Dairy Free

3 Easy Pork Tenderloin Marinades

at a glance
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 Servings
4.6 — Votes 21 votes

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We’re sharing our 3 favorite pork tenderloin marinades with you today! These marinades will ensure flavorful, delicious pork tenderloin every single time.

3 pork tenderloin marinades - sesame ginger, maple dijon, and balsamic rosemary in white bowls on a marble countertop

Pork tenderloin has always been a go-to dinner in my house. It cooks up quickly, is delicious (when cooked to perfection!), makes for great leftovers, and feels just fancy enough to get me out of the weeknight dinner rut. Too often, pork gets the reputation of dry and flavorless, but that’s not the case when you use one of these 3 absolutely delicious marinades!

Pork Loin Marinade

Pork tenderloin is a very lean cut of meat – but what exactly does that mean? In addition to being a low-fat choice of protein, it is also very low on flavor. If you want a flavorful pork tenderloin, you’re going to have to add in the flavor yourself. The good news is that since it is so mild, pork tenderloin takes on flavor easily – you just have to give it a little time.

What are the best pork tenderloin marinades?

When it comes to marinating your pork tenderloin, you can really use anything! Personally, we like a wet marinade because it is easy to throw together and really gets into the pork. A combination of salt, sweet, and acidity to make the pork even more tender is ideal. Here are our three favorites:

  • Sesame Ginger. This marinade is great if you want to give your pork tenderloin a bit of Asian flare! For this marinade, we whisk together coconut aminos (or soy sauce), fresh ginger, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, honey, and red pepper flakes. It’s the perfect balance of salty, sweet, and tangy, with just a hint of spice.
  • Balsamic Rosemary. Balsamic pork tenderloin is a classic. This marinade is slightly sweet, tangy, and filled with fresh rosemary flavor. For this one, we combine balsamic vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, fresh rosemary, dijon mustard, garlic powder, and salt.
  • Maple Dijon. This marinade is pretty much a universal crowd-pleaser, great for picky kids (or husbands)! In this marinade, we simply combine dijon mustard with maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, dried thyme, and salt.

Ingredients for Pork Tenderloin Marinades

Balsamic and Rosemary Marinade

Maple Dijon Marinade

Sesame and Ginger Marinade

How to Make a Pork Tenderloin Marinade Recipe

It’s really simple! All you’ll need to do is whisk together your marinade ingredients and then pour the marinade over top of your pork tenderloin! You can let the pork tenderloin marinade in a lidded bowl, a large Ziplock bag, or a reusable bag!

How long do you marinate pork tenderloin for?

If you’re in a rush, we recommend giving your pork tenderloin at least 30 minutes to marinate, and you can help speed up the process by poking a few holes in it with a fork. If you’ve got extra time though, 4-24 hours is ideal to make sure it really takes on the flavor!

3 baked pork tenderloins on a stainless steel sheet pan

How to Cook Pork Tenderloin

Now that your pork is marinated, it’s ready to be cooked! While you can absolutely grill pork tenderloin, our favorite way to cook it is in the oven because it’s an accessible cooking method year-round and results in some seriously juicy, flavorful pork!

  1. Sear it in a Cast-Iron Pan – When cooking your pork tenderloin in the oven, you’ll first want to sear it in a cast-iron pan.
  2. Bake It (allowing the internal temperature to reach 145 degrees F)
  3. Let it rest for about 10 minutes before serving it.

(HERE’S our full breakdown on this fail-proof cooking method). In addition to a flavorful marinade, following these three simple steps will ensure perfect pork tenderloin every single time! For more in-depth instructions, see our guide to cooking pork tenderloin in the oven.

Pork Tenderloin Video

Tips for Perfection

Here are a few simple tips to ensure the juiciest, most flavorful pork tenderloin!

  • Let Your Pork Marinate – we recommend letting your pork tenderloin marinate for 4-24 hours. This ensures that the pork really takes on the flavor of the marinade!
  • Use a Thermometer – my #1 tip for cooking pork tenderloin in the oven is to buy a meat thermometer! Even better, if you can buy an in-oven thermometer that will beep as soon as the pork reaches the desired temperature (145°F).
  • Let the Pork Rest – you’ll want to let your finished pork tenderloin rest for 8-10 minutes before serving. If you skip this step and cut into it immediately, the juices will run out of it and you’ll be left with dry pork.
a plate of cinnamon apple pork chops served over parsnip mash

Just for You

Pork Recipes

Want more recipe ideas like this?

Q How do you make pork tenderloin juicy?
A

We always opt for searing our pork tenderloin and then baking it! Searing it locks in flavor and moisture, and then baking it for just 15-20 minutes gets it perfectly cooked (but not dried out!).

Q Can you freeze pork tenderloin marinade?
A

Totally! You can go one of two routes here – you can either freeze the marinade on its own or freeze the marinade and pork tenderloin together. If you decide to freeze the marinade on its own, these mason jars will work great. When you’re ready to use the marinade, just let it thaw completely (either overnight in the fridge or in a bowl of water for a quicker thaw) and then pour it over the pork and let marinate as normal. On the other hand, if you’d like to freeze the pork and marinade together, we recommend using a gallon size Ziplock bag and squeezing out as much air as possible before freezing. Be sure to label your bag with the date and contents so that your frozen pork tenderloin doesn’t become a freezer mystery! When you’re ready to cook the frozen pork tenderloin+ marinade duo, simply let it thaw completely and then cook using our perfect-every-time oven method!

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3 Pork Tenderloin Marinades – Balsamic, Sesame Ginger, and Maple Dijon

By: Cassy Joy Garcia
4.6 — Votes 21 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Servings: 4 Servings
This method will give you perfectly juicy, flavorful pork tenderloin every time!

Ingredients  

Balsamic and Rosemary Marinade

Maple Dijon Marinade

Sesame and Ginger Marinade

Instructions

  • Whisk together the ingredients for the marinade of your choice, then set aside.
  • Trim the silver skin off of the pork – the silver skin is the white, tough strip of connective tissue that runs about halfway down the pork tenderloin. Once you have removed it, season pork tenderloin with 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper. Note: if you are using soy sauce for the ginger-sesame marinade, omit the salt.
  • Pour the marinade over the pork tenderloin. Refrigerate for 30 minutes up to 24 hours.
  • Remove or from the marinade and drain off any excess, then grill or bake the pork until it reaches a temperature of 145 F. For full instructions, see our oven pork tenderloin recipe.
Meet the Author
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Cassy Joy Garcia

HOWDY! I’m Cassy Joy and I am just so happy you’re here. I’m the founder, Editor-in-Chief, and Nutrition Consultant here at Fed and Fit. What started as a food blog back in 2011 has evolved now into so much more.
Get to know Cassy

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    Recipe Rating




  1. Jessica says

    Jessica —  02/15/2020 At 17:54

    5 stars
    The maple Dijon marinade is so amazing! Just made it tonight and loved it!

  2. HEIDi says

    HEIDi —  08/25/2020 At 09:10

    4 stars
    Made the Sesame Ginger marinade for our tenderloin , it was tasty . This is the second time that I have made this . The first time the red pepper was too much , the second time I cut the red pepper in half , and it was much better.

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  08/31/2020 At 08:03

      So glad you liked it and made it work for you, Heidi!

  3. Kerry Schleappe says

    Kerry Schleappe —  10/30/2020 At 14:29

    Excited to try this tonight! What approximate size pork tenderloins are the marinades intended for? Size can vary widely in stores. Nothing worse than a bland tenderloin! LOL.

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  11/02/2020 At 09:58

      About a 1 pound pork tenderloin, Kerry…enjoy!

  4. Gloria Osowski says

    Gloria Osowski —  12/05/2020 At 00:38

    I’m hopping to try this for family this weekend. Will marinade tomorrow in zip lock bags and make on Sunday with fingers crossed it turns out. This an old computer with a non working printer and an even older user (in my 80’s), so I hope I can find it again. Sounds easy enough. Thanks for sharing.

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  12/07/2020 At 08:53

      We hope you enjoy it, Gloria!!

  5. Gloria Osowski says

    Gloria Osowski —  12/07/2020 At 10:09

    Used the Balsamic w/ Rosemary marinade. First time (in my 82 years) ever making these tenderloins this way and praise from everyone. Great flavor and so very tender. Needless to say; however, NO LEFOVERS.

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  12/07/2020 At 12:01

      Wahoo! So glad you loved it, Gloria!!

  6. Caroline says

    Caroline —  01/07/2021 At 22:27

    5 stars
    Love the dijon marinade, so easy to make and so flavourful. Today will be our 3rd time following this recipe!

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  01/08/2021 At 09:12

      Yay! So glad you love it, Caroline!

  7. Denise says

    Denise —  02/03/2021 At 14:53

    If I have an 8 lb tenderloin, how much marinade? Do I cut into smaller pieces so it can cook faster

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  02/03/2021 At 15:04

      Hi Denise! Is it a pork tenderloin or a pork loin? Tenderloins tend to be pretty small, while pork loins are a bit bigger. This balsamic pork loin roast recipe will help you with cooking times, and as for the marinade, I’d quadruple it!

  8. Lnda says

    Lnda —  03/11/2021 At 09:27

    I searched the recipe several times but did not see the oven temperature listed. Please advise

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  03/11/2021 At 11:30

      Hi! This recipe is actually just for the marinades themselves. You can find our oven-roasted pork tenderloin recipe here. We hope you enjoy it!

  9. c says

    c —  04/12/2021 At 12:33

    4 stars
    Overall, great recipes. However, had an issue with at least one of the recipes (balsamic) in that I marinated for over 4 hours and the tenderloin was “mushy.” Wondering if the acidic ingredient(s) begin to “cook” the meat and then actual cooking it contributed? It wasn’t dry or overcooked–just a mushy texture.

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  04/13/2021 At 09:12

      Hmmm, that’s so odd! We didn’t have that experience. We’ll look into it for sure!

    • Iowa Foodie says

      Iowa Foodie —  05/23/2021 At 09:24

      5 stars
      The pork tenderloin you purchased was probably enhanced or injected with a high sodium solution. Most grocery stores sell only enhanced pork as well as chicken. I’m not talking about the flavored marinated pork tenderloins but a plain pork tenderloin. The label on the meat has to state if it was enhanced but it is usually in very small print. It will state the following or something similar; 20% natural solution added. Do an internet search for enhanced meat USDA rule. In other words, you are paying for water. Meats that are enhanced will generally be mushy or have sponge like consistency. That consistency tends to get worse if you marinate the meat. If you can, buy your from a local butcher shop or find a grocery store were enhanced meat is not sold. I have made both the balsamic and maple Dijon marinade both are excellent, will try the sesame ginger next.

  10. Jean L says

    Jean L —  05/26/2021 At 13:03

    Bake at what temperature?

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  05/26/2021 At 14:30

      Hi Jean! This recipe is just for the marinades themselves. You can find cooking instructions HERE.

  11. Cynda says

    Cynda —  06/14/2021 At 16:03

    5 stars
    It taste great! I was so proud how it turned out!

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  06/15/2021 At 08:00

      That’s so awesome, Cynda! Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

  12. James says

    James —  06/29/2021 At 23:19

    5 stars
    Did the balsamic one , used spicy yellow mustard and thyme instead of Dijon and rosemary (all I had )

    Came out amazing (and I don’t know how to cook )

    Great recipe

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  06/30/2021 At 09:00

      That’s awesome, James! We’re so glad you loved it. Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

  13. Amanda Wieczorek says

    Amanda Wieczorek —  07/27/2021 At 07:24

    How would these marinades work for chicken?

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  07/27/2021 At 15:25

      They would work great, Amanda!

  14. Dardona says

    Dardona —  08/30/2021 At 06:34

    5 stars
    This was one of those recipes that I will add to my permanent rotation.
    I use the maple syrup marinade and opt to sear the tenderloins in a pan and then bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 425 f. We double the marinade when we have a pkg. of 2 tenderloins.

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  08/31/2021 At 11:05

      Glad you love it, Dardona. Thank you for the notes!

  15. Aaron says

    Aaron —  10/20/2021 At 17:02

    5 stars
    Dijon one was extremely good.

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  10/25/2021 At 09:14

      I’m so glad to hear that, Aaron! Thanks for sharing this with us!

  16. Latoya Bratton says

    Latoya Bratton —  12/09/2021 At 07:59

    5 stars
    I made the soy ginger recipe last night, and family loved it. Made extra batch of the sauce added extra honey and green onion. Reduced and poured over the tenderloin when done cooking. Served with steamed Broccoli and brown rice.

    • Melissa Guevara says

      Melissa Guevara —  12/09/2021 At 17:20

      That sounds delicious, Latoya! I’m so glad your family loved the recipe. Thank you for taking the time to share with us!

  17. Mark McC says

    Mark McC —  01/06/2022 At 13:11

    5 stars
    I made the balsamic and rosemary marinade and the tenderloin was wonderful.

    • Melissa Guevara says

      Melissa Guevara —  01/10/2022 At 15:02

      Thank you for taking the time to share with us! I am so glad you enjoyed! ~Melissa

  18. KRISTINE T HALL says

    KRISTINE T HALL —  05/01/2022 At 03:34

    I used the balsamic marinade and it was so delicious. We grilled the tenderloins and I did not change anything in the marinade recipe. I am adding all three of these to my ‘go to’ pork tenderloin marinades.

    • Melissa Guevara says

      Melissa Guevara —  05/03/2022 At 02:42

      We are so glad to hear this! Thank you for taking the time to share with us.

  19. Robert jacobs says

    Robert jacobs —  06/13/2022 At 02:34

    Have made all three. Excellent recipes for tender, delicious pork.

  20. Mary Kielb says

    Mary Kielb —  07/17/2022 At 14:04

    You mention grilling the pork tenderloins but that’s as far as you go, it is summer and who feels like putting the oven on

    • Melissa Guevara says

      Melissa Guevara —  07/19/2022 At 11:01

      Hi Mary! Oven-roasted is our favorite way to cook pork tenderloin, but totally understand not wanting to heat the whole house in the summer! You can definitely grill your pork tenderloin if that is your preference until it reaches an internal temperature of 145F. -Team F&F

  21. Ana Vela says

    Ana Vela —  07/19/2022 At 11:44

    Hi. Where can I find the nutritional values for recipes?

    • Melissa Guevara says

      Melissa Guevara —  07/21/2022 At 10:28

      Hi Ana, for individual recipes, there is a tab at the bottom of the recipe card (before the notes, if any) labeled “nutrition information.” If there is a specific marinade in this recipe you would like the information on, please feel free to email us at support@fedandfit.com, and we would be happy to get you the information. Thank you! -Team F&F

  22. Jen says

    Jen —  08/14/2022 At 23:21

    When you say drain off excess marinade, do you mean wipe it down at all? My marinade turned out a bit thick, and I am not sure if I should actually rinse it lightly or just pat it down. I have tenderloins that are quite thin and small. (I went with the Balsamic and Rosemary Marinade btw!)

    • Melissa Guevara says

      Melissa Guevara —  08/15/2022 At 12:09

      Hi Jen! You don’t have to wipe down the pork or rinse it off, just letting the excess drip off is fine. Hope you enjoyed! -Team FF

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