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This baked pork tenderloin recipe is perfectly juicy and melt-in-your-mouth tender. No searing is required, so it’s fast and has minimal prep! It’s ready in just over 30 minutes.

You may also want to try my Crockpot Pork Tenderloin for a similar recipe but in the slow cooker.

closeup of a plate with baked pork tenderloin slices

Why you’ll love it

What sets apart this roasted pork tenderloin from the rest is the fact it’s made in a single baking dish in the oven with no need to pan sear it in a skillet beforehand, which means you’ll never have overcooked or dry tenderloin. This easy method also has way fewer dishes on busy weeknights.

The buttery juices in this pork tenderloin recipe are irresistible over mashed potatoes, and the homemade spice rub is sweet and savory and packed with flavor from everyday pantry ingredients, so a comforting family meal is effortless. And it goes with everything!

Did you know?

  • Searing meat does not actually lock in the juices. That’s a longstanding myth, so we’re not going to do it here. In fact, it can even dry out pork! That sizzling sound, while enticing, actually means juices are being released and cooked off, so there’s really no benefit to searing an extra lean cut of meat like pork tenderloin.

What you’ll need

  • Pork tenderloin – it’s very lean, readily available, and cooks fast. We love it for when we need a break from chicken! (But I still love chicken, don’t worry)
  • Homemade seasoning rub – brown sugar, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, Italian seasoning, salt & pepper
  • Butter – I used unsalted since our rub has salt. It helps make the meat even juicier.
  • Chopped parsley – totally optional, but it brings a pop of freshness and contrast
ingredients in small bowls for baked pork tenderloin

Is pork tenderloin the same as pork loin?

  • Nope! Pork tenderloin is smaller, extra lean (meaning it has little fat), and cooks faster than pork loin. Despite a similar sounding name, you cannot substitute one for the other since they’re different cuts of meat and are not interchangeable.

How to make baked pork tenderloin

This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.

making a spice rub for baked pork tenderloin

Preheat the oven to 400F. Prep and dry the tenderloins with paper towel. Add the homemade seasoning rub ingredients to a small bowl and mix. Coat the pork with the spice rub uniformly.

pork tenderloin in a dish before and after baking

Add the seasoned meat to a 9×13 baking dish, and top with the butter. Bake, let it rest to redistribute the juices, and then slice into medallions. Pour the pan juices over, and garnish with chopped fresh parsley.

Pro tips

  • Pork tenderloin is very lean! It will dry out if it’s overcooked. Farming practices have changed, and pork is now safe to eat without overcooking it. A little pink is totally fine, and it’ll mean the pork is nice and juicy.
  • Pork tenderloins are often sold in packs of two, so that’s why this recipe is written for two (one pound) tenderloins. You don’t need to be spot-on with one pound each.
  • Take the guesswork of timing out with an instant read thermometer with a probe. It’ll beep when it reaches the perfect 145F. This is also great to use if you’re working with larger pork tenderloins that fall outside the time guidelines of this recipe.
  • Resting it after it’s cooked and before slicing is not a step you want to skip! This is when the juices do get locked in.

Substitutions and variations

  • You can definitely change up the rub. It’s not spicy or anything like that as written, so if you want it to be spicy, add in some cayenne pepper. Feel free to customize it to your liking or even use your favorite jarred variety.
  • The butter can be replaced with a generous drizzle of olive oil if needed.
a plate with baked pork tenderloin, green beans, and mashed potatoes

What to serve with baked pork tenderloin

Leftovers and storage

  • Any leftovers will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge in an airtight container really well.
  • Reheat in a small saucepan over a low heat until warmed through. You can also microwave them slowly over a low heat in shorter increments, but be careful since it could dry out when reheating. Definitely use a little additional butter if it needs it.
  • Freeze for up to 3 months in individual portions.
a plate with pork tenderloin slices

Do you agree this is the best pork tenderloin cooking technique you’ve tried? Have any questions? Let me know what you think below! You can also find me on Instagram.

closeup of a plate with baked pork tenderloin slices
4.97 from 108 votes

Easy Baked Pork Tenderloin

This baked pork tenderloin recipe is perfectly juicy and melt-in-your-mouth tender. No searing is required, so it's fast and has minimal prep! It's ready in just over 30 minutes.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

  • 2 pork tenderloins about 1 pound each
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper or to taste
  • 1/4 cup butter cut into pats
  • Chopped parsley optional, to taste

Instructions 

  • Preheat your oven to 400F and move the rack to the middle position.
  • Prep the tenderloins by cutting off any excess fat and the silver skin (the tough part that may cover some of each tenderloin). Pat the tenderloins dry with paper towel.
  • Add the spice rub ingredients (brown sugar, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, Italian seasoning, salt & pepper) to a small bowl and stir together. Coat the tenderloins all over with the spice rub.
  • Add the pork tenderloins to a 9×13 (or similar size) baking dish and place the butter pats on top.
  • Bake, uncovered, for about 25 minutes or until the pork has reached 145F. Let it rest 5-10 minutes before slicing it into medallions so it remains juicy.
  • Pour the pan juices over the pork (they're also great over a side dish like mashed potatoes) and sprinkle with chopped parley if desired.

Notes

  • Serves 6-8 depending on portion size. Halve all ingredients if you want to make one (one pound) pork tenderloin.
  • This recipe is NOT for pork loin, which is a different, tougher cut of meat and will need to be cooked for longer.
  • Pork that’s 145F in the thickest part is safe to eat. Farming practices have changed over the years, and it’s no longer recommended to overcook pork. This recipe, by the time it’s finished resting, yields pork that is slightly more cooked than the 145F but may still have some pink in the middle (this is totally safe!). Use an instant read meat thermometer so you never over or undercook meat again.

Nutrition

Calories: 270kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 32g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 119mg, Sodium: 534mg, Potassium: 631mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 509IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 24mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.

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Hi! Iโ€™m Natasha.

Salt & Lavender is a recipe blog with a focus on delicious comfort food using everyday ingredients. Beat the weekday grind with hundreds of easy-to-follow and hassle-free recipes!

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263 Comments

  1. This is the only way I ever make pork tenderloin. It comes out absolutely delicious every time. Thank you for sharing this recipe. My family loves it.

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve made this three or four times now. Today I even forgot the butter and plopped it on at the end and it was still super yummy. It’s moist and delicious and tender. I love this recipe because it’s ridiculously easy and is so fast to prepare with only a 25 minute baking timeโ€“not hours like other cuts of meat.

  3. Hi Natasha,

    Just wanted to thank you for the amazing recipe!

    It’s packed with flavor and so easy to make! A wonderful addition to my weeknight meals.

    I’ve cooked it a few times now and it’s been a hit with my family every single time. Thank you so much!

    I hope you have a lovely day ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. 5 stars
    I love the fact that you donโ€™t have to sear the meat in a fry pan first! It was delicious!! The family loved it.

  5. 5 stars
    Mine may not have come off as pretty as yours did, but it was SO good. It actually comes out a bit sweet, but mixed with the rub, it’s just a perfect blend of flavors. I feel like it’s super customizable too with the spices. I cooked mine for about 5 minutes more and I think it still came super juicy.