Crispy on the outside, juicy and tender on the inside, and amazing flavors make this the BEST baked pork tenderloin!
There is nothing like baked pork tenderloin. It’s so easy to make and I feel like this is the easiest cut of pork to take on whatever flavors you fancy. In the slow cooker, the Instant Pot, on the grill, there is really no way to mess up a pork tenderloin. (Well, I’m sure there is, but not one that I’ve found yet!).
The best thing about baking a pork tenderloin though, is that crispy outside and juicy inside. While most people do eat with their eyes first, it’s when you taste the tenderloin that you will truly understand why I’m gaga for this recipe. Sink your teeth into that first bite, and you get a little crunch, then the juices from the pork itself, plus the actual juice you’ve used and the spices intermingling with it all, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a reason NOT to make this delicious dish.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Pork tenderloin – Use one or two depending on how large, you’ll want at least 1 1/2 pounds of pork for about 4 people.
- Oil – for a crispy outside and juicy, fork tender inside.
- Fresh-squeezed citrus – I like to use a combination of lemon, lime, and orange juice. If you can’t get your hands on some fresh citrus, you could use chicken broth.
- Dried herbs – Italian seasoning or Herbs de Provence blends are great.
- Garlic powder – you can substitute or add onion powder.
- Chili powder
- Smoked paprika – if you don’t have smoked paprika, regular paprika will work.
- Cracked black pepper
Step By Step Directions
- Preheat the oven and grease a rimmed baking sheet or casserole/baking dish.
- Pierce the pork all over with a fork, then rub all over with oil.
- Stir together the spices and seasonings, then sprinkle all over the pork and pat into place with your fingertips.
- Transfer pork to your prepared baking dish and squeeze citrus juices all over the top.
- Bake for about 25-35 minutes until center temperature reaches 145 degrees.
- Spoon juices from the pan over the cooked pork, then let it rest on a cutting board for about 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
What To Serve With This Recipe
You probably won’t eat your tenderloin alone. Side dishes are key here. My favorites, in no particular order, include:
- Company Potatoes. This is kind of a no-brainer. Especially if we’re having…wait for it…company! I’ll roast up several of these tenderloins with a big batch of these crunchy/cheese/melt-in-your-mouth potatoes. Just make sure everyone wears their elastic pants and leaves room for seconds.
- If you’re looking for a satisfying side with lots of leftovers, then this Creamy Sweet Macaroni Salad is just the ticket. Plus, you can make it ahead of time or while the tenderloin is doing it’s thang in the oven.
- Easy Creamy Macaroni and Cheese just goes good with everything. I mean, it’s mac ‘n cheese people. That’s a given.
- For something simple and delicious (and nutritious), look no further than this Lemon Parmesan Roasted Asparagus. It’s sure to please everyone at your dinner table.
What People Are Saying About This Recipe
“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.” – Cynthia
“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.” – Connie
“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.” – Liz
“We have made this recipe a few times now. It is so easy and absolutely delish! The rub has a nice kick and we love that no marinating or searing is needed. Tonight we’ll be pairing it with roasted sweet potatoes and an italian chopped salad. Can we all say yum!” – Diane
More Recipes Like This
After you fall in love with this BEST Baked Pork Tenderloin, feast yourself on Instant Pot Balsamic Pork Tenderloin (so many rave reviews!) and the BEST Ever Healthy Grilled Pork Tenderloin. Oh and don’t forget to try my other viral recipes One Pan Garlic Herb Chicken and Asparagus and Instant Pot Pot Roast and Potatoes!
Pork Tenderloin Recipe
- 1 or 2 ½ 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 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika - (optional but highly recommended)
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and lightly grease a large baking/casserole dish. Pierce tenderloins all over with a fork. Rub oil onto all sides of the meat.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.