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Juicy, flavorful, baked pork tenderloin is basted with garlic and rosemary-infused butter for an easy dinner that’s ready in about 30 minutes! Serve the sliced pork with a loaf of crusty bread, cornbread, or biscuits, plus a salad, sauteed spinach, or baked apples to round out the meal.

Overhead image of sliced baked pork tenderloin in a pan with fresh rosemary

You can’t beat a baked pork tenderloin for an easy, quick-prep dinner — and a nice alternative to chicken. Add a seasoning rub that includes garlic powder, onion powder, sage, salt, and pepper, sear it in a skillet to give it great color and flavor, and then finish it off in the oven with a rosemary-and-garlic butter sauce. This restaurant-quality dish tastes fancy enough for company, and comes together fast enough for a busy weeknight!

Drizzling olive oil on pork tenderloin

Ingredients

This is a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for an easy baked pork tenderloin. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Kosher salt, dried sage, garlic powder, onion powder, and ground black pepper: come together to create a savory, flavorful rub that seasons the outside of the pork.
  • Olive oil: helps brown the meat in the skillet; helps the dry rub adhere to the meat.
  • Pork tenderloin: a smaller cut of pork that generally weighs about 1 pound. This is not cut from the same part of the animal as the larger pork loin. Since pork tenderloin is naturally lean and tender, it does well when cooked quickly at high temperatures. By contrast, pork loin lends itself well to slower roasting or grilling techniques.
  • Butter: melts in the skillet and creates a rich pan sauce that flavors and bastes the meat.
  • Garlic and fresh rosemary: add these savory ingredients to the skillet to infuse the butter with great flavor as the meat cooks.
Sprinkling seasoning on a pork tenderloin

How to Bake Pork Tenderloin

Cooking pork tenderloin requires a quick three-step process that involves seasoning the meat, searing it in a hot cast iron skillet to develop a caramelized crust, and finally baking it in the oven until cooked through. This seared and baked pork tenderloin is the absolute best — with a tender, juicy inside and a crisp, flavorful outside.

  1. Stir together the seasoning rub.
  2. Pat the pork dry, drizzle with olive oil, and rub the seasoning blend on all sides.
  3. Sear the pork in a hot cast iron skillet for about 4-5 minutes.
  4. Add butter, garlic cloves, and rosemary sprigs to the pan.
  5. Bake the pork in a 400°F oven for 8-13 minutes, or until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 140°F – 145°F.
  6. Let the meat rest for at least 5 minutes, baste with the butter and pan juices, slice, and serve!
Adding fresh rosemary sprigs to a skillet with pork tenderloin

How to Make Pork Tenderloin Juicy

Not overcooking the meat is the key to preventing the pork tenderloin from drying out. Since this particular cut of meat is already very tender and lean, it does best when cooked quickly at a high temperature (by contrast, a tougher, fattier cut like a pork shoulder does best when cooked low and slow). If you roast the tenderloin at a low temperature or for too long, you risk drying out the meat, resulting in a tougher, chewier texture. For a juicy pork tenderloin, you’re looking for a medium finish (about 145°F).

Hands holding a pan of baked pork tenderloin

Pork Temperatures

Total baking time will vary depending on the size, thickness, and temperature of your pork. As a result, I always recommend using a meat thermometer to know when your pork is done. The tenderloin is ready to come out of the oven when it reaches an internal temperature of 140-145°F. The temperature will continue to rise as it rests, and you want to make sure that you don’t overcook the meat (because it can become dry).

Anywhere between 140°F and 160°F is fine; however, cooking it more towards medium (145°F) will produce juicier pork. Always rest the meat for at least 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

What color is cooked pork tenderloin?

According to the National Pork Board, it’s perfectly safe to consume medium pork (that’s cooked to about 145°F). At this stage, the pork will have a slight touch of pink in the center and will be at its juiciest!

Overhead image of a pan of sliced pork tenderloin basted with butter and pan juices

Pork Tenderloin Sides

Pork recipes go well with any of these easy sides and veggies:

Basting sliced pork tenderloin with garlic butter

Storage

  • Prep ahead! The tenderloin can be trimmed of fat and silver skin and rubbed up to 24 hours in advance. Remove from the refrigerator 30-60 minutes before cooking so that the meat has time to come to room temperature.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Sliced tenderloin is delicious on sandwiches the next day!
  • To reheat baked pork tenderloin: Place the pork on a sheet pan and warm in a 325°F oven just until heated through (about 10-15 minutes). Be careful not to overheat, or the tenderloin will become dry. You can also reheat individual portions of pork in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.

Recipe Variations

  • Change up the seasoning. Try different herbs such as rosemary, thyme, oregano, parsley, and chives, or use a different spice rub, such as all-purpose house seasoning, a BBQ rub, paprika, cumin, chili powder, or any other seasonings that you enjoy.
  • Add a hint of sweetness by mixing some brown sugar into the seasoning.
  • Make it spicy by adding cayenne.
  • If you don’t have an oven-safe large skillet, no problem! Just transfer the seared tenderloin to a baking dish, add the butter, garlic, and rosemary, and pop it in the oven.
Close up side shot of garlic and rosemary baked pork tenderloin sliced in a pan

Tips for the Best Baked Pork Tenderloin Recipe

  • A single pork tenderloin is typically just 1 lb. of meat, making it an appropriate amount of food for 2-4 people (depending on the size of your appetite). If you’re feeding a larger family of 4-5, I recommend doubling all of the ingredients and roasting two tenderloins.
  • The total baking time will vary depending on the size and thickness of your pork, on the temperature of your pork when it goes into the oven, and on your individual oven. As a result, a meat thermometer is the best way to know exactly when your pork is done.
  • Allow the meat to rest for at least 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving. This gives the juices time to redistribute, keeping the tenderloin as juicy as possible.
Overhead shot of roasted pork tenderloin with a side of crusty baguette

More Baked Pork Tenderloin Recipes to Try

Overhead image of sliced baked pork tenderloin in a pan with fresh rosemary

Garlic and Rosemary Baked Pork Tenderloin

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Resting Time 5 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings 2 – 4 people
Calories 375 kcal
Juicy, flavorful, baked pork tenderloin is basted with garlic and rosemary-infused butter for an easy dinner that's ready in about 30 minutes!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried sage
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 (1 lb.) pork tenderloin
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and gently smashed
  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • In a small bowl, combine kosher salt, sage, garlic powder, onion, powder, and ground black pepper. Set aside.
  • Trim the pork tenderloin of any excess fat and silverskin. Pat the pork dry, rub with 1 tablespoon of olive oil; rub seasoning mixture on all sides of the meat.
  • Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add pork; cook until browned on all sides, about 4-5 minutes total.
  • Place butter, garlic, and rosemary in the skillet around the tenderloin. Transfer the skillet to the oven, uncovered, and bake until a thermometer inserted in the thickest portion of the meat registers 140°F – 145°F, about 8-13 minutes. Baste with the butter mixture and pan juices.
  • Let the pork rest at room temperature for at least 5-10 minutes. Slice into rounds and drizzle with additional garlic and rosemary-infused butter and cooking juices.

Notes

  • If you don’t have an oven-safe skillet, no problem! Just transfer the seared tenderloin to a baking dish, add the butter, garlic, and rosemary, and pop it in the oven.
  • A single pork tenderloin is typically just 1 lb. of meat, making it an appropriate amount of food for 2-4 people (depending on the size of your appetite). If you’re feeding a larger family of 4-5, I recommend doubling all of the ingredients and roasting two tenderloins.
  • The total baking time will vary depending on the size and thickness of your pork, on the temperature of your pork when it goes into the oven, and on your individual oven. As a result, a meat thermometer is the best way to know exactly when your pork is done.
  • Allow the meat to rest for at least 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving. This gives the juices time to redistribute, keeping the tenderloin as juicy as possible.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/3 of the recipeCalories: 375kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 31gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 118mgSodium: 921mgPotassium: 608mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 238IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 15mgIron: 2mg
Keyword: baked pork tenderloin, easy pork tenderloin recipe, oven baked pork tenderloin
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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