Chili-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Apricot Glaze

chili-rubbed pork tenderloin_6759

Pork tenderloin is a dish that I always seem to forget about, but then when I do remember to include it in my meal plan and discover a delicious recipe like this one, I wonder how I can forget about this great protein option. This version includes a spicy rub and a sweet-spicy glaze, and it is very much a keeper.

Not only is this pork full of flavor, it is also easy enough to prepare on a weeknight. You do have to plan ahead, as it requires at least 2 hours of marinating time with the spice rub, but other than that it comes together really easily.

This meal was a big hit with the kids too- I just removed a little of the outer meat with the spice rub before serving it to them so it wouldn’t be overly spicy. Julia loved the apricot glaze, and I couldn’t believe how much pork she ate on the two nights I served this for dinner. William is learning how to eat finger foods, and he seemed to enjoy his tiny bites of pork, too. He’s slowly reaching the stage where he can eat whatever it is we’re having for dinner, and I can’t wait until we’re fully there. Dinner preparations will be so much easier (although I’m sure I’ll still be cutting food into tiny bite-sized pieces for quite some time!).

This chili-rubbed pork with apricot glaze would be a wonderful meal to serve to company. It’s tasty enough to impress, but also easy enough that you won’t have to spend all day in the kitchen. Serve it with a vegetable and either mashed potatoes or brown rice, and enjoy!

Chili-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Apricot Glaze

Printable Recipe


  • 2 (1-pound each) pork tenderloins, trimmed of fat

For the Spice Rub:

  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper

For the Apricot Glaze:

  • 1 cup apricot jam
  • 1/3 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 1 medium lime


  1. Combine the spice rub ingredients in a small bowl. Rub over the pork tenderloins. Lightly spray a foil-lined 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Place the tenderloins in the dish, cover, and refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours.
  2. Prior to cooking the pork, melt the apricot jam in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining glaze ingredients. Place half of the glaze in a serving bowl and set aside to serve with the pork tenderloins later.
  3. Roasting Instructions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake the pork tenderloins in the foil-lined pan for 15 minutes. Brush with the apricot glaze remaining in the pan. Bake for 15 more minutes. Again, brush with glaze. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until the pork reaches 160 degrees F. Remove the pork from the oven, tent with foil, and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
  4. Grilling Instructions: Preheat a grill to medium-high heat. Grill the pork tenderloins for 15-20 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 160 degrees F. When approximately 4 minutes of cooking time remains, brush pork with the apricot glaze remaining in the pan. Cook for 2 minutes, turn the pork tenderloins and brush glaze on the other side. Cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove pork from the grill, tent with foil, and let it rest for about 10 minutes before slicing.
  5. Serve the sliced pork with the reserved apricot glaze.

Source: Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.

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