Pineapple Pork Loin Recipe

Pork is a white meat that makes a delicious addition to any meal. When combined with pineapple, sweet and savory magic ensues. This particular dish is similar to Filipino pork hamonado, although sweet and sour recipes are common throughout Asia and Hawaii, which is known for its pineapples.

"I'd say the main flavor is pineapple as it's added in the baking process," says recipe creator Catherine Brookes, whose culinary adventures you can follow at Blue Sky Eating. She adds, "The sweet and sour sauce is more for serving on the side (I just spoon a little over the top at the end)." Regardless of how much sweet and sour sauce you serve with the dish, the combination of flavors and textures makes for a unique dinner. Plus, with a prep time of only 15 minutes, this is a meal that is relatively painless to throw together.

Gather the ingredients for this pineapple pork loin recipe

Obviously, the central part of this recipe is the pork, so start by picking up a 28.2-ounce boneless pork loin. Next, you will want to head to the herbs and spices. You need ½ teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of onion powder, 1 teaspoon of paprika, and ½ teaspoon of garlic. These are such small amounts that if you already have some at home, you should be fine. To brown the meat, you will need some oil — any will do. Next, you need ½ cup of light brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.

The only fresh vegetable you need is a large white onion. As for the pineapple, you will need 12.3 ounces of canned chunks — be sure to save the juice. You'll need 2 more cups of pineapple juice for the recipe, so look for a bottle in the juice aisle. As well, you'll need ⅓ cup of apple cider vinegar. Finally, ¼ cup of ketchup and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce will finish it off. 

Start heating the pork loin

Start by preheating the oven to 350 F. While the oven heats up, mix together the salt, onion powder, paprika, and garlic powder to create a flavorful spice blend. Once the spices are well-combined, pat the pork loin dry with kitchen paper, then rub the spice mix all over the pork. Make sure the loin is coated evenly and thoroughly. 

To finish this first step, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan and sear the pork for about 2 minutes on each side to brown it and lock in the spice mixture. Once browned, transfer the loin to a large baking tray and place it in the preheated oven to cook for 1 hour.

Add pineapple to the pork in the oven

After an hour, add the onion and the canned pineapple chunks to the baking tray with the pork. Make sure to pour in the juices from the can as well, then return it to the oven for another 30 minutes.

Of course, the most important aspect is to cook the pork sufficiently. "The juices should run clear and there should be no pinkness when you slice the pork," Brookes says. She adds, "If using a pork loin that is larger than 800g [1.8 pounds] or if your oven runs on the cooler side, be sure to cook for longer as undercooked pork could cause food poisoning."

Make the sweet and sour sauce

Now it is time to make the sweet and sour sauce. Combine the pineapple juice, light brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, ketchup, and soy sauce in a large saucepan. Heat this blend on a medium setting, stirring frequently until the mixture begins to boil, at which point you can lower it to a simmer. While it simmers, prepare the thickening agent.

In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water, mixing well until there are no lumps. Add this to the saucepan with the pineapple juice and apple cider vinegar mix and whisk to combine. Once the sauce has thickened, remove it from the heat. "It should be thick enough to coat a spoon," Brookes says, explaining how to detect its readiness. She adds, "It does thicken up a little more as it cools too."

Finish, coat, and serve your pineapple pork

When the pork has finished roasting, remove the tray from the oven. Let the meat rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, the sweet and sour sauce will cool down and thicken. Then, snip away the string if the loin is tied up. After the 10 minutes are up, drizzle a few spoonfuls of the sweet and sour sauce over the pork. 

Slice up your loin and serve it with the onion and pineapple chunks. For extra flavor, pour the juices from the pan over the dish. You can also serve the remaining sweet and sour sauce on the side. Brookes notes that "A small dip bowl would work great" for holding the extra sauce.

Pineapple Pork Loin Recipe
5 from 36 ratings
This pineapple-based sweet and sour pork loin recipe packs in the flavor. Thanks to the short prep time it's a great option for a weeknight dinner.
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
1.5
hours
Servings
4
servings
finished pineapple pork loin
Total time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 (28.2-ounce) boneless pork loin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 ¼ (15.3-ounce) cans pineapple chunks, including juice
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Mix the salt, onion powder, paprika, and garlic powder together in a small bowl.
  3. Pat the pork loin dry with kitchen paper and rub the spice mix all over the pork.
  4. Heat some oil in a large frying pan and sear the pork for about 2 minutes on each side to brown the exterior.
  5. Place the pork loin in a large baking tray and bake it for 1 hour.
  6. After 1 hour, add the onion, canned pineapple chunks, and the juice from the can to the baking tray.
  7. Return it to the oven for another 30 minutes.
  8. For the sweet and sour sauce, add the 2 cups of pineapple juice, light brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, ketchup, and soy sauce to a large saucepan.
  9. Heat the contents on medium, stirring frequently until the mixture begins to boil, then turn it down to a simmer.
  10. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water until no lumps remain.
  11. Add the cornstarch mixture to the saucepan and whisk to combine.
  12. Once the sauce has thickened, remove it from the heat.
  13. When the pork has finished roasting, remove the tray from the oven and let the meat rest for 10 minutes. Snip away the string if applicable.
  14. Drizzle a few spoonfuls of the sweet and sour sauce over the top of the pork.
  15. Slice up the pork and serve it with the onion, pineapple chunks, pan juices, and the remaining sweet and sour sauce on the side.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 571
Total Fat 18.0 g
Saturated Fat 3.0 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 107.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 64.6 g
Dietary Fiber 3.3 g
Total Sugars 48.4 g
Sodium 957.9 mg
Protein 38.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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