze cooked pork loin for up to 3 months. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place it in an airtight container or freezer bag. When ready to use, thaw the pork loin overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

When reheating, be sure not to overcook as this will dry out your tender and juicy pork loin. Remember that overcooked pork is tough and dry, but properly reheated meat should still be flavorful and tender.

In addition, you can use any leftover cooked pork loin slices in sandwiches or salads. The savory flavor of the pork goes well with a variety of veggies, dressings, and sauces. Sure enough, this dish not only tastes good when freshly made but also stays just as delicious even after days of storage or reheating.

Tips for Perfect Results

 No need to go out for dinner, this Southern Pork Loin is an irresistible homemade treat
No need to go out for dinner, this Southern Pork Loin is an irresistible homemade treat

Listen up, y’all, ’cause I’ve got some tips to ensure that your southern pork loin turns out perfectly every time. Trust me, I’ve made my fair share of mistakes in the kitchen, but I’ve learned from them and I’m here to pass on my wisdom to you.

First things first: make sure your oven is fully preheated before putting in your pork loin. The key to a juicy and tender pork loin is cooking it evenly and at the right temperature. So, let that oven get up to the proper temperature (usually 400 degrees in this case) before sliding in your roasting pan.

Next, take care when seasoning your pork loin. A little bit of salt and pepper can go a long way, but don’t forget about the other spices – like garlic powder and onion powder – that will infuse your pork with extra flavor. And remember, always rub the fat side of the loin with olive oil or butter to keep it moist as it cooks.

If you’re worried about overcooking your pork loin and want to keep a close eye on its progress, invest in a digital meat thermometer. This will allow you to monitor the internal temperature of your meat without constantly opening the oven door and risking losing heat.

When it comes time to take your roast out of the oven, resist the temptation to cut into it right away. Letting the meat rest for 10-15 minutes after cooking allows any juices that have been driven toward the center during cooking to redistribute throughout the roast evenly. The result? A tender juicy piece of meat that will practically melt in your mouth.

Lastly, if you find that you’ve made too much pork loin (hardly an issue in my experience), don’t worry – there are many ways you can use up those leftovers. From pulled pork sandwiches to smothered pork chop recipes or even using shredded pork as a topping for pizza, bbq pork can be a versatile ingredient in many dishes. Just make sure to store your leftover pork in an airtight container for maximum freshness.

That’s it, folks, with these tips and tricks, you’ll be well on your way to making the best southern pork loin of your life.


Now that you have become a Southern pork loin expert with this recipe, it’s time for some frequently asked questions. From understanding ingredient substitutions to nailing the perfect roasting time, these FAQs will ensure you cook an amazing pork loin every time. Let’s dive in!

What temperature should a pork loin be cooked at in the oven?

When it comes to pork loin, an effective cooking strategy is to bake it for 25 minutes for each pound, with the oven set at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 177 degrees Celsius. Once cooked, ensure that the internal temperature reaches a minimum of 145 degrees Fahrenheit or 63 degrees Celsius, which can be easily gauged using a thermometer. After cooking, it is crucial to give the meat ample resting time for at least three minutes before slicing and serving.

Do you cover a pork loin in the oven while cooking?

When making a delicious pork loin roast, it’s important to ensure a crispy exterior. Achieving this crunchy texture requires preheating the oven completely and leaving the meat uncovered while roasting.

Is it better to cook a pork tenderloin at 350 or 400?

To achieve a perfectly cooked and juicy pork tenderloin, setting the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temperature. This will ensure that the pork is cooked evenly without drying out or toughening up.

What is the secret to tender pork loin?

Achieving tender pork can be tricky, especially if you’re not confident in your cooking abilities. But fear not, there is a surefire way to guarantee juicy meat every time – soaking it in a brine or marinade. This method has been proven to yield the most tender results, according to my experience.

Bottom Line

Folks, I hope you’re feeling satisfied with the delicious oven-baked southern pork loin recipe that’s perfect for any occasion. It’s a crowd-pleaser and an absolute showstopper at the dinner table. The blend of molasses, cider vinegar, tomato puree, onion powder, garlic powder, and lemon juice will tantalize your taste buds.

Furthermore, it’s not just about the taste; this recipe is incredibly easy to follow. With minimal preparation time and simple steps to follow, you’ll have a dish that’s ready to go into the oven in minutes! And talk about versatility! You can easily switch up the ingredients or cooking method for a different twist on this recipe.

Lastly, always remember to utilize our tips for perfect results: preheat your oven fully, use a roasting pan with the fat side up, and let it rest after cooking to ensure a tender and juicy pork loin. Plus, if you have leftovers (which is rare), storing and reheating are as easy as 1-2-3.

In conclusion, the oven baked southern pork loin recipe is simply unbeatable! From smothered pork chop recipes to pulled pork or even BBQ pork shoulder roast recipes in a Dutch oven – this recipe fits all! Give it a try and become the best southern cook that you can be. Trust me; your family and friends won’t want anything else served at their dinner table.

Oven Baked Southern Pork Loin

Oven Baked Southern Pork Loin Recipe

No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine Southern American
Calories 574.6 kcal



  • 2 -2 1/2 lbs fresh pork loin, bone in


  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons butter or 2 tablespoons margarine
  • 3 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses


  • For basting sauce, saute onions and celery in the butter until soft.
  • Add tomato puree, vinegar and molasses. blend well.
  • Place meat on a roasting rack in pan. Bruch with part of sauce.
  • Bake at 350 for about 1 1/2 hours or unti pork is tender and juices run clear when periced with a fork.
  • Don't.
  • forget to brush the pork with the sauce from time to time during cooking for best flavor.
  • Cooking time depends on thickness of meat.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 295gCalories: 574.6kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 45.7gFat: 37.6gSaturated Fat: 14.7gCholesterol: 151.3mgSodium: 154.2mgFiber: 0.7gSugar: 7.2g
Keyword < 4 Hours, High In..., High Protein, Meat, Pork
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