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Fig-Glazed Pecan-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Sara Essex Bradley

Servings: 8

Louisiana is known for its plump fresh figs, but since most people don’t have access to them during the holiday season, I’ve adapted this recipe to work with dried Mission figs instead. The tangy pecan and goat cheese filling offsets the sweet-savory glaze beautifully, and you can grill or roast the pork.


For the glaze

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, finely diced
  • 8 oz. chopped dried Mission figs (about 1-1/4 cups)
  • 1/3 cup ruby port
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the pork

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil; more as needed
  • 6 slices applewood-smoked bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
  • 1 small yellow onion, halved crosswise and thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 6 oz. chopped pecans (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 6 oz. fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 3 pork tenderloins (about 3 lb.)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 590
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 280
  • Fat (g): 31
  • Saturated Fat (g): 7
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 6
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 15
  • Cholesterol (mg): 130
  • Sodium (mg): 880
  • Carbohydrates (g): 33
  • Fiber (g): 3
  • Protein (g): 42


Make the glaze

  • Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat, add the figs and port, stir well, and scrape the bottom of the skillet to deglaze. Turn the heat down to low, return the skillet to the heat, cover, and simmer until the figs are very soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Transfer to a medium bowl. Add the honey, balsamic vinegar, rosemary, cloves, and a pinch each of salt and pepper, stirring to combine. Let the mixture sit for 1 hour.
  • Purée in a blender or food processor until smooth, adding up to 1-1/2 cups water to loosen to a thick sauce consistency.

Make the pork

  • Soak 18 toothpicks in water.
  • Heat 1 Tbs. oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring often, until crisp, about 6 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the pecans and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute; remove from the heat. Let cool to room temperature, then fold in the goat cheese, parsley, egg, and zest. Set aside.
  • Butterfly the tenderloins by slitting each one lengthwise far enough that it can be opened like a book and lie almost flat. Working with one piece at a time, cover the pork with plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet, starting in the middle and working outward, until about 1/2 inch thick (about a 12×7-inch rectangle).
  • With the long sides facing you, divide the pecan mixture among the tenderloins, spreading it over the bottom half of each. Starting with the bottom side, tightly roll up each tenderloin and secure the seams with the toothpicks.
  • Prepare a medium (350°F to 375°F) grill fire for direct grilling. Clean and oil the grill grate. (Alternatively, position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F.)
  • Brush the tenderloins with olive oil and season all over with salt and pepper. Grill, turning every few minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of each tenderloin reads 140°F, 15 to 20 minutes.
  • (If roasting, heat 2 Tbs. oil in a flameproof roasting pan over medium-high heat on 2 burners until shimmering hot. Sear the tenderloins on 2 sides until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast to 140°F, 10 to 15 minutes.)
  • About 5 minutes before the pork is done, transfer 1 cup of the fig glaze to a gravy boat; set aside. Using the remaining 1 cup glaze, begin basting the pork every minute or so until it’s done cooking.
  • Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice and serve the pork with the reserved fig glaze.

Make Ahead Tips

The glaze can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated, covered.

The rolled, stuffed pork tenderloins can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 4 hours before cooking.


Rate or Review

Reviews (5 reviews)

  • user-207094 | 08/26/2021

    I have made this dish 5 or 6 times. Every time has been excellent. I follow the recipe exactly and it NEVER lets me down. Anyone who has eaten this meal with me requests it again for a special occasion, ANY special occasion. Yes, it's time-consuming, but it's a beautiful and elegant meal, very worthy of being center stage of any occasion, the grander the better. Stunning. The fig glaze makes you want to drink it by itself it's that good. Make it, you won't be disappointed.

  • user-5057633 | 03/08/2016

    Loved this, meat is tender, filling is wonderful and the sauce is good. However, having said that, I only gave it a 4 star because I could not get the fig seeds to blend in the sauce. I had to put the sauce thru a fine sieve and it still had lots of seeds. Ok for us, but older people hated the seeds..guess they got caught in their dentures. :-(

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