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This is the juiciest baked pork tenderloin recipe ever. It's coated in an easy spice rub, quickly browned in a pan which creates a lovely crust, then baked in a simple pan sauce to keep it incredibly tender, juicy, and delicious. The melt-in-your-mouth tender pork tastes amazing as leftovers, too!
Baked Pork Tenderloin
This is our favorite pork tenderloin recipe. The pork is buttery soft and practically melts in your mouth.
The spices we use are the same as the ones in our popular baked pork chops recipe. The combination of paprika, onion and garlic powder, oregano, salt, and pepper is simply delicious.
Pork tenderloin vs pork loin
Pork tenderloin and pork loin are two different cuts of meat that need to be cooked differently.
The tenderloin comes from a muscle that runs along the spine. It is not a well-used muscle, so it is very tender. It is long, thin, and very lean.
Pork loin is often referred to as a rib roast and comes from (you guessed it) the rib section. It is a large cut that can be bone-in or boneless and is often sold with a thick fat-cap on it.
In this recipe, we use pork tenderloin.
How to bake pork tenderloin
Making oven baked pork tenderloin is incredibly simple. Here's what you'll do:
- Coat each piece with a simple spice rub.
- Sear the pork in a hot pan until nice and brown then move it to a baking dish.
- Deglaze the pan with some beef stock then pour this tastiness (and some apple cider vinegar) over the pork.
- Dot the top of the pork with butter, cover the pan, and bake.
Let the pork rest for a few minutes before slicing it into rounds and pouring the delicious sauce over the top. Yum!
Pork tenderloin cooking temp
Pork tenderloin should be cooked for a short time in a hot oven to prevent it from drying out.
Bake pork tenderloin in a 400-degree Fahrenheit oven for 20-25 minutes. The exact cooking time will depend on the size of the tenderloins and how long you seared them. For the best results, use an instant-read thermometer and remove the pork from the oven when it reaches 145 degrees.
READ MORE: Primavera Pork Tenderloin
Tips for baking the best pork tenderloin
- Do not overcook it. As with any lean cut of meat, if it is overcooked, it will be dry. The key is to cook it to 145 degrees Fahrenheit and no more. The pork will be a tiny bit pink in the center and buttery soft.
- Use an instant-read meat thermometer. It's an inexpensive kitchen tool that every kitchen should have. Using a thermometer will ensure that your meat is perfectly cooked.
- Sear the pork before you bake it. Taking the 6ish minutes to do this step will not only give it a beautiful color, but it also adds flavor and seals in the juices, so it stays more tender.
- Add a little liquid. We deglaze the searing pan with some beef stock and add this to the roasting pan. It adds a fantastic flavor and helps keep the tenderloin juicy.
- Pour a little apple cider vinegar over the pork. It will help tenderize the meat and give a delicious flavor to the sauce.
Making a sauce for pork tenderloin
We love this sauce! Not only does it help keep the pork tender, but it's also delicious poured over everything on your plate.
- Beef stock – we use it to deglaze the pan so that any of the delicious bits stuck on after searing the pork will be a part of the sauce.
- Apple cider vinegar – adds the best flavor.
- Pork juice – as the pork bakes, it releases its liquid, which becomes part of the sauce. Yum!
There are no extra steps needed to make this sauce. Once the tenderloin is ready to serve, remove it from the pan and pour the pan juices over the sliced pork.
What to serve with baked pork tenderloin
The simple spices we use in this recipe means the pork goes well with many different sides. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Creamy Pea Salad with Bacon (pictured)
- Creamy Cucumber Salad
- Kale Apple Salad
- Roasted Asparagus
- Best Roasted Broccoli
What to do with leftover pork tenderloin
This tenderloin makes amazing leftovers. We prefer to serve leftovers cold as it's easy to accidentally overcook meat when reheating it.
- Make a pork sandwich with mayo, horseradish, red onion, and some arugula.
- Slice it thin and put it on top of a big salad.
- Use it instead of chicken in this chicken salad recipe.
- Dice it and put it in some fried rice or this cauliflower fried rice. Add it at the very end, just long enough to warm it through.
Watch the baked pork tenderloin video
- 2 pork tenderloins (about 1 lb each)
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons EACH: onion powder and garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon EACH: oregano, salt, and pepper
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- ½ cup beef broth
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon butter (can sub ghee for dairy-free)
- Minced parsley (to serve)
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Dry the pork tenderloins well with paper towels.2 pork tenderloins
- Mix the paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl. Rub this spice mix over all sides of the pork.1 tablespoon paprika, 2 teaspoons EACH: onion powder and garlic powder, 1 teaspoon EACH: oregano, salt, and pepper
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the pork, working in 2 batches if your pan is not big enough to fit both tenderloins without them touching. Sear the pork on all sides until it is brown, about 6 minutes total. Take the pan off the heat.1 tablespoon cooking oil
- Move the pork to a baking dish. If the spices left in the pan are black, wipe them away with a paper towel. Return the pan to the heat and add the beef broth. Scrape the bottom of the pan to remove any stuck-on bits then boil for 1 minute until it reduces to about ¼ cup. Pour this sauce over the pork.½ cup beef broth
- Pour the apple cider vinegar over the pork then dot the top with the butter. Cover the baking dish with foil.1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon butter
- Bake the pork for 20-25 minutes, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees. Let the pork rest for 5 minutes before slicing into 1/4 inch thick rounds. Serve with a little minced parsley, for color.Minced parsley
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.