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Baked Pork Tenderloin

Pork tenderloin is a very lean and delicious cut of meat and is so easy to make. I love to make it because in less than 30 minutes on the stove and in the oven it’s done and it seems like you slaved over it for hours.

Best Baked Pork Tenderloin

You can put any veggies or side dishes with it because almost everything goes well with baked pork tenderloin.

What I like about this roasted pork tenderloin recipe is that you can make it with just a few light spices on top or you can flavor it up a lot with garlic butter sauce as we did in this recipe. 

It is best when you sear the pork on the outside and then pop it in the oven for only a few minutes. it comes out tender and flavorful. Let’s look inside this recipe and see how to roast pork tenderloin.

What is Pork Tenderloin?

The pork tenderloin is also called pork fillet or pork tender. It comes from the muscle on the side of the backbone, which runs from the hip to the shoulder. 

It is very lean and does not take too long to cook. It is tender and juicy and will quickly become one of your favorite cuts of meat.

What Does Pork Tenderloin Taste Like?

Pork tenderloin has a lot of flavors and in spite of it being very lean. Usually when pork has fat on it, the meat is juicy and has a lot of flavors. 

So being a leaner cut of meat, pork tenderloin, it gets its flavor from spices and its tenderness from the manner of cooking it.

Are Pork Tenderloin and Pork Loin the Same?

Oven Roasted Pork Tenderloin with garlic butter

Despite having almost the same name, pork tenderloin and pork loin are not the same. The cut, size, flavor, texture and cooking method all differ.

Let’s see the key differences:

Cut of Meat:

  • Pork tenderloin is from the loin of the pig, which runs from the hip to the shoulder alongside the backbone.
  • Pork loin comes from the back of the pig and is longer and wider.

Size of the meat:

  • Pork tenderloin is small in size, usually 1-2 pounds.
  • Pork loin is larger in size, usually 3-5 pounds, and it can be even larger.

Flavor and Texture:

  • Pork tenderloin is one of the most tender cuts of pork because it comes from a muscle that does not get any exercise.
  • Pork loin is not as tender, so it needs more cooking time.

Cooking method:

  • Pork tenderloin cooks at a high temperature and is cooked in no time.
  • Pork loin should be cooked at a low temperature and cooked slowly in order to make it more tender.

Can I Substitute Pork Loin for Pork Tenderloin?

Pork loin and pork tenderloin, even though they are both boneless pork roasts, they are not the same cut of meat. They can however, be substituted for each other under certain certain circumstances.

Pork loin is larger than tenderloin, while tenderloin is more tender. So depending on how many people you want to serve, that will decide which cut of meat that you choose.

Which is Better Pork Loin or Pork Tenderloin?

Which cut of meat is “better” comes down to personal preference.

Pork loin is larger in size than pork tenderloin, both cuts are boneless pieces of meat, but tenderloin is more “tender” than the pork loin. 

So if you are looking for the most tender piece of meat then choose the tenderloin. If you are looking to marinate the pork, then pork tenderloin is also the choice.

Check out our recipe for Baked Pork Loin Roast which is just as delicious!!

Is Pork Tenderloin Healthy?

Easy Baked Pork Tenderloin Recipe

If you see any pork tenderloins on sale at your local supermarket, grab them up and enjoy them. It is a very healthy piece of meat, lean, low in calories, fat, and carbs. 

Pork tenderloin roast has all kinds of other healthy features about it, to make you consider eating it. It’s high in calcium, and phosphorus, selenium which can help your immune and zinc are included in its benefits. It also helps your skin and muscles.

Like eating anything else, moderation is the key. You probably wouldn’t want to eat oven-roasted pork tenderloin at every meal, every day. 

Change it up and eat a well-rounded diet because there are so many other foods out there with health benefits for us too.

How Many Calories in Pork Tenderloin?

Boneless pork tenderloin lives up to its reputation of being real lean, and there are only 221 calories in a 3 oz serving.   At that rate, you can eat double that amount and only consume a little over 400 calories.

Which is Healthier Chicken or Pork Tenderloin?

The “other white meat.” I’m sure you’ve heard that name used for pork. Let’s look at if pork tenderloin is healthier than chicken:

  • Pork contains more calcium, potassium, magnesium, copper, zinc, phosphorus, and less sodium.
  • Pork has more vitamin C, D, B1,2,6,12.
  • Pork is lower in cholesterol, sodium.
  • Chicken has more iron.
  • Chicken has more vitamin A,B3,5, K
  • Chicken is lower in saturated fat.
  • They are both equal in Folate, and Vitamin E and low calories and fats.

Is Pork Tenderloin Healthier than Beef?

Another common question is whether pork tenderloin is healthier than beef? We did a comparison between pork tenderloin and lean cuts of beef and here is what we found:

  • They are pretty similar in a lot of minerals, and vitamins, probably because they are both considered red meats.
  • Beef has a few more calories and saturated fat than pork tenderloin, but pork tenderloin has a little more cholesterol.

Why Roasting in the Oven is the Best Way to Cook Pork Tenderloin

Best Pork Tenderloin Recipe

There are several ways to cook your pork tenderloin. I prefer oven-roasted pork tenderloin, but take a look and see which way you would prefer, or try them all and then make a decision.

Oven – After searing a roast on the stove, I prefer cooking pork tenderloin in the oven. It cooks quickly and it has a good flavor and texture. 

If you have a dutch oven it makes a great pan to use in the oven to make the best pork tenderloin recipe.

Slow cooker – After searing the roast on the stove, you can cook the tenderloin the rest of the way in a crockpot, which takes longer than cooking it in the oven. 

However, when you use a slow cooker the meat will cook slowly and it will come out tender and juicy, even though it won’t be crispy on the outside. It should take anywhere from 2-3 hours on low heat.

Grill – The grill is always a nice thing to use to make all kinds of meat taste yummy and the pork tenderloin is no exception. 

What I would do is to rub it with olive oil so that it won’t dry out and then season it up well, wrap it in aluminum foil, and put it on the grill to cook. It should cook over low heat for about 30-45 minutes. 

Open it up during the process and check with a thermometer to see if it has reached its desired temperature.

Or another way to cook pork tenderloin on the grill is to sear it right on the grill just like you would on the stovetop. Then move it to the cooler side of the grill so that it’s not right over the flame. Cooking pork tenderloin for about 20 minutes, rotating it several times.

What Ingredients are in Oven-Roasted Pork Tenderloin?

Ingredients for roasted Pork Tenderloin

Let’s see what ingredients are necessary for making the best pork tenderloin recipe:

Pork Tenderloin – A relatively small piece of meat, very tender. When you buy them, most of the time they come with 2 filets inside, so you can either cook one or both. 

Olive Oil – If you can, use extra virgin olive oil because it adds the most flavor to the meat in the searing step, besides being a healthy oil.

Spices (Salt, Pepper, Onion Powder, Parsley) These are basic spices that get sprinkled on the pork tenderloin to complement the meat. Feel free to use as little or much with the spices, you can even use additional spices if you prefer.                                                                                                                

Garlic – A common spice with a lot of kick. Who doesn’t love garlic, it always makes food taste unique and delicious!        

Butter The rich creaminess is a perfect pair with the garlic to pour over the boneless fork tenderloin.  I use regular salted butter but if sodium is a concern then use unsalted butter instead.

Shopping for Pork Tenderloin

Shopping for pork tenderloin is easy and there are usually plenty to choose from. Here are some tips to know ahead of time.

Knowing the cost of your purchase ahead of time is a good thing. Buying them on sale can save you some money. It’s not very expensive but does cost more than chicken. 

When they are on sale I buy a few and freeze them because they make a good and quick meal.

Don’t buy the ones that are already spiced with a marinade on them already. It is easy to make your own and costs less than the ones pre-done. 

They usually come with 2 fillets in a package, each one weighing 1-2 lbs, so you can cook one or two at a time. I like leftovers so as long as I’m making one, it’s just as easy to make 2.

How Much Pork Tenderloin Per Person?

I would say that on average, allow 8 oz of baked pork tenderloin per person. However, if you have guests with larger appetites then allow as much as 12 oz per person

Here is a guide to go by:

  • A 1 pound piece will feed 2 people
  • A 2.5-pound piece will feed 3-4 people

If you have some extra left over, that’s no problem! I love leftover meat for the next day when I make oven-baked pork tenderloin so allow extra for that.

Should I Buy a Pre-Seasoned Pork Tenderloin?

I prefer buying non-seasoned pork tenderloin and seasoning it myself. I like knowing exactly what is on my food. That being said, I know that a lot of people do like pre-seasoned pork tenderloins because they are easier.

When you go shopping, in the meat case you will see pre-seasoned pork tenderloins. They usually have a few different varieties and I’ve tried many of them.

Buying a pre-seasoned tenderloin is a great-tasting and quick dinner option. I do prefer making my own so that I can season it myself, but the pre-seasoned ones are a good quick option for dinner.

Tools to Use

Dutch oven for pork tenderloin

A Dutch Oven – To make the best oven-roasted pork tenderloin, a Dutch oven is a “must-have” tool in your kitchen, and it’s also great for making lots of other recipes.

This is a cast iron pot with a porcelain coating that also has a lid. They are heavy and are good for browning and conducting heat. You can use it on the stove or in the oven. 

Tongs or a Large Fork – This is for turning or flipping the pork tenderloin and for removing it from the pan. 

Knife – A nice sharp knife will slice the oven-roasted pork tenderloin into thin or thicker slices.

Cutting Board – You will need to place your pork tenderloin roast on the board in order to slice it. I like to use one that has a section around the edges to collect all of the juice that runs out of the pork loin while you are slicing it. That way I can save it and use it to put back over the baked pork tenderloin to stay moist.

Meat Thermometer – This is going to be one of your favorite tools in your kitchen and will help you avoid undercooking or overcooking your meat and in this case, the pork tenderloin.

Should I Use a Dutch Oven?

Yes, you should really use a dutch oven, it’s our go-to for pork tenderloin. It’s great because you can sear the pork tenderloin roast in the dutch oven and then put it right in the oven. 

It also cooks the meat better because of the fact that it’s made with cast iron which conducts heat better than a glass pan for instance.

If you don’t have dutch oven, you can also use a cast-iron pan which works great.

Pork Tenderloin Marinade

Though not necessary, if you choose to, you can make a marinade for your boneless pork tenderloin. 

With each different marinade that you make, the pork tenderloin takes on a slightly different flavor.

Do You Need to Make a Marinade for Pork Tenderloin?

In my opinion, roasted pork tenderloin does not need to be marinated because it’s so flavorful and tender all on its own. I usually think of marinating a piece of meat that is a tougher cut, one that is cheaper and needs help to be more tender. 

However, there is certainly nothing wrong with marinating a pork tenderloin, and there are a lot of great-tasting ones that you can do. 

When you go to the store, they even sell some tenderloins that are already marinated. By doing this they can charge more for it because the focus is on selling foods that are easier for us to make at home. 

However, making a homemade marinade is not hard at all and you can marinate your pork tenderloin for an hour or overnight, it’s up to you.

Here are several ideas for marinades:

  • Citrus, which can be with lemon, lime, or orange, or even a combo of all 3 together.
  • BBQ Sauce
  • Italian Dressing
  • Olive Oil with garlic
  • Butter/garlic sauce

Stick your pork tenderloin and the marinade in a plastic Ziploc bag and shake it up so that the marinade covers all sides of the boneless pork tenderloin.  Then follow the cooking instructions.

Preparing Pork Tenderloin

Let’s get into the different steps involved in preparing your meat and we will show you how to cook pork tenderloin.

Pork Tenderloins on baking sheet

Should You Rinse Pork Tenderloin Before Cooking?

It’s a question that a lot of people worry about, should we rinse off our meat? It’s something that I usually think about with regards to chicken but not pork.

When I did some research on it, it’s NOT recommended to rinse any meat because it increases the likelihood of cross-contamination. As you rinse raw animal pieces the bacteria fly around all over the counters, sink, etc. 

If you are worried about bacteria on the meat, it will disappear during the cooking process.

Should You Brine Pork Tenderloin

I do not brine my pork tenderloin, it is not a necessary step. The reason you would brine pork is to get a juicier roast, but in my opinion, if you cook the pork tenderloin to the proper temperature it will be juicy.

If you decide to do it, it takes 20 minutes to brine the pork tenderloin and you would combine: 

  • Kosher Salt
  • Warm Water
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Ice cubes

Rinse the meat after brining to remove the excess salt before roasting the pork tenderloin.

Do You Cut Fat Off a Pork Tenderloin Before Cooking?

Pork tenderloin is not a meat that has much fat on it at all so there is really no fat to cut off.

However, sometimes it comes with what’s called “silver skin” on it and that has to be cut off. Let’s look below and learn more about that.

What About the Silverskin?

Pork Tenderloin silverskin

Silverskin is commonly found on one side of a pork tenderloin and it looks like a really thick piece of silvery fat. In reality, it is an extremely tough and connective tissue.

Sometimes when you buy a pork tenderloin the silver skin has already been taken off, so in that case, you don’t have to remove it.

The reason that you would want to take off the silverskin is that it can make your baked pork tenderloin tough and chewy and it doesn’t melt away or add flavor like fat does. It will twist during the cooking process and make your tenderloin crooked.

Thankfully, it is not hard to remove silverskin.

  1. With one hand on the knife and the other one on the silverskin start to slip the thin knife in between the skin and the meat.  
  2. Start to cut it and continue to cut it away from one end to the other until it’s free. Be careful so that you do not cut away the meat and watch your fingers.

Can I Cut Pork Tenderloin Into Chops?

If you want to cut pork tenderloin up, you can certainly do so. They would be called pork medallions and are really tender and would make some elegant pieces of pork. 

  1. Cut the pork tenderloin into even slices and marinate them in olive oil so that they will not dry out when you cook them. 
  2. Season them and bake them or fry them on the stove.

If you want pork chops then you would buy a pork loin instead, but don’t worry, we have a recipe coming very soon for that. So please be on the lookout for it.

How Long Should I Cook Pork Tenderloin in the Oven?

Roasted Pork Tenderloin on plate with parsley

Once you sear your pork tenderloin roast on the stove in your dutch oven, transfer it to the oven and bake for about 15 minutes at 425 degrees or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees on the thermometer.

How Do I Cook a Pork Tenderloin Per Pound?

As a rule of thumb for most meats, 20 min per pound is the common measurement. It’s not any different when making oven-baked pork tenderloin. 

However, it’s not only the pounds that determine cooking time, because a 4-pound long thin roast, would be done cooking long before a 4 pound short, thick roast.

So the best rule of thumb is to use a meat thermometer so that your oven-roasted pork tenderloin does not overcook.

What Temperature Should I Cook Pork Tenderloin At?

425 degrees is the best temperature for cooking pork tenderloin in the oven and it only takes around 15 minutes to bake. 

At this high temp it keeps the meat crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. If you cooked it at a lower temperature for a longer amount of time it would lose some of its juices and not have that nice brown color on the outside.

Ideal Pork Tenderloin Internal Temperature

When baking pork tenderloin, it’s important to cook it to the correct internal temperature. Too low and it will be undercooked, too high and it will dry out.

The ideal internal temperature for pork tenderloin is 150 degrees fahrenheit.

When the thermometer says 145 then it’s time to take pork tenderloin out of the oven, because after it sits on the counter and rests for a few minutes, the internal temperature will then rise to 150 which is ideal.

Does Pork Tenderloin Get More Tender the Longer You Cook It?

The pork tenderloin roast only takes a short time to cook. If you continue to cook it too long it will just overcook and do the opposite of getting tender, it will dry out which will make it NOT tender anymore.

Use a Meat Thermometer

Using a thermometer is 100% necessary to avoid under or overcooking your meat. It’s good to have some sort of an idea of how long it will take to cook something in the oven, but with a thermometer, you will get a more accurate reading.

Checking Pork Tenderloin temperature with thermometer

It’s a sure-fire way to make sure that the temperature does not rise too high, which will dry out the meat.

The target temperature for this recipe for pork tenderloin is 145 degrees, that way it will be slightly pink, tender, and juicy.

Types of Thermometers: You can use a traditional thermometer that you leave in the meat the entire time that it’s in the oven cooking.

You can also use the type that you stick in the meat to check the temperature and then remove it. 

A digital thermometer is another type of thermometer and is the quickest way to get the accurate reading, usually in about 5 seconds.

How to Make Baked Pork Tenderloin in the Oven 

Now, let’s show you how to roast pork tenderloin, it’s really very easy to do…

Seasoning Pork Tenderloin

STEP 1: Assuming you’ve trimmed the silverskin off already, the next step in cooking pork tenderloin is to season it.  You can use any number of spices, but I like to keep it simple with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder. 

In this case, since we are using a butter garlic sauce, I omit the garlic powder, but if you aren’t making the sauce we recommend adding garlic powder.

Season both sides of the boneless pork tenderloin with salt, pepper, and onion powder. Make sure to cover as much of the meat as possible to make for better flavor.

Searing

STEP 3: Pour the oil in the pan and brown, or sear the meat for just 2-3 minutes on each side. The hotter that you can turn on the burner without burning the pork, the better.

STEP 4: Once it’s seared then leave the oil and meat juices in the pan. Spoon it over the meat and then stick it in the oven, uncovered.

Baking Pork Tenderloin in the oven

Baking

STEP 5: Now it’s time to bake the pork tenderloin. Bake it for about 15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.

STEP 6: Once you take it out of the oven let it sit in the pan for 5-10 minutes to rest before you slice it.

Pork Tenderloin cooked in dutch oven

The Sauce

garlic butter sauce for Pork Tenderloin

It is certainly not necessary to cover your pork tenderloin with a sauce because it is tasty just the way it is when it’s finished cooking but we feel this is the secret that takes this recipe to the next level.

For this pork tenderloin recipe, we used a garlic butter sauce, which happens to be my favorite combo with pork. It’s so easy to make and delicious to eat, and it goes on the top of the meat after it’s cooked.

To make this sauce these are the ingredients that go into making it. 

  • ½ cup butter
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp dried parsley

Keep in mind that you can adjust these ingredients accordingly. If you want extra butter it’s ok to do so. Likewise, if you want more or less garlic that’s ok too. This is just a guideline.

STEP 7: While the pork is resting, add the butter in a small saucepan with add the chopped garlic, onion powder, and chopped parsley. Melt the ingredients on low-medium heat and stir together.

STEP 8: Pour it over the top of the roasted pork tenderloin and then slice.

Adding garlic butter sauce on a Pork Tenderloin

Baked Pork Tenderloin FAQs

If this is your first time making pork tenderloin, you may have some questions so let’s hope that we can answer them and show you how to cook pork tenderloin.

Should You Sear Pork Tenderloin?

Pork tenderloin roast is one of those meats that tastes better if you sear it as the first step in preparation. When you do this, it seals in the juices and makes the meat more flavorful. 

When you skip this step, your pork tenderloin will be lacking in the best possible flavor that it can have. So spend the extra 5 minutes and sear it. 

The best way to do this is in a dutch oven. It makes it better for cleaning because you can leave it right in the same pan to bake the pork tenderloin in the oven too.

Do You Cover Pork Tenderloin When Roasting in the Oven? 

Once you get the pork tenderloin ready for baking in the oven, you may wonder if you need to cover it or not. It’s a good question since some roasts you want to cover.

We do not cover the meat because even though by covering it, the steam will get trapped inside and add moisture to the tenderloin, and at the same time it loses some of its crusty exterior. 

In my opinion, the best pork tenderloin is better crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.

Do You Cook a Pork Tenderloin Fat Side Up or Down?

There isn’t much fat at all on this cut, but pork tenderloin along with most meats are better if you cook them with the fat side up. That way the fat drips down over the sides and keeps the meat more moist and with more flavor.

Do You Flip a Pork Tenderloin?

When we sear pork tenderloin on the stove we flip it over to cook both sides. Once it is in the oven there is no need to flip it over because it is cooking on the top and bottom at the same time.

How Do You Know if Pork Tenderloin is Done?

Easy Roasted Pork Tenderloin

Let’s take a minute to see how to use a thermometer to make the best pork tenderloin recipe. 

When using a thermometer, take the tenderloin out of the oven when it reads 145 degrees. The meat will be slightly pink inside which is perfectly ok. 

Most people have always thought that 160 degrees was the proper temperature to cook pork too but now they realize that 145 is just as safe as 160. However, at 145 degrees the pork remains juicy while at 160 the pork dries out too much.

  • Take out the pork at 145 degrees and it will rise to 150 degrees: slices will be a little pink and moist.
  • Take out the pork at 150 degrees and it will rise to 155 degrees: Slices will be a little less pink but still moist.
  • Take out the pork at 155 degrees and it will rise to 160 degrees: Slices will not be pink but still slightly moist.
  • Take out the pork at 160 degrees and it will rise to 165 degrees: Slices will be dry.

So by this chart, you can see how to cook pork tenderloin to perfection by making a thermometer one of your best tools to have in your kitchen.

Can Pork Tenderloin be a Little Pink?

Yes, pork tenderloin can be a little pink, in fact, it’s much better that way and it will be a juicer and tastier piece of meat.

When I was growing up my mother cooked pork to death, and as a result, it was dry which is why some people say that they don’t like pork. Now they call pork the other red meat and it’s perfectly safe to eat if it’s a little pink.

Is It Safe to Eat Pork at 145 Degrees?

If your thermometer registers 145 degrees, it is ok to take your pork loin out of the oven. As it rests for 5-10 minutes it will keep cooking just a little bit more.

When you slice the pork it may be pink inside, but that is perfectly fine. You don’t have to cook the pork loin so much that it dries out. 

Can You Eat Pork at 150 Degrees?

Yes, if your pork tenderloin cooks to 150 degrees, that is the perfect temperature to eat it. 

The best temperature for cooking pork tenderloin is 145-150 degrees. That way it will be the best pork tenderloin, moist and juicy.

How Do You Cut a Pork Tenderloin After Cooking?

How to Slice a Pork Tenderloin

Now that your baked pork tenderloin is done cooking it’s time to slice it up for eating. Let’s see the best way to cut it.

How Long Should You Let Pork Tenderloin Rest?

It doesn’t take very long for your oven-baked pork tenderloin to rest, I usually wait 5-10 minutes, then pour on the garlic sauce and slice.

The reason to let your meat rest is to allow it to absorb the juices. If you cut it too soon the roast will release the essential juices onto your cutting board. It needs those juices to help keep the meat more moist.

Do You Cut Pork Tenderloin Against the Grain?

The proper way to cut the pork tenderloin is against the grain. When you slice against the grain, thinner slices mean shorter strands and will make for a more tender piece of meat.  

The muscle fibers run from left to right. When you cut against the grain you cut through the fibers and shorten them which will make it easier for you to chew through them.

Since the knife did all of the work for you, it, in turn, makes it easier for your teeth and jaws.

How Thinly Do You Slice a Pork Tenderloin?

Before you slice your boneless pork tenderloin you need to decide how thick or thin you want it to be. It’s possible to cut the slices thick or thin depending on how you like it.

For a regular slice, cut them about ½ inch thick, but for thinner slices cut them ¼ inch thick or even ⅛ inch if you can slice it that thin. 

When you slice a boneless pork tenderloin in thin slices it comes out more tender, but some people like it a little thicker and that’s ok.

  1. Make sure you have a sturdy cutting board and a sharp knife.
  2. Hold the meat fork in one hand, the knife in the other hand, and slice the pork tenderloin to your desired thickness.

Best Tips

  • Sear the baked pork tenderloin on both sides before you cook it in the oven. This step only takes about 5 minutes but it is well worth it for how the searing process seals in the juices and makes the outside crispy. Plus it gives the baked pork tenderloin a beautiful brown color.
  • Cook the meat at a high temperature in the oven.
  • Do not overcook the meat or else it will be dry.
  • Use a meat thermometer and take the pork tenderloin out of the oven when it reaches 145 degrees.
  • Allow the meat to rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting.

Why Is Pork Tenderloin So Dry?

Pork tenderloin is dry when you overcook it. It’s a very lean cut of meat without much fat on it. It also doesn’t take too long to cook which means it’s easy to dry out.

People make the mistake of thinking that they need to cook pork to death and that is not true. Then they don’t really like it because it’s dried out and flavorless, instead of it being a wonderfully flavorful pork tenderloin recipe.

How Do You Keep Pork Tenderloin from Drying Out?

Boneless Pork Tenderloin Recipe on cutting board

The sure-fire way to keep your pork tenderloin in the oven from drying out is to use a meat thermometer and make sure that you take it out of the oven when the temperature reaches 145 degrees. 

Then let it sit on the counter and rest for 5-10 minutes and it will continue to cook in those few minutes while it is on the counter.

How Do You Moisten Dry Pork Tenderloin?

If you make a mistake and cook your pork tenderloin too much and it gets dry, don’t worry, we can help you save it.

The first thing that I would do is to slice the meat as thin as you can because thin meat is more tender to chew than thick meat. 

Another thing that I have done is to add some of the meat juices from the pan to the meat which will add moisture to it. Lay your sliced meat in the pan that you baked it in and baste the liquid over the meat. This will add moisture and flavor. 

Pouring a little chicken broth over the meat will also be tasty. Chicken broth goes well with pork because the taste is mild and it will keep the pork juicy. 

As a last resort, you also could take the roasted pork tenderloin and cover it with BBQ  or tomato sauce for extra moisture and flavor too.

What is Pork Tenderloin Good For?

In my opinion, pork tenderloin is the cream of the crop when it comes to pork. I think the best way to enjoy your pork tenderloin is sliced on your plate with a couple of side dishes.

Making a sandwich out of leftover pork tenderloin is a good lunch if your diet allows for bread.

My husband loves salads and will put any type of meat on his salad, including leftover pork tenderloin. It’s tasty and low calorie when you are trying to lose some weight!

Can You Use Pork Tenderloin for Pulled Pork?

Pork tenderloin does NOT make good pulled pork.

Pulled pork is a different cut of meat, one that’s fatty, boneless, and costs little is the best. 

The cooking methods are completely different too. Pulled pork needs to cook for hours on a low temperature so that it will come out tender and pulled apart easily. 

Pork tenderloin would not react that way, and it would be dry and just shrivel up if it were cooked for hours.

Different Variations of Pork Tenderloin

Easy Pork Tenderloin Recipe

Did you ever go to the store and see in the meat case that they have several flavors of pork tenderloin, already prepared? That gives you some ideas of how you can season up your pork tenderloin too. 

Pork is very versatile because it goes with a lot of things. Here are a few flavors that go well, besides the garlic butter sauce that we have in our pork tenderloin recipe.

And don’t forget how well apples go with pork. I love to make homemade applesauce, which pairs so well with it.

Seasoning Options

  • Spicy red pepper flakes
  • Chipotle
  • Montreal steak seasoning
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Paprika
  • Onion Powder 

Sauce Options

  • BBQ Sauce
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Mustard Sauce
  • Blue Cheese dressing
  • Ranch dressing
  • Pan Sauce – made from the pan drippings mixed with some beef, or chicken broth

Can I Just Cook It On the Stove?

Yes, your pork tenderloin can be cooked entirely on the stove without baking it. To assure that it cooks evenly, bring the pork to room temperature first before cooking it on the stove.

Can I Just Cook It in the Oven?

Yes, you can totally cook the pork tenderloin in the oven only, but you will see that when you sear it on the stove, it gives the pork tenderloin the best flavor that you will miss out on if you skip this step. 

If you plan on using one of the many possible sauces on top of your pork tenderloin, then just baking it in the oven is ok.

Diets This Recipe is Good For

  • Paleo – Pork tenderloin is a good choice for paleo. Meat is incorporated into most meals.
  • Gluten-free – There is no gluten in pork tenderloin.
  • Sugar-free/Low Carb – No sugar in pork tenderloin and zero carbs too.
  • Nut-free – No nuts either in pork tenderloin.
  • Dairy-free – If you use oil in your garlic sauce instead of butter, it can be considered dairy-free.

What to Serve with Pork Tenderloin?

Best Pork Tenderloin Recipe sliced

Our boneless pork tenderloin goes so well with so many sides and we can name a few to give you some ideas:

Veggies:

Starches:

  • Macaroni Salad
  • Potato Salad
  • Scalloped/ cheesy Potatoes
  • Potatoes, mashed or baked
  • Corn Bread

Fruit:

  • Homemade Applesauce

Making Pork Tenderloin Ahead

Let’s say that you made a pork tenderloin and your guests just called and said that they hit bad traffic and will be delayed about an hour. Don’t panic thinking that your dinner will be dried out and ruined, not all hope is lost!

How to Keep Pork Tenderloin Warm and Moist

The important thing to make sure that your food is safe from bacteria is to keep it above 140 degrees, or below 40 degrees. 

Restaurants keep food warm all the time with food warmers, but most of us don’t have a food warmer in our homes.

You could keep your pork loin in a roasting pan with a lid and in the oven on warm. You can also wrap it in foil then wrap it in a towel that will help keep it warm. 

However, if they are going to be delayed for a much longer time, I would put the meat in the refrigerator and then warm it up when they arrive, just to play it safe.

How to Store

How to Roast Pork Tenderloin

The best way to store your leftover pork tenderloin is in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for about 5 days. If you are not going to eat it all in that time then freeze it.

How Long is Cooked Pork Tenderloin Good for in the Fridge?

Most leftover meat, including pork tenderloin roast, will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. Any longer and you should probably either eat it or freeze it for another time.

How to Use Leftover Pork Tenderloin

You can do so much with the leftover pork tenderloin roast. Here are a few examples.

  • Throw it on top of your salad.
  • Make a stir fry with a bunch of different veggies.
  • Slice the pork thin and make a sandwich, hot or cold.
  • Chinese fried rice

How to Reheat a Pork Tenderloin Without Drying It Out?

Here are 4 ways to reheat your baked pork tenderloin.

  1. A non-stick frying pan with a lid with some cooking oil
  2. A slow cooker on warm setting, or low if it doesn’t have warm with a little broth
  3. In the oven at 325 degrees with a little added liquid  
  4. In the microwave, on a plate or container with a loose lid or paper towel draped over it.

How Do You Reheat Pork Tenderloin in the Oven?

Place the pork tenderloin on a baking tray or baking dish and add a little juice leftover from the pork or some chicken broth, and heat on 325 degrees for about 15 minutes.

Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t cook too much and become dried-out.

In the Microwave

The best way to reheat pork tenderloin in the microwave is 1 minute at a time. Place the meat on a plate or plastic container and cover it with a paper towel or a loose plastic lid. 

Some people like things heated until they are really hot and some people like them warm so take it out when it reaches your desired temperature.

Can You Eat Pork Tenderloin Cold?

Oven-roasted pork tenderloin tastes good both hot and cold. In fact, when I eat the leftovers the next day I prefer it cold and eaten as a quick protein-filled snack.

Can You Freeze Pork Tenderloin?

Roasting Pork Tenderloin

If you have leftover pork tenderloin roast, it’s easy to freeze. When I freeze it, I put it either in a plastic Ziploc bag and then put the bag into a plastic, airtight container. 

You can also put it into an airtight container, then put the container into a Ziploc bag. That way you have double protection from getting freezer burn.

More Delicious Main Courses

If you’re in the mood for some other family-friendly recipes then try our:

pan-fried garlic butter Pork Chops
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Oven Roasted Pork Tenderloin

Baked Pork Tenderloin | How to Roast Pork Tenderloin


  • Author: Leigh Oskwarek
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 Servings at 3oz Per Serving (1 1/2 Pound Roast) 1x
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Description

Pork tenderloin is a very lean and delicious cut of meat and is so easy to make. I love to make it because in less than 30 minutes on the stove and in the oven it’s done and it seems like you slaved over it for hours. You can put any veggies or side dishes with oven-roasted pork tenderloin as almost anything goes well with it!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 ½2-pound Pork Tenderloin
  • 23 tbsp Olive Oil
  • ½1 tsp Salt
  • ½1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 2 tbsp dried Parsley
  • ½ cup Butter
  • 46 cloves of Garlic, chopped 

Instructions

Notes

0.8 NET Carbs Per Serving

Sear the pork on both sides before you cook it in the oven. This step only takes about 5 minutes but it is well worth it for how the searing process seals in the juices and makes the outside crispy. Plus it gives the pork tenderloin a beautiful brown color.

Cook the meat at a high temperature in the oven.

Do not overcook the meat or else it will be dry.

Use a meat thermometer and take the pork tenderloin out of the oven when it reaches 145 degrees. The pork will be pink but that is good. You do not have to cook your pork until it reaches 155-160 or else it will be dry.

Allow the meat to rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting.

  • Category: Main Courses
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

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