Stuffed with crispy bacon, diced jalapenos and cream cheese, this Bacon & Jalapeno Stuffed Grilled Pork Tenderloin is a delicious grilled game day treat!
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Close your eyes and imagine a warm Fall day. It’s sunny and the temperature is in the mid-80’s. The smells of delicious food keep hitting you from all directions. There are huge pots of gumbo simmering everywhere, and the grills have been going since breakfast (literally). Music is playing, and you can hear the drum line from the marching band warming up somewhere in the distance. Add in your best friends, and now you are starting to get an idea of what gameday in Baton Rouge is all about!
Football fans in the deep South know how to tailgate, too. I’ve never seen such amazing set-ups for tailgate parties in my life. I’m talking full 60″ flatscreen tv’s attached to portable satellites (so you can get the cable channels). I’m talking grills that would put the one on your back porch to shame. (The folks who tailgated next to us had a grill welded onto the back of an older truck/party bus. Yes, welded on.) I’m talking the ultimate party…and this is all outdoors on campus!
After grad school, I moved to Atlanta for a job. You better believe I missed those tailgating parties, though! I made my way back to Baton Rouge several times, and I was fortunate enough that LSU came up to play in Atlanta once or twice while I was there. On one of these occasions, the tailgate came to me.
At the time, I was living in a 1-bedroom apartment in the middle of Midtown Atlanta. LSU was playing in the SEC Championship game, and some buddies from Baton Rouge came up for the game. They rolled into town in a pick-up with a massive homebuilt grill secured in the back. Stop and picture this. A huge pickup truck with a massive grill in the back and coolers stacked all around it. Living in the middle of a huge city, I had to be a bit more careful about my surroundings…which meant we had to haul every bit of that tailgating equipment into my little 1-bedroom apartment for the night. Good times!
Bacon & Jalapeno Stuffed Grilled Pork Tenderloin
So how in the world is this story related to this delicious Bacon & Jalapeno Stuffed Grilled Pork Tenderloin? Well, one of the guys had brought up some venison for the tailgate. He stuffed it with cream cheese and then threw it on the grill…and it was some of the best grilled food I’d ever tasted!
Since I now live a long way from the tailgate parties in Baton Rouge, I decided to whip up my own version of that stuffed venison. I used boneless pork loin, and I stuffed it with cream cheese, bacon and jalapenos. My wife said it tasted like a jalapeno popper stuffed into a pork loin. Whatever you call it…it was delicious! The best part is that you can stuff the pork loin ahead of time, and then just grill it up when it’s time for the tailgate (or dinner). So flip on some football, grab some friends and grill up some of these Bacon & Jalapeno Stuffed Grilled Pork Tenderloins. Oh, and Geaux Tigers!
Did you make this Bacon & Jalapeno Stuffed Grilled Pork Tenderloin at home? Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog). Happy grilling!
Bacon & Jalapeno Stuffed Grilled Pork Tenderloin
- Cook the bacon over medium heat for about 5-6 minutes. The bacon should be mostly cooked, but not quite crispy. Transfer bacon to paper towels and pat dry. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, jalapeno and smoked paprika until well mixed. Set aside.
- Rinse each tenderloin and pat dry with paper towels. Butterfly the tenderloins by slicing them in half horizontally, stopping about ½” from the edge so that the two halves remain connected.
- Working with one tenderloin at a time, spread the tenderloin open on a cutting board. Cover the top with plastic wrap. Beginning in the center and working towards the edges, pound the tenderloin to ~½” thickness. (Tip: If you don’t have a kitchen mallet, I’ve found that a rolling pin works great…just make sure to wash it thoroughly when you’re done!)
- Trim any ragged edges of the tenderloin so that you are left with a rectangle about 10”x6”.
- With the long side of the tenderloin facing you, spread half of the cream cheese mixture evenly over the bottom half of the rectangle. Crumble half of the cooked bacon on top of the cream cheese.
- Roll tenderloin away from you into a tight roll. (Tip: Use caution to not squeeze the stuffing out of the ends as you roll.)
- Place tenderloin seam side down on the cutting board. Using 5 evenly spaced pieces of kitchen twine, tie the tenderloin closed.
- In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, salt and pepper. Rub half of this mixture evenly over the outside of each tenderloin.
- Preheat the grill on high heat until hot, about 10 minutes. Leave 1 burner on high, and turn off the other burners. (If using charcoal, just bank the hot coals up against one side of the grill.)
- Brush the grill grates with canola or vegetable oil and then place the tenderloins on the opposite side of the grill as the lit burner.
- Cook until an internal thermometer registers at least 140°, about 30-35 minutes, rotating pork after about 20 minutes.
- Transfer tenderloins to a cutting board, tent with foil and let rest for 5 minutes. Remove twine and slice into ½” pieces.
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