BEST Baked Pork Tenderloin

Crispy on the outside, juicy and tender on the inside, and amazing flavors make this the BEST baked pork tenderloin! 

BEST Baked Pork Tenderloin |

This pork tenderloin just might be the easiest and tastiest meat that will ever grace your kitchen table. Crispy outside, juicy and super tender inside, amazing flavors, and the prep could not be easier. Basically it’s everything you ever wanted in a main dish meat but never knew it until this moment.

You’re welcome.

BEST Baked Pork Tenderloin |
The process is sooo simple and the ingredients are ones I’m willing to bet you have sitting in your pantry right this second. Cumin, salt, pepper, garlic powder, lemon or lime or orange juice (or lemon AND lime AND orange juice – YESSSS!!!) smoked paprika if you have it on hand, Italian seasoning…. the only thing you might be missing is that big  juicy pork tenderloin and that’s a simple fix.

BEST Baked Pork Tenderloin |

And did I mention that there is no marinating time and no pan-searing time?? All you do four very quick steps. Pierce the meat all over with a fork, rub it with a little bit of oil, sprinkle seasonings over the top, and drizzle with that fresh lemon/lime/orange juice. Then just pop it in the oven and come back in a half hour-ish to enjoy its tasty goodness! Super juicy and tender in the middle, crispy and flavorful on the outside… this really is the BEST baked pork tenderloin – you will love it!

BEST Baked Pork Tenderloin |
4.1 from 15 reviews
BEST Baked Pork Tenderloin
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Crispy on the outside, juicy and tender on the inside, and amazing flavors make this the BEST baked pork tenderloin!
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4-6
  • 1 or 2 1-2 pound pork tenderloins (See note)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon, lime, or orange juice (or 1 tablespoon of each)
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika (optional but highly recommended)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and lightly grase a large baking/casserole dish. Pierce tenderloins all over with a fork. Rub oil onto all sides of the meat.
  2. Whisk together Italian seasoning, garlic powder, cumin, salt, chili powder, smoked paprika (if using) and black pepper. Sprinkle mixture over tenderloin(s), patting it onto the surface of the meat on all sides. Place in prepared baking dish and drizzle lemon/lime juice over the top.
  3. Bake for 25-35 minutes until outside is browned and crispy and centers are cooked through to desired doneness (you can take them out on the early side if you like the centers a little pink).
  4. Spoon juices from the dish over the meat. Allow to rest on a cutting board or in the baking dish for 5-10 minutes. Slice into 1 inch pieces. Spoon any remaining juices from the pan over the slices, garnish with fresh chopped cilantro if desired, and serve.
This recipe is pretty flexible and you can use 1-2 very small pork tenderloins, or one medium-large pork tenderloin OR you can double or even triple the ingredients for the seasonings and serve a LOT of people with very large tenderloins.

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hey girl this looks so yummy!

Looks amazing! Can I substitute veal shoulder for the pork tenderloin?

The flavor was amazing!! The juices burned on the pan instead of the meat, but I think I should have turned it halfway and/or added a little water. But it tasted wonderful regardless.

In the picture it shows slices of lemons/limes and garlic in the pan. did you bake the tenderloin with this or just add it for photos?

Flavor was great. But it never got crispy and there were no juices to baste it with. What did I do wrong?

    I had this same problem. I’m now wondering if it’s because I didn’t cover the casserole dish. I think the juices evaporated out 🙁. Plus, it’s been in the oven for 45 minutes and is still only 140°. I’ll try using a lid next time. I’m hoping Tiffany will weigh in here.

      What you can try is searing the tenderloins prior to baking. I put about 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a 12 inch skillet and heat on medium high. Pat the tenderloins dry, season with the rub and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes total. I pre-heat the oven to 450 and place the browned tenderloins in a 9 x 13 baking dish and finishing cooking for 10-15 minutes, turning them over once half way through. Just take them out, let them sit on a carving board and tent with foil for about 5-10 minutes. They should be just a touch pink in the middle and VERY juicy.

        Came out perfect! Thanks!

I turned the temperature up to 450 degrees after about 35 mins. Im getting browning after about 10 mins. Turned it over to brown the other side. Total cook time seems to be about 45 mins.

Sounds delicious! I wish you had a chance to reply to the comments because I have the same questions. How DO we keep the juices from burning/evaporating off? Should we cover or not? Should we crank up the heat after the first 35 min.?

This recipe was pinned on my “Sunday Success” board of Pinterest right after dinner. It is delicious! I melted peach jalapeno jelly and used as a dipping sauce (like ketchup). Oh my gosh! I took leftovers to a co-worker the next day and she immediately made for her family. This recipe rocks and is now a favorite. As a matter of fact, I’m making it today and using blackberry lime jam for the dipping sauce. Thank you a million times.

Are those garlic cloves that are also in the pan?

I see Garlic in the picture but it is not mentioned in the recipe, only the garlic powder??
I a also curious to the answer of the other ladies who said theirs did not get crispy.

I had to bake probably 15 minutes longer than stated. It wasn’t brown and crispy on the outside and the core temperature wasn’t hot enough. There wasn’t any juice to spoon over the top, either…at any point. What there was burned away at the end of 25 minutes. Disappointed.

Very flavorful dish that the whole family enjoyed. It took an hour to cook 2 tenderloins weighing about 2.25 lbs total. Thanks for posting a simple and delicious recipe.

Just made this last night! It is amazing! I read the comments before making it and wanted it to be browned on the outside. So I took the advice from the one comment about browning it beforehand. I towel dried my tenderloin, rubbed it with the herb mix and then browned it in the oil until it was golden brown on all sides. I put the tenderloin into the baking dish, mixed the lemon, orange, and lime juices together then sprinkled it on top. I added lemon and orange slices (didn’t have any lime) to baking dish around the meat and poured whatever drippings from the pan around the tenderloin. I baked at 400 for about 35 minutes, then tested with my meat thermometer. It was perfectly done.

This was the most tender, melt in your mouth, tenderloin I have ever made. The outsides were nicely browned and there was juices around the meat. Will definitely make this again!! Next time I will add garlic cloves and lemon slices to the baking dish, too, along with the lemon and orange slices.

    Did you cover it in the oven? I’m

I used a much smaller dish so the tenderloins were nice and snug, the larger the dish you use, the more the juice will evaporate. I had plenty of juices left. I cooked two of them for forty minutes and then just broiled them at the end to make them brown on the top.

Centers a little pink? On Pork? Isn’t that just asking to get sick? I mean the ingredients sound good but that part just threw me.

    It’s ok to eat pork tenderloins with a pink center. Not any other cut of pork. You will not get sick. We eat it like this all the time

It is great. Love the flavor.

I make this recipe about three or more times a month. It’s so good and is heavenly with a homemade blue cheese or cilantro lime sauce. SO GOOD! I use a meat thermometer to check if the pork is done and if not, I only have to add a few extra minutes. Love, love, love this one.

Thank you and 5-star again! I and my friends always have outdoor grill every weekend! I will try this for next party! Thank you again!

The meat came out very juicy. I didn’t measure the olive oil but just made sure to put some in my hand and rub it over both sides. I cut the cumin and chili powder in half because I was afraid those flavors would be too prominent. We felt it was just perfect. I used 1T each of lime and lemon juice and also added in 1T worcestershire sauce which I drizzled over the top right before baking. I always use a foil lined baking dish to speed clean up. It took about 35 mins to reach a temperature of 150. I pulled the foil over the roast loosely to tent it while it rested and there was enough pan juice that accumulated. This was a nice change from a marinated pork tenderloin recipe I typically use. I’ll be keeping this in my file.

I did everything that the recipe said. U can’t bake it for 25-30 and get that dark crust that is on the photo. I baked 10 more minutes then decided to raise the heat that didn’t do it. So, I decided to put it under the broiler. That got it dark & crusty. So, shame on the instructions all that work & it doesn’t look like the photo. Maybe if I had known I would have put it on my barbecue. For sure, I would have gotten that dark crusty look.

I have no idea how it ever gets that crispy without pan searing or grilling. Are we sure the picture is of THIS recipe?

Definitely give this at least an hour. 35 minutes and this small tenderloin is still dawn. Hopefully it’s worth the wait

First time made.. perfect! My husband not a fan of pork loin said it was a keeper. It was crispy and juicy. I did have to cook a bit longer, but that could have been the cut of pork. I cooked it for 35, and then added 10 minutes until temperature was at 150. Every oven is different so that is normal for my oven. I didn’t have a lot of nice juice, but I added a bit of water and stirred up the browned bits and it worked out fine. Thanks!

Tiffany, can you give us an answer about how to get that crispy outside? I made this last night and loved the flavor but was disappointed with a soggy outside. Help please!

    Hi Liz! When baking, the outside should crisp up just fine, but if you feel you want it crispier you can always switch your oven to broil for the last 4-5 minutes or so. 🙂

30 minutes is not nearly long enough for this to cook. My 1.8 lb pork tenderloin was raw inside. I pulled out the meat thermometer and at 70 minutes it hit the new temperature recommended by the National Pork Board – 145 degrees.

    There is no such thing as an 18 pound tenderloin. I think people are confusing pork loin with pork tenderloin. The tenderloin is the small muscle inside the loin. The loin is the large muscles outside. The whole tenderloin weighs at most a couple of pounds. They are not at all the same cuts of meat.

      You misRead my post. I had a 1.8 (onE-point-eight) pound tenderloin.