Simple Roasted Pork Tenderloin Recipe

While a roast pork loin can be quite sizable and also quite fatty, tenderloin is a different story. Tenderloins are typically much smaller, coming in around a pound, and, as recipe developer Jennine Rye explains, "Pork tenderloin is a very lean cut." She says the upside of this leanness is that tenderloin is one of the healthier pork cuts, but the downside is, it's "also more prone to drying out."

So how can you prevent dry, flavorless pork? The secret, Rye says, is "to cook it hot and fast" (being sure to keep an eye on the temperature, of course), as this will result in what she describes as "beautifully tender and juicy pork." She rubs the pork with a mixture of herbs and seasonings, then cooks it at high heat. In just over half an hour, including time to prep and preheat the dish, you'll have what Rye calls "a really solid, basic, and flavorful no-fuss dinner option." Serve the tenderloin with some roasted vegetables or mashed potatoes for a classic and comforting meal.

Collect the ingredients to make this roasted pork tenderloin

To make the seasoning rub for the pork, you will be using fresh garlic, lemon zest, brown sugar, and several different dried herbs and spices: mixed herbs, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper. You will also need olive oil, plus the pork tenderloin itself.

Make the herb rub

Preheat the oven to 425 F, then peel and crush the garlic and zest the lemon. Combine the garlic, lemon zest, brown sugar, mixed herbs, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper.

If you are wondering what "mixed herbs" might be and you can't find them in the store, it could be because this is a seasoning blend that may be more familiar in the UK than it is in the US. Rye explains that it consists of thyme, marjoram, oregano, parsley, sage, and basil, and says that if you need to make it yourself, you'd use two parts each of the first four herbs on that list, and one part each of the sage and basil.

Trim and season the pork

Before you season the pork, you will need to remove any visible sinew, a step that many people omit. If you fail to do so, this silver skin will cook at a different rate that the meat, something that may result in the tenderloin coming out of the oven warped into a weird shape.

Once you've taken care of this unwanted piece, pat the pork all over with a paper towel, then rub it all with the oil. Finally, coat all sides of the pork with the seasoning mix.

Roast the pork

Cook the pork for 25 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle reaches at least 145 F. Once the pork is done cooking, let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes before you slice it. If your pork tenderloin is significantly larger or smaller than the 14 to 16-ounce range given here, Rye notes that, as a rule of thumb, "pork tenderloin should be cooked for roughly 25 minutes per pound," although she says using a meat thermometer will provide the most accurate results as the minimum core temperature remains the same no matter the size.

Rye says she likes to use any leftovers in sandwiches or salads, but if you would like to heat the pork back up, she cautions, "It is very prone to drying out." Her suggestion is that you reheat it with some liquid, either in the microwave or in a frying pan, as this will help it retain moisture.

Simple Roasted Pork Tenderloin Recipe
5 from 20 ratings
With this simple roasted pork tenderloin recipe, you won't have to worry about the meat drying out or becoming tough.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
25
minutes
Servings
2
Servings
sliced roast pork on plate
Total time: 35 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon mixed herbs
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (14-ounce) pork tenderloin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
  2. Combine the garlic, lemon zest, brown sugar, mixed herbs, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper.
  3. Prepare the pork tenderloin by cutting off any visible white sinew.
  4. Pat the meat dry with a paper towel.
  5. Coat the tenderloin with olive oil.
  6. Rub half of the spice mixture into one side of the pork tenderloin, then turn it over and rub the rest of the spice mixture into the other side.
  7. Roast the pork for 25 minutes, or until the core temperature reaches at least 145 F.
  8. Let the pork rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 314
Total Fat 13.7 g
Saturated Fat 3.2 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 122.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 6.7 g
Dietary Fiber 1.0 g
Total Sugars 4.6 g
Sodium 500.3 mg
Protein 39.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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