Savory Pork Tenderloin Recipe

A simple, hearty, healthy weekday meal with tons of flavor and lots of leftovers. 

The rub makes the outside flavorful, while pulling it at the right temperature is key to keeping it juicy and slightly pink.  I made these on my smoker, which adds even more flavor - you can see the pink smoke ring around the outer edges.

This is another good go-to meal, particularly during the winter. It's healthy, affordable, easy, and can last you for 2 or 3 meals.  The seasonings are a tad complex, but make it delicious. I cook mine on a pellet smoker, but the recipe applies to oven roasting as well.

I used dried herbs because they are easy and always available in my spice drawer . The recipe calls for flakes, not ground. If using ground herbs, only use half the amount. If using fresh herbs, 1 tablespoon dried flakes = 2 sprigs of fresh.


I like that this dish cooks meat and vegetables together in one simple step, and that it makes enough for plenty of leftovers.

TOTAL TIME: 60 min

  • Prep:      25 min
  • Cook:     35 min

YIELD:   8 servings

LEVEL:  Easy


DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 375°F.  I sometimes use a pellet smoker, which similarly provides indirect heat.

Make the rub. Squeeze the lemon juice, and combine with herbs and olive oil.  Mix well. If too dry, add more olive oil until it makes a paste.

Apply the rub liberally onto both pork tenderloin halves.

Tie the tenderloin halves together using butcher's (cotton) string. If you don't do this, your pork will cook much faster and your vegetables may not be fully cooked.

Cut your (optional) vegetables. I have used various combinations of peppers, onions, zucchini, and eggplant with success, although peppers and onions are my favorites. See the pictures for how I cut them into fairly large pieces. Peppers should have the white inner membranes and seeds removed.

Toss the vegetables with olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add coarse ground pepper liberally for more flavor.

Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil and add the vegetables.

Place the pork on a rack in the roasting pan to hold the pork tenderloin over the vegetables. I use a V-shaped rack with a bit of height to it so the vegetables can fit under the pork as well as on the sides.

Squeeze the juice from one whole lemon over everything, then slice it and place the slices on top of the pork.

Roast (or smoke) until the pork reaches 135F internal temperature, about 35 minutes. I suggest using a temperature probe with alarm, such as the Thermoworks Chefalarm or Smoke.

NOTE: Pork is juiciest, and safe, when cooked to this temperature (140 - 145 after resting), and will be slightly pink in some areas. If you prefer it more done, remove it at 145F before resting.

Rest the pork for 10 minutes, covered lightly with aluminum foil. Internal temperatures should reach at 140 - 145F.

Slice and serve.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Pork Tenderloin (2 halves)
  • Rub:
    • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
    • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
    • 1/2 tablespoon dried parsley 
    • 1/2 tablespoon dried rosemary
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper, coarse ground
    • 3 cloves of garlic, minced (or 1-1/2 tsp ground garlic)
    • 1/2 lemon
    • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Vegetables (optional), such as:
    • Bell peppers  (2 - 4, any color)
    • Onions (2-4)
    • Zucchini (1 - 2, yellow or green)
    • Eggplant (2 Japanese, or 1/4 - 1/2 regular size)
  • 1 lemon
  • Olive oil - as needed

More Photos

Start with the two pieces of a pork tenderloin.

Make the rub.

Apply the rub liberally to both halves of the tenderloin.

Tie the two halves together using butcher's (cotton) twine. Place on a rack within the roasting pan. Spread the vegetables around the pan after tossing them in olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Place lemon slices over the tenderloin. Feel free to drizzle some lemon over the pork while you're at it.

Place in the oven or smoker (shown here) at 375. Insert a probe so you can monitor the temperature without having to open the lid or oven door, which can slow down your cook.

Remove the pork when the internal temperature reads about 130 - 135F. Rest it for  5 - 10 minutes, during which time you should see the temperature rise above 140F.

Slice and serve.  Peppers, onions, zucchini  and eggplant all cook about right with the pork. We have also tried carrots , but even when chopped small, they tend to be a bit undercooked.

The pork should be slightly pink in the middle. The pink that you see around the edges is a smoke ring from the smoker. You won't get that if cooking in the oven, but you won't lose that much flavor either.