The most delicious baked pork tenderloin recipe made with an incredible mushroom gravy all in one dish!
This is hands down the best pork tenderloin recipe on Fit Foodie Finds and, actually, on the Internet! It’s tender and juicy, so easy to make, and the gravy is to die for.
In this post, you’ll learn all about pork tenderloin, how to flavor it, what makes it the best pork tenderloin recipe, and how to cook it to perfection. ENJOY.
What is pork tenderloin?
Pork tenderloin is a cut of pork found tucked underneath the backbone of a pig. It’s lean, long, and very popular American culture.
Pork tenderloin is known for its tenderness because it is so well protected behind the pig’s spine and (if cooked correctly) can be so incredibly tender!
When purchasing pork tenderloin, sometimes the tenderloin is sold with two tenderloins, so be cautious of that when looking for a certain weight.
What is the difference between pork tenderloin and a pork loin roast?
Pork Tenderloin is usually about 2-3 inches in diameter and is longer and more slender than a loin roast. A pork loin roast is thicker in diameter and also very lean.
All in all, both pork tenderloin AND pork loin are both an extremely lean cut of pork and taste very similar.
How to Flavor Baked Pork Tenderloin
Like other cuts of pork, pork tenderloin does a really great job taking on the flavor of whatever you season or marinate it with. Honestly, this cut of pork is similar to chicken breast which is the same way!
For this pork tenderloin recipe, we used a simple pork dry rub that infuses your pork with so much flavor and also helps flavor the mushroom gravy, which cooks at the same time.
The spices you need are: garlic powder, oregano, smoked paprika, salt, pepper. Use around 1 to 1.5 tablespoons of dry rub per lb. of pork.
Try using our famous pork dry rub recipe instead of the above spices. You’ll use around 1.5 – 2 tablespoons of pork dry rub.
How to Cook Pork Tenderloin in the Oven
Here are in-depth, step-by-step directions for how to cook pork tenderloin in the oven. For the full, written recipe and ingredients, scroll down to the recipe card.
Step 1: Season Pork Tenderloin
A lot of the flavor of this baked pork tenderloin comes from the amazing spice blend that you rub on it before cooking. It’s very similar to our pork dry rub recipe. It’s savory and has the perfect amount of salt. Bonus- you only need 5 ingredients!
- garlic powder – everything tastes better with garlic. If you’re going to use garlic salt, make sure to reduce your salt elsewhere in this recipe.
- salt and pepper
- dried oregano – oregano is an excellent herb to use on pork tenderloin.
- smoked paprika – we love the smokey and spiciness of paprika. A little goes a long way!
Step 2: Sear Pork Tenderloin
Heat butter or olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet. Any kind of oven-safe skillet will work, but we love using a cast iron pan because it gets super hot, quickly.
Next, sear pork tenderloin on all sides for around 2-3 minutes so that it turns golden brown. This is what truly makes this the best pork tenderloin recipe. Remove pork from skillet and set aside.
Step 3: Prep Gravy
Next, it’s time to prep your delicious gravy. I mean, what is a pork tenderloin recipe without a saucy gravy?
Turn heat down to low/medium and deglaze the skillet with broth. Use a utensil to remove the brown bits from the bottom of the skillet so that it doesn’t burn.
Add onions, garlic, sliced mushrooms, and balsamic and let cook for 2-3 minutes. Turn the heat off and then move veggies aside, creating a well for the pork tenderloin.
Place pork tenderloin into the skillet, surrounding it with the veggies.
Step 4: Cook Pork Tenderloin Recipe at 400ºF
Cook pork tenderloin at 400ºF for 10 minutes. Then, flip the pork tenderloin over and continue cooking anywhere from 12-16 minutes depending on the size of the pork.
How do you know when your pork is done? Use a meat thermometer to test the thickest part of the pork. The temperature should read anywhere from 140ºF to 145ºF.
Step 5: Let Tenderloin Rest
Carefully remove your baked pork tenderloin from the oven and then place the pork onto a large plate to rest for 5-10 minutes.
By letting your baked pork tenderloin rest, it will continue cooking around 5ºF and become ultra-tender and juicy.
Step 6: Finish Gravy
While the pork is resting, finish your gravy in the cast iron skillet.
Add around 1/2 cup to 1 cup more broth to the mushrooms. This all depends on how much gravy you want.
Then, turn heat to medium/high bring to a simmer. Sprinkle in cornstarch, and whisk to dissolve. Turn the heat down to low and continue to thicken for 1-2 minutes.
Step 7: Slice and Serve
Once your baked pork tenderloin has rested for 5-10 minutes, use a sharp knife to slice. Then, top with mushroom gravy and serve next to your favorite sides and grain. See below for ideas!
Pork Tenderloin Quick Tips
What temp should I cook pork tenderloin?
The best oven temperature to cook your baked pork tenderloin recipe at is 400ºF. The goal is to get the internal temperature of your pork to reach at least 145ºF (re: Food Safety)
How long do you cook pork at 350?
Pork tenderloin takes around 30-35 minutes at 350ºF to reach a safe-to-eat, internal temperature of 145ºF.
How long does pork take to bake at 400?
Pork tenderloin takes around 25 minutes at 400ºF to reach a safe-to-eat, internal temperature of 145ºF.
Should you cover pork tenderloin in the oven?
Some recipes call for you to cover your pork tenderloin while baking, however, our recipe does not instruct you to do so.
If your pork tenderloin begins to brown too much on the top, you can cover it with tin foil until it reaches a 145ºF internal temperature.
Does pork tenderloin get more tender the longer you cook it?
Pork tenderloin is a very lean cut of pork, meaning that it can dry out quickly. So, if you cook it too long, you risk overcooking your meat leaving it with a dry, stringy texture.
Note: pork tenderloin differs from a pork butt or shoulder, which are extremely fatty and get more tender the longer you cook it.
What to Serve with Pork Tenderloin
This pork tenderloin recipe is made with a delicious gravy, so it’ll taste fantastic with pretty much any vegetable, salad, and or grain. Here are some ideas to complete your meal:
u003cstrong data-rich-text-format-boundary=u0022trueu0022u003eTip! u003c/strongu003eIf you’re going to make a vegetable side, we suggest roasting the veggies at the same time as you roast your pork tenderloin recipe.
Let your baked pork tenderloin cool completely. Then, transfer it into a large, glass container. Top the pork tenderloin with the leftover gravy and seal the container.
Store in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days.
Microwave: Place a serving of pork tenderloin on a microwave-safe plate. Then, top it with leftover gravy. Microwave on high for 60-90 seconds.
Oven: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Then, spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Add cooked pork tenderloin and then top with the gravy. Bake, uncovered, for around 20 minutes or until the center is warm.
Can you freeze leftover pork tenderloin?
To freeze leftover pork tenderloin, let it cool completely. Then, transfer it into a gallon-size freezer-safe plastic bag. Remove as much air as possible and freeze for up to 3 months.
Perfect Baked Pork Tenderloin
- 1.5 lb. pork tenderloin or pork loin roast
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups chicken broth divided
- 1/2 white onion chopped
- 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
- 4 oz. crimini mushrooms diced
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1.5 - 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- First, preheat the oven to 400ºF.
- Prepare pork tenderloin. Place spices into a small bowl and mix to combine. Then, gently pat pork tenderloin with the spice rub, covering the pork entirely.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of butter in a large cast-iron skillet over medium/high heat. When the butter is melted and fragrant, sear pork tenderloin for 2-3 minutes on each side.
- Remove pork tenderloin from cast iron and turn the heat down to low/medium. Deglaze the pan with 1.5 cups broth and use a wooden utensil to scrape the brown bits from the bottom.
- Then, add onion, garlic, mushrooms, and balsamic vinegar. Let cook for 3 minutes.
- Turn heat off, place the pork tenderloin back into the cast iron skillet, moving the veggies aside so that they're surrounding the pork.
- Roast at 400ºF for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, check the temperature, flip the pork tenderloin over, and bake for an additional 12-16 more minutes or until the internal temperature of the thickest part reaches 145ºF.
- Once the temperature has reached 145ºF, remove the pork tenderloin from the oven and set aside on a large plate to rest.
- Then, prepare the mushroom gravy. Add 1/2 cup (add up to 1 cup) more broth to the cast iron skillet and turn the heat to medium/high. Sprinkle in cornstarch and then continually whisk until thickened.