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Juicy, flavorful, baked pork tenderloin with apples and onions is a simple yet delicious autumn dinner. Serve the sweet and savory sliced pork with a loaf of crusty bread, cornbread, or biscuits, plus a saladsauteed spinach, or roasted root vegetables to round out the meal.

Overhead shot of pork tenderloin with apples on a blue and white tray

Baked Pork Tenderloin

You can’t beat a baked pork tenderloin for an easy, quick-prep dinner — and a nice alternative to chicken. Add garlic powder and rosemary, sear it in a skillet to give it great color and flavor, and then finish it off in the oven with a sweet and savory combination of apples, onions, maple syrup, butter, and white wine. This restaurant-quality dish tastes fancy enough for company, and comes together easily enough for a simple homemade meal.

Apples and Pork are the Perfect Pair

Every fall, I’m inspired to create cozy family suppers that marry sweet apples with savory meats. Pork and apples are a classic combination, which some say originated because the acidity in apples helps to break down and digest fatty meats like pork. Whether that’s true or not, we can all agree that the flavor combination is delicious!

We’ve made pork chops with apple cider gravy, a Dutch oven pork roast with apple cider, an Autumn Harvest pork stew with apples, and a cider-braised pork shoulder roast — among many others! This baked pork tenderloin with apples and onions is just another option in the delicious seasonal lineup.

Browning two pork tenderloins in a cast iron skillet

What type of apple goes with pork?

You can really use any apple that you like in pork recipes; however, I recommend a firm-flesh variety for this particular dish. The sturdier fruit will hold its shape during the cooking process, rather than breaking down and turning to mush. Good options include Granny Smith, Honey Crisp, and Braeburn apples.

Pouring wine into a skillet

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a delicious skillet of pork tenderloin with apples and onions. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • 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. I use two pork tenderloins in this recipe, but you can cut it back to just one tenderloin if you’re only feeding 2-3 people.
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper: to enhance the other flavors in the dish.
  • Rosemary: I prefer fresh rosemary when it’s available, but dried rosemary also works!
  • Garlic powder: to season the meat.
  • Olive oil: to sear the pork.
  • White wine, apple cider, or chicken broth: the liquid deglazes the pan, and adds moisture and flavor to the sauce.
  • Butter and maple syrup: add flavor and richness to the apples and onions.
  • Apples: choose a firm apple, such as Granny Smith apples or Honey Crisp apples, so that they don’t break down into mush during the cooking process.
  • Onion: I like a sweet onion here, but you can use yellow onion, white onion, or even red onion if you prefer.
  • Apple cider vinegar: an acidic note that brightens up the dish.
Baked pork tenderloin with apples and onions in a skillet

How to Cook Pork Tenderloin with Apples

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. The apple and onion sauce is just an added bonus!

  1. Pat the pork dry, and then season on all sides with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and rosemary.
  2. Sear the pork in a large skillet (about 12-14 inches in diameter) with olive oil over medium-high heat. The meat should be nicely browned on both sides, which takes about 8-10 minutes total. Transfer the pork to a plate.
  3. Add the wine to the skillet, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. These add so much flavor to the sauce!
  4. Reduce the heat, add the butter, syrup, apples, onion, salt, and pepper, and cook until the apple slices and onions start to soften, about 7-8 minutes.
  5. Remove the skillet from the heat.
  6. Nestle the pork back into the skillet.
  7. Place the skillet in a 350°F oven and bake until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 140°F – 145°F, about 15 minutes.
  8. Remove the pork to a cutting board, tent with aluminum foil, and let the meat rest for about 5 minutes.
  9. Stir the vinegar into the apple mixture, and then serve the apples and onions with the sliced pork.
Close overhead image of baked pork tenderloin with apples and onions served on a blue and white antique tray

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 relatively 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).

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!

Square overhead shot of a platter of pork tenderloin with apples

What to Serve with Pork Tenderloin and Apples

Here are some easy sides that go well with pork:

Horizontal overhead shot of a plate of pork tenderloin with apples

Storage

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.

Overhead shot of a dinner table with baked pork tenderloin with apples

Recipe Variations

  • Change up the seasoning. Try different herbs such as sage, 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 directly to the meat by adding some brown sugar to the garlic powder and rosemary.
  • Make it spicy by adding cayenne, or give the sauce more zest by stirring in some Dijon mustard.
  • Swap out the cider vinegar for balsamic vinegar or champagne vinegar.
  • If you don’t have an oven-safe large skillet (such as a cast iron pan), no problem! Just transfer the seared tenderloin and apple mixture to a baking dish, and pop it in the oven.
Overhead shot of apples and fresh herbs surrounding a platter of pork tenderloin with apples

Tips for the Best Pork Tenderloin with Apples Recipe

  • A single pork tenderloin is typically just 1 lb. of meat, making it an appropriate amount of food for 2-3 people (depending on the size of your appetite). This recipe calls for two tenderloins to serve a larger family, but you can certainly use just one if you prefer.
  • Choose an apple with a firm flesh, such as Granny Smith, Honey Crisp, or Braeburn, so that the apples don’t break down into mush during the cooking process.
  • 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 sliced baked pork tenderloin on a platter with apples and onions

More Pork Tenderloin Recipes to Try

Square overhead featured image of baked pork tenderloin with apples

Pork Tenderloin with Apples

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Resting Time 5 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 399 kcal
Juicy, flavorful, baked pork tenderloin with apples and onions is a simple yet delicious autumn dinner.

Ingredients
  

  • 2 pork tenderloins (about 1-lb. each), trimmed
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup white wine, apple cider, or chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 3 medium apples, peeled, cored, and cut into eighths (I use Granny Smith or Honey Crisp)
  • 1 small sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Optional garnish: additional chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, thyme, or rosemary

Instructions

  • Adjust the oven rack to the lowest position. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Pat the pork dry with paper towels, and season liberally with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with rosemary and garlic powder.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large (about 12-14 inch) oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add the pork to the skillet and brown on all sides, about 8-10 minutes total. Transfer the pork to a plate.
  • Leave the pan over medium-high heat and add the wine to the pan, stirring to scrape up any browned bits. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the butter, syrup, apples, onion, and additional salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the apples and onions start to soften, about 7-8 minutes.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat. Nestle the tenderloins and any accumulated juices into the apple mixture.
  • Place the skillet in the oven and bake until the pork registers 140-145°F, about 15-20 minutes.

Notes

  • A single pork tenderloin is typically just 1 lb. of meat, making it an appropriate amount of food for 2-3 people (depending on the size of your appetite). This recipe calls for two tenderloins to serve a larger family, but you can certainly use just one if you prefer.
  • Choose an apple with a firm flesh, such as Granny Smith, Honey Crisp, or Braeburn, so that the apples don’t break down into mush during the cooking process.
  • 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.
  • Change up the seasoning. Try different herbs such as sage, 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 directly to the meat by mixing some brown sugar into the seasoning.
  • Make it spicy by adding cayenne, or give the sauce more zest by stirring in some Dijon mustard.
  • Swap out the cider vinegar for balsamic vinegar or champagne vinegar.
  • If you don’t have an oven-safe large skillet (such as a cast iron pan), no problem! Just transfer the seared tenderloin and apple mixture to a baking dish, and pop it in the oven.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/6 of the recipeCalories: 399kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 36gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 129mgSodium: 154mgPotassium: 847mgFiber: 3gSugar: 15gVitamin A: 292IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 33mgIron: 2mg
Keyword: baked pork tenderloin, pork tenderloin with apples, pork tenderloin with apples and onions cast iron
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!

Read More

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Comments

  1. How much gravy does this make? My mom really likes lots of sauce with her meats.

    By the way, Blair, I love your recipes– every single one I’ve made has been wonderfully flavorful and a big hit with both my parents. Thank you! 🙂

    1. Hi, Laura! I’m so glad that your family has enjoyed the recipes! In this particular dish, I wouldn’t say it’s a gravy — more like cooked apples and onions with pan drippings as well. There are enough juices to spoon over the meat, but I usually just serve the apples and onions on the side with a slotted spoon. If you want plenty of extra apples for eating with the pork, you can certainly double those ingredients and use 5-6 apples instead of just 3. But again, it’s not really a gravy or thick sauce.