How to Cook Pork Tenderloin

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This tender roasted Pork Tenderloin recipe is so simple to prepare and incredibly tender, juicy and delicious!

Pork tenderloin is lean, healthy and becomes fork-tender when roasted in the oven with just a little bit of seasoning.

A delicious main dish alongside is fast enough to make on a busy weeknight and elegant enough to serve to guests at a dinner party!

knife cutting into pork tenderloin

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

The King of All Cuts

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

This 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)!

Pork Loin vs. Pork Tenderloin A pork loin is not the same as a pork tenderloin. 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 different shapes they cannot be used interchangeably as they do not cook the same way.

How To Prepare Pork Tenderloin

It is incredibly versatile, you can make roast pork tenderloin either baked in the oven, on the BBQ, or even in the air fryer. Pork tenderloin can be prepared in so many different ways… in addition to roasting, stuffed pork tenderloin or herb-crusted pork tenderloin are favorites 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!

Knife cutting into a tenderloin on a wood board

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. Serve this with perfect mashed potatoes and easy roasted asparagus.

Tips for Perfection

  • 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.

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 much juicier meat. Always remember to rest your meat for about 5 minutes before cutting it.

Roasted Pork Tenderloin garnished with parsley

What Color is a Cooked Pork Tenderloin?

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! 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.

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 should be) served with a little bit of pink in the middle in order to ensure it’s juicy and fork-tender. Find more information about cooking pork at pork.org.

More Pork Recipes We Love

Did you enjoy this Roasted Pork Tenderloin? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

knife cutting into pork tenderloin
4.96 from 136 votes
Review Recipe

How to Cook Pork Tenderloin

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Perfect Roasted Pork Tenderloin is so easy to prepare and the result is an incredibly tender & juicy meal!

Ingredients

Roasted Pork Tenderloin

  • 1 pound pork tenderloin
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon oil

Mushroom Sauce (Optional)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ onion diced
  • 12 ounces sliced mushrooms cremini or white
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • salt and ground pepper to taste
  • ½ 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

  • Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with foil
  • Season the pork with salt and pepper (add chopped fresh herbs if desired).
  • Heat oil and brown the pork evenly in a frying pan. Place on baking sheet.
  • 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)
  • Allow to rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.

Mushroom Sauce

  • Saute onion in oil until softened, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Add mushrooms, thyme and salt and pepper. Cook till mushrooms have released juices.
  • 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.
  • Melt butter. Add the flour and parsley to melted butter.
  • Whisk into broth and bring to a boil. Let cook 1 minute.
  • Simmer until thickened and serve over sliced tenderloin.

Recipe Notes

 
  • Use a thermometer and remove the pork from the oven when it reaches 145°F or just before.
  • Allow your meat to rest before cutting.
  • Do not overcook.  Pork tenderloin is very lean if overcooked can become dry.
  • Add some of the juices that escape from the tenderloin while it rests to the sauce or pour it over the sliced pork for extra flavor.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 286, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 26g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 81mg, Sodium: 494mg, Potassium: 855mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 340IU, Vitamin C: 11.5mg, Calcium: 27mg, Iron: 2.3mg

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

Course Dinner
Cuisine American

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!

Slice of Pork tenderloin with a knife on a cutting board
Pork tenderloin being cut into slices with text
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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Comments

  1. I made this for the second time and it was just as easy and delicious as the first time. It’s a keeper.5 stars

    1. Depending on the size of your pork tenderloin you may need to increase the cooking time in order for it to reach an internal temperature of 145°F.

    1. Hi Oliver, for the pork tenderloin you do want to make sure it is cooked to an internal temperature of 145°F, which would be approximately 63°C.

  2. I made this recipe with a couple minor changes I combined Wisher sauce and olive oil and brushed it on the tenderloin. Steering all sides and ends of tenderloin in a skillet with olive oil and butter. Seasoned with Italian seasoning placed on cookie sheet oil line and baked to an internal temperature of 150 best tenderloin I ever ate.

  3. Need good Taco salads and Tossed salads.Vegetables soups.Garlic Chicken.
    Bake pork chops. Send me good Recipes
    for these dish’s.

  4. This was amazingly good. After a small amount of prep the meal comes together in about 30 minutes. Pork was tender and sauce delicious. Husband loved it.5 stars

  5. Wow! Was looking for a different way to cook up a tenderloin, and stumbled across this recipe. It was juicy indeed. And the mushroom sauce was to die for. I have company coming over this weekend, and have already decided THIS is what I’m serving, alongside some mashed potatoes. May double the sauce for the potatoes, it’s that good.

    Can’t wait to try some of your other recipes!

    1. Aide, most pork tenderloins are between ¾ and 1 pound. Perhaps you are using a pork loin roast, which is a different cut and cooks differently. You should cook your pork loin until it reaches an internal temperature of145F. Stay tuned for upcoming pork loin recipes!

  6. I always use this for the juiciest tenderloin. My husband grew up thinking he hated pork (chops too) until I made it for him. He had no idea pork could be juicy, (not covered in a sauce to get it down) and yes, a little pink. Now its his favorite!5 stars

  7. I made this following the recipe to the letter and it came out so delicious!!! Make the mushroom sauce, it almost steals the show from this tender, juicy, flavorful tenderloin. My boyfriend loved it and demanded more sauce.5 stars

  8. Made this last night….AMAZING!! Mushroom sauce is the best recipe I’ve ever used for mushroom sauce. (yes, you can sub glutton free flour). I used a pork loin filet rather than a tenderloin since that’s what I had. (had to cook a few minutes longer bcuz of this). Sides were green bean casserole and parsley potatoes. SO GOOD….thank you for this recipe!

  9. I want to try this recipe tonight. I have one question about the sauce and I didn’t see anyone mention it in their comments. No one in our family likes mushrooms, can we omit them completely or what is a suitable substitute for them? Thanks in advance!

    1. I have only tried the recipe as written. You could omit the mushrooms, or possibly substitute them for zucchini, frozen peas or another vegetable that will cook in the amount of time listed. Enjoy!

  10. Hi, Holly.

    Thanks so much for this recipe. I prepared this for my wife and I — she works full-time and I work as a consultant from our home so it gives me a chance to enjoy my hobby of cooking.

    We loved the tenderloin and tonight we ate the leftovers. Needless to say we’ll be preparing this again. In fact, my wife repeated this evening that she “wants this same meal again some time soon.”

    She asked me about the calorie content in the mushroom sauce — that she thought was incredible. I followed the sauce recipe exactly as shown…as I did the tenderloin.

    It lists “286 calories” but I’m not sure exactly what that covers — tenderloin and sauce or just tenderloin.

    Can you provide a serving size and also provide an idea about calories in the sauce, along with a serving size for the sauce if it isn’t included in the 286 calories.

    Thank you so much and I’d love to check out some your other personal recipes.

    Dave5 stars

    1. You’re so welcome Dave! The nutritional information does include the sauce. Each serving will be approximately ¾ cup of mushrooms with sauce.