This seasoning-rubbed, garlic-infused baked pork tenderloin is seared to create a fantastic crust, roasted in the oven till incredibly tender on the inside, then sliced and served. This recipe comes together quickly and tastes delicious!
With savory garlic and rich butter, mixed with a great blend of spices and herbs, this delectable oven-baked pork tenderloin will leave you craving for more. From its unique blend of spices to its tender and juicy texture and to top it, a fantastic crust from the searing, this recipe is sure to become a favorite in your kitchen.
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This season has been a lot porkier for me. I have indulged in some excellent tenderloin cuts and pork chops and discovered the incredible flavors and possibilities these cuts offer. I have thoroughly enjoyed this journey as I have experimented with various recipes to bring out the best flavor from these cuts.
Pork tenderloin pairs very well with various seasonings and sauces because of its mild flavor and tender nature. You can season it with a flavorful spicy rub, bake it to tender goodness or apply a tangy BBQ glaze to the tenderloin like in Baked Pork Tenderloin with BBQ glaze.
Pork tenderloin is a lean and tender cut of meat that benefits from a relatively quick cooking method to preserve its tenderness and juiciness. It is typically cooked fast at a higher heat than other pork cuts.
The recommended cooking method for pork tenderloin combines searing and roasting. This allows a flavorful crust to develop on the outside while keeping the inside moist and tender. This works favorably with savory flavors, which I have followed in this recipe.
Chops, on the other hand, have a slightly richer and more pronounced flavor due to the presence of bone-in and a little marbling you get on them. The bone adds depth, allows the chops to be subjected to longer cooking times, and is more forgiving of overcooking. I have made chops with two delicious sauces: Skillet Pork Chops – one with a rich sour cream gravy and Creamy Pork Chops – another with a savory mushroom sauce.
I have another comforting pork recipe – Spicy Pork Ramen– spicy pork with ramen noodles in a flavorful broth.
Tender Pork Tenderloin Baked With Garlic
The combination of smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian herb blend, cayenne pepper, and dry mustard creates a delicious balance of smokiness, warmth, and earthiness. The brown sugar adds a touch of sweetness that enhances the overall flavor profile.
Garlic adds aroma and savory notes, while butter adds a depth of flavor to the nicely formed crust on the outside. The combination of an aromatic like garlic and fat like butter elevates the flavors a layer above a simple seasoning.
For this recipe, we use a two-step method to cook pork tenderloin: searing on the pan and baking in the oven. The searing in the pan before you bake helps form the crust, and this adds a different bite and texture. Baking in the oven ensures that the tenderloin is cooked evenly, traps the juices inside, and avoids losing moisture, resulting in juicy and succulent slices.
Why is this the best savory baked pork tenderloin recipe?
- The flavors are outstanding, and the tenderloin is perfectly cooked with tender and juicy meat.
- The richness and depth of garlic and butter perfectly complement the juicy pork.
- My unique blend of spices and herbs enhances the natural flavor of tenderloin.
- A gorgeous crust formed on top gives a nice bite and texture, complimenting the tender meat inside.
- Pork tenderloin (approximately 1–1.2 pounds)
- Oil – such as olive oil or vegetable oil.
- Butter (unsalted or salted) – searing meat in butter gives it a wonderful flavor.
- Smoked paprika – for some heat to balance the other flavors.
- Salt – to season and tenderize the tenderloin and bring out all the other flavors.
- Brown sugar – sweetness to balance the other tastes.
- Black pepper (adjust to taste – for a savory, spicy taste that improves the dish.
- Garlic powder and Onion powder – are my favorite aromatics that enhance the flavor of the seasoning.
- Dry mustard – adds tanginess to the spice and herb mixture.
- Italian herb blend – The herb blend boosts the flavor of the seasoning.
- Cayenne pepper – To add some heat to the mix and you should adjust to desired spice level.
If you need to make any substitutions, here are a few options:
- Smoked paprika: If you don’t have smoked paprika, regular paprika can be used as a substitute.
- Brown sugar: You can substitute honey, maple syrup, or granulated sugar for the brown sugar.
- Italian herb blend: If you don’t have a pre-made blend, you can use any combination of dried basil, oregano, thyme, parsley, or rosemary.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Shift the rack to the middle. Mix all the spices in a small bowl to make the seasoning and keep ready.
To prep the tenderloin, cut away any excess fat and look out for any tough white skin. If any, prune them.
Season the tenderloin
Using a fork, poke the tenderloin all over. Drizzle olive oil all over and rub it over the tenderloin using your hands. The oil coating helps the seasoning to stick and also develop a wonderful crust on the surface.
Sprinkle the seasoning all over on both sides and gently press with hands so they stick.
Sear on a pan
Melt butter in a hot oven-proof cast iron skillet and using a kitchen tong, place the tenderloin on the skillet. Sprinkle any extra seasoning. Sear it, on medium-high heat, for a couple of minutes on one side, then flip it,
Place the skillet in the oven and bake uncovered for 20 minutes. You can check after 15 minutes for the internal temperature to reach 145°F, using a meat thermometer. If not, check again after 5 minutes and so.
It is important to take the pork roast out and let it rest for 10 minutes. This seals the juices inside while it cools and the residual heat further cooks the inside.
Slice the whole into medallions and serve.
- Allow the frozen pork tenderloin to come to room temperature before you bake it.
- Gently massage the tenderloin with the seasoning dry rub after you have oiled it. Rubbing ensures the seasoning penetrates and imparts flavors.
- The best fail-safe way to prevent overcooking is to use a kitchen thermometer. Aim to reach a temperature of 145°F (63°C) for a juicy and slightly pink center.
- After taking the tenderloin out of the oven, allow it to rest for at least 10 minutes. With the heat trapped in it, the tenderloin will continue to cook without losing the juices within.
I had no leftover pork tenderloin from the dining table. A rare chance even for you. But, if you end up with leftovers, the baked tenderloin can be frozen as a whole or up to 3 months.
To freeze tenderloin, you can wrap it in whole or sliced, with aluminum foil. Wrapping in foil eliminates exposure to freezer burns. When taking out frozen tenderloins, thaw them overnight by shifting them to the refrigerator.
You may also refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat the tenderloin in the microwave until it becomes warm. Do so in bursts of 20 seconds, and check. You do not want to overcook while reheating, which is highly likely.
What To Serve With
Baked Pork chops have good protein and fat. To make a balanced meal out of it, you can consider a variety of delicious side dishes to pair it with:
- Potato – Grilled and seared meats like baked pork go well with mashed potato or potato wedges, or Crispy Skillet Potatoes.
- Salad – A dry salad will up the fiber content like these White bean salad with lemon vinaigrette, Fall Roasted Sweet Potato Salad, or Lemon Dill Potato Salad( No Mayo).
- Grilled veggies – Grilled or roasted veggies like Oven-roasted Brussels Sprouts, Roasted Lemon Pepper Zucchini, or Pecan Honey Roasted Carrot.
- Sweet potato – Roasted sweet potatoes offer a crispy and sweet taste to have with savory pork. Check out Cinnamon Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes. A hash from sweet potatoes like Maple Bacon Sweet Potato Hash is a good option.
- Green beans – Refreshing green dish that offers fiber and deliciousness like Cheesy Garlic Green Beans or something with an Asian flavor – Asian Green Beans.
- Rice – With delicious little sauce dripping from the tenderloin, you can drizzle it over a bed of flavorful Rice Pilaf or even white or brown rice. Even quinoa is a good option.
- Coleslaw – For a creamy coleslaw recipe, check out my Classic Coleslaw.
Baked Garlic Butter tenderloin Recipe
- 1 pork tenderloin 1 – 1.2 pound roughly
- 2 teaspoon oil
- 2 tablespoons Butter
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- ½ tablespoon black pepper
- ½ tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- ½ tablespoon Italian herb blend
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Preheat your oven to 400F and move the rack to the middle position.
- Mix all the spices mentioned above in a bowl.
- Prep the tenderloins by cutting off any excess fat and the tough white skin. Pat the tenderloins dry with a kitchen towel.
- Using a fork, poke the tenderloin all over. Drizzle oil all over and rub using your hands.
Season and sear
- Sprinkle the pork seasoning generously all over on both sides. Press gently with the hand, so that the mixture will stick well.
- Heat an oven-proof cast iron skillet. Melt butter using a kitchen tong place the seasoned tenderloin on the hot skillet. Sear for about 2 minutes without disturbing. Flip and sear the rest of the side for 1 minute.
- You can sprinkle any left over seasoning on top of the tenderloin.
Bake in oven
- Bake, uncovered, for about 15-20 minutes or until the thickest past of pork has reached 145F. Let it rest 5-10 minutes before slicing it into medallions so it remains juicy.