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- Why You’ll Love This Easy Pork Tenderloin Recipe
- Ingredients & Substitutions
- How To Cook Pork Tenderloin In The Oven
- What Is The Best Pork Tenderloin Cooking Temp?
- How Long To Cook Pork Tenderloin?
- What Internal Temp For Pork Tenderloin?
- Tips For The Best Baked Pork Tenderloin
- Recipe Variations
- Storage Instructions
- What To Serve With Pork Tenderloin
- Ways To Use Leftovers
- More Easy Pork Recipes
- Tools For Cooking Pork Tenderloin Recipes
- Baked Pork Tenderloin Recipe (Juicy & Tender!)
I have to admit, I wasn’t always a pork lover. Gimme oven baked bacon any day of the week, but other cuts of pork… I used to be on the fence. But readers were asking me for more easy pork recipes in the oven, so who am I not to oblige? 😉 I’m pleased to say, this baked pork tenderloin recipe (and also pork chops in a cast iron skillet) have turned me into a growing pork fan. Seasoned simply with a flavorful marinade, it comes out super juicy and tender.
Did I mention it’s ready in just 20 minutes? This is a great fast weeknight meal, yet tastes like you put a lot of effort in. When I learned how to cook pork tenderloin this way and served it for a bunch of our friends in a table spread with many other dishes, it was the first to disappear.
Caramelizing this pork recipe first brings out its natural sweetness and creates the perfect golden crust. Similar to cooking steak in the oven, oven baked lamb chops, or roasted beef tenderloin, you start by searing to form the browned crust, and then finish in the oven to bring out the natural flavors in the meat. If you want a hands-off method, try Crock Pot pork tenderloin instead.
Why You’ll Love This Easy Pork Tenderloin Recipe
- Melt-in-your-mouth tender & juicy
- Garlic rosemary flavor
- 5-ingredient quick marinade
- 20 minutes from start to finish
- The best pork tenderloin recipe for weeknights or company
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for this marinated pork tenderloin recipe, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Pork Tenderloin – Not to be confused with pork loin! This tender cut of meat comes from the muscle that runs along the backbone. Look for a pinkish-red one with some marbling, weighing about 1 pound.
- Olive Oil – I used olive oil to sear the pork tenderloin in this recipe, but avocado oil would work as well. The oil is used in the marinade as well.
- Garlic – Use crushed garlic cloves rather than minced, as crushed is less likely to burn due to the high heat. If you don’t have fresh garlic on hand, you can substitute 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder.
- Fresh Rosemary – I used fresh herbs, but feel free to use dried rosemary instead. You can also substitute thyme. If using dried herbs of any kind, you’ll need 1 teaspoon to replace the tablespoon of fresh herbs in this pork tenderloin recipe. Feel free to omit this separate ingredient altogether and just add a little extra Italian seasoning instead.
- Lemon Zest – Fresh lemon zest adds the best flavor, but you could just use a few teaspoons of lemon juice instead.
- Italian Seasoning – You can use store-bought or homemade Italian Seasoning, or replace this with virtually any seasoning blend you like.
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper
How To Cook Pork Tenderloin In The Oven
This section shows how to make baked pork tenderloin, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Prep. Preheat the oven. Pat the meat dry with paper towels.
- Season. Season pork tenderloin with sea salt and black pepper on both sides.
- Marinate. In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil, crushed garlic, fresh rosemary, Italian seasoning, and lemon zest. Brush the mixture all over the pork tenderloin on all sides.
- Sear. Heat more olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, until shimmering. Add the pork tenderloin and sear until browned on the bottom. Flip and sear on the other side.
- Bake. Place the skillet into the oven. Roast pork tenderloin in the oven until it reaches the correct internal temperature (see below).
- Rest. Remove the pork tenderloin recipe from the pan and allow to rest before cutting into slices.
What Is The Best Pork Tenderloin Cooking Temp?
Cook pork tenderloin at 400 degrees F. Higher heat allows it to cook quickly, which is key for a tender result.
How Long To Cook Pork Tenderloin?
Pork tenderloin baking time will vary depending on the thickness of your tenderloin, but typically takes about 10-15 minutes in the oven after searing it on the stovetop for 3-4 minutes per side.
What Internal Temp For Pork Tenderloin?
Pork tenderloin recipes should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. For juicy results, remove the pork from heat at 140 degrees F, as the internal temperature will rise 5 degrees while resting. It’s okay for it to be a little pink inside.
Tips For The Best Baked Pork Tenderloin
Pork tenderloin is one of the most versatile, easy-to-cook proteins out there, but here are a few tips to make it even better!
- Pat dry before seasoning. This promotes better browning and a more juicy inside.
- Cook right away or marinate for later. I cooked this pork tenderloin recipe right after applying the seasonings, but you can refrigerate and let it marinate for up to 24 hours if you like.
- Use a cast iron skillet. Since it needs to go from stovetop to oven, you can cook pork tenderloin in any oven-safe pan, but I highly recommend a cast iron skillet. The excellent heat distribution creates a perfect sear and ensures that the inside cooks evenly.
- Don’t move around when searing. Keeping the meat in one spot will allow a brown crust to form. Move it only to flip over.
- Use a thermometer. Since pork tenderloin is very lean, it’s easy to overcook and end up with a dry result. A probe thermometer is the best option because it doesn’t require checking and will beep when the right innternal temp is reached. However, an instant-read meat thermometer will work as well. I recommend removing the pork from the oven at 140 degrees F, since the internal temperature will increase by 5 more degrees while resting (see below).
- Let it rest. When your baked pork tenderloin is done, remove from the skillet and allow the meat to rest for 5 minutes. This is a must to keep the juices inside!
- Double it if needed. You can easily double this pork tenderloin recipe in one pan if you need more servings.
- Pork Seasoning – Instead of using Italian seasoning when baking a pork tenderloin in the oven, use simple pork chop seasoning for the perfect balance of classic, savory flavors.
- Cajun Pork Tenderloin – If you want this pork tenderloin to have a little kick, use Cajun seasoning mix.
- Lemon Garlic – Use lemon pepper seasoning instead of the Italian seasoning.
- Ranch Pork Tenderloin – Make a ranch flavored pork tenderloin by using ranch seasoning spices.
- Add Other Spices – Keep the ingredients the same as above and just add other spices you like. Paprika or onion powder make nice additions.
- Store: Let the pork cool to room temperature and store in an airtight container (or wrap in aluminum foil) in the coldest part of the refrigerator. Use leftovers within 4 days.
- Reheat: Pork tenderloin recipes are best reheated in a similar way to reheating beef tenderloin. Wrap the pork in layers of foil and place directly onto the grates in your oven, preheated to 250-300 degrees F. Reheat for 10-15 minutes, until warm. Avoid using a baking dish if possible, as this can lead to overheating and dry spots.
- Freeze: Wrap pork tenderloin recipe leftovers in plastic wrap, place in freezer bags, and store in the freezer for 4-6 months. Thaw in the fridge before reheating. You can also freeze an uncooked tenderloin without baking it instead, then thaw and make this recipe when you are ready.
What To Serve With Pork Tenderloin
Easy pork tenderloin dinner recipes like this one can be the main for so many meals! Here are some of my favorite healthy sides to go with it:
- Vegetables – Pair with Southern fried cabbage or easy sauteed broccoli, so you can cook your side on the stovetop while you have the pork tenderloin in the oven. Or if you have double ovens or want to just use a second oven rack, cook crispy roasted brussels sprouts or simple roasted cauliflower in the oven at the same time.
- Potatoes – Meat and roasted potatoes just go together! For a lighter option, try fluffy mashed cauliflower.
- Salads – Try pear salad anytime of year, creamy cucumber salad in the spring or summer, and butternut squash salad or beet salad in the fall.
- Mushrooms – Like a juicy ribeye steak, pork tenderloin is delicious with roasted mushrooms or sauteed mushrooms, either on the side or as topping.
- Rice – Any rice would be a delicious side to pork tenderloin. For a lighter option, make cauliflower rice.
Ways To Use Leftovers
If you find yourself with any garlic pork tenderloin recipe leftovers, here are a few ways to use it!
- Tacos – Pick your taco shell and pick your toppings! Try it with homemade guacamole or pineapple salsa.
- Sandwiches & Wraps – Use your favorite bread or tortillas and add a slather of mayo. It’s rosemary tenderloin sandwich perfection!
- Salads – Swap the chicken in green goddess salad, classic Caesar Salad, or even a cobb salad with sliced pork tenderloin.
- Soups – Replace the meat in just about any soup with baked pork tenderloin. Try it fresh in pork stew or add leftovers to ground turkey soup (instead of the turkey).
- Casseroles – Originally made with chicken, my chicken ranch casserole would be just as delicious with this roast pork tenderloin recipe.
- Noodles – Pair pork with your favorite pasta and sauce. I love it with zucchini noodles and spaghetti squash for healthier options.
More Easy Pork Recipes
Pork recipes are some of my favorites for quick and easy weeknights! Here are some of my favorites:
Tools For Cooking Pork Tenderloin Recipes
- Glass Bowls – So many sizes for mixing spices and more! Easy to clean, too.
- Brush – To ensure that the marinade for rosemary pork tenderloin is evenly distributed, use a silicone basting brush like this one.
- Cast Iron Skillet – This baked pork tenderloin is seared on the stove before heading to the oven, and this cast iron skillet can do both. Plus, as mentioned above, the even heat distribution of cast iron yields the best pork tenderloin!
- Thermometer – The best (and really only certain) way to tell if meat is done is to use a thermometer. I prefer a probe thermometer for hands-off cooking, but a regular instant read thermometer (this one reads quickly) works too. Either way, insert it into the thickest part of the meat to get the reading.
Baked Pork Tenderloin Recipe (Juicy & Tender!)
The juiciest baked pork tenderloin recipe! Cook how to cook pork tenderloin in the oven in just 20 minutes with a 5-ingredient quick marinade.
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C).
Season the pork tenderloin with sea salt and black pepper on both sides.
Heat the remaining tablespoon olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork tenderloin and sear for 3-4 minutes without moving, until browned on the bottom. Flip and sear on the other side.
Place the skillet into the oven. Roast for 10-15 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F (63 degrees C).
Remove the pork tenderloin from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes (temperature will increase to 150 degrees F (66 degrees C)).
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Serving size: 1/4 lb, or 1/4 entire tenderloin
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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