Easy Pan Roasted Pork Tenderloin Recipe

Quick-cooking and delicious, this easy Roasted Pork Tenderloin recipe starts with a simple dry rub and delivers a delicious meal in just 30 minutes. Oven Roasted pork tenderloin is the perfect weeknight solution for an easy dinner recipe.

An oblong cast iron skillet filled with roasted green beans and sliced pork tenderloin.

Pork tenderloin is very lean and quick cooking. It’s one of our favorite weeknight meals because even after a very hectic day, all you need are 30 minutes to get a meal on the table.  My family raves that this is the Best Pork Tenderloin Recipe and that’s amazing but what I like about it is that I can serve this pork tenderloin with roasted green beans (you can cook them in the same pan) and a side of quick-cooking rice for an easy meal. 

I’ve had some feedback from Pinterest readers that this recipe cannot be cooked in 15 minutes. That would depend on a couple of factors: the weight of the tenderloin and the actual cut of the meat. This recipe specifically uses pork tenderloin, not pork loin or tenderloin ROAST. These two cuts of meat are not the same. Using the latter will result in much longer cooking time.

What’s the difference between Pork Loin and Pork Tenderloin?

Pork loin and pork tenderloin are not cut from the same part of the animal, and in fact, look really different. Pork tenderloin is thin and small, while a pork loin roast (also called a tenderloin roast) is wide enough that you can cut steak-like pieces from it.

Pork Tenderloin – is boneless and cooks very quickly because it’s small, usually weighing just about 1 to 1.5 pounds. Since there is very little fat marbling, this roast (which is equivalent to beef tenderloin) can be easily overcooked, thus ruining its texture. Tenderloins are typically sold two per package. 

Many tenderloins sold in the supermarket are enhanced with marinades and flavorings; look for one that has no ingredients other than pork on the label. 

Pork Tenderloin Roast (Pork Loin Roast) – This cut refers to the meat between the shoulder and back legs of the animal. Ribs and loin chops are cut from this area, as are pork loin roasts and tenderloin roasts. It should be noted that pork tenderloin roasts are not the same as pork tenderloin. Pork loin roasts and tenderloin roasts are larger than the tenderloins described above and do take longer to cook. 

Ingredients and Special Tools Needed for Roasted Pork Tenderloin

  • Pork Tenderloin – look for one not in a marinade, instead, choose one that lists only pork on the ingredients label.
  • Olive Oil – any olive oil will do since it’s only for cooking in the skillet. May also substitute with canola or vegetable oil.
  • Garlic powder – dehydrated garlic is very flavorful. Granulated garlic works well, too, as does fresh garlic. Fresh garlic can burn easily causing it to taste bitter so be sure to keep an eye on it if you used freshly minced garlic.
  • Onion Powder – ground dehydrated onion with intense oniony flavor.
  • Paprika – I prefer smoked paprika but regular, sweet, or hot may also be used.
  • Cayenne Pepper – a hot, pungent powder made from various tropical chilies. This is also sometimes called red pepper.
  • Salt and pepper – I use fine kosher salt but table salt may be used as a 1:1 ratio. Freshly ground or cracked black pepper yields the best flavor.

SPECIAL TOOLS:

  • Cast Iron Skillet – For this recipe, I use a 12-inch skillet. Cast iron absorbs, conducts, and retains heat very effectively.  This creates the perfect crust on the outside of the tenderloin and this pan is also safe to go into the oven. If you do not have a cast-iron pan, stainless steel will work, too, but will not develop that incredible crust. Be sure any pan you use is oven safe and free of plastic handles. 
  • Meat Thermometer: To have an accurate check on the doneness of your pork, I highly recommend investing in a quality digital cooking thermometer.  These are very easy to use and ensure that your food is neither over or under-cooked.
    • Remote Digital Thermometer (affiliate link): I love this one because it can be used inside of the oven, grill, or smoker. You place the probe into the thickest part of the meat and close the door. It sends readings to the transponder so you know exactly the temperature without opening the oven door.
    • Digital kitchen thermometer (affiliate link): I find the digital series of thermometers much easier to use and more accurate than classic meat thermometers.
A raw pork tenderloin on a white plate being seasoned with dry rub.

How to Prepare Roasted Pork Tenderloin | How Long to Cook Pork Tenderloin in the Oven

My absolute favorite way to cook pork tenderloin is in my trusted cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Cast iron really holds the heat and delivers a perfect char to the outside of the meat before finishing in the oven.

Since pork tenderloin is a pretty lean cut of meat, it’s important not to overcook it. It can turn from a tender and juicy cut of meat to dry and chewy rather quickly, so I use a digital kitchen thermometer [paid link]. The perfect pork tenderloin temp is 145 degrees F (62.8 degrees C) in the thickest part of the meat.

Can Pork be Pink Inside?

New pork cooking standards issued by the USDA say that it’s fine for the pork to be a little pink inside, as long as it has reached the correct temperature in the thickest part of the meat. This new set of cooking temperatures was issued several years ago now and so it’s become the new standard with pork.

An oblong cast iron skillet filled with roasted green beans and a whole pork tenderloin.

Oven-Roasted Pork Tenderloin Recipe FAQ’s

DO I HAVE TO USE A PORK TENDERLOIN MARINADE?

Pork tenderloins are also often sold prepackaged in a marinade and as a rule, I do not buy this variety as I do prefer to season the meat myself and control the amount of salt and other additives used in my meal.

Sauce for Pork Tenderloin – I suggest a chimichurri sauce. Chimichurri sauce is absolutely delicious with pork and would go perfectly with the dry rub we created for this dish.

how much is a portion (how much pork tenderloin per person)?

According to current dietary guidelines, a serving of cooked lean pork is 2-3 ounces per person. 

Can I cook more/less than the recipe indicates?  Can pork be pink?

USDA recommended cooking temperature is 145 degrees F (62.8 degrees C) which is safe to eat even if it is still a little pink in the center.

What’s the best way to defrost Pork Tenderloin? 

  • Refrigerator Thawing – Planning ahead is the key to this method because of the lengthy time involved. A pound of pork Tenderloin will require a full day to thaw. After thawing in the refrigerator, pork tenderloin should remain safe for an additional 3 to 5 days before cooking.
  • Cold Water Thawing – This method is faster than refrigerator thawing but requires more attention. Small packages of tenderloin should thaw in an hour or less. 

How to store leftover Roasted Pork Tenderloin?

Store leftovers in an air-tight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator or freeze in a freezer-safe container or bag for up to 3 months.

A close up image of an oblong cast iron skillet filled with roasted green beans and sliced pork tenderloin. A serving fork pierces the foremost piece of meat and juices are running out of the meat.

Roasted Pork Tenderloin 18

Roasted Pork Tenderloin

Ronda Eagle | Kitchen Dreaming
Quick-cooking and delicious, this easy baked pork tenderloin recipe starts with a simple dry rub and delivers a delicious meal in just 30 minutes. Oven Roasted pork tenderloin is the perfect weeknight solution for an easy dinner recipe.
5 from 20 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Resting Time 5 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 109 kcal

Equipment

  • Cast Iron Skillet [See Note 1]
  • Digital Meat Thermometer [See Note 2]

Ingredients
  

  • 1.5 lb pork tenderloin (680 grams) [See Note 3]
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

Dry Rub:

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder or granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Paprika sweet, smoked, or regular.
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper more or less to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fine kosher salt or table salt, more or less to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper more or less to taste

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F / 204 degrees C.
  • Pat the tenderloin dry and cut off any large pieces of surface fat or silver skin covering the meat.
  • Mix all the spices in a small bowl. Rub the spice mix into the surface of the pork on all sides.
  • Place the skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. When the pan is hot, add the pork in the pan, curving it to the shape of the pan if necessary. Cook the tenderloin 3-5 minutes to caramelize the top and then flip it and cook for another 3-5 minutes to caramelize the other side.
  • Remove the pan from the cooktop and place it into the preheated oven and continue to roast for another 15 minutes.
  • The pork is done when its internal temperature registers 145 degrees F (62.8 degrees C) in the thickest part of the meat. It is okay if the pork is a little pink inside as long as the correct temperature has been reached. [See Note 4]
  • Allow the meat to rest for about 5 minutes before slicing.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Serve meat as prepared or with a fresh chimichurri sauce. [See Note 5]
  • Serve with roasted fresh green beans (roasted in the same skillet), and quick-cooking steamed rice for an easy dinner.

Storage Instructions:

  • Store leftovers in an air-tight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator or freeze in a freezer-safe container or bag for up to 3 months.


Notes

  1. Cast Iron Skillet – For this recipe, I use a 12-inch skillet. Cast iron absorbs, conducts, and retains heat very effectively.  This creates the perfect crust on the outside of the tenderloin and this pan is also safe to go into the oven. If you do not have a cast-iron pan, stainless steel will work, too, but will not develop that incredible crust. Be sure any pan you use is oven safe and free of plastic handles. 
  2. Meat Thermometer: To have an accurate check on the doneness of your pork, I highly recommend investing in a quality digital cooking thermometer.  These are very easy to use and ensure that your food is neither over or under-cooked.
      • Remote Digital Thermometer (affiliate link): I love this one because it can be used inside of the oven, grill, or smoker. You place the probe into the thickest part of the meat and close the door. It sends readings to the transponder so you know exactly the temperature without opening the oven door.
      • Digital kitchen thermometer (affiliate link): I find the digital series of thermometers much easier to use and more accurate than classic meat thermometers.
  3. Pork loin and pork tenderloin are not cut from the same part of the animal, and in fact, look really different. Pork tenderloin is thin and small, while a pork loin roast (also called a tenderloin roast) is wide enough that you can cut steak-like pieces from it.
  4. New pork cooking standards issued by the USDA say that it’s fine for the pork to be a little pink inside, as long as it has reached the correct temperature in the thickest part of the meat. This new set of cooking temperatures was issued several years ago now and so it’s become the new standard with pork.
  5. Sauce for Pork Tenderloin – I suggest a chimichurri sauce. Chimichurri sauce is absolutely delicious with pork and would go perfectly with the dry rub we created for this dish.
  6. According to current dietary guidelines, a serving of cooked lean pork is 2-3 ounces per person. 
  7. What’s the best way to defrost Pork Tenderloin? 

    • Refrigerator Thawing – Planning ahead is the key to this method because of the lengthy time involved. A pound of pork Tenderloin will require a full day to thaw. After thawing in the refrigerator, pork tenderloin should remain safe for an additional 3 to 5 days before cooking.
    • Cold Water Thawing – This method is faster than refrigerator thawing but requires more attention. Small packages of tenderloin should thaw in an hour or less. 

Nutrition

Serving: 3ozCalories: 109kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 18gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 335mgPotassium: 339mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 88IUVitamin D: 1µgVitamin E: 1mgVitamin K: 1µgCalcium: 5mgIron: 1mgZinc: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

56 thoughts on “Easy Pan Roasted Pork Tenderloin Recipe”

  1. I don’t know if I did something wrong. I followed the directions, but my kitchen filled with smoke, even with the cooktop vent on. My husband was alarmed and said we could not have this recipe again.

    Reply
  2. The pork came out perfectly cooked. Resting it was key. Was so juicy when we finally sliced it. I do think the seasoning was a little intense. I will probably use half the seasoning next time so it’s not so spicy. Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply
    • Hi Eric,

      This is most likely because I used a small pork tenderloin and you used a loin roast. There’s a big difference between these two cuts of meat which I explain in great detail in the body of the recipe post.

      Reply
  3. Wow! This pork looks so yummy! Added this to my bookmarks. I think this is a perfect dish for a Christmas dinner! So tender and moist inside and crispy outside. Flawless!
    Thank you for sharing this recipe, Ronda! No doubt, my hubby and kids will love it!

    Reply
  4. This is a great weekday main dish. So super easy and fast. Hubby loves it! I served it with homemade applesauce and green beans casserole, but the chimichurri sounds even better. Next time. I use the rub as a seasoning for all kinds of things.

    Reply
  5. Made this for my husband and I. I love the ease of pork tenderloin but don’t fancy smoked paprika. We substituted hot paprika instead and used the suggested chimichurri sauce. It was amazing. My husband has already requested this again next week with the other tenderloin that came in the package.

    Reply
    • While pork loin does well in the crock pot, this type of pork tenderloin is too lean and dries out in the crockpot since it doesn’t have the fat to keep it moist. Pork Tenderloin cooks in just a few minutes in the oven – I personally wouldn’t chance it in the crockpot.

      Reply
  6. I made this for the first time for Easter Sunday dinner. It was a super easy and quick recipe. I don’t have a cast iron skillet, so I just used my non-stick skillet that can also go in the oven. Everyone loved it! I followed the recipe without any changes. The pork tenderloin was very flavorful and moist. Next time I will probably check it after 10 minutes in the oven. After 15 minutes in the oven, the internal temp was over 150 degrees. But still tasted great! Even my husband, who is not very open to new recipes, liked it. Thank you so much!

    Reply
    • Hi Christy –
      You can prepare this in a stainless steel pan instead of cast iron. That being said, remember that cast iron pans hold and conduct heat much better than stainless, so you won’t get the same crust on the outside as seen in the photos but it will be just as tender and delicious.

      Reply
  7. I don’t rick pork tenderloin often because it can sometimes turn out dry for me. However, this recipe and technique were super easy and the pork tenderloin was juicy and delicious. Thanks for sharing – this is not my go-to recipe.

    Reply
  8. This is the perfect method for baking pork tenderloin. I used my own similar rub (leftover from another dish), and added a squeeze of lemon/lime, a few slices of lemon, lime and orange, smashed garlic, and drizzle of olive oil to the cast iron skillet before putting it in the oven for 15 min. It came out perfectly! My first attempt at pork tenderloin and my family loved it. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi Mrs. Sweeney,
      Great question! No, I do not cover it since it’s already been seared on all sides and only goes in for a short time. If you prefer, you may cover it. Thank you for taking the time to stop in and ask that question. I hope you enjoy.

      Reply
  9. I just made this and it was absolutely delicious! It was moist and full of flavor! It didn’t take like long at all to prepare and serve. This is definitely at the top of my “go to” dinner meal.

    Reply
    • Thanks, Billie! I showed my husband your comment and he said it “was the best tenderloin [he’s] ever eaten. Tender and juicy.” Thanks for taking the time to come back and leave a comment! I appreciate it so much. :)

      Reply
  10. I love pork loin and agree I’d much rather season it myself than buy one with a marinade! I keep meaning to invest in a cast iron skillet!

    Reply
    • It makes a great dish that is impressive to guests but doesn’t take a lot of time or preparation. I serve this with roasted asparagus and oven potatoes since it all cooks up quickly together.

      Reply

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