How to Cook a Pork Tenderloin in the Oven

Pork tenderloin is a quick and easy meal to serve any night of the week; perfect for company or simply for your hungry family. In this tutorial, I'll show you how to roast a pork tenderloin in the oven without letting it get dry. With this basic recipe, you can add your own seasonings and/or sauces to make the recipe all your own. Be creative and have fun with the ideas listed below.

(Image: Tieghan Gerard Half Baked Harvest)

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Things You'll Need

  • 1 (1.5-2 pound) pork tenderloin

  • 2 to 4 tablespoons of your favorite seasoning mix salt + pepper, to taste

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 cast iron skillet or roasting pan

  • Meat thermometer

Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients and Prep the Oven

Preheat the oven to 425° F. Place a cast iron baking dish or skillet in the oven and allow the oven to preheat for 15 to 20 minutes. Allow the pan to heat within the oven -- it will give the pork a nicely seared outside. While the oven is preheating, gather your ingredients.

(Image: Tieghan Gerard Half Baked Harvest)


If you don't have a cast iron pan, you may use a glass or ceramic baking dish. That said, I highly recommend investing in a cast iron pan as they are incredibly useful in so many recipes!

Step 2: Season the Pork

Remove the pork from its wrapping and pat dry with a paper towel. Rub the spices all over the pork.

(Image: Tieghan Gerard Half Baked Harvest)


You can have a lot of fun with the way you season your pork. For the pork pictured here, I used a Caribbean spice rub. Other spice rubs I would recommend are Cajun, curry, Jamaican jerk, BBQ, chipotle, Asian or simply just chili powder, salt and pepper. You can really do anything here!

Step 3: Roast the Pork

Using oven mitts, remove your preheated pan from the oven and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, swirling the olive oil to coat the pan. Now carefully add the pork. If you are using a cast iron pan, it should sizzle. Rub the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the pork and place the pork in the oven. Roast for 15 minutes at 425 degrees F, and then reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Continue roasting for another 10 to 15 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 145 degrees F.

(Image: Tieghan Gerard Half Baked Harvest)

Step 4: Check the Temperature of the Pork

Remove the pork from the oven and insert a meat thermometer into the middle of the tenderloin. The thermometer should read 145 degrees F. If it's any lower then 140 degrees F, the pork needs to be cooked longer.

(Image: Tieghan Gerard Half Baked Harvest)


If you don't have a meat thermometer, you will know the pork is cooked when it is white and no longer pink in the center.

Step 5: Allow the Pork to Rest

Once the pork is cooked, allow it to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing. This will help keep the juices in and the pork moist.

Step 6: Slice the Pork and Serve

Cut the pork into slices and serve with your favorite sides.

(Image: Tieghan Gerard Half Baked Harvest)


I love serving pork tenderloin with rice, quinoa, creamy polenta or risotto.

(Image: Tieghan Gerard Half Baked Harvest)
(Image: Tieghan Gerard Half Baked Harvest)

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Let's Take This Outside

When you want to impress your guests at the next barbeque, try cooking your pork tenderloin on the grill. Here's how...

(Image: Julia Mueller)

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