Bacon-wrapped pork medallions are cooked in the air fryer for a crispy bacon exterior and a perfect tender pork tenderloin center. This quick air fryer recipe gives you a restaurant-quality dish with minimal effort.
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Air fryer pork tenderloin medallions are a game-changer. If you’ve never tried this cut of pork before, I highly recommend you pick up some on your next visit to the butcher or supermarket.
The high protein content makes this a great dish for keto diets. You can experiment with the spices for an even better pairing with your favorite side dishes.
Personally, I keep this recipe in my back pocket for a date night. It looks beautiful and sophisticated on the plate but it doesn’t require me to sweat in the kitchen for hours on end.
Pork Loin vs Tenderloin
This recipe for bacon-wrapped pork specifically calls for pork tenderloin, not pork loin. They may sound similar but it is not the same cut. You can immediately tell the difference when you see these two pork cuts side by side.
Pork tenderloin is a lean long muscle that follows the backbone of a pig. Some shops may also call it pork tender or pork filet. If you spot a long somewhat tube-like cut of pork in the meat display, that’s the one.
Its natural shape is what makes it perfect for cutting nice round medallions. Also, since it is so lean, it cooks quickly.
Pork loin is also a lean cut and also comes from the back but it is a much heftier piece of meat. Most butchers will cut them to order and you can ask to have it with the bone-in or boneless. The bone-in kind is what people use for pork rack recipes.
How Long to Cook Pork in Air Fryer
When pan-frying, like in my stovetop recipe for pork medallions, the tenderloin slices really only need a couple of minutes for browning on each side. When cooking pork tenderloin in an air fryer it is also ready quickly but may need a few extra minutes.
For this air fryer bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin dish, I cook the pork for about 5 minutes on each side. Please note that this is the approximate cook time for sliced pork tenderloin. Cooking tenderloin as a whole requires more time.
What Temperature is Pork Tenderloin Done?
Some people are a bit hesitant about preparing pork dishes because there is a fine line between being undercooked, just right, and overcooked. If you want to be sure that your pork is safe to eat without it being too well done, check its internal temperature.
Pork tenderloin should reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. I find this is the magic number to keeping the meat tender.
If you want it more medium, let the temperature go up to about 150 degrees or 160 degrees for well-done pork. The bacon will help to prevent it from drying out but even the bacon barrier has its limitations.
What Goes with Pork Tenderloin?
The traditional pairing of creamy mashed potatoes, decadent gravy, and buttery greens let you pretend that you are in a French bistro. That is also why I use the classic French herbs – rosemary and thyme – in this air fryer recipe.
Although traditional dishes are always very comforting and a good recipe to practice your cooking skills with, there is no reason why you can’t give it your personal twist.
Get your fix of veggies with this air fryer broccoli, mushroom, and onion recipe that also goes well with whatever gravy you’re serving. If you’re not a fan of broccoli, switch it out for green beans like in this side dish.
These garlic-roasted brussels sprouts are always a big hit in my household. They are also an excellent ingredient to spruce up a salad.
Honestly, any potato side dish will be delicious with bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin. But if you want to be extra indulgent, you can try this Instant Pot mac & cheese recipe.
What Sauce Goes with Pork Tenderloin?
Okay, let’s talk about sauces. Let’s not pretend that the gravy isn’t a major reason why we love to cook pork.
The thing is, with this air fryer recipe you won’t have any lovely pan drippings to make a quick gravy with. So what sauce should you serve instead?
Most sauces that you would serve steak with will also be delicious served over air fryer pork tenderloin. For a Japanese twist, try this steakhouse ginger sauce. Or take the mushroom Marsala gravy that I would normally serve with meatloaf.
What Wine Goes with Pork Tenderloin?
What’s a date night without the perfect bottle of wine to set the mood? I want to give you a few tips on wine pairing for pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon because it may not be the most obvious choice.
I’m not a wine snob but wine does make a big difference to the flavor profiles of a dish. I’ll always tell you to drink whichever wine you prefer but if you’re standing in front of the wine aisle with no clue, some guidance may be useful.
My first tip is that you focus more on the sauce than the pork itself because that will be the dominating taste. A full-bodied oaky chardonnay will go beautifully with creamy sauces while a lighter or spicier gravy is better paired with a smooth red merlot.
Many people also like to drink rosé when eating pork. For this particular dish, I recommend a more dry rosé like a pinot gris. Don’t go too fruity or you’ll take away from the saltiness of the bacon.
Writing out this recipe already has me looking forward to date night and the wine that goes with it. Would you try this recipe for your date night dinner? Tell me about your favorite dishes for a night of romance via Instagram and Facebook and show me your dining table setup.
Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin Medallions Wrapped in Bacon
- 1- lb Pork Tenderloin
- 8-10 Slices of Bacon, 1 for each pork slice
- 1 tsp Rosemary
- 1 tsp Thyme
- ½ tsp Salt
- ¼ tsp Black Pepper
- Slice pork tenderloin into 2" slices, about 8-10 pieces total depending on the length. Wrap a slice of bacon around each slice of pork tenderloin and secure with a toothpick.
- Sprinkle each piece on both sides with rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper.
- Add pork to the air fryer basket and set the temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and the timer to 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, flip, and cook an additional 4-6 minutes, until pork reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Serve immediately.
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