Sweet and tangy balsamic vinegar pairs up with zesty Dijon and loads of garlic to create a seriously tasty marinade for this balsamic marinated pork tenderloin.
Incase you haven’t made a pork tenderloin, 1. You should. This week. They’re one my favorite weeknight dinners! And 2. Pork tenderloin is a lean cut of meat that is crazy-easy to cook.
I love using pork tenderloin for so many reasons- it’s a lean source of protein. It stays plenty juicy and tender through cooking but it doesn’t add a ton of unnecessary calories to your meal. I will sometimes throw them in a slow cooker to make a lighter version of pulled pork- it shreds up just like a traditional pork roast but with way less fat. It’s also budget friendly. I can usually pick up a two pack to feed the whole family for 7 bucks. And most importantly, it’s super tasty. Kid friendly, and it’s mild flavor is just asking for a killer marinade.
Looking for more easy weeknight dinners? Check out my Quick + Easy Stromboli recipe! Looking for a dinner to make in your instant pot? Try my flavorful Beef Birria tacos! Another one of my weeknight favorite’s? One Pot Rigatoni. Yes, that’s right – pasta and sauce all in the same pot.
The balsamic marinated pork tenderloin marinade has the perfect balance of sweetness, acidity, and a hint of salt- with plenty of flavor coming from the garlic, balsamic and Dijon mustard. I usually pair it with some roasted broccoli and some rice, or steamed new potatoes.
What You’ll Need:
- Pork tenderloin. These are sometimes sold in a two pack. To feed my family I make sure to pick up about 2 1/2 pounds.
- Balsamic Marinade: balsamic vinegar + Dijon mustard + vegetable oil + soy sauce + sugar (or sweetener of your choice) + garlic + S&P
- Either a cast iron skillet, or a skillet + a shallow oven proof baking dish.
Tips to making the ultimate balsamic marinated pork tenderloin:
- Whip up the marinade the night before or morning of, and pour into a ziplock bag over the pork tenderloin. You’ll want to marinate the pork for at least a few hours.
- Pork tenderloin is a thick cut of meat- you’ll want to take out of the refrigerator for 20 minutes prior to cooking. This allows the meat to cook more evenly throughout.
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
- You’ll heat up 1/2 tablespoon of oil with a high smoking point for 2 minutes over high heat. Canola or vegetable oil will work well. You don’t want to use your olive oil here, it will smoke and burn more easily.
- Sear your pork tenderloin on all three sides each for 2 minutes. Transfer to oven and bake uncovered for about 20 minutes or until cooked to at least 145 degrees in the center.
A note on pork and doneness-the usda used to recommend that pork products be cooked fully to 165 degrees. About a decade ago, they adjusted their guidelines and pork can be taken out at 145 degrees with a 3 minute rest time. The exact guidelines can be found here. If you feel the need to cook it to 165, by all means, do it- but I cook mine to 145 and let it rest and it is juicy, tender and save to eat every time. You do you, boo!
- Take the pork out of the oven, and cover with foil to rest for at least three minutes. To prevent the juices from all escaping as it’s sliced, I let mine sit for at least 5 minutes . *If you use a cast iron skillet, transfer the pork to a separate dish to rest. The cast iron is an amazing retainer of heat and will continue to cook the pork too much if it rests in a cast iron pan.
Slice up, serve with your favorite side dishes, and enjoy!
Balsamic Marinated Pork Tenderloin
- 2-3 lbs pork tenderloin
- 1 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 1 tsp sugar or sweetener
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- Whisk together all marinade ingredients in small bowl.
- Pour marinade over pork tenderloin(s) in a large ziplock bag.
- Refrigerate and let marinate for at least 6 hours.
- 20 minutes before cooking, bring pork out of refrigerator and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Heat oil in skillet or cast iron pan on high heat for 1-2 minutes. Sear pork on all three sides for 2 minutes each.
- Once seared, place cast iron skillet + pork in oven. Alternatively, if not using cast iron, transfer pork to an oven-proof baking dish and place in oven.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes or until pork is 145 degrees in center. Cover with foil and let rest for at least 3 minutes, up to 10, before slicing. *If using cast iron, transfer to seperate plate to rest as the cast iron would continue to cook the pork at too high of a heat.`
- Slice, serve with your favorite side dishes, and enjoy!