Bacon and Cheese. Is there anything else that makes food taste better? Maybe add some jalapenos and smoke? Yes!
Jalapeno Cheddar Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
With only seven ingredients, Jalapeno Cheddar Stuffed Pork Tenderloins are easy to make and delicious. The filling is made of five ingredients that are mixed together, then stuffed in the tenderloins before wrapping in bacon. Then the meat is smoked for an afternoon.
The seven ingredients in this recipe are easy to find and may already be on hand. I know in our house, we always have these ingredients in the fridge and pantry.
Tenderloins are usually always part of our grocery list, especially in the summer. We buy them when we do our weekly grocery shopping. We have been known to buy extras when they are on sale and freeze them so we always have some on hand.
Fresh jalapenos. These are always in our fridge. Jalapenos are perfect for any dish you want to add a little heat to.
Cream Cheese. It is a staple for baking and cooking.
Cheddar. We like to use old or aged cheddar. And we grate it ourselves so it is fresh when we use it. (Grating cheese is usually a job we delegate to one of our kids. They learned to grate cheese by 7 or 8 years old.)
Chili Powder and Cumin. These are the only two spices used.
Bacon. This is where the salt comes in. We don’t add salt because usually bacon has enough salt in it to add that flavour to the meat.
We use a smoker to make these tenderloins but a BBQ with a smoker box also works well.
When it comes to smoking wood, we do prefer chunks of wood over wood chips. Since we use an Oklahoma Joe Smoker most of the time, chunks are perfect. But other smokers have specific types of wood, so you can use what is best for your type of smoker. For example, our Traeger smoker uses pellets. And chips are what we use if we are smoking on the Cuisinart gas grill.
We mostly use apple wood as the flavour but we have also used cherry and it also worked well.
You will also need a very sharp knife to cut the tenderloins open. You don’t want jagged edges on the meat from sawing with a dull knife.
One tool that does come in handy for making the filling is a potato masher. It is great for mashing the cheese together. Especially when the cream cheese is still a little cold. A potato masher will help to get rid of the bigger chunks of cream cheese and make a smoother filling.
This recipe makes three average sized pork tenderloins. There may be leftover cheese and jalapeno filling. The leftover jalapeno and cheese filling can be stored in a freezer bag in the freezer for up to 6 weeks. Then thawed in the bag. To use just cut a corner off the freezer bag and pipe the mixture.
You can also make only one or two of these tenderloins at a time for smaller meals and freeze the remaining filling.
The filling is similar to a Jalapeno Popper and can be used as such. Simply roll the filling into small balls and coat with a batter. Then fry until golden.
This filling can also be used for stuffed burgers. It goes well inside beef burgers that are grilled and then topped with Monterey Jack cheese.
Jalapeno Cheddar Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
- 3 pork tenderloins
- 2-3 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
- 10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1⅓ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 Tbsp ground cumin
- 12-15 bacon slices
- Place apple wood chunks in water and allow to soak for 1 hour before adding to lit smoker
- Light smoker and preheat to 250°F
- Mix cream cheese and shredded cheese together with chili powder and cumin
- Fold in jalapenos
- Butterfly the tenderloins and place open face up
- Spread cheese mixture evenly in centre of tenderloins
- Close the tenderloins by gently pulling the sides up to meet in the middle
- Wrap tenderloins with bacon slices, 4-5 slices per tenderloin
- Place tenderloin sin smoker and close lid.
- Allow to smoke for one hour
- Continue smoking until fully cooked, pork should have an internal temperature of 165°F, about 2-3 hours
- Remove from smoker and cover with foil
- Allow to rest 15 minutes before slicing