Gluten Free

Perfect Oven-Roasted Pork Tenderloin

at a glance
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 Servings
3.8 — Votes 37 votes

Every item on this page was chosen by The Fed & Fit team. The site may earn a commission on some products (read more here).

Today we’re walking you through cooking perfect pork tenderloin in the oven every time! With this guide, you’ll never have to sit through a dinner of dried-out, flavorless pork tenderloin again.

3 baked pork tenderloins on a stainless steel sheet pan

Pork tenderloin has long been one of my go-to dinners. It’s affordable, it cooks up quickly, it tastes great and is perfect for leftovers, and it for some reason feels a little fancier than our typical fare – making it perfect for a dinner party or a family weeknight dinner. However, it took me a while before I finally figured out to cook a juicy, flavorful pork tenderloin. Without the right technique, you can easily end up with dried-out, bland pork, but today we’ll show you exactly what you need to do to get the best pork tenderloin in the oven every time!

Ingredients for Pork Tenderloin

First things first, let’s clear up a common confusion! While they may sound the same and are actually cut from the same part of the pig, pork loin and pork tenderloin are NOT the same things. Here’s a comparison of the two:

  • Pork loin is a larger cut of meat that is usually sold as a 3-5 pound roast. It is fattier than pork tenderloin, usually comes with a fat cap on top, and can come as either boneless pork loin or bone-in. You can find our favorite pork loin recipe here.
  • Pork tenderloin is a smaller cut of meat that usually weighs around one pound. The tenderloin is from a muscle that runs along the spine of the pig and isn’t used for movement. As a result, it’s much more tender than other cuts of meat. Pork tenderloin is also a lean cut of meat and has a very mild flavor.

How to Prepare Pork Tenderloin

As mentioned before, 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, we recommend marinating it or seasoning it heavily. 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. While you can certainly add flavor by using a spice rub, we love adding flavor by marinating pork tenderloin in one of our 3 delicious pork tenderloin marinades – Balsamic and Rosemary (a delicious blend of herbs, garlic powder, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, and olive oil), Maple Dijon (a great sweet and savory combo), or Sesame Ginger (a tasty Asian-inspired choice that includes soy sauce or coconut aminos, honey, and red pepper flakes)! Allow your pork to marinate for at least 30 minutes, or, if you have the time, up to 24 hours.

3 sliced pork tenderloins on a dark wood cutting board

How to Cook Pork Tenderloin in the Oven

While we also love grilling pork tenderloin (or even cooking it all day in the slow cooker), today’s technique is dedicated to how to roast pork tenderloin in the oven, because it’s the most accessible cooking method year-round. Once you have marinated your pork tenderloin, it’s time to get cooking! Just follow the steps below to perfect pork tenderloin.

Our main goals with pork tenderloin are to build flavor and not overcook it. Searing the pork tenderloin goes a long way to building flavor! It caramelizes the marinade, creating a delicious golden brown crust on the outside. It also helps seal the juices before you bake it.

Step 1: Sear the Pork Tenderloin

To sear the pork tenderloin, grab your favorite cast iron, or another heavy-bottomed, oven-safe pan, add about 1/2 tablespoon of oil, and heat it over medium-high heat. Then, take your pork tenderloin and let the excess marinade drip off, and place it in the pan and sear for about 3-4 minutes, until browned. After 3-4 minutes, flip the pork tenderloin over and sear for an additional 3-4 minutes, until browned. While you can sear it on all 4 sides if you’d like, we find that searing on two sides works just fine!

Step 2: Bake the Pork Tenderloin

Now that the pork tenderloin is seared, you can either bake it in the same pan you seared it in, or transfer it to a rimmed baking sheet. Brush the pork tenderloin with additional marinade, then bake in a preheated oven at 425°F for about 15-20 minutes, until the pork reaches a temperature of 145°F, then remove it from the oven. Cooking the pork tenderloin at the high temperature of 425 degrees F helps it cook quickly and prevents it from drying out.

Step 3: Rest the Pork Tenderloin

Finally, you’ll want to let the pork tenderloin rest for about 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.

Pork Tenderloin 3 Ways Fed and Fit-4
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 know when pork tenderloin is done?
A

My #1 tip for cooking this perfect pork tenderloin recipe 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, you will have perfect pork every time. I frequently use my in-oven thermometer for pork loin and tenderloin, chicken breast, and roasting whole chickens and can’t recommend it enough!

  • Pork Tenderloin TemperaturesYou’ll know the pork is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F. According to the USDA guidelines, cooking pork to 145°F is medium-rare. The pork will still be a little bit pink but is totally safe to eat. However, if you want to cook it a little bit more you can go up to 155°F, if desired, but know that the pork will continue to cook a little bit more after being pulled out of the oven.
  • How can I tell if pork tenderloin is done without a thermometer? If you don’t have a thermometer, follow the recommended cooking time (15-20 minutes), then pull the pork out of the oven and touch the thickest part of it. You can get a good gauge on how done it is by following the finger test – just remember you’re looking for medium-rare to medium here! Finally, when you slice into it, the pork should be light pink and very juicy. If it looks undercooked, put it back in the oven for a few minutes.
Q How to Use Leftover Pork Tenderloin
A

We love using leftover pork tenderloin because it stays tender even when reheated! Next time you make pork tenderloin, consider making a double batch so you can use the rest for leftovers. Our favorite way to use it is in a stir fry, but you can also season it and use it to make tacos, make fried rice, or thinly slice it for sandwiches (it would be especially perfect in a Cuban sandwich).

We hope this guide to cooking the perfect pork tenderloin inspires you to give pork tenderloin a try!

Pork Tenderloin Video

Shop Supplies

Oven Thermometer Shop Now
Sheet Pan Shop Now
Sea Salt Shop Now

Perfect Oven-Roasted Pork Tenderloin

By: Cassy Joy Garcia
3.8 — Votes 37 votes
Prep Time: 40 mins
Cook Time: 35 mins
Servings: 4 Servings
Say goodbye to bland, boring pork tenderloin with this recipe for flavorful, juicy, oven-roasted pork tenderloin!

Ingredients  

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.
  • Pour the marinade over the pork tenderloin. Refrigerate for 30 minutes up to 24 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 425 F, then heat a cast iron or another heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to the pan, then, once hot, remove the pork tenderloin from its marinade and let the excess drip off, then place it in the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until browned, then cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, until browned.
  • Remove the pork tenderloin from heat, then brush it with additional marinade. Transfer the pan to the oven, or place the pork tenderloin on a rimmed baking sheet, and cook for 15-20 minutes, until the pork has reached an internal temperature of 145 F. The best way to ensure your pork cooks to the perfect temperature is by using an in-oven thermometer, or by pulling it out at the 15 minute mark, checking the temperature, then returning to bake for another 2-3 minutes until it reaches the desired temperature.
  • Remove from oven, let rest for about 8-10 minutes, then slice and serve!

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Perfect Oven-Roasted Pork Tenderloin
Amount per Serving
Calories
136
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
4.3
g
7
%
Saturated Fat
 
1.3
g
8
%
Carbohydrates
 
1.2
g
0
%
Fiber
 
0.1
g
0
%
Protein
 
24
g
48
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Meet the Author
Cassy Headshot

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

Show us!

Did You Make This Recipe?

Share a photo and tag us! We can’t wait to see what you make!

Reader Interactions

Comments

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.

    Recipe Rating




  1. Caroline says

    Caroline —  01/07/2021 At 22:25

    5 stars
    Doing this recipe today for the 3rd time. It’s so good, and we use the dijon mustard marinade recipe from Fed and Fit too! Yummy!

    • Brandi Schilhab says

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

      I used that one too for New Year’s day! So yummy!

  2. John Boye says

    John Boye —  03/05/2021 At 10:32

    5 stars
    Everyone loved this – the best food I’ve made in a long time. Your thorough explanations and techniques made me confident to try this easy and delicious recipe. It provided 2 extra benefits – new favorite recipe, and I was able to claim success on preparing a delicious meal!

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  03/09/2021 At 09:28

      Wahoo! So glad to hear that, John!

  3. sharron says

    sharron —  04/18/2021 At 15:01

    Cook covered or uncovered ??

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  04/19/2021 At 08:28

      Uncovered!

  4. Carolyn Lund says

    Carolyn Lund —  07/25/2021 At 10:09

    Just getting ready to cook!

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  07/26/2021 At 08:41

      Wahoo!

  5. Susie Q says

    Susie Q —  07/30/2021 At 13:19

    I have it marinating NOW! My question is: Can I use my cast iron enameled dutch oven to cook or does it have to be a short rimmed pan?

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  08/02/2021 At 08:09

      An enameled dutch oven will work, Susie!

  6. Paul says

    Paul —  09/01/2021 At 19:47

    5 stars
    I chose the sesame ginger option and it turned out phenomenal!

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  09/02/2021 At 09:27

      Wahoo! So glad to hear that, Paul!

  7. Jen says

    Jen —  09/15/2021 At 17:45

    5 stars
    My husband loves this recipe! I have made it several times to rave reviews. Also have made your baked turkey tenderloin with garlic herb marinade. Success!

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  09/16/2021 At 08:44

      I’m so glad to hear that, Jen! Thanks so much for the comment!!

  8. Carol Cross says

    Carol Cross —  09/19/2021 At 11:09

    I have a 2 lb tenderloin. Do I just double the time in the oven?

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  09/20/2021 At 08:27

      Your best bet is actually to use a meat thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature (you’re looking for 145°F as the internal temp) so you don’t overcook it!

  9. Ann says

    Ann —  10/26/2021 At 12:12

    Can I cook the marinade and use as a sauce?

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  10/26/2021 At 15:14

      I don’t see why not!! Enjoy!

  10. Phyllis Brown says

    Phyllis Brown —  11/17/2021 At 16:28

    After I sear the Pork Tenderloin….can I let the tenderloin sit till I am ready to bake meat? Would like to have searing done before company arrives.

    • Phyllis Brown says

      Phyllis Brown —  11/17/2021 At 16:31

      PLEASE I NEED ADVISE! Having company tomorrow nite & have never seared pork tenderloin before.
      Can I sear Tenderloin early before company arrives & bake it later? Thanks

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  11/18/2021 At 14:22

      Sure, I think that’ll work just fine, Phyllis!

  11. Pork Caesar says

    Pork Caesar —  03/31/2022 At 22:29

    Great quick way to cook pork tenderloin!

  12. Julie says

    Julie —  04/01/2022 At 00:41

    Excellent recipe! Had so much flavor from the marinade. My grill kind of sucks and the heat is uneven when cooking, so I had to cook it at a lower heat for longer. When the pork was perfect on the outside and not quite done on the inside I finished it off in a 400 degree oven for 5 minutes. Served with baked potatoes and roasted brussels sprouts. Will definitely be making again, thanks so much!

    • Melissa Guevara says

      Melissa Guevara —  04/05/2022 At 15:36

      Sounds delicious! Glad you enjoyed. Thank you for taking the time to share with us. -Melissa

  13. Pork Caesar says

    Pork Caesar —  05/16/2022 At 07:21

    Great quick way to cook pork tenderloin!

  14. Julie says

    Julie —  05/16/2022 At 07:21

    Excellent recipe! Had so much flavor from the marinade. My grill kind of sucks and the heat is uneven when cooking, so I had to cook it at a lower heat for longer. When the pork was perfect on the outside and not quite done on the inside I finished it off in a 400 degree oven for 5 minutes. Served with baked potatoes and roasted brussels sprouts. Will definitely be making again, thanks so much!

  15. Ladonna Turner says

    Ladonna Turner —  06/01/2022 At 18:19

    Just made this recipe and my pork tenderloin was excellent! Thank you!

  16. Ladonna Turner says

    Ladonna Turner —  06/02/2022 At 00:19

    Just made this recipe and my pork tenderloin was excellent! Thank you!

    • Melissa Guevara says

      Melissa Guevara —  06/03/2022 At 19:14

      So glad that you enjoyed, Ladonna! Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us.

  17. Mr. Michael T. says

    Mr. Michael T. —  06/05/2022 At 17:30

    That was delicious. Thanks for this recipe. The technique is excellent and the pork was cooked perfectly, juicy and tender. You have made me a better cook. I’m so grateful.

  18. Mr. Michael T. says

    Mr. Michael T. —  06/05/2022 At 23:30

    That was delicious. Thanks for this recipe. The technique is excellent and the pork was cooked perfectly, juicy and tender. You have made me a better cook. I’m so grateful.

    • Melissa Guevara says

      Melissa Guevara —  06/09/2022 At 15:22

      We love to hear that, Michael! We are grateful you are here. Thank you so much for taking the time to share with us. -Team F&F

  19. Kathryn K. says

    Kathryn K. —  08/07/2022 At 20:07

    2 stars
    Pork tenderloin doesn’t really need a marinade, marinades are more for tougher cuts of meat to tenderize them.

    • Melissa Guevara says

      Melissa Guevara —  08/08/2022 At 15:14

      Thank you for sharing your feedback, Kathryn! -Team F&F

  20. Katelyn says

    Katelyn —  08/20/2022 At 15:01

    Thank you! I bought a pre-marinaded pork tenderloin. It’s dill pickle lol we will see how it turns out. I wanted to cook it in one piece as is and most recipes cut before baking. So pleased to find this baking method.

    • Melissa Guevara says

      Melissa Guevara —  08/22/2022 At 08:28

      We’re so glad, Katelyn! Dill pickle sounds delicious! -Team FF

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]