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Pork Tenderloin Marinade


See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.


Make the very best pork tenderloin with this Pork Tenderloin Marinade! With instructions for how to cook your marinated pork tenderloin on the grill, in the oven, or in the air fryer.

Sliced grilled pork tenderloin on a serving plate.

Pork tenderloin is a dinnertime staple in our house. It’s quick and easy to prepare, and the whole family loves it! This versatile cut of meat is a favorite for everything from Sunday dinner to quick weeknight meals.

This pork tenderloin marinade will take your pork to a new level of deliciousness. It’s a simple combination of ingredients that infuses the meat with flavor and makes every bite irresistible. Like this Pork Chop Marinade, Chicken Marinade and Steak Marinade, this marinade recipe is an easy way to elevate the flavor of your dinner. It takes just a few minutes to combine the marinade ingredients. You can marinate the pork for up to 12 hours in the refrigerator, or even freeze it in the marinade for a fast meal later on.

Pork Tenderloin Marinade Ingredients

  • Olive Oil: Adds moisture, prevents the pork from sticking to the grill (if grilling), and helps to transfer the flavors of the other ingredients to the pork. 
  • Soy Sauce: Brings umami flavor. I recommend using a low sodium soy sauce.
  • Lemon Juice: Helps to tenderize the meat and adds bright, zippy flavor.
  • Brown Sugar: For a touch of sweetness. You can omit the brown sugar if you prefer, or substitute honey.
  • Dijon Mustard: One of my favorite ingredients – you won’t be able to discern the mustard flavor but it adds a wonderful tanginess to the marinade.
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic brings so much flavor.
  • Dried Oregano: Or try other dried herbs, such as Italian seasoning or dried thyme.
  • Salt & Pepper: For flavor.
  • Pork Tenderloin: Be sure to buy a pork tenderloin, not a pork loin. Pork tenderloin is long, thin and exceptionally tender, while a pork loin is a wider cut of meat that, while delicious, is not as tender after cooking.

How to Marinate Pork Tenderloin

  1. First, combine the marinade ingredients in a small bowl and whisk them together. Pork tenderloin marinade ingredients whisked together in small bowl.
  2. Trim any silver skin off of the pork tenderloin. (The silver skin is a tough silver/white membrane that you may find on one side of the pork.)
  3. Place the pork in a large zip-top plastic bag. Pour the marinade into the bag with the meat and seal. Alternatively, you can marinate the pork in a bowl or dish. Marinade and pork tenderloin in a zip-top bag.
  4. Place in the refrigerator and marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours or overnight.
  5. Then, cook the tenderloin as desired, discarding any used marinade.

How to Cook Pork Tenderloin

This pork tenderloin marinade can be used with a variety of cooking methods. We often use it in the summer to make grilled pork tenderloin, but you can also bake the pork tenderloin or even cook it in the air fryer.

  • To Grill: Heat an outdoor grill or grill pan to medium heat. Grill the pork tenderloin over medium heat with the grill closed for 15-25 minutes, turning every few minutes, until the center of the tenderloin reaches 145° F. Let pork rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
  • To Bake: Preheat the oven to 400° F. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. (If you do not have an oven-safe skillet you can transfer the pork to a baking dish after browning it.) Add the pork to the pan and brown on all sides, 1-2 minutes per side. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 145° F. Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
  • Air Fryer: Preheat the air fryer to 380° F for 5 minutes. Air fry the pork at 380° F for 10 minutes. Then flip the tenderloin over and continue cooking for 8-16 more minutes, or until the center of the pork registers 145° F on an instant read thermometer. Let it rest for 5 minutes before serving. Or try this Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin.

If you’d like to cook pork tenderloin in the Instant Pot, try this Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin recipe.

Pork tenderloin and marinade sealed in zip-top bag.

Tips for the Best Juicy Pork Tenderloin

  • Before adding the pork to the marinade, reserve a few tablespoons of marinade to brush on the pork during the last few minutes of cooking.
  • Don’t heat the grill or pan too hot or the outside of the pork may burn before the inside is cooked through.
  • To tell when pork is done, use an instant read thermometer to measure the internal temperature in the center. Pork should be cooked to at least 145° F and then allowed to rest for at least 3 minutes before serving. For best results, try not to overcook the meat. Pork tenderloin can be a little pink in the center and still be done.
  • Let the meat rest for 5 minutes before serving. During the rest time, the pork will continue to cook a bit due to carryover cooking. The juices will redistribute throughout the meat so that your pork turns out juicy and tender. 

Serving Suggestions

I like to vary the side dishes that I serve with marinated pork tenderloin depending on the season. If it’s summer and you’re grilling, serve it with Grilled Vegetables and Potato Salad or Corn on the Cob and a Greek Pasta Salad. In the colder months, opt for cozier side dishes like Homemade Mashed Potatoes and Roasted Green Beans or Brussels Sprouts.

More Easy Pork Recipes

If you love this pork tenderloin marinade, be sure to try my Pork Rub next! Or make one of these easy pork recipes:

Pork Tenderloin Marinade

Grilled pork tenderloin sliced on a plate.
Print Pin
5 from 1 vote
Course Marinade
Cuisine American
Keyword pork tenderloin marinade
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Marinate Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 35 mins
Servings 4 servings
Calories 272kcal
Make the very best pork tenderloin with this Pork Tenderloin Marinade! It's a simple combination of ingredients that infuses the meat with flavor and makes every bite irresistible. Cook the pork tenderloin on the grill, in the oven, or in the air fryer.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 6 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (or Italian seasoning)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1-1.5 pound pork tenderloin

Instructions 

  • In a small mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, garlic, dried oregano, salt and pepper. Whisk to mix. If desired, reserve 2 tablespoons of marinade in a separate small dish to brush on the pork partway through cooking.
  • Trim any silver skin off of the pork tenderloin. Place the pork in a large zip-top plastic bag. Pour the marinade into the bag with the pork and seal.
  • Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours or overnight.
  • After marinating, you can cook the pork tenderloin on the grill, in the oven or in the air fryer.
  • To grill: Heat grill to medium heat. Grill the pork tenderloin (discard any used marinade) over medium heat with the grill closed for 15-25 minutes, turning every few minutes, until the center of the tenderloin reaches 145° F. If desired, brush pork with the reserved 2 tablespoons of marinade when it has just a few minutes left on the grill. Let pork rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
  • To bake: Preheat oven to 400° F. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. (If you do not have an oven-safe skillet you can transfer the pork to a baking dish after browning it.) Add the pork to the pan, discarding the extra marinade. Brown on all sides, 1-2 minutes per side. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 145° F. Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
  • To cook in the air fryer: Preheat the air fryer to 380° F for 5 minutes. Air fry the pork at 380° F for 10 minutes. Then flip the tenderloin over and continue cooking for 8-16 more minutes, or until the center of the pork registers 145° F on an instant read thermometer. Let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 272kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 826mg | Potassium: 541mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 16IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 2mg
Nutrition information is an estimate.
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