This roasted pork tenderloin recipe is so easy! Simply rub the pork with a tasty rub, quickly sear it, then bake it in the oven.
The result is wonderfully juicy and delicious, and even the leftovers are excellent, so I often make two at a time.
While I typically enjoy fattier cuts such as baked pork chops or pork shoulder (used in this pork roast and in these pork shoulder steaks), I enjoy this roasted pork tenderloin thanks to its excellent flavor. It's a lean but tender and flavorful cut as long as you don't overcook it.
A nice variation on this recipe is this bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin. The bacon adds fat and flavor, greatly elevating the dish.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this recipe. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Avocado oil: This neutral-tasting oil has a high smoke point, making it ideal for high-heat roasting.
- To season: Kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, dried oregano, ground cumin, dried thyme, and smoked paprika.
- Fresh pork tenderloin: Pick one that weighs about 1.25 lb. I get them at my local supermarket or at Whole Foods.
Pork Tenderloin vs. Pork Loin
While "pork loin" and "pork tenderloin" are sometimes used interchangeably, they are different cuts.
Pork loin is a large cut that comes from the back of the pig. The tenderloin is a small and narrow cut that comes from the ribcage underneath the backbone:
There are two ways to vary this recipe. One is to use different fats for sauteing the tenderloin. So instead of avocado oil, you could use, for example, ghee. I like the nutty flavor it adds.
Another way to vary this recipe is to experiment with different seasonings. Good options that I tried and liked include onion powder and dried coriander. I sometimes add ½ teaspoon of each.
Roasted Pork Tenderloin Instructions
This is such an easy recipe. You simply rub the tenderloin with a tasty rub, quickly sear it in a skillet, then transfer it to the oven to finish cooking. Here are the basic steps. The detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.
You start by mixing together the salt, pepper, and spices.
Rub this seasoning mixture all over the pork.
Sear the pork in a hot skillet on all sides.
Roast it in the oven until fully cooked, 20-30 minutes at 450°F, depending on its size and your oven's temperature. You can leave it in the skillet if it's ovenproof or transfer it to a roasting pan:
Let it rest before slicing. Look how gorgeous it is when it's done!
- As an alternative to searing in a skillet and then roasting in a pan on a rack, you can sear the pork in an ovenproof skillet and then transfer the skillet to the oven for roasting.
- As with most whole roast recipes, allowing the pork to rest before slicing it is important. This allows the juices to redistribute and settle and ensures succulent, juicy meat.
- There's no need to cook pork tenderloin well done. Medium is OK, according to the USDA. You should cook it to an internal temperature of 145°F with a 3-minute rest period. This means it may still look pink when it reaches 145°F, as shown in the photo below. That, says the USDA, is OK.
Yes. Searing it on all sides triggers the Maillard reaction, which is the browning and caramelizing of the meat. This enhances the meat's flavor and texture. See the brown spots on the seared tenderloin in the photo below? There's a lot of flavor in those!
Initially, you don't. Place it in the hot oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer registers 145°F (medium), 20-30 minutes. Cover the pork loosely with foil if roasting for longer than 20 minutes to prevent the top from burning.
It depends on the oven temperature. I like to cook it in a hot 450°F oven. At this temperature, a 1.25-pound tenderloin will need 20-30 minutes in the oven, depending on how hot your oven runs.
You can serve roasted pork tenderloin with any side dish you like! It's so versatile. But since I cook it in a 450°F oven, I like to serve it with a side dish I can cook in the same oven. So, I often serve it with one of the following:
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. They can dry out when reheated, so reheat them gently, covered, in the microwave at 50% power.
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Roasted Pork Tenderloin
- Preheat your oven to 450°F. Line a roasting pan with foil. Fit it with a rack and lightly grease the rack.
- In a small bowl, use a fork to mix the kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, oregano, cumin, thyme, and smoked paprika.
- Sprinkle the seasoning mixture all over the pork, then use your hands to rub it in, making sure it adheres.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes. Add the avocado oil and swirl to coat. Gently place the pork in the hot skillet. Sear for 2 minutes on the first side, without moving, to form a well-browned crust.
- Use tongs or two wide spatulas to gently flip the pork to the other side, and sear it for 2 minutes on that side. Finish by searing the two remaining sides, 1 minute each.
- Turn the heat off. Use tongs to transfer the tenderloin to the prepared roasting rack. Place it in the hot oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer registers 145°F (medium), 20-30 minutes. If roasting for longer than 20 minutes, cover the pork loosely with foil to prevent the top from burning.
- Remove the tenderloin from the oven. Loosely cover it with foil and allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.
- As an alternative to searing in a skillet and then roasting in a pan on a rack, you can sear the tenderloin in an ovenproof skillet and then transfer the skillet to the oven for roasting.
- In 2011, the USDA lowered its temperature recommendation for cooking whole cuts of pork from 160°F to 145°F with a 3-minute rest period. This change means the pork may still look pink when it reaches 145°F. That, says the USDA, is OK.
- You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. They can dry out when reheated, so reheat them gently, covered, in the microwave at 50% power.