Celebrate Mardi Gras Any Night of the Week with Jambalaya-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Mardi Gras Mask on the Front DoorBack in February, on Fat Tuesday proper, I celebrated all the joys of New Orleans food with friends and family as part of a Zatarain’s biggest Fat Tuesday Celebration. Zatarain’s equipped parties around the country with supplies, decorations, and party ideas so we could bring a bit of the spirit of Mardi Gras and Louisiana into our own homes. Because Fat Tuesday is on a school night, it’s was a fun challenge to put together a menu I could cook for a crowd after a long day at work. I’m happy to report that the party was a success. While the entire menu was well-received, the most popular dishes were:

A couple of weeks ago I was thinking back to the party as I was planning my weekly menus, and I decided that there was no way I was going to wait until next February to evoke the fun and energy of Mardi Gras. I had a package of Jambalaya on hand but wanted to do something more with it. After a bit of contemplation I realized it would make a great stuffing for pork tenderloin (or pork chops, chicken breasts, or even beef tenderloin). I played around with the idea a bit and decided to add in a bit of apple for some sweetness and balance as well as a few green onions for a bright, crisp crunch. The result was beautifully stuffed tenderloin that I was able to put together on a weeknight. The stove and oven do most of the heavy lifting, so I helped with some homework and got a few chores done around the house while the jambalaya was simmering and the tenderloin was baking. I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe next time you’re in the mood for a little New Orleans-inspired fun.

Recipe: Jambalaya-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin


  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes total
  • Cook Time: 75 minutes total


  • 1 box Zatarain’s Jambalaya Mix
  • ½ lb. smoked sausage (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium apple, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 3 green onions, white and light green parts only, sliced.
  • 1 pork tenderloin, butterflied (see Recipe for Success)
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. Zatarain’s Creole Seasoning


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Prepare the jambalaya mix according to package directions using only ½ of a pound of sausage (or none at all) instead of the full pound called for on the package.
  3. While the jambalaya cooks, heat the olive oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat for two minutes. Add the apple and sauté until it just begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
  4. When the jambalaya is cooked, remove the pan from the heat, gently fold in the apples and the green onions, and set the mixture aside for five to ten minutes to cool.
  5. Season the inside of the pork tenderloin with half of the salt and all of the Creole Seasoning. Spread the jambalaya, apple, and green onion mixture evenly over the tenderloin, leaving a 1 inch border on all sides.
  6. Roll the tenderloin jelly-roll style into a neat spiral. Secure it with kitchen twine or tooth picks. Season the outside of the tenderloin with the remaining salt.
  7. Place the rolled tenderloin in a greased glass baking dish. Cook for 40 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into the center of the roll registers 155 degrees. Allow the tenderloin to rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Recipe for Success

  • If you have a few extra minutes at the grocery store, ask your butcher to butterfly the pork tenderloin for you because they can do it quickly with a great result. If the butcher isn’t an option, you’ll find it’s very easy to butterfly the pork tenderloin yourself. Culinate has a great visual tutorial that walks you step-by-step through the process if you haven’t done it before.
  • You’ll most likely have leftover jambalaya and apple mixture but not to worry – it makes for a great lunch. You can also use it to stuff a second pork tenderloin if you are serving a bigger crowd. Conversely, you can use leftover jambalaya from a previous dinner in this recipe.
  • You can make the jambalaya up to a day before you plan to stuff and serve the pork tenderloin and you can prep the tenderloin up to four hours before you plan to roast it. Cover the stuffed tenderloin with plastic wrap and stash it in the fridge. Set it out on the counter for about 30 minutes before you plan to put it in the oven to take the chill off.
  • To borrow a phrase from Emeril, you can kick this recipe up a notch by substituting duck breast for the smoked sausage in the jambalaya. You can also substitute Zatarain’s new Spicy Jambalaya Mix for the traditional recipe. If you do, I’d go a little easier on the Creole Seasoning.

1 Comment

  1. Becky Parker /

    Whoa. That sounds awesome! I will definitely give it a try.


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