This recipe for oven baked pork tenderloin features a perfectly golden-brown sear, a delicious pork rub, and it's so easy anyone can make it! Pork tenderloin makes a wonderful dinner any day of the week and it's always a hit with adults and children alike!
Best Baked Pork Tenderloin Recipe
Sometimes simple is best, and this delicious baked pork tenderloin is proof! There are no crazy ingredients or complicated steps to be found in this recipe.
This pork tenderloin is a filling, savory entrée that will have the whole family gathering around the kitchen table together. It's the kind of dish people refer to when they are craving a warm home-cooked meal.
This recipe is rather simple and only calls for a handful of ingredients. I highly recommend the optional squeeze of citrus, it adds fresh flavor that pairs perfectly with pork!
- 1 ½ pounds Pork Tenderloin - Make sure you have the right cut of meat! To see the difference between a pork loin and a pork tenderloin, check out my post on the topic.
- 1 tablespoon Cooking Oil -
- 1 tablespoon Pork Seasoning - Try my pork seasoning recipe or use your favorite brand!
- Squeezed Citrus Fruit Juice (optional) - Lemon, lime, or orange would all be delicious.
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for ingredients, amounts & instructions!*
🔪 Step-by-Step Instructions
If you have a cast iron skillet, this is the perfect opportunity to use it! It creates a delicious golden-brown sear that can't be matched by a normal pan.
- Preheat. Preheat your oven to 400°F (205°C) and lightly oil your cast iron skillet.
- Prep. Rinse a 1 ½ pound pork tenderloin (or tenderloins if they are small) under cool water and trim any excess fat. Then, use paper towels to pat it dry. Use a sharp knife to prick just the surface of the tenderloin(s), then rub it all over with 1 tablespoon of cooking oil (*see note).
- Season. Generously sprinkle 1 tablespoon of pork seasoning blend all over the tenderloin and use your hands to rub it into the pork. If you are adding citrus, squeeze the juice of your fruit of choice over the prepared pork.
- Sear. Heat your skillet over medium-high heat, turning to sear all sides of your pork tenderloin, about 1-2 minutes each for a total of 5-6 minutes.
- Bake. Transfer your cast iron skillet, Dutch oven, or oven-safe skillet to the middle of your oven's center rack and bake for 13-14 minutes or until the pork reaches your desired temperature. (*see note).
- Rest and serve. Remove the skillet from the oven and transfer your pork tenderloin to a plate or cutting board. Tent foil loosely over the top and let it rest for 10 minutes. Then slice it into medallions or rounds and serve.
For more inspiration, take a look at this post on what to serve with pork tenderloin! Enjoy!
💭 Angela's Tips & Recipe Notes
- Use your preferred cooking oil. An oil with a neutral flavor and high smoke point is ideal. Some great choices would include avocado oil, coconut oil, or olive oil.
- Searing is optional, but recommended! Searing the roast can be skipped, although it adds to the taste and texture of your baked pork tenderloin. To skip this step, allow for more cooking time, up to 25-30 minutes.
- Pull your pork out 5°F below your desired doneness! The pork will continue to cook while resting, also known as 'carryover cooking'.
- Levels of doneness for pork: 145-150°F MEDIUM RARE, 150-155°F MEDIUM, 155-160°F MEDIUM-WELL, and 160°F WELL DONE.
- Storing: Leftover pork tenderloin can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 3-4 days. To freeze, wrap the pork in foil or plastic wrap and place it in a freezer bag or airtight container. Defrost in the fridge and enjoy within 3 months.
- Reheating: The easiest way to reheat pork tenderloin is to cut it into slices and reheat them in a skillet over low heat. Turn them every so often so they heat evenly.
🐷 More Pork Recipes!
- Air Fryer Pork Loin Chops
- Baked Pork Steaks
- Air Fryer Shake & Bake Pork Chops
- Sweet and Sour Pork
- Pork Tenderloin with Mushroom Gravy
- Balsamic Glazed Pork Chops
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Baked Pork Tenderloin
- 1 ½ lbs pork tenderloin
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 tablespoon pork seasoning (see recipe or use your favorite brand)
- squeezed citrus fruit juice (optional - use lemon, lime, or orange)
- Preheat your oven to 400°F (205°C) and lightly oil your cast iron skillet.
- Rinse and trim your pork tenderloin (or tenderloins if you have two smaller tenderloins), then pat it dry using paper towels. Prick the surface of your tenderloin(s) then rub with your cooking oil.1 ½ lbs pork tenderloin, 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- Sprinkle generously with pork seasoning blend and then use your hands to massage the seasoning into your pork. Squeeze fresh citrus juice over the seasoned pork.1 tablespoon pork seasoning, squeezed citrus fruit juice
- Heat the skillet over medium-high heat then sear the tenderloin(s), turning to sear all sides for 1-2 minutes each (about 5-6 minutes total).
- Transfer your cast iron skillet (or oven-safe skillet or Dutch oven) into the middle of your oven's center rack and cook the pork tenderloin for 13-14 minutes or until the pork reaches your desired level of doneness. (*see notes)
- Remove from the skillet and transfer to a cutting board or serving platter. Cover loosely with a square of aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing into rounds (or medallions) and serving.
- Use your preferred cooking oil, choosing one that is neutral in flavor and that has a high smoke point. Avocado oil, coconut oil, and olive oil are great choices.
- Searing the roast can be skipped, although it adds to the taste and texture of your baked pork tenderloin. To skip this step, allow for more cooking time, up to 25-30 minutes.
- Remove your pork tenderloin from the oven approximately 5°F below the desired doneness temp to allow for carryover cooking that will take place during the resting time.
- Pork doneness: 145-150°F MEDIUM RARE, 150-155°F MEDIUM, 155-160°F MEDIUM-WELL, and 160°F WELL DONE
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!