Brown Sugar Dijon Glazed Pork Loin with carrots, apples and sweet potatoes is an excellent choice for a Sunday dinner or holiday meal. Carrots and potatoes are caramelized in brown sugar and so is the top of the pork roast, generously coated with Dijon mustard and dark brown sugar.
How to shop for Pork Loin
For this amazing Brown Sugar Dijon Glazed Pork Loin recipe I used a boneless pork loin rib end (that’s exactly how it was labeled in the store) and not a tenderloin. My supermarket package of pork loin was 3 pounds and it came with a layer of fat on the bottom so I had turn it upside down to see it.
I kept the fat on, since it provides flavor and moisture to the cooking meat and pork loin without fat is very lean – not what we want for this Brown Sugar Pork Loin – we need fat to keep the sugar glaze moist.
I also like the flavor a fat cap gives to a roast and it is easier to trim it off after it’s cooked and on your plate. I also think keeping the fat on is what kept the glaze on this Brown Sugar Dijon Glazed Pork Loin so nice – the dark brown sugar didn’t harden up or melted at all!
Brown Sugar Pork Loin cooking temperature
Always use a meat thermometer to determine whether your brown sugar pork loin is done. It should register at 160 F for the meat to turn out white. You can also cook it until the internal temperature reaches between 145° and 160° F, and it will be a little pink inside – still safe. Pork loin is not like chicken that has to be cooked at 165 F to be safe.
I cooked my Brown Sugar Dijon Glazed Pork Loin at 375F for 1 hour (20 minutes per pound). Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the roast and your oven. Start checking with a meat thermometer after 50 minutes.
A lot of pork loin cuts I saw are long and not too wide, mine was short and wide! Thicker than what I wanted. Keep this in mind when cooking yours. If yours is long and thinner than mine – it will cook faster.
Brown Sugar Dijon Glazed Pork Loin – pink or white?
While cooking it I also realized that some people do prefer the brown sugar pork loin to be pink, which is 145 F on meat thermometer – and it reached that temperature after 50 minutes in my oven. I wanted mine to be white and had it in the oven a little longer until my thermometer reached 160 F.
For a 3 pound pork roast you should start checking the temperature at 50 minutes in the oven as you don’t want it to be overdone.
What kind of sugar to use
I used Organic Dark Brown sugar in this recipe, specifically Wholesome Organic Dark Brown sugar:
I linked it to Amazon only to show you what this sugar looks like and how nice and dark it is. It’s available in most grocery stores either on the shelves next to regular sugar or in the natural section.
I prefer to use this specific sugar because:
- It renders absolutely beautiful brown crust for this pork loin. This brown sugar is soft and moist! It will not burn when cooked in the oven.
- Organic sugar is never treated with herbicides or synthetic fertilizers, or Glyphosate. On the other hand, non organic cane sugar in the US is sprayed with Glyphosate (or Round-up). Use of glyphosate has been proven to disrupt gut bacteria which can lead to gluten intolerance, autoimmune diseases and development of food allergies – Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases.
- It’s very delicious-tasting unrefined brown sugar! You can use it in baking for amazing results!
What kind of mustard to use
I used Maille Dijon Mustard. It’s very thick, creamy and not watery at all. Once on the pork, it will hold sugar very well.
How to arrange vegetables around Brown Sugar Dijon Glazed Pork Loin
I put my vegetables around the pork on the cooking sheet. If you don’t want the pork fat to go around your veggies, place the pork loin on aluminum foil with edges up to protect fat from spilling over onto other parts of the baking sheet. I didn’t mind some fat on my carrots and potatoes, most of it stayed around pork anyways since veggies closest to the pork blocked fat from spreading further down.
But using an “aluminum foil bed” under the pork to prevent liquid fat from spilling onto your veggies always works! Veggies had a very nice flavor to them as well. I also put brown sugar on veggies after they have been in the oven for 30 minutes.
Cut carrots and peeled sweet potatoes lengthwise. Add them to the bowl, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and mix well.
Peel apples, slice them and separate them from potatoes and carrots (they will be added later in cooking)- this is an optional step.
Apples should be added later – after 30 minutes in the oven.
Place pork loin with fat layer on top in the middle of the baking sheet. Surround it with oiled up carrots and sweet potatoes. Do not add brown sugar or apples yet. My picture shows apples, but I took them out and added them after 30 minutes in the oven.
WARNING: If you put the apples early on, they will turn into the mush.
Step by step photo tutorial of brown sugar pork loin
Seasoning the pork loin
Add spices evenly over vegetables and pork loin: 1 tsp sea salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp Italian seasoning (optional).
Applying Dijon Mustard
Generously brush the entire surface of the roast (except bottom) with Dijon mustard – 3 tablespoons. If your pork loin is smaller, use less.
Adding dark brown sugar
Press 1/2 cup of dark brown sugar (please read the section above on what kind of sugar to use in order to achieve the beautiful crust) into the mustard, all over the roast.
I also sprinkled very little around the veggies (optional).
How to bake Brown Sugar Dijon Glazed Pork Loin
Place the baking sheet in the oven and cook at 375 degrees F. Take it out after 30 minutes and add sliced apples and sprinkle with 1/3 cup brown sugar over the veggies.
Return the roast to the oven and continue cooking until the internal temperature of the roast hits between 145 (pink roast) to 160 degrees F (white roast) on a meat thermometer. Bake this Brown Sugar Dijon Glazed Pork Loin for 50 minutes at least. I baked mine for 1 hour. Let the roast rest for 10 minutes before carving and serving.
Possible issues when making this Brown Sugar Pork Loin
A reader reported that the sugar melted in the oven before the pork loin was done. What may have caused is one of three things:
- Type of sugar used. The more processed the sugar is, the easier it is for sugar to melt. It’s very important to use dark brown sugar here. Dark brown sugar contains molasses that inhibits the sugar from dissolving too quickly.
- Make sure that dark brown sugar is pressed firmly into creamy Dijon mustard. The mustard serves as a glue keeping the sugar tightly in place.
- Ensure that you have a fat layer on top of the pork loin. This will allow to keep the sugar in place.
If you experienced issues making this recipe, please consider leaving a comment so that I can update this section and try to figure out what went wrong. Or, if everything went well, let me know too!
Below are some of the readers’ images of this pork loin recipe:
Hungry for more pork?
How about pork tenderloin cooked perfectly pink in a cast iron pan? I have two very delicious and easy to prepare recipes right here: Brown Sugar, Garlic and Herb Tenderloin
If you enjoy working with pork, you might find these pork recipes very versatile and full of flavor:
Pork Chops in Creamy Garlic and Herb Wine Sauce
Honey Balsamic Pork Chops
Bone-In Pork Chops in Garlic, Brown Sugar and Wine Sauce
How about Instant Pot pork ribs? Check out this amazingly flavorful and quick recipe: Instant Pot Country Style Pork Ribs in BBQ Sauce
This amazing oven roasted pork loin can become a perfect centerpiece of your Christmas or Thanksgiving table and leftovers can be used in sandwiches and casseroles!
This brown sugar Dijon mustard glazed pork loin with carrots, apples and sweet potatoes is an excellent choice for a Sunday dinner or a holiday meal. Carrots and potatoes are caramelized in brown sugar and so is the top of the roast, generously coated with Dijon mustard and dark brown sugar.
- 3 lb. pork loin
- 1 lb carrots cut in strips
- 2 granny smith apples (optional) peeled, cored and sliced thickly
- 2 sweet potatoes peeled and sliced lengthwise
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar (such as Wholesome Dark Brown Sugar)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning (optional)
- Cut carrots and sweet potatoes lengthwise. Add them to the bowl, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and mix well.
- Slice peeled apples – but place them in a different bowl to be added later (optional step).
- Place pork loin with fat layer on top in the middle of the baking sheet. Surround it with oiled up carrots and sweet potatoes. Do not add brown sugar or apples yet. My picture shows apples, but I took them out of the pan and added them after 30 minutes in the oven.
Season the pork loin and vegetables with spices evenly: 1 tsp sea salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp Italian seasoning (optional).
- Generously brush the entire surface of the pork loin (except bottom) with Dijon mustard - 3 tablespoons. If your pork loin is smaller, use less.
Press ½ cup of dark brown sugar into the mustard, all over the roast.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven and cook at 375 degrees F. Take it out after 30 minutes and sprinkle the veggies with 1/3 cup of brown sugar.
Adding apples (optional step): Add sliced apples at this point.
Return the roast to the oven and continue cooking for about 20-30 more minutes or until the internal temperature hits between 145 (pink roast) to 155 degrees F (white roast) on a meat thermometer. The total cooking time for the roast of this size ends up being 50 minutes to 1 hour and that does not include resting time of 10 minutes! See below.
Important! Keep in mind that large cuts like this pork loin increase in temperature approximately 10° F. while resting. Which means that if you are aiming for 160 F, remove them from the heat at 150° F. followed by a 10 minute rest.
Let the roast rest for 10 minutes before carving and serving. Once again, remove it prior to desired target temperature to avoid the pork drying out.
The pork will continue "cooking" while resting. This will also allow the juices in the meat to settle down and stay in the meat when you slice it.