Pork tenderloin can get a bad rap as the dry, lean, tough alternative to chicken breasts. But that’s so not fair! With a simple Honey Garlic Dijon Pork Tenderloin Marinade, this humble cut of meat is elevated to Super Star status! Best of all, the easy dinner only requires 10 minutes of prep before leaving it to marinate in the refrigerator. It’s a healthy, make-ahead meal for any busy weeknight!
You know that I’m all about the dump-and-bake dinners, right?! Well this is essentially a dump-and-bake pork tenderloin marinade — that you can either throw on the grill or pop in the oven when you need a quick dinner.
Let me tell you: my husband is a bit of a snob when it comes to grilled meat and pork. Admittedly, he is the resident expert in those areas. He is always in charge of the grill, he loves to smoke a big pork butt, and he is incredibly discerning when it comes to the taste and quality of the finished product. He does not throw around compliments lightly!
So imagine my pleasant surprise when I served this pork on a recent Tuesday night and Keith devoured every last bite. That’s the true definition of success, in my opinion! He repeatedly raved about the taste, and was so happy to see juicy, tender pork on the weeknight dinner menu!
The key to this dish is the Honey Garlic Dijon Pork Tenderloin Marinade. It’s made by whisking together just a few basic ingredients, but the flavor is incredibly good. You just can’t go wrong with a sweet-and-savory blend and plenty of fresh herbs!
If it’s still cold where you live, then this dinner can easily be prepared in the oven. You can see those directions in the recipe below!
But if you have an indoor grill pan or an available outdoor grill, I highly recommend that method. The smoky char that forms from the sugars in the honey is soooooo tasty!
We love to serve the pork with rice and either a salad or green veggie on the side, but I will warn you: if there are big appetites in your house, you should definitely double the recipe and make two batches of the pork tenderloin marinade. This tender, juicy, and flavorful tenderloin is not your average tough, dried-out stereotype! It disappears fast, and leftovers are always a good thing…
Honey Garlic Dijon Pork Tenderloin Marinade
- 1 pork tenderloin (about 1 lb.)
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or substitute with tamari or coconut aminos for gluten-free option)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- Leaves from 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, minced (can substitute with about ½ teaspoon dried rosemary)
- Leaves from 2 sprigs fresh thyme, minced (can substitute with about ½ teaspoon dried thyme)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- In a bowl, whisk together honey, Dijon mustard, soy sauce, garlic, rosemary, and thyme. Season pork on all sides with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Place pork in a large zip-top plastic bag. Pour half of the marinade over the pork and toss to coat. Seal the bag and refrigerate the pork in the marinade for at least 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours. Rotate the pork occasionally so that the marinade touches all sides.
- Set aside the remaining ½ of the marinade in a separate bowl, cover, and refrigerate for later.
- To cook the tenderloin in the oven:
- Remove pork from the marinade and place in a baking dish that has been coated with cooking spray. Discard bag with the marinade. Allow pork to come to room temperature while you preheat the oven.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes.
- Remove cover, brush with reserved marinade, and place under the broiler for about 5 minutes (or until a crispy crust forms on top), and pork reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees F.
- Remove from oven and allow pork to rest for about 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with any remaining refrigerated marinade.
- To cook the tenderloin on the grill:
- Remove pork from the marinade and allow to come to room temperature while you heat the grill. Discard bag with the marinade.
- Heat the grill to medium heat. Place pork on the grill and cover. Cook for about 12-14 minutes, turning every few minutes, until pork reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees F.
- Allow pork to rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with reserved marinade from the refrigerator.
Cooking for Two? A single pork tenderloin is typically just 1 lb. of meat. While I say that the recipe serves 4, I also made a note above to suggest that big appetites will want to double the recipe. A 1-lb. tenderloin might be just right for the two adults in your house, so I would suggest following the recipe exactly! And as I mentioned above, leftovers reheat perfectly for sandwiches or salads the next day!
Want to Prep Ahead? You can marinate the pork in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, so this is a great option to put together the night before.