I love to cook a pork tenderloin because it's tasty and a change from chicken, but not tough like pork chops sometimes are. This Pork Tenderloin with Savory Sauce recipe is one of my favorite main dishes, because my entire family loves it. The result is moist and tender, but the best part is the sauce. It's is made up of the drippings, marinade, and some broth and butter, and is so good I just want to eat it with a spoon!
Some people confuse pork loin and pork tenderloin. Make sure you are getting a tenderloin for this dish.
I like to serve this dish with fresh vegetables, such as broccoli, asparagus, or green beans. Because the sauce has a little bit of an umami or astringent flavor, milder side dishes suit it well. If you prefer a starch, it would be perfect with white rice or buttered noodles, or simple rolls. I like King's Hawaiian rolls too, since they're a little sweet and they offset this dish well.
As pork tenderloin sauces go, this is one of my two favorites. The other sauce for pork tenderloin that I like is one made with brown sugar and balsamic vinegar.
Is Pork Tenderloin Healthy or Not?
In my opinion, pork is not unhealthy, and many people can eat it - unless you have religious objections or health concerns specific to pork, of course. Pork is a good source of protein and several vitamins including niacin, B6, B12, iron, and zinc. The pork tenderloin is a lean cut of the meat, so unlike bacon and other pork belly products (which are delicious but less healthy), the tenderloin has its place in many healthier diets.
How to Cook in the Oven
This recipe starts on the stovetop, to help give the final dish a tasty, more robust flavor. Once you've browned it on all sides, you simply transfer it to the oven to finish. Cooking pork tenderloin in the oven is easy since it doesn't take much "babysitting". You just let it stay in the oven until it's done!
When you prepare this dish, make sure you don't overcook the pork. Roasted pork doesn't have to be cooked to as high of a temperature as chicken, and it's safe to eat even if it's a little pink inside. The National Pork Board advises us that 145 degrees Fahrenheit is a safe temperature for pork, even if the interior is slightly pink. Just make sure to test the meat with a thermometer in several locations to make sure it's cooked completely through.
If you have a pan that can cook on the stovetop and go into the oven as well, it makes everything even easier! Once you finish browning, put the entire pan into the oven. Let it cook, then remove the pan from the oven and transfer the meat to a cutting board. Then, finish the sauce in the same pan. Just make sure you don't grab any hot handles (I've totally done that, and more than once, too.)
Why I Like this Recipe
This has always been one of my favorite healthy pork tenderloin recipes. I originally found it on Chef Mommy, but I made some slight changes. The original calls for parsley, which I loathe, so I leave it out. Most everything else is the same, and I'd like to thank her for the original because it's kept things running smoothly at my house for many years! I don't cook a lot of pork unless it's in the slow cooker, but I find this pork tenderloin recipe to be just perfect for us.
Pork Tenderloin with Savory Sauce
- Baking dish
- Meat thermometer
- 1-2 pounds pork tenderloin
- 1 lemon juiced
- ½ cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons mustard powder
- 4 cloves garlic peeled
Savory Pan Sauce
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons butter
- 3 tablespoons reserved marinade
- Squeeze the juice from the lemon. Place the juice and all other marinade ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
- Pour marinade over pork tenderloin and marinate in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours
- When you're ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, remove tenderloin from marinade and sear 2-3 minutes on each side. (Do not discard marinade)
- Place tenderloin in baking dish, uncovered, in the oven and cook for 30-40 minutes. The internal temperature should be 145 degrees.
- In the skillet where you browned the meat, add the chicken broth and 3 tbsp of marinade. (The rest of the marinade can now be discarded)
- While it heats, use a spatula to scrape of any remaining browned pieces of meat from the skillet. Bring to a boil.
- Boil for 3-4 minutes until reduced to a thicker sauce.
- Remove from heat and add butter, and stir until melted and combined
- Slice tenderloin against the grain and serve with sauce poured over it or on the side.