A favorite easy weeknight dinner, this Roasted Pork Tenderloin is rubbed with herbs and spices, seared in a cast-iron skillet and roasted in the oven with flavorful citrus juices. (low-carb, gluten free, paleo)
Roasted pork tenderloin has always been a weeknight staple in my house. It’s a budget-friendly and inexpensive cut of meat that’s lean and super easy to make!
This recipe requires no marinating which is perfect for those weeks where you’re super busy and forget to plan ahead. (aka most days in my house)
Instead, we’re using a simple dried rub of my favorite herbs and spices, searing the pork to create some beautiful caramelization on the outside, and then finishing it off in the oven with some squeezed oranges and lemons to create a beautiful citrus juice glaze. So good!
Pork tenderloin recipe ingredients
For this recipe, you’ll need 2 pork tenderloins that weigh a total of about 2 1/2 pounds. Most grocery stores sell them in packs of 2, which is perfect for this recipe.
You’ll also need a few herbs and spices to create an easy dry rub. Simply add chili powder, kosher salt, smoked paprika, dried thyme, ground cumin, crushed red pepper flakes and onion powder in a small bowl and mix to combine.
Last but definitely not least, you’ll need some cooking oil and 2 types of citrus fruits – an orange and a lemon.
Before you get cooking, make sure to pat the tenderloins completely dry with paper towels. Then season them on all sides with the dry rub.
How to cook pork tenderloin
Step 1: Heat a large cast iron skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add in oil to coat the bottom of the pan and then add the seasoned pork tenderloins.
Step 2: Sear the pork for about 1 1/2 minutes per side, until every side has a good sear on it.
Step 3: Remove the skillet from the heat and squeeze in the juice of one orange and one lemon. Add the fruit rinds to the skillet and bake everything in 375°F oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 140°F.
Step 4: Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve immediately with the juices from the skillet.
Tips for making the best pork tenderloin
Get a good sear. Make sure your skillet is hot before adding the pork. This will help create that beautiful and delicious caramelization on the outside that creates a ton of flavor!
Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the pork. Not only will this help you determine if the pork is underdone, but it will also help you make sure it’s not overcooked! Here’s my favorite in-oven meat thermometer.
Let it rest. After removing the pork from the oven, transfer it to cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes. This will help redistribute and lock in all the moisture so that when you go to slice it, the juices don’t run out.
What to serve with roasted pork tenderloin
To turn this tenderloin into a full meal, here are a few of my favorite side dishes to serve with it:
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- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 1/2 pounds boneless pork tenderloins*
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 orange, quartered
- 1 lemon, halved
- chopped cilantro or parsley, for garnish
- In a small bowl, add chili powder, salt, smoked paprika, thyme, cumin, red pepper flakes and onion powder. Mix together until combined.
- Pat the pork tenderloins with paper towels until completely dry. Sprinkle the spice mixture all over the tenderloins and rub it in using your hands.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Heat a large oven-safe skillet or pan (a cast-iron skillet or dutch oven are best) over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil followed by the seasoned pork. Sear the pork on all sides, about 1 1/2 minutes per side.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and squeeze the juice of the orange quarters and lemon halves into the skillet. Place the squeezed oranges and lemons into the skillet and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 140°F. (I highly recommend using an in-oven meat thermometer to make sure you don't overcook the pork.)
- Remove the skillet from the oven and transfer the pork tenderloins to a cutting board. Let the pork rest for 5 minutes. The pork will continue cooking a little bit during this time and the internal temperature of the meat will reach 145°F.
- Slice and serve with the juices from the skillet and a garnish of chopped cilantro or parsley.