Roasted Balsamic Pork Tenderloin

Roasted Balsamic Pork Tenderloin doused in a balsamic butter sauce might be the juiciest, most flavorful pork of your life!

This Roasted Balsamic Pork Tenderloin recipe is buttery tender and seeping with double the flavor from a spice rub and tantalizing sweet and tangy balsamic, herb sauce.  This recipe may look impressive but is deceptively easy to make AND a meal-in-one if you include the optional sheet pan potatoes and broccoli (or pick your favorite veggies!).  This Balsamic Pork Tenderloin is prep ahead friendly, freezer friendly and makes fantastic leftovers.  I’ve included detailed instructions, tips, tricks and everything you need to know to make the BEST Roasted Pork Tenderloin recipe!  Serve it up with a Caesar Salad and breadsticks for a complete meal the whole family will gobble up.

Pork tenderloin is a lean, delicious, easy alternative to chicken and a chameleon when it comes to flavorings. Don’t miss our favorite pork tenderloin recipes: Garlic Lemon Butter Pork Tenderloin, Roasted Hoisin Blackberry Pork Tenderloin and Chili Dijon Pork Tenderloin. If you’re looking for a slow cooker option my honey pork loin recipe is also fantastic (note that recipe is for loin and not tenderloin).

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balsamic PORK TENDERLOIN RECIPE video

oven roasted pork tenderloin cooked in balsamic sauce sliced in foil

I’m going to get into all the details of this recipe and how to roast pork tenderloin, so if you want to skip straight to the recipe, use the “jump to recipe” at the top of the page or join me for the delicious ride.  Enjoy!

about this Roasted PORK TENDERLOIN

I am so excited to bring you this Roasted Balsamic Pork Tenderloin recipe today!  It is so outrageously juicy your mouth will be on the floor – but only long enough to shovel in another bite.

This recipe is inspired by my Baked Pork Tenderloin with Lemon Garlic Butter with hundreds of rave reviews all claiming it is the “best/juiciest/most delicious pork tenderloin I’ve ever had.” I’ve used the same technique for this recipe by brining, spice rubbing and baking the tenderloin in foil but mixed up the flavor profile to deliver this succulent Balsamic Pork Tenderloin. 

What I especially love about this recipe is that the balsamic doesn’t knock you over the head. It’s plenty balsamic-y but is tamed by the butter so you still appreciate the dynamic herbs, seasonings and kick of red pepper flakes.

This pork tenderloin recipe also includes the option to roast baby potatoes and broccoli alongside the pork for hand’s off sides and a winning meal-in-one.  The veggies are tossed in some reserved spice rub and reserved balsamic sauce so they are seasoned to perfection without any extra work for you!  Of course, if you don’t want to roast the veggies, just skip them and proceed with the pork tenderloin recipe.    

what makes this roasted pork tenderloin so juicy and FLAVORFUL?

  • It starts with pork tenderloin! Set yourself up for success by using pork tenderloin, one of the most succulently tender cuts of protein you can sink your teeth into.  Pork tenderloin is not to be confused with tougher pork loin (see section below).
  • The JUICIEST pork tenderloin comes from brining your pork.  If you’ve never brined your pork before, it will change your culinary life!   Brining literally changes the molecular structure of the pork and only takes 20 minutes. You will especially love that it works better than a marinade without having to plan ahead.
  • The pork is rubbed with seasonings and seared until golden.  This creates a caramelized crust of flavor that can’t be beat and helps insulate the pork for optimal juiciness.  But the flavor doesn’t stop there…
  • The pork is bathed in a hypnotic balsamic butter sauce.  A sauce of tangy balsamic, sweet honey and herbaceous herbs is poured over the pork tenderloin before it bakes, then it’s topped with pads of butter that create a self-basing butter sauce for maximum flavor and tenderness. It is lick your plate worthy.  
  • The pork tenderloin is baked in foil.  The foil creates a hot, steamy environment that traps all of the moisture inside. The emerging roasted pork tenderloin is buttery tender and dripping with flavor – I CANNOT wait for you to try it!   
top view of balsamic roasted pork tenderloin sliced on a baking sheet oven roasted with potatoes and broccoli

WHAT IS PORK TENDERLOIN?

Pork tenderloin, also called pork fillet, pork steak or Gentleman’s Cut, is one of the most tender, lean proteins with fabulous flavor. 

It is a long, narrow muscle that runs along the backbone of a pig. This muscle is non-weight bearing and performs very few actions so it has little connective tissue and muscle fibers traditionally toughened by exercise.  As a result, pork tenderloin lives up to its name as a tender loin.

Pork Tenderloin is also extremely low in fat – about as lean as skinless chicken breasts!  It is easy to cook, relatively quick to cook and the leftovers don’t dry out (if not initially overcooked). 

Pork tenderloin can be baked whole like we are in this recipe, cut into slices and pounded into cutlets (like this pork medallions recipe), cut into cubes for kebabs (like this al pastor kabob recipe), cubed for stir fries or cut into slices for satay.  There are so many ways to enjoy succulent pork tenderloin!

What is the difference between pork tenderloin and pork loin?

Before you make this roasted pork tenderloin, it’s important you purchase pork tenderloin and NOT pork loin – they are not the same.  If you use pork loin, you will have to increase the baking time. 

  • Cut of Meat:
    • Pork tenderloin comes from the loin of the pig which runs from the hip to the shoulder.
    • Pork loin roast comes from the back of a pig, starting from the shoulder and running to where the animal’s leg begins. 
  • Size:
    • Pork tenderloin is thin and small, usually 1-2 pounds; it usually comes in a package of two tenderloins.
    • Pork loin is long and cylindrical in shape. A whole loin weighs up to 20 pounds which is then cut down into various chops and roasts.  Pork loin roast can be cut to order anywhere from 3 to 5 pounds.
  • Texture and flavor: 
    • Pork tenderloin gets its name for a reason – it is one of the most tender cuts of pork because it comes from a muscle that doesn’t receives much, if any, exercise.
    • Pork loin roast is mildly flavored and relatively lean and not naturally tender.  It must be cooked longer, low and slow, in order to become tender.
  • Cooking Method:
    • Pork tenderloin cooks quite quickly at higher temperatures, anywhere from 350 degrees to 425 degrees F.
    • Pork loin should be slow-roasted in order to become tender. It should not be cooked quickly or roasted at high temperatures. 

WHAT TO LOOK FOR when buying pork tenderlion?

You can purchase pork tenderloin in the meat section of your grocery store or from the butcher counter.  Pork tenderloin is typically $3.00-$7.00 per pound, so less than $20 to feed your entire family a restaurant worthy dinner with leftovers!

  • Weight: Pork tenderloin is almost always sold with two tenderloins per package.  Each tenderloin weighs roughly 1-1 ½ pounds, for a total of 2-3 pounds per package. You will need one package with TWO pork tenderloins/ONE package for this Roasted Pork Tenderloin recipe.  
  • Packaging:  Look for pork that is not packaged in a rub or marinade because we are going to brine and season the meat ourselves.  This way we control the flavor and salt.  
  • Color:  When choosing pork tenderloin, look for a meat that’s pinkish-red in color with some marbling.  Avoid pork that is pale in color or has any dark spots.
  • Storage:   The sooner you cook your newly purchased tenderloin, the fresher it will be, although it will keep for two to three days in the refrigerator.   If storing longer than three days, transfer the pork tenderloin to the freezer for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator 24 hours before using.  
showing how to cook pork tenderloin by garnishing with parsley

DO I NEED TO REMOVE THE SILVERSKIN BEFORE COOKING?

The silverskin is part of a sinew on one side of the pork and looks like thin, silvery fat.  It is best removed because it doesn’t melt like fat and can become tough and chewy once cooked. Many packages will come pre-trimmed and ready to go or it’s easy to trim yourself.

How to remove silverskin

There isn’t anything special or complicated about removing the silverskin. To remove, slip a sharp knife in between the silverskin and the meat to create a “tab.” Angle the knife so the blade is facing toward the silver skin way from the meat.  Hold the tab taught while you cut the silverskin with a sawing motion until it’s cut free.

Pork brine is magic!

Have you ever brined pork before?  What about turkey? The concept is the same and will change the way you make and see pork forever! 

Pork tenderloin is a lean cut of meat so it can easily dry out unless you brine it first. With a brine, the pork emerges crazy juicy every time because brining actually changes the molecular structure of the pork without having to prep and plan ahead with an overnight marinade – just 20 minutes will do the trick!

In all of my pork brine recipes, readers have commented that brining is a MUST and are converted; even overcooked brined pork emerges juicy – so PLEASE brine your pork!

WHAT IS BRINING? 

Brining is the process of submerging a cut of meat into a solution of salt and water in order to increase the moisture capacity of the meat.  The meat absorbs so much liquid that it can’t all evaporate during the cooking process, creating a juicier piece of meat.

How does it work? 

The salty brine accomplishes two things: 1) hydrates the cells of the muscle tissues via osmosis; 2) breaks down the proteins so they can no longer contract when cooking, trapping in the moisture.  Or in other words, less water is squeezed out and lost when cooking, resulting in juicier meat.  

HOW LONG DOES BRINING TAKE?

Brining pork literally takes 20 minutes – you actually can’t brine pork tenderloin longer than that or it will become mealy.  The brine uses a few pantry friendly ingredients – so it’s quick and easy.

MORE PERKS TO BRINING:   

Brining brings the pork to room temperature so it: 1) cooks more evenly instead of drying out the outside while waiting for the inside to cook and 2) allows the pork muscle fibers to better re-absorb juices for maximum flavor.

up close of a slice of roasted balsamic pork tenderloin roasted topped with balsamic sauce

How to brine pork tenderloin

If you’ve never brined any protein before, don’t be intimidated – you are simply immersing the pork tenderloin in a salt solution, similar to a marinade.  To brine pork, you will combine the following in a large disposable bag:

  • kosher salt
  • warm water
  • balsamic vinegar
  • brown sugar
  • ice cubes
  • pork

First, you’ll mix the kosher salt and warm water to dissolve the salt. Next, you’ll add the vinegar, brown sugar and ice cubes.  The ice cubes cool the water back down so it’s ready to receive the pork.  Lastly, you’ll add the pork.

Quick tip about brining – Do NOT evenly swap table salt in your brining solution for kosher salt or your tenderloins will be too salty.  You will need half as much table salt as kosher salt. 

pork TENDERLOIN dry rub

Now that we have tender pork tenderloin, it’s time to make it flavorful!  The outside of the pork is coated in a rich, earthy, and complex dry rub with just the right amount of kick.  It takes minutes to whisk together and delivers rich, dynamic flavor without knocking you over the head with one note.

For this pork tenderloin dry rub, I use a combination of:

  • Chili powder:  made from a blend chili peppers and other spices including cumin, onion, garlic powder; note American chili powder is NOT hot cayenne pepper.
  • Paprika:  I prefer regular paprika as opposed to smoked paprika in this Roasted Pork Tenderloin recipe so the tangy balsamic can shine.
  • Garlic powder:  is a favorite ingredient in rubs because it delivers all that yummy garlic goodness in concentrated flavor right on the meat in a way clumpy garlic cannot.
  • Onion powder:  is dehydrated, ground onion that infuses our balsamic pork tenderloin with yet another layer of flavor.
  • Salt and pepper:  are musts to enhance all of the flavors. I used good old table salt in the rub and NOT kosher in this recipe – if you use kosher salt, you will need twice the amount.
showing how to make dry rub for pork tenderloin by adding chili powder, paprika, salt, onion powder, garlic powder and pepper in a bowl

sauce for pork tenderloin

Every pork tenderloin needs a sauce!  The intoxicating tangy balsamic sauce is based off of my balsamic chicken marinade, balsamic chicken skillet, and bruschetta chicken pasta.

The balsamic sauce is made by quickly whisking together balsamic vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, and Italian herbs and seasonings.  We don’t add the herbs to the dry rub because they will burn when seared, so the sauce is the perfect vehicle to add them to the pork.  You will need:

  • Balsamic vinegar: the highest quality balsamic vinegars (super pricy) are not necessary in this recipe and should be reserved for finishing dishes. Less expensive but still quality Balsamic Vinegar of Modena I.G.P. is what you want to use for everyday cooking in sauces, marinades, and salad dressings. You can read all about balsamic vinegar in this post. To identify, I.G.P. should clearly be labeled and marked with the yellow-and-blue I.G.P. stamp (it shows two hillsides in a ring of stars). The vinegar can be designated “aged” if it has fermented for more than three years – a great sign. Some reputable brands include: ColavitaDue Vittorie Oro Gold, Oliviers & Co and Giuseppe Giusti Gran Deposito.
  • Honey: mild clover honey balances out the tangy balsamic. 
  • Dijon mustardI promise it won’t make your pork taste like mustard! It adds a depth of tanginess.
  • Herbs: dried oregano, dried basil, dried thyme and red pepper flakes inject the sauce with a rainbow of flavor. 

HOW TO cook PORK TENDERLOIN

Roasted Pork Tenderloin is easy to make in 4 steps: brine, season, sear and bake. Here are some tips and tricks for the best oven roasted pork tenderloin every time:

STEP 1:  BRINE PORK TENDERLOIN

  • How to brine pork:  Mix the kosher salt with warm water in order to dissolve the salt, then mix in the vinegar, brown sugar and ice cubes, then add the pork tenderloins.  I place the brining bag in a bowl or a large liquid measuring cup in order to prop it up and make it easier to work with. Make sure both of the pork tenderloin pieces are completely submerged in the brine.  
  • Dry before seasoning: When your pork tenderloins are done brining, rinse them in cool water. If you don’t rinse the pork, it will be too salty – so don’t forget this step!  Next, dry them completely with paper towels so the rub will stick.
a collage showing how to brine pork tenderloin by 1) whisking water with kosher salt, 2) adding vinegar and sugar, 3) adding ice cubes and 4) adding pork tenderloin

STEP 2: make dry rub and sauce

  • Make the dry rub:  While the pork is brining, you’ll make the dry rub and the balsamic sauce.  Mix chili powder, garlic powder, salt, onion powder, paprika and pepper together. These spices create a wonderful flavor base for any sauce direction you want to go.  We will add the herbs directly to the sauce so they don’t burn when we sear the pork. You’ll reserve 1 teaspoon spice mix to add to the vegetables before roasting.
  • Make balsamic sauce:  In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, honey, Dijon and herbs.
showing how to make balsamic sauce for roasted pork tenderloin by whisking balsamic, Dijon and herbs together in a bowl

STEP 3: prep veggies (optional) 

  • Roast Potatoes: While the pork is brining, get the potatoes roasting.  They need a head start in the oven because they take longer to cook than the pork tenderloin and the broccoli.  We’ll toss them in olive oil, reserved spices, balsamic sauce, salt and pepper. SO GOOD.  I like to roast them cut side down for optimal crispiness.
  • Broccoli:  When the potatoes come out of the oven, push them to one side of the pan and add the broccoli to the other. You’ll toss them in the same medley of olive oil and seasonings.  Set aside.
showing how to cook pork tenderloin by par cooking potatoes in the oven before adding the pork tenderloin to roast in the oven

STEP 4:  SPICE RUB PORK

  • Dry rub the pork.  Evenly shake the spice mix over the pork tenderloins and pat it into the pork on all sides.
showing how to use pork tenderloin dry rub by coating all sides of the pork on a cutting board with the seasonings

STEP 5: sear the pork

  • Heat the skillet.  Heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat and swirl the pan to evenly coat the bottom with oil.  Don’t substitute olive oil for vegetable oil because we need an oil with a high smoking point. You will want to use a large cast iron skillet and squish the pork tenderloin in the best you can.  
  • Sear pork: Add pork tenderloin and sear until golden on all sides.  You may need to work in batches.  Searing the pork creates a caramelized crust which locks in the juices and creates complex flavors that cannot be achieved any other way. It also helps our dry rub stick to the pork and not wash away with the balsamic sauce.
showing how to cook pork tenderloin by searing it in a cast iron skillet

STEP 6: wrap the pork tenderloin in foil

  • Add balsamic sauce: Place the seared pork tenderloins on their own sheet of foil.  Make sure the foil is long enough to completely enclose the pork. 
  • Wrap in foil: Fold up the foil around the sides of the tenderloins. Pour half of the balsamic sauce over each tenderloin, then top each tenderloin with 3 pads of butter. Bring up the sides of the foil and completely enclose each tenderloin.  Transfer pork pouches to the middle of the baking sheet in between the veggies.
showing how to cook pork tenderloin by adding butter on top of the seared pork before it is oven roasted

step 7: roast the pork tenderloin

  • Bake:  Bake the balsamic pork tenderloin until it reaches desired temperature. To check the temperature, insert a digital probe thermometer through the foil as it bakes or check with an instant read thermometer. Your vegetables should be done at the same time as the pork, but if not, remove the pork to cutting a board, and continue roasting vegetables an additional 5-10 minutes or until tender.
showing how to cook pork tenderloin by wrapping up the pork tenderloins in foil before they are oven roasted

How long cook pork tenderloin at 400 degrees?

There are several variables when it comes to cooking pork tenderloin, specifically the size and moisture capacity of the meat.  Expect the pork tenderloin to take anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes. 

STEP 7: rest the pork

  • Let pork rest. Transfer pork to a cutting board and carefully open the foil because a lot of steam will escape. Let the pork rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Spoon the accumulated balsamic butter sauce in the bottom of the foil over top the sliced pork. Dig in!

TIPS TO COOK the best roasted PORK TENDERLOIN

The best roasted pork tenderloin is achieved by following a few key techniques:

  • Brine for optimal tenderness.  As previously detailed, brining the pork results in the juiciest pork and only takes 20 minutes so PLEASE don’t skip!  Don’t brine the pork for longer than 20 minutes or it can become mealy.
  • Don’t evenly swap table salt for kosher salt. If you only have table salt on hand, use half the amount in the brine.
  • Thoroughly rinse the pork after brining so it isn’t too salty. You can always add salt after cooking but it’s hard to take away!
  • Sear the pork tenderloin before cooking.  Searing the pork tenderloins creates the Maillard reaction resulting in rich, deep, complex flavor and locks in the juices. It also prevents the surface of the pork from becoming dehydrated when cooked.
  • Don’t skip the butter or foil for the juiciest pork. You can cut down on the butter if you wish, but I wouldn’t skip it completely unless you must. Butter adds richness and flavor to an otherwise extremely lean cut of meat. The pads of butter melt as the pork cooks, self-basting the pork in buttery moisture.  The foil traps the buttery sauce so it seeps back into the pork for the juiciest pork ever.  
  • Don’t overcook: overcooked pork tenderloin is dry pork tenderloin. Pork tenderloin is extremely lean so it can dry out very easily when overcooked.  Use your meat thermometer and check your pork right at 15 minutes if it’s on the thin side then as needed so it doesn’t become tough and dry.  
  • The only accurate way to check your pork tenderloin temperature is with an instant read thermometer.  There are many variables when it comes to cooking pork tenderloin such as size, thickness, actual oven temperature, searing level and your desired level of doneness.  To eliminate the guesswork and guarantee perfectly cooked, juicy balsamic pork tenderloin every time, invest in an instant read meat thermometer.  This is the exact one I use (more details below).
  • Check the temperature of each tenderloin. Count on your two pork tenderloins being done at different times because they will likely be slightly different sizes. As soon as first reaches 145 degrees F, carefully remove that pouch from the oven using oven mitts.
  • Rest before slicing. Let the balsamic pork tenderloin rest 10 minutes before slicing.  This time allows time for the redistribution and reabsorption of the juices throughout the pork.
  • Slice the pork across the grain.  Cut perpendicular to the muscle fibers so they become as short as possible, as opposed to parallel which will result in long muscle fibers and chewy, rubbery meat.  You can either slice in ½” slices or my husband loves super thin slices.
showing how to cook pork tenderloin by basting in balsamic sauce

PORK cooking temperature

The USDA guidelines state that pork can be safely consumed when cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F with a resting time of three minutes, but anywhere between 145 degrees F (medium-rare) and 160 degrees F (medium) is considered acceptable.

Your tenderloin will increase in temperature anywhere from 5-10 degrees as it rests, so I remove my pork as soon as it hits 145 degrees F for juiciest pork.

How to check pork cooking temp

The most accurate way to check the internal temperature of pork tenderloin is with an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the tenderloin. Instant read thermometers eliminate all of the guesswork – you simply cannot make perfectly cooked pork tenderloin without one!

You can pick up an inexpensive instant read thermometer at the grocery store or Amazon, or I HIGHLY recommend this digital probe thermometer – you will never overcook any protein again!  Instant read thermometers can be temperamental, but this digital probe thermometer retrieves temperature precisely to within ±1.8°F (±1°C). 

Best of all, this digital thermometer comes with two probes.  You insert one probe into each of the pork tenderloins (through the foil) and you leave it in the pork while it cooks, whether on the stove, grill or oven.  Set the desired temperature and an alarm will ring as soon as it reaches the set temperature.  This works particularly well when cooking pork tenderloins of different sizes/thickness because they will be done at different times.  Now, just walk away and be rewarded with succulently juicy roasted pork tenderloin every time.

can pork tendelrion be pink?

Yes, pork tenderloin is safe to consume when a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 145 degrees F which means it will be slightly pink inside.

This 145-degrees temperature is 15 degrees less than the old standards of 160 degrees F which would mean the pork would be completely cooked through without any pink.  The research shows, however, that 145 degrees F is the same safety-wise as cooking pork to 160 degrees F AND yields much more tender pork.

This is what your pork will look like with the allotted 5-minute resting time:

  • pork taken out at 145 F, will rise to 150 F – slices will be somewhat pink and moist
  • pork taken out at 150 F, will rise to 155 F – slices will be a little pink and moist
  • pork taken out at 160 F, will rise to 165 F – slices will not be pink but still should be relatively moist

RECIPE VARIATIONS

This roasted pork tenderloin is fabulous as is or you can use the basic cooking technique and make it your own.  Here are a few ideas:

  • Brine:  Mix up the brine by adding peppercorns, rosemary and/or thyme.  You can swap the vinegar for orange juice, apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar.
  • Spice rub:  Can be made with any mix of spices or you can play with the ratios.  You can even use premade dry mixes like Cajun, Fajita, Montreal, etc.
  • Swap veggies: Swap the potatoes for sweet potatoes and the broccoli for vegetables with similar cooking times. For quick cooking vegetables like bell peppers and zucchini, chop them large, 1-inch for bell peppers and 1/2-¾ inch quarters for zucchini.
  • Omit veggies: Feel free to roast the pork without the vegetables and instead serve with mashed potatoes and a salad – yum!
  • Swap sauce:  Use virtually anything!  Pick a sauce from your favorite recipe and pour it over the pork in the foil before it bakes.  You can also play with the current sauce and make it sweeter with additional honey, tangier with additional balsamic, spicier with additional red pepper flakes. 
  • Add dipping sauce:  Keep the recipe the same and serve it with your favorite sauce such as raspberry chipotle sauce, chimichurri, pesto, barbecue sauce, honey mustard, etc.
  • Use a different protein: This recipe is also delicious with chicken! When I was perfecting the sauce, I experimented with chicken in foil packets and they were also drool worthy.
balsamic pork tenderloin roasted in the oven sliced on a baking sheet garnished by parsley

pork tenderloin sides

This Balsamic Pork Tenderloin pairs beautifully with practically everything!  If you make it a sheet pan with broccoli and potatoes, it really doesn’t need anything, else, possible a green salad.  If you skip the sheet pan veggies, here are some more favorites to choose from:

MAKE AHEAD PORK tenderLOIN

This pork tenderloin is easy to prepare ahead of time so all you have do to is pop it in the oven and bake or you can prep it up to different stages:

  • Brine: Brine the pork, rinse and dry, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 24 hours ahead of time.
  • Rub:  Brine, rinse, dry and coat with dry rub.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 24 hours.
  • Sear:  Brine, rinse, dry, spice rub and sear.  Let cool, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 24 hours.  Let sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes before baking.
  • Sauce:  Can be whisked together and stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
  • Everything!  If you want the pork tenderloin almost ready to go, add the seared pork to a resealable bag along with the balsamic sauce (don’t forget to remove some for the veggies).  Place in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, turning a few times to evenly distribute the balsamic sauce.  Note, you should not store the pork tenderloin in foil with the sauce because a chemical reaction could spoil the pork. When ready to bake, transfer the pork to foil, pour the sauce over top and top with butter.  Let sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes before baking.

what do with LEFTOVER PORK tenderloin

If you are fortunate enough to have leftover pork tenderloin, it reheats beautifully or you can repurpose it in sandwiches, wraps, eggs, omelets, breakfast hash, hash browns, breakfast enchiladasbreakfast casserolessalads, pastas or pasta salads, rice, soups (amazing in ramen) or plain.  It is also tasty jazzed up with other sauces.

HOW LONG IS LEFTOVER PORK tenderloin GOOD FOR?

Leftover pork tenderloin should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days; freeze beyond that.

CAN I FREEZE LEFTOVER PORK tenderLOIN?

Yes!  You can freeze pork tenderloin whole, chopped or in slices.  Frozen pork tenderloin should be used within 3-4 months.  Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

HOW TO REHEAT PORK tenderLOIN

  • Stove:  heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat along with a splash of water. Add sliced pork in a single layer and heat through, flipping halfway.
  • Microwave: transfer sliced pork tenderloin to a microwave-safe dish and microwave for 1 minute, then at 15-second intervals, as needed.

top rated PORK tenderloin RECIPES:

Looking for more ways to use delicious pork tenderloin? Try these top-rated recipes!

up close of a slice of balsamic pork tenderloin roasted in the oven showing how juicy it is

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top view of balsamic roasted pork tenderloin sliced on a baking sheet oven roasted with potatoes and broccoli

Roasted Balsamic Pork Tenderloin

This Roasted Balsamic Pork Tenderloin recipe is buttery tender and seeping with double the flavor from a spice rub and tantalizing sweet and tangy balsamic, herb sauce.  This recipe may look impressive but is deceptively easy to make AND a meal-in-one if you include the optional sheet pan potatoes and broccoli (or pick your favorite veggies!).  This Balsamic Pork Tenderloin is prep ahead friendly, freezer friendly and makes fantastic leftovers.  I’ve included detailed instructions, tips, tricks and everything you need to know to make the BEST Roasted Pork Tenderloin recipe!  Serve it up with a Caesar Salad and breadsticks for a complete meal the whole family will gobble up.
Servings: 4 -6 servings
Prep Time: 40 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins

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Ingredients

PORK AND VEGGIES

  • 1 pkg. pork tenderloins, trimmed (comes with 2 pieces, 2 – 2 ½ lbs. total)
  • 3 cups broccoli florets (optional)
  • 1 pound baby Dutch potatoes, quartered or halved if smaller (optional)
  • vegetable and olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons butter sliced into 6 pads

PORK BRINE

SPICE MIX

BALSAMIC SAUCE

Instructions

  • Prep: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a half-rimmed baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup and spray with cooking spray. On the counter next to the stove, lay out two long pieces of foil that will be used to enclose each tenderloin separately after searing.
  • Brine: In a gallon-size freezer bag (I prop it up in a larger bowl), mix kosher salt with warm water until dissolved. Whisk in vinegar, brown sugar and ice then add the pork (make sure pork is submerged). Brine for exactly 20 minutes (meanwhile see steps below). Remove pork from brine, RINSE and pat very dry. The pork can become mealy if left in the brine any longer than 20 minutes.
  • Spice Mix and Sauce: While the pork is brining, whisk together all of the Spice Mix ingredients in a small bowl. Remove 1 teaspoon to use on the vegetables. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the Balsamic Sauce ingredients. Lastly, prepare the veggies:
  • Potatoes (optional): Add potatoes to the prepared baking sheet. Toss with 1 tablespoon Balsamic Sauce, 1 tablespoon olive oil, ½ teaspoon reserved Spice Mix, ¼ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper then spread into an even layer. Bake potatoes at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes then remove the pan from the oven.
  • Broccoli (optional): Push the par-cooked potatoes to one side of the pan (keep in a single layer). Add the broccoli and toss with ½ tablespoon Balsamic Sauce, 1 tablespoon olive oil, ½ teaspoon reserved Spice Mix, ¼ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Push to the opposite side of the pan in a single layer. Set aside.
  • Spice and Sear Pork: Evenly rub the dried pork all over with spice mix. Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is very hot and just smoking, add pork tenderloins, you may need to work in batches. Sear each side of pork until golden, then transfer to prepared foil.
  • Add Balsamic Sauce: Fold up the foil around the sides of the tenderloins. Pour half of the balsamic sauce over each tenderloin, then top each tenderloin with 3 pads of butter. Bring up the sides of the foil and completely enclose each tenderloin (see photos in post). Transfer pork pouches to the middle of the baking sheet in between the vegetables.
  • Bake: Bake at 400 degrees F until pork registers between 145 and 150-degrees F (63 and 65 degrees C) at the thickest part of the tenderloin, 15-25 minutes depending on thickness. This means the pork will be juicy and slightly pink in the middle. To check the temperature, insert a digital probe thermometer through foil as it bakes or check with an instant read thermometer. Note, you may need to remove one tenderloin from the oven before the other. Your vegetables should be done at the same time as the pork, but if not, remove the pork and continue roasting vegetables an additional 5-10 minutes or until tender.
  • Rest: When pork is done, transfer it to a heat proof surface and open the top of the foil (be careful, a lot of steam will escape); let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Spoon the accumulated balsamic butter sauce in the bottom of the foil over top the sliced pork. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Video

Notes

MAKE AHEAD 

This pork tenderloin recipe can be completely prepared ahead of time or prepped up to different stages such as brining, rubbing, searing and making the sauce.  To fully prep ahead:
  • Add the seared pork to a resealable bag along with the balsamic sauce (don’t forget to remove 1 ½ TBS sauce for the veggies). 
  • Place in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours, turning a few times to evenly distribute the balsamic sauce.  Note, you should not store the pork tenderloin in foil with the sauce because a chemical reaction could spoil the pork.
  • When ready to bake, transfer the pork to foil, pour the sauce over top and top with butter.  Let sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes before baking.

HOW TO Store and REHEAT 

  • To store:  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • To freeze: Freeze pork tenderloin whole, chopped or in slices.  Frozen pork tenderloin should be used within 3-4 months.  Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
  • Stove:  Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat along with a splash of water. Add sliced pork in a single layer and heat through, flipping halfway.
  • Microwave: Transfer sliced pork tenderloin to a microwave-safe dish and microwave for 1 minute, then at 15-second intervals, as needed.

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4 Comments

  1. jk says

    Jennifer, always looking for new pork tenderloin recipes and this one looks like a winner. My question is: I don’t care for mustard, therefore, can you recommend and alternative ingredient? Many thanks.

    • Jen says

      Hi JK, you can just omit it if you’d like but you really can’t taste the mustard – it just adds a layer of tanginess. I’m excited to hear what you think of this recipe!

  2. Maggie says

    Can I use cayenne pepper instead of red pepper flakes? If so do I use 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne peeper.

    • Jen says

      Yes and yes! 1/8 tsp is perfect.

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