Marinated pork tenderloin is one of the easiest ways to prepare tender and flavorful pork. Looking for an easy dinner that doesn't compromise on quality? This pork tenderloin recipe is just what you need!
Marinated Pork Tenderloin Recipe
Looking for a dish that is great for everything from special occasions to a quick weeknight meal? Marinated pork tenderloin is just the thing.
This juicy pork tenderloin is loaded with the most amazing and complimentary flavors. With a slight tang of mustard and the sweetness of honey, you get a well rounded flavor combination that is irresistibly tasty!
Pair it with your favorite side dishes like cheesy garlic bread, fluffy rice or cheesy polenta and you've got a meal that's tough to beat. Not to mention, clean up is so incredibly easy! Just give your grill a good scrub and wash up the prep dishes and serving dishes, that's it.
Pork tenderloin is the most tender cut of pork, and it's also very lean. That makes this a really great meal that is affordable and healthy. A win all around for a simple recipe with basic ingredients!
Why You'll Love this Recipe
This easy weeknight meal is a favorite of mine for a reason. Marinated pork tenderloin is a great recipe because:
- You can make this dish ahead of time really easily! Since pork can marinate for up to 24 hours, you can throw this together the day before you need it and all you'll have left to do is fire up the grill and cook it.
- Pork tenderloin is typically pretty affordable and is very filling. It's actually one of my favorite cuts of meat! You can make quite a few servings from healthy recipes like this one, and they're easy on the waller too.
- The quick marinade in this recipe is very versatile. Use it for other cuts of pork and even different types of meat. It'd be super tasty on grilled chicken!
Pork Tenderloin vs Pork Loin
Are pork tenderloin and pork loin the same thing? Nope! In fact, they are entirely different cuts of meat. While this pork tenderloin marinade recipe can be used on a pork loin, the cooking method and cooking time would be entirely different.
A pork tenderloin is a narrow cut of meat that is very tender and lean. Whereas, a pork loin is much larger and flatter and is an entirely different cut of meat. Pork loin can also have a bone in it, but a pork tenderloin is always boneless. It is important not to substitute one for the other unless you know how you plan to adjust the cooking time and/or method.
With just pork tenderloin and simple marinade ingredients, you can make a dish that the whole family will enjoy. Here is a list of what you'll need for this easy recipe:
- pork tenderloin (this is usually sold in a package with 2 pieces equaling 1 ½ pounds)
- olive oil
- whole grain mustard
- minced garlic
- red wine vinegar
- dried thyme
- salt and black pepper
Substitutions and Variations
I prefer the flavor of olive oil in many of my marinade recipes. However, you can use avocado oil or another neutral oil if that is what you have on hand!
Don't have red wine vinegar? The best swap for this flavorful marinade would be balsamic vinegar, though white wine vinegar could work too.
You can substitute whole grain mustard with a little bit of dijon mustard. Spicy brown mustard would also work, and you could even use honey mustard.
Feel free to experiment with different flavors in this delicious marinade. Lemon zest and lemon juice would be tasty, as would pineapple juice or some fresh herbs!
While this recipe gives you instruction on cooking pork tenderloin, you can use the marinade for any cut of pork! Use it on pork chops, pork loin roast, pork medallions and so much more.
How to Make Marinated Pork Tenderloin
Follow these simple steps to make my favorite pork tenderloin marinade and using it for a grilled pork tenderloin:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, mustard, vinegar, honey, minced garlic, and spices.
Then place the pork tenderloins into a bowl, or into a ziptop plastic bag, and pour the pork marinade in it.
Allow the meat to marinate for 1-24 hours. The longer you marinate, the more flavor the finished product will have!
When you are ready to cook the perfect pork tenderloin, preheat your grill to medium high heat, about 400ºF (204°C). Don't forget to start with a clean grill! Once the grill has been preheated, turn off one burner and leave the other side on medium high heat.
Remove the pork from the marinade and allow the excess to drip off. Then place it onto the side that is on and cook for 3 minutes. Flip to a larger side and cook for 3 more minutes.
Move the pork tenderloin to the side with indirect heat with the fatter side facing the heat. Grill for another 4 minutes on each side, a total of 8 minutes, until it reaches a safe internal temperature.
One thing you need to know: Use an instant-read meat thermometer to check the temperature of your cooked pork tenderloin. A safe temp will be 145°F (63°C).
Remove the fully cooked pork from the grill and allow it to rest before slicing and serving.
Serve hot and enjoy!
What to Serve with Marinated Pork Tenderloin
How to Store Leftover Pork Tenderloin
For best results, store unsliced leftovers. If you have already sliced your tenderloin, you can still store it, it just may dry out a bit more quickly! Transfer leftovers to an airtight container and refrigerate for 3-4 days. You can freeze leftovers if you'd like, but the texture of the meat is often not as tender after being thawed and reheated.
To reheat, place on the stove top in a skillet with a little oil or in the oven. Heat until the meat reaches a safe internal temperature for consumption.
Tips for Success
A few key tips to make the best pork tenderloin ever:
- The two zone grilling method is the key to success here. Essentially, you are heating the entire grill and then turning off one side. This allows for the marinated pork tenderloin to not overcook or cook too quickly. I have successfully cooked this recipe without using the two zone method, but if you do that be very careful not to cook it too quickly or on too high of a heat.
- Use an instant-read thermometer to get a quick and accurate reading of the internal temperature of the pork loin.
- The longer you can marinate, the better! The pork loin will need to marinate for at least an hour, but if you can leave it longer then I highly recommend you do. It will have so much more great flavor!
- Do not reuse leftover marinade. It needs to be discarded after the pork is done marinating!
Pork tenderloin can marinate in the fridge for 3-5 days. However, I have found that I typically need it within 24 hours and that the flavor is just as delicious with a shorter marinating window.
According to the USDA, pork is considered red meat. Here's what they say:
"Oxygen is delivered to muscles by the red cells in the blood. One of the proteins in meat, myoglobin, holds the oxygen in the muscle. The amount of myoglobin in animal muscles determines the color of meat. Pork is classified a red meat because it contains more myoglobin than chicken or fish. When fresh pork is cooked, it becomes lighter in color, but it is still a red meat." All livestock, including pork, veal, lamb, and beef are considered to be red meat.
More Pork Recipes
- Healthy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
- Apple Pan Seared Pork Medallions
- Grilled Pork Chops
- Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Pulled Pork Tacos
- 1 ½ pounds pork tenderloin (this is usually sold in a package with 2 pieces equaling 1 ½ pounds)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespons whole grain mustard
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper
- Mix the marinade ingredients together in a medium bowl.
- Place tenderloins in a medium bowl or ziptop bag. Pour marinade over and allow marinate to sit for at least 1 hour up to 24 hours.
- Preheat grill to medium high heat, about 400º (204°C). Once grill is preheated, you'll turn OFF one burner. The other should remain on medium high heat.
- Place the pork on the side that is ON. Cook on one of the larger sides for 3 minutes, then flip to the other larger side for another 3 minutes (pork tenderloins sort of have three sides, but one is usually much thinner).
- Move the tenderloin to the indirect heat side with the fatter side towards the heat. Grill for another 4 minutes on each side (total of 8 minutes) or until an instant read meat thermometer readers 145º (63°C). Remove from grill and allow pork to rest before cutting into slices and serving.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.