The Best Garlic Baked Pork Tenderloin recipe ever - cooked in a rich buttery garlic sauce and oven roasted to tender perfection, for a simple recipe that is perfect for beginner or experienced home cooks!
This dish comes together in under an hour – great for meal prep for weekday lunches, and makes amazing leftovers for a healthy, low carb keto or paleo diet eating plan, too!
Here at Sweet C's, we have lots of types of readers - those who like to get straight to the recipe, and those who would like more information, including tips and tricks to feeling more comfortable in the kitchen.
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Table of contents
- Easy, Garlic Butter Baked Pork Tenderloin
- Tips and FAQ To Bake Perfect Pork Tenderloin
- Pork Tenderloin vs Pork Loin
- How To Bake Pork Tenderloin
- What to Do With Leftover Pork Tenderloin
- Other Easy Pork Tenderloin Recipes
- What to Serve With Pork Tenderloin
- The Best Baked Pork Tenderloin Recipe
- Sweet C's Favorite Recipes
Easy, Garlic Butter Baked Pork Tenderloin
One of my favorite easy recipes has always been an easy baked pork tenderloin – it is hearty, rich and delicious, super easy to make, and so delicious.
This is a great recipe to try if you've never cooked pork before, as it is perfect for even beginner home cooks - though the flavor is rich enough to please even those with a lot of experience cooking!
This version is an incredibly versatile dinner that tastes great with a ton of different preparations – and is great on its own, with veggies, in stir frys and salads, or even sandwiches and wraps!
Pork tenderloin is a great dinner to serve for family dinners, is great for keto diets and picky eaters, and is a healthy option that will fill you up with fresh flavor.
This recipe has been one of the top rated on the internet for some time now - with close to 3 thousand five star reviews! It's no secret why- this method brings perfect, tender, juicy pork that is easy to whip up and melt in your mouth delicious.
We're going to quickly pan sear and then pop it into the oven where it cozies up to the most amazing garlic butter seasoning - making it's own gravy right in the pan.
This dinner is naturally gluten and grain free, and is also naturally low-carb. For a slightly sweeter kick, check out my Teriyaki Baked Pork Tenderloin recipe.
What Readers Are Saying About This Recipe
"I was worried that my kids would start getting upset about me cooking this for the 4th time since I found the recipe about 5 weeks ago. They haven't! They just keep devouring it without leaving much left for leftovers. If the picky tots approve, it is a win for me!" - Bianca
"Made this for dinner last night and it was perfectly seasoned and juicy! My family loved it and are already asking for it again; delicious!" - Sara
"This tenderloin was amazing! This recipe is definitely a keeper for our family! So moist and delicious! Thank you!" - Kari
"Holy moly this is delicious. My family couldn’t get enough of this moist flavourful pork tenderloin. It cooks so quickly I did marinate them through the day with oil and some herbs . Absolutely fantastic. Thank you !!!" - Connie
Tips and FAQ To Bake Perfect Pork Tenderloin
These tips for how to cook tenderloin in the oven will help you get a perfect dinner, no matter what herbs or marinades you use with it.
To Make Baked Pork Tenderloin You'll Need:
While this easy recipe requires no special equipment, there are a couple tried and true kitchen favorites that help making this dish so much easier - no matter your experience level in the kitchen!
- Baking sheet. Any large baking sheet, casserole dish, or oven-safe vessel will work - make sure it has a bit of a lip in case you spill a little of the garlic butter out of the foil pouch when cooking or moving the baked pork tenderloin in/out of the oven.
- Aluminum Foil
- Large Skillet or Frying Pan
- Metal Tongs
- Meat Thermometer
Baked Pork Tenderloin FAQs
What temperature should I cook pork at?
This recipe calls for baking pork at 350 degrees in a foil pouch.
While this is lower than many roast pork recipes, it works with the pouch to keep your pork from drying out and staying tender and juicy!
You can use either fresh or dried herbs in this recipe.
If using fresh, you might want to add a bit more, since dried herbs are more intense.
Pork can be slightly pink and fully safe to eat as long as it has reached 145 degrees internal temperature.
Pork needs to reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees to remove the risk of foodborne illness, but this will sometimes still have a light pink color.
Remove baked pork tenderloin from the oven at 140 degrees as it will carryover cook to 145 degrees as it rests before serving.
Pork can be reheated in a foil pouch, baked in the oven at 350 degrees until it reached 140 degrees F.
It can also be pan fried with a little butter, or microwaved, to reheat.
If your tenderloin has a large silver skin you may remove it, however, this method will give you tender pork regardless.
Pork Tenderloin vs Pork Loin
I get a lot of questions on this recipe on whether to use a tenderloin or loin - and what the difference is between tenderloin and loin since they are similar cuts from the pig, and can both be used in this recipe.
The two cuts are from similar areas (off the back of the pig), and are both leaner and respond to the same cooking methods, but a tenderloin is much longer and skinnier than a loin.
Loins tend to be much fatter, much heavier, and over 3 lbs – while a tenderloin will be longer, skinnier, and around 1-2 pounds.
For this recipe, I am calling for a Pork Tenderloin – but a loin will also work with the modification for time below. If you're going for a one-pot pork loin dinner, please check out my knockout Garlic Herb Butter Pork Loin and Potatoes recipe!
How To Use Pork Loin Instead of Pork Tenderloin
To make this recipe with a loin, which is larger and thicker than a tenderloin, continue with the recipe exactly as called for below, but plan on an additional 20-30 minutes (this will vary depending on your loin - I always advocate for cooking off temperature, rather than time, when cooking meat, but this time-frame should help you plan your dinner around.)
How To Bake Pork Tenderloin
Since tenderloin is a cut of meat that has very little fat, it can become tough very quickly when overcooked - I'm providing my best tips and tricks to bake the perfect dinner, every single time you make it.
Marinate Before Cooking
Marinating or brining a tenderloin before cooking will always help to soften the meat and keep it from drying out.
I love using a bottle of simple Italian Dressing or a cup of olive oil with some lemon juice, salt, and pepper for an easy overnight marinade.
I'm not calling for marinade in this specific recipe because we're wrapping it in foil and slathering it in butter so it cooks in its own sort of gravy (I designed this recipe to taste great even if you didn't remember to marinate) - if you'd like to kick your dinner up a bit, or are trying a different technique, marinating makes this recipe taste even better.
Look For Pre-Seasoned Tenderloins
Pre-seasoned tenderloins from your grocer are often dry-brined with salt beforehand, so it doesn't need additional marinating or brining.
While I prefer to make my own marinade and seasonings so I can control the flavor, if you always forget to marinate or just don't have time, this is a great way to skip that step.
Pork dries out very quickly when overcooked - and the meat can become tough and very chewy.
I pull my tenderloin at 140 degrees and tent with foil to continue carryover cooking as it rests for about 10 minutes before serving.
Remove Silver Skin
If your tenderloin has a large sliver skin (the tough, white membrane that is often trimmed off and removed by many grocers, but is sometimes still left on), you can remove it by making a small slit with a sharp knife and pulling the membrane off the tenderloin to remove before marinating and cooking.
This process is just like removing silver skin from ribs.
I like to take these tips to make all sorts of flavor combinations in addition - you can make this recipe with all sorts of herbs and spices!
Brown Pork Tenderloin Before Baking
Get a good sear in a cast iron or heavy pan before baking. Getting a good sear first helps seal in the juices from the pork and brings a rich, caramelized flavor that makes this recipe irresistible!
Searing meat before baking also helps it look less gray, giving it a much more appetizing appearance.
Let Pork Rest After Cooking
Let meat rest for 5-10 minutes after removing from the oven to lock in the juices - don't cut too early, or they will all run out!
Cook to 145 Degrees
The USDA set the guideline of 145 degrees as a safe temperature for pork consumption. This might look a touch pink - pink pork is no longer an indicator of "doneness", or that the tenderloin is unsafe to eat, as long as it has reached 145 degrees. Don't overcook out of fear and turn your dinner tough and dry!
Cooking to 145 means removing tenderloin from the oven at 140 degrees - as it will carryover cook the additional 5 degrees in the foil as you let it rest.
What to Do With Leftover Pork Tenderloin
If you love this easy recipe, but can't eat it all, never fear - it is beautiful and delicious as leftovers.
Since we're baking this dinner in a garlic butter sauce, it will already have a leg up in staying juicy and tender when reheated.
To Store Leftovers
Place all leftovers in an airtight container and keep in refrigerator for up to three days.
To Freeze Leftovers
To freeze so you can eat later, place in a plastic bag or wrap in plastic wrap and keep in freezer for up to three months. Try to freeze in small batches - ideally, you will freeze in individual servings, or the amount you will need to reheat.
If you freeze a large tenderloin and go to thaw and reheat it, you shouldn't freeze again afterwards - so try to freeze only as much as you will be eating again when reheating in each freezer bag.
How To Reheat Leftovers
Let frozen leftovers thaw naturally in the refrigerator overnight, and bake at 350, wrapped in foil, until piping hot when ready to serve.
If reheating from the refrigerator, bake at 350 in a foil pouch until piping hot.
You can also pan-fry slices of pork tenderloin in a bit of butter or olive oil - simply cook on medium until very hot - and serve.
Pork can be microwaved to reheat - while it isn't our favorite method - but it can dry out and make meat tougher, so try adding a bit of stock or butter to the top of the pork with it when you microwave for the best texture.
Other Easy Pork Tenderloin Recipes
If you're looking for other delicious, easy ways to make this recipe, please check out some of our other favorite recipes below:
These recipes are so simple, easy, and BURSTING with flavor - they are guaranteed to knock your socks off!
You can also find some of our favorite pork recipes - like our garlic pork chops, air fryer pork chops, crunchy baked pulled pork, slow cooker pork steaks, and more in our complete pork recipe archives.
What to Serve With Pork Tenderloin
Serve this dinner with no knead bread, sautéed vegetables (this easy pan fried broccolini or this roasted green bean salad are favorites of mine), lighter air fryer french fries, or alongside cauliflower rice, rice pilaf, or perfect buttery soft Parker house style dinner rolls!
The Best Baked Pork Tenderloin Recipe
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The Best Garlic Baked Pork Tenderloin recipe - delicious easy melt in your mouth tender pork tenderloin in a buttery garlic sauce.
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp celtic sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
- 2 lb pork tenderloin, optional: pre-marinate pork before cooking
- 4 tbsp butter, sliced into 4-6 pats
- 2 tbsp diced garlic
- 1 tsp dried basil*
- 1 tsp dried oregano*
- 1 tsp dried thyme*
- 1 tsp dried parsley*
- ½ tsp dried sage*
- *OR 2 tbsp Italian Herb Seasoning Blend
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- In a small bowl, combine garlic, basil, oregano, thyme, parsley, and sage. Set aside.
- Generously season meat with salt and pepper.
- In a large pan, heat oil until shimmery.
- Add to pan, and cook on all sides until dark golden brown.
- Transfer to baking sheet.
- Generously coat with herb mix.
- Place pats of butter on top of the pork.
- Wrap in foil, bake until meat is 150 degrees internally at the widest, thickest part of the tenderloin (about 25 minutes.)
- When pork has come to temperature, remove and let rest, tented with foil, for at least five minutes to lock in juices.
- Slice against the grain and serve immediately.
- To store leftovers, place in an airtight container and keep in refrigerator for up to three days.
- To freeze leftovers, place in a plastic bag or wrap in plastic wrap and keep in freezer for up to three months.
- To reheat, let thaw naturally in the refrigerator overnight, and bake at 350, wrapped in foil, until piping hot when ready to serve.
Pork tenderloin might look pink in middle - if thermometer reads 145 degrees in center of tenderloin, it is fully cooked, regardless of color.
Serving Size3 oz
Amount Per Serving Calories 279Total Fat 15gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 107mgSodium 438mgCarbohydrates 1gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 33g
Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.
Sweet C's Favorite Recipes
Please check out some of my favorite easy recipes on Sweet C's - many of them low carb, but all are easy, quick, and absolutely bursting with flavor your whole family will love!