This pork tenderloin recipe is seriously the BEST! With a simple garlic and herb marinade this recipe will be on repeat on your menu plan!
Oh my goodness . . . if you're looking for the yummiest Pork Tenderloin Recipe ever, this recipe is just the one you're dreaming of. There are oodles of ways to cook a pork tenderloin, this recipe is one of the best and is super easy! It is on repeat on our menu plan because everyone in the family just loves it!
Pork Tenderloin vs Pork Loin
I get asked this question a lot! There is a difference between a pork tenderloin and a pork loin. The names are so similar that it gets a bit confusing. 🙂 However, these are two different cuts of meat.
A pork tenderloin is a long, narrow, boneless cut of meat that comes from the muscle that runs along the backbone. It's best to cook at a higher heat and for shorter times.
While a pork loin is wider and flatter, and can be a boneless or bone-in cut of meat. This cut does better to cook for longer periods of time (such as a slow cooker or slow roasted).
How to cook pork tenderloin?
You can bake a pork tenderloin in the oven or even slow cook it, but this grilled pork tenderloin is simple to make and the flavor is unbelievable. You can skip the grill for this recipe. Simply follow the steps to make the marinade, discard marinade, then bake at 400°F until an internal temperature reaches 145°F.
How long do you marinade pork tenderloin?
I typically start my marinade in the morning, then let it sit in the refrigerator all day. However, as long as you've got time to let it marinade for at least 15 minutes, your pork tenderloin will be plenty flavorful.
Since all you need is olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary to make this simple marinade, you likely have everything you need for it already in the pantry.
How do you know if a pork tenderloin is done?
To make sure that your pork is done, use a meat thermometer and cook until an internal temperature of 145°F is reached. Insert the thermometer in the thickest part of the meat. You’ll want to stick the thermometer in the middle of the pork, because that’s the last part that will reach proper temperature.
Let rest 5 minutes before slicing. The meat will be tender, juicy and with just a touch of pink.
How to keep pork from drying out?
Be sure to cook the pork until it's thoroughly cooked through. But, don't cook too long or the meat will dry out. Stopping the cooking process when pork reaches 145°F will ensure that your pork will be just right!
I think we have been indoctrinated with the idea that pork must be cooked to well done to avoid trichinosis and that has led to years of dry and icky pork! The longer a piece of meat is cooked the more its proteins shrink, so the less moisture it can retain.
So, basically DO NOT overcook your pork. 🙂
How to store, freeze and reheat leftovers?
If you have extra pork, store leftover pork tenderloin in the refrigerator, or freeze for up to 6 months in a plastic freezer bag. To reheat, you'll get the best flavor by baking in the oven at 325°F until warmed through. But if you're in a hurry, simply pop it in your microwave for about 30 seconds prior to re-serving.
How to use leftover pork tenderloin?
Pork tenderloin is perfect to serve twice ~ just add it to a hearty salad like the Harvest Chopped Salad in our summer menu series (it's my favorite!) Add some crusty bread, and you're all set.
What to serve with pork tenderloin?
Pork tenderloin lends itself to just about any side dish. A few of my favorites are:
Garlic and Herb Grilled Pork Tenderloin
- 3 lbs pork tenderloin
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 1 Tbsp pepper
- 1/2 Tbsp crushed rosemary
- 1/2 tsp ground thyme
- Cut a slit lengthwise down the pork tenderloin.
- In a large bowl, mix together olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme; add tenderloin and marinate for 10-15 minutes.
- Place tenderloin on grill over medium heat, slit side up. Scoop garlic and remaining juices from marinade mixture and put inside slit. Grill for 10 minutes.
- Turn the tenderloin over and grill for another 10 minutes, or until pork hits a minimum internal temperature of 145°F. Let rest 5 minutes before slicing.
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