How to Cook Pork Tenderloin


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This tender roasted Pork Tenderloin recipe is so simple to prepare and the result is an incredibly tender, juicy and delicious meal! It’s not only lean, but it’s also extremely easy to prepare with just a little bit of seasoning.

A delicious main dish alongside perfect mashed potatoes and easy roasted asparagus are fast enough to make on a busy weeknight and elegant enough to serve to guests at a dinner party!

Tender roasted pork tenderloin being sliced on a wood cutting board

Thank you to our friends at the National Pork Board for sponsoring this post!x

Pork Tenderloin – The King of All Cuts

Pork tenderloin is, in my opinion, the king of all cuts of pork.

This succulent cut of meat lives up to its name, tenderloin because it is just exactly that – so incredibly tender when cooked right! The key to perfection is knowing exactly how long to cook pork tenderloin (and not to overcook it)!

A pork loin is not the same as a pork tenderloin. A pork tenderloin is a long thin piece of meat about 7-8″ long and 2″ in diameter whereas a pork loin is a thicker piece of meat that is often cut down into roasts and chops. Because of their differing shapes they cannot be used interchangeably as they do not cook the same way.

How To Prepare Pork Tenderloin

It incredibly versatile, you can make roast pork tenderloin either baked in the oven or on the BBQ. Pork tenderloin can be prepared in so many different ways… in addition to roasting, stuffed pork tenderloin is a favorite too!  We sometimes even slice it into medallions (which fry up in literally minutes or are perfect for making Grilled Pork) for a fast weeknight meal.

It can be crusted or just simply seasoned with your favorite seasonings or even just a simple sprinkle of salt and pepper – when you have a delicious, premium cut of meat, that is all it really needs!

Close up of Roasted Pork Tenderloin being cut.

How Do You Make Pork Tenderloin Juicy?

Knowing how to properly cook pork tenderloin can help you achieve melt in your mouth perfection! The answer is really simple, the key to perfect pork tenderloin is to make sure you don’t overcook it.

Many of us grew up at a time when our parents cooked all things pork until it was tough as leather. Today pork is safe to consume cooked to medium (145° F) leaving it just a little bit pink in the middle and tender & juicy.

Tips for Perfect Pork Tenderloin

  • Cook at a high temperature so the outside will have nice color and flavor.
  • Brush with olive oil and fresh herbs & spices to the outside before cooking.
  • Use a thermometer to achieve the perfect temperature.
  • Allow your meat to rest before cutting.
  • If cooking pork tenderloin medallions, fry or grill them for just a few minutes on each side.
  • Do not overcook.  Pork tenderloin is very lean if overcooked can become dry.

I can’t stress this enough, using a thermometer is really essential to perfection! If you do not have one, this is a very small investment to ensure the best cook on not just pork, but many types of meat!

I have a digital thermometer where the probe is inserted into the meat (this one gets rave reviews and is inexpensive), then a wire cord connects the probe to the digital display. Don’t worry, the oven door closes just fine with the cord sticking out.

A simple thermometer works well too, you just need to be more diligent checking for doneness.

Pork Tenderloin Temperatures

When roasting pork tenderloin (or pork chops), it should be roasted to a tender juicy temperature of 145° F. Roasting your pork tenderloin to 145° F is a medium cook which means it’ll be just a little pink in the middle.

Anywhere between 145° F to 160° F is fine however cooking it more towards medium (145° F) will produce a much juicier meat. Always remember to rest your meat for about 5 minutes before cutting it.

Pork Tenderloin slices covered in a creamy mushroom sauce.

What Color is a Cooked Pork Tenderloin?

This fall I had the amazing opportunity to  be a part of the Pass the Pork tour and learn first hand about both pork farming and cooking pork to perfection! Such an extraordinary experience! For years I have confidently served my pork cooked to medium with just a hint of pink, the pork is so tender and juicy you can literally cut it with a fork.

Melt in your mouth good. Cooking your pork tenderloin to 145°F means your pork will have just a touch of pink in the middle. Pork tenderloin can be (and in my opinion should be) served with a little bit of pink in the middle in order to ensure it’s juicy and fork-tender.

For more information about cooking pork, please check pork.org.

Now that you know how to cook the perfect, tender and juicy pork tenderloin I am confident it’ll become one of your go-to family meals!

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knife cutting into pork tenderloin
4.94 from 16 votes
Review Recipe

Perfect Roasted Pork Tenderloin

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Perfect Roasted Pork Tenderloin is so easy to prepare and the result is an incredibly tender & juicy meal!

Ingredients

ROASTED PORK TENDERLOIN
  • 1 lb pork tenderloin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon oil
MUSHROOM SAUCE (OPTIONAL)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 12 ounces sliced mushrooms cremini or white
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • salt and ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon butter softened
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley

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Instructions

PORK TENDERLOIN
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with foil
  2. Season the pork with salt and pepper (add chopped fresh herbs if desired).
  3. Heat oil and brown the pork evenly in a frying pan. Place on baking sheet.
  4. Cook 18-20 minutes or until a thermometer reads an internal temperature of 145° F (While the tenderloin is cooking, begin to prepare the mushroom sauce)
  5. Allow to rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.
MUSHROOM SAUCE
  1. Saute onion in oil until softened, about 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add mushrooms, thyme and salt and pepper. Cook till mushrooms have released juices.
  3. Add the wine to deglaze and loosen any bits off pan. Add the chicken broth and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a low boil for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Melt butter. Add the flour and parsley to melted butter.
  5. Whisk into broth and bring to a boil. Let cook 1 minute.
  6. Simmer until thickened and serve over sliced tenderloin.

Recipe Notes

*You can add some of the juices that escape from the tenderloin while it rests to the gravy for extra flavour.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 286, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 81mg, Sodium: 494mg, Potassium: 855mg, Carbohydrates: 7g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Protein: 26g, Vitamin A: 340%, Vitamin C: 11.5%, Calcium: 27%, Iron: 2.3%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword how to cook pork tenderloin, pork tenderloin

I am excited to have partnered the National Pork Board to bring you this belly warming recipe. While I was hosted in Sioux Falls and compensated for this post, all thoughts and opinions are my own.  Working with great brands I love allows me to keep bringing you the great recipes you love!

Perfect Roasted Pork Tenderloin recipe is so easy to prepare and the result is an incredibly tender, juicy and delicious treat! #spendwithpennies #pork #tenderloin #tenderpork #maincourse #easyrecipe
This Roasted Pork Tenderloin recipe is so simple to prepare and the result is an incredibly tender, juicy and delicious meal! #spendwithpennies #pork #tenderloin #tenderpork #maincourse #easyrecipe

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About the author

Holly

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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