If you want a roast that’s cooked and ready to eat in as little as 30 minutes, pork tenderloin is your choice. It’s a small cut of meat, weighing around 3/4 lb. to 1 1/2 lb., the perfect size for a small family or dinner party. It’s lean, boneless, and one of the most tender cuts of pork. And the mild flavor lends itself to a wonderful array of dry rub seasonings. . . BBQ. . . Italian . . . spicy. . . garlic. . . savory. Whatever flavor you choose, learn how to cook pork tenderloin in the recipe below, and how it fits into a healthy diet.
Is pork tenderloin healthy?
Pork provides a wide array of vitamins and minerals, along with high quality protein. Pork tenderloin happens to be the leanest cut of pork that you can buy. And that’s a good thing for heart health, meaning less saturated fat along with less total fat than other cuts of pork.
Additionally, the American Heart Association considers pork tenderloin an extra-lean, heart healthy protein. In fact, a 3 oz. cooked portion provides 122 calories, 22 grams protein, 3.0 grams total fat, and 1.0 grams saturated fat. It’s also a great source of the B vitamins thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, and riboflavin.
How do I cook pork tenderloin?
This cut of meat lends itself to a variety of cooking methods, such as grilled, slow cooked, or roasted. There’s really no best way to cook pork tenderloin. All of these methods can deliver a delicious, tender roast that your family will love. All that said, my favorite recipe for a tasty and savory pork tenderloin uses the roasting method. And it’s super easy. Here are the steps:
- Trim any excess fat. Pork tenderloin is very lean, but if you do see excess fat, simply trim it away.
- Prepare your dry rub and pat it evenly over the whole roast. Do feel tied to any one seasoning mix. Use your favorite. My recipe is more of a savory flavor. But my Southwest Seasoning mix would also make a wonderful, pork tenderloin with a southwest flare.
- Brown the tenderloin in a stove-top skillet over medium-high heat. This sears the outside and helps seal in juices.
- Transfer the browned roast to a 9 in. x 13 in. pan and place in a preheated oven to finish cooking. Or use a cast iron skillet, my favorite tool for this recipe, and simply move the pan (with the browned tenderloin inside it) from the stove-top to the oven.
- Cook until the roast reaches an internal temperature of at least 145º F. Remove, cover, and let rest for 3 more minutes. Then slice and serve.
Helpful cooking tips
- When grocery shopping, look for ‘pork tenderloin’ and not ‘pork loin’. That’s an entirely different cut of pork.
- Double up and make two roasts at once. This usually ensures I have a few leftovers to use in lunches, to top salads, or add to other dishes. It’s a great way to do some extra meal prep for the week – anything to make weeknight meals or lunches a little easier.
- Don’t skip the rest time. This helps the roast stay tender and juicy when served,
Ready for the full recipe and a delicious dinner? Here it is…
Savory Roasted Pork Tenderloin
minutes, pork tenderloin is your choice. Learn how to cook it with this easy
and tasty recipe.
- 2 1/2 lb. pork tenderloin (2 roasts)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp smoke paprika
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 2 tsp parsley
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp olive oil
- Trim excess fat from pork tenderloin roasts.
- In a small bowl, mix together kosher salt, smoked paprika, fresh ground cracked pepper, parsley, oregano, and cumin. Rub this mixture evenly over the the two roasts.
- Pre-heat oven to 400° F.
- Heat the 2 tsp. olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Place the tenderloin roasts in the skillet and brown on all sides - about 5-10 minutes.
- Transfer roasts to a 9 x 13 in. cake or roasting pan and place into the heated oven. (If browning in a cast iron skillet, simply move the skillet, with the roasts in it, into the oven.) Roast, uncovered for 15 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 145° F. Remove from oven and rest, covered, for 3 minutes. Slice and serve immediately.