This baked pork tenderloin with a mesquite rub is a very easy and delicious pork tenderloin recipe that is big on flavor and perfect for a quick meal or for entertaining. This pork tenderloin is coated with a delicious mesquite spice blend then baked in the oven until juicy and tender. Even better, this recipe is ready in about 30 minutes.
Serve this pork tenderloin with a side of Southern collard greens or some easy homemade biscuits. If you love pork recipes, make sure you check out our juicy boneless pork chops!
About this baked pork tenderloin recipe
Cooking pork tenderloin is very easy and it is all about making sure you give it lots of flavor (which we did here with the seasoning) and not overcooking it. Pork tenderloin is a very tender cut of meat which is where it gets it name from.
This is a baked pork tenderloin (technically it is roast pork tenderloin since it is cooked at a high temperature in the oven) so there is one step that is very important to ensure it stays juicy. That step is searing it on the stove top then it finishes its cooking in the oven.
You do not want to skip this step. The sear on the pork tenderloin will seal in all of those delicious juices in the pork.
Just to clarify, pork tenderloin is not the same as pork loin roast. Make sure you look at the label on the pork carefully and be sure you are buying pork tenderloin for this recipe.
Pork Tenderloin Rub
Now, when working with pork tenderloin, seasoning the pork well is so important. My absolute favorite seasoning for pork of any kind whether it is a boneless pork chop recipe or this tenderloin is a mesquite rub.
Pork and mesquite are a match made in heaven and they really taste amazing together. For this mesquite rub, you probably already have most of the ingredients in your pantry.
Here is what you will need:
- Smoked paprika. If you do. not have smoked paprika, you can use ancho chile powder.
- Sweet paprika.
- Garlic powder.
- Light brown sugar.
- Onion powder.
If you have a store bought mesquite seasoning, you can absolutely use that too. The idea is making sure there is mesquite flavor on the pork!
This pork tenderloin recipe makes one baked pork tenderloin. If the package you buy comes with two pork tenderloins, you can either freeze one for a later time or just double the amount of spices in this recipe.
There are not many ingredients for this recipe just the pork tenderloin, mesquite spices, olive oil, salt and pepper. Very simple!
Trimming pork tenderloin
Before roasting pork tenderloin, you want to make sure you first remove most of the fat and what is called the silver skin. The fat looks just like fat so it is easy to recognize.
The silver skin on pork tenderloin is not really silver but it has a bit of a shiny hue and almost resembles a thin smooth sheet of fat. It is actually connective tissue and very tough so you want to make sure to carefully cut that part off.
How to Make Baked Pork Tenderloin
The first thing you want to do when making this roast pork tenderloin is to coat the entire pork tenderloin in the seasoned rub. Then you are going to start to sear it in olive oil over medium high heat.
The searing part of this recipe only takes a few minutes. It is important to make sure the meat is sealed before going into the oven so it does not dry out.
I always like to remind people to sear the meat on all sides which includes the ends. You may need to use kitchen tongs to do this part so you are holding it in place.
Once the pork tenderloin is completely seared on all sides, just place it on to a lined baking sheet and it is ready to go on the oven.
After it has baked for about 20-25 minutes, remove it from the oven and tent it will aluminum foil to rest. I like to let the pork tenderloin rest for about 5 minutes.
After this, you are ready to slice it into ¼ inch slices and do not forget to pour the juices from the pan over the pork before serving it 🙂
Cooking pork tenderloin in the oven and how to know when it is done
The pork tenderloin will only need about 20-25 minutes in the oven. It will need to rest for about 5 minutes after cooking and it will continue to cook with carry over cooking. Carry over cooking is when the meat continues to cook from the leftover heat that is still present in the meat after it comes out of the oven.
The best way to know if pork tenderloin is done is to use an oven thermometer.
You want to make sure the pork tenderloin is at a temperature of about 145 degrees before serving. This does not mean it should be 145 degrees when it comes out of the oven.
Remember it will keep cooking when it is resting which means the internal temperature will go up during this time.
I have found that taking it out of the oven around 135-140 degrees yields a perfect 145 degree cooking temperature after resting.
What to serve with pork tenderloin
There are so many great ideas of what to serve with pork tenderloin. This cut of meat goes so well with so many side dishes.
Here are some of my favorites.
- Charred Broccoli
- Southern Collard Greens
- Southern Green Beans
- Fluffy Basmati Rice
- Roasted Cauliflower and Potatoes
- Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes
- Spanish Rice
- Or you can browse more side dishes ideas.
Baked Pork Tenderloin
Tried the Recipe? We Would Love To Hear From You In The Comments Below!
- 1 pork tenderloin
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika if you do not have smoked paprika you can use chipotle powder, ancho chili powder
- 2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- a few swirls of black pepper
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Add all of the spices for the seasoning to a small bowl and mix well.3 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, 2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon sweet paprika, 1 teaspoon cumin, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, a few swirls of black pepper
- Trim pork tenderloin of any excess fat and silver skin.1 pork tenderloin
- Place pork tenderloin on to a plate and sprinkle seasoning all over the meat.
- Rub the seasoning all over the meat making sure to coat all sides.
- In a large skillet over medium high heat, add the olive oil.2 tablespoon olive oil
- Add the pork to the skillet and sear for about 1 minute per side.
- Place pork on to a baking sheet. I like to line my baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy cleanup.
- Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches about 135-140 degrees (see notes in post for why this is)
- Remove pork from the oven and place on to a plate and cover with aluminum foil.
- Allow the pork tenderloin to rest for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, test the pork and make sure the internal temperature is 145 degrees or that the juices run clear when cut.
- When ready, slice in about ¼ inch slices.
- Pour any remaining pan juices over the sliced tenderloin.
- Serve immediately.
Nutrition Values are estimates only.See full nutrition disclaimer here
Came out perfect!
I am so glad to hear that!
Came out perfect and everyone complimented the meal! I’ll be making this more often
Everyone loved it! I am going to. make this again for Thanksgiving it was so good.
Love that idea!
This recipe came out absolutely delicious. The cooking time tips were so helpful too!
I am so glad to hear that 🙂