Cast Iron Skillet Pork Loin Roast

Cast Iron Skillet Pork Loin Roast

*VIDEO included* Dairy-free and gluten-free, one-dish dinner in a cast iron skillet. Fennel, orange, carrots, rosemary, and pork loin - a complete and flavorful low-FODMAP meal.

By, variation of Martha Stewart’s pork roast with caramelized parsnips

The original recipe is one of my all-time favorite methods for pork (one of my least favorite meats). I love to play around with this recipe, alternating cooking pots (stainless skillet, Dutch oven, etc.) and the type of vegetables to roast in order to keep it fresh and seasonal. The best flavor has come from my cast iron skillet, of course. Lately, the fennel bulbs have been so lovely, and therefore, they are included as a featurette in this show-stopper. Although any citrus works in this recipe (I have tried them all), the mild and sweet cara cara orange is by far the best partner for the tender pork. I also reduced the salt in order to make it more accommodating to others’ dietary needs; no reduction in flavor.


  • 1 Tbsp canola oil, plus ¼ tsp, plus 2 Tbsp (total of 3 Tbsp and ¼ tsp)
  • Zest of 1 cara cara orange (reserve juice for another recipe such as Coconut-Citrus Dressing)
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped, plus 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 boneless pork loin roast (1 ½ - 2 lbs)
  • 1 lb carrots
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • Dash of salt and pepper


  1. Coat bottom interior of cast iron skillet with 1 Tbsp oil. Place into cold oven. Preheat oven to 425 degrees with skillet inside oven.
  2. In small bowl, combine orange zest, fennel seeds, chopped rosemary, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
  3. Using kitchen twine, tie pork loin roast into three to four sections. Secure with a standard knot. When positioning roast for tying, tuck under any thin ends so that, ideally, the tied up roast is about the same thickness from one end to the other, including the middle. This process will allow the roast to cook evenly.
  4. Using hands, apply seasoning mix to the exterior of the roast, being certain to coat the entire roast evenly. Take sprig of fresh rosemary and cost with ¼ tsp reserved oil (this will keep it from burning); place sprig underneath the kitchen twine. Here is where I wash my hands.
  5. Carefully remove hot skillet from oven. Place roast in the center of skillet with rosemary sprig facing up. Return skillet to oven. Roast at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.
  6. While pork is roasting, prepare vegetables. If using organic carrots, do not peel the carrots (if using standard carrots, then peel them). Cut carrots into large chunks about 3 inches in length and 1 – 1 ½ inches in diameter. Remove the top fronds from fennel bulb. Slicing vertically, through the core, slice fennel into two halves; repeat until fennel pieces are about 1 – 1 ½ inches in thickness, retaining the core at all times in order to hold the fennel layers together.
  7. In medium-sized bowl, add remaining 2 Tbsp oil and a dash of salt and pepper. Add carrots and fennel pieces. Toss in oil mixture.
  8. Remove skillet from oven. Add vegetables to either side of roast in skillet. Return skillet to oven. Roast for an additional 10 minutes; toss vegetables; roast for another 5 – 10 minutes or until internal temperature of roast reads 140 degrees. Remove skillet from oven. Place a piece of foil over roast (do not secure edges of foil to skillet, leave sheet of foil loose) and allow roast to set for an additional 10 minutes off of heat. This process will return juices to roast and cook it a bit more while maintaining the nice, whitish-pink interior color of the pork.
  9. Remove pork from skillet and place on cutting board. Remove twine and rosemary sprig; discard. Slice roast into 1-inch slices using serrated knife.


  • Serve pork over a bed of brown rice spaghetti pasta with wilted spinach tossed in Coconut-Citrus Dressing. Also pairs well with grilled polenta slices.
  • Store in storage container in refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Variation: Replace fennel with parsnips. When preparing parsnips, peel and then treat as carrots in recipe.
  • Make ahead: Prep the carrots and fennel up to 24-hours in advance. Peel, cut/slice, and then place each type of vegetable in its own container, covered with filtered water, sealed, and stored in refrigerator.
  • Yes you can clean a cast iron skillet. Do not apply soap and water. Fill with one inch water, place on stovetop at high heat, and bring to a simmer; allow to simmer for several minutes. Drain water, and dry out skillet. Apply a paste of vegetable oil and table salt. Using a soft kitchen cloth, rub paste in along the inside of the skillet, and gently rub any large areas of burnt food. No need to get all of it out…this adds to the “seasoning.” Wipe out paste with another clean cloth. Make certain entire skillet is totally dry. Then store until next use.
  • If using a traditional skillet or Dutch oven in place of cast iron skillet, make certain it is stovetop and oven proof. Also, you may need to increase oven cooking time.
  • Migraine Warning: Citrus (cara cara orange).