This recipe transforms a baked pork tenderloin into something really incredible. Juicy and tender pork tenderloin with an unforgettable maple glaze. The glaze has so many levels of flavor and it coats the pork in a beautiful glossy finish.
Baked pork tenderloin can be the star of the show when it’s baked with an amazing maple glaze. The glaze is both sweet and savory, it has some heat and aromatic flavors from onions and garlic. The meat is juicy on the inside and crispy and golden on the outside.
Grating the onions on the finest holes of a box grater gives the perfect texture to the glaze. Caramelizing the onions and garlic and then cooking them along with the rest of the ingredients draws out the natural sweetness from the vegetables. You will love this glaze.
To finish off the meal, I serve it with fluffy white rice and a refreshing pineapple salsa. The sweet and refreshing flavors of the pineapple salsa complements the pork perfectly. Plus, it’s just absolutely beautiful. Pork can often be a heavy meal, but this one isn’t at all.
- 2 pork tenderloins (about 3/4 – 1 1/2 pounds each)
- they are usually sold 2 in a package
- salt, ground black pepper
- dry herbs and spices (such as garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, ground coriander, cumin, dry chives, parsley, thyme, rosemary, etc.)
- avocado oil – for browning the meat or for drizzling on the pork for roasting
- butter or oil – to saute the onions and garlic
- small onion – the sauteed onion adds a lovely texture and some natural sweetness and savory flavor to the glaze.
- Hatch valley salsa
- This condiment is amazing. I use it in so many ways. It has the flavor of peppers, but also adds heat to the glaze. I buy it at Trader Joe’s. If you don’t have it, you can use a jalapeno or poblano pepper instead.
- maple syrup – this is the secret to creating a glossy, sweet glaze.
- soy sauce – adds saltiness and a savory, umami flavor.
How to Bake Pork Tenderloin
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Season the pork tenderloins. Pat them dry on paper towels, then season each tenderloin with about 1/2 teaspoon salt, ground black pepper and dry herbs and spices. Rub them all over.
- Sear the meat. Heat 1-2 Tablespoons of oil in a large skillet and cook the meat until golden brown on both sides. Don’t try to turn the meat over until it easily releases from the pan.
- Patting the meat dry first and then cooking it in a really hot skillet will make sure that the meat is well-browned and releases easily from the pan. If the meat is wet, or the skillet isn’t hot enough, the meat will steam instead of searing.
- Roast the pork tenderloins in the oven. Transfer the pork tenderloins to a rimmed baking sheet, on top of a rack. Line the baking sheet it with aluminum foil so it can catch the drippings from the glaze later. Bake for about 10-18 minutes, depending on the thickness of the tenderloins, until the meat reaches 130 degrees Fahrenheit in the center.
- Meanwhile, make the glaze. In the same skillet that you used to saute the pork, melt the butter and then add the grated onion and garlic. Cook the onions and garlic until they are tender and starting to get golden. Add the Hatch Valley salsa, maple syrup and soy sauce. Cook until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.
- Brush the pork with glaze. When the pork is about 130 degrees, brush the glaze on the tenderloins.
- Return to the oven and continue to roast until the pork reaches 140-145 degrees Fahrenheit in the center.
- Rest the pork for about 10 minutes before slicing.
I tested it both ways, by sauteing one in the skillet first and the other way I just baked in the oven the whole time. Here they are, side by side. Can you tell the difference?
There is a slight difference in how it looks, but it’s very minor. I do think that sauteing something first adds more flavor. In this case, you can totally get away with baking it in the oven the whole time. The glaze is so flavorful and it has a deep golden color that helps to give color and shine to the pork. As it roasts in the high heat of the oven, it also gets more caramelization too.
What To Serve With Maple Glazed Pork Tenderloin
My favorite way to serve this is with simple long grain white rice (I just add some fresh herbs, like green onions or cilantro to it) and some pineapple salsa. All of these things complement each other so well.
Maple Glazed Baked Pork Tenderloin
Learn how to bake pork tenderloin in the oven, topped with an incredible maple glaze. The pork is so juicy and tender, with a golden crust. I love serving it with rice and pineapple salsa – it’s the perfect combination.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: Entree
- 2 pork tenderloins (each tenderloin will average about 3/4 – 1 1/2 lbs)
- salt, ground black pepper, for seasoning (about 1/2 teaspoon salt, use less if your other seasonings are salted)
- 1–2 teaspoons dry herbs and spices (such as garlic and onion powder, ground coriander, paprika, cumin, dry chives, parsley, thyme, etc.)
- 1–2 Tablespoons avocado oil for browning the meat
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Pat tenderloins dry with paper towels. Season with salt (about 1/2 teaspoon salt per tenderloin, less if the tenderloin is on the smaller side), ground black pepper and dry herbs and spices on all sides, rubbing it into the meat.
- Heat 1-2 Tablespoons of oil in a large skillet until it’s really hot. Place the tenderloins in the skillet; you might have to curl them a bit. Cook on medium-high heat until they are really brown on all sides, about 8-10 minutes total.
- Place the pork tenderloins on a rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Line the baking sheet it with aluminum foil to catch all the drips from the glaze later.
- Roast in the preheated oven for about 10-18 minutes, depending on the thickness of the tenderloins, until it reaches 130 degrees Fahrenheit in the center.
- Meanwhile, make the glaze. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and then add the grated onion and minced garlic, cooking for a few minutes until softened and starting to turn a light golden color. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up all the brown bits from the browned pork, which will add more flavor to the sauce and clean the skillet at the same time.
- Then, add the Hatch Valley salsa (if you want to use minced peppers instead of the salsa, cook it with the onions and garlic first), pour in the maple syrup and the soy sauce. Mix to combine. Cook for a few minutes on medium high heat, until the sauce thickens up, about 3-5 minutes. (If you prefer, you can strain the glaze to make it clear, but I highly recommend leaving it as is – the flavor and texture combination is amazing.)
- When the pork tenderloins are 130 degrees Fahrenheit, remove them from the oven and brush generously with the glaze.
- Return the pork tenderloin to the oven and bake until it reaches 140-145 degrees Fahrenheit in the center on an instant read thermometer, another 7-12 minutes.
- Take the pork out of the oven and let it rest for about 10 minutes before serving it.
- Brush with more glaze or serve the remaining glaze on the side.
- The pork is delicious served with rice and pineapple salsa.
How To Bake Pork Tenderloin WITHOUT searing it on the stove first.
If you want to skip searing the pork, you can bake it in the oven the entire time.
Season the pork with salt, pepper, dry herbs and spices, then drizzle with olive oil or avocado oil and rub it in on all sides. Place it on a rimmed baking sheet in a preheated oven (425 degrees Fahrenheit) and roast also until it reaches 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Continue with the rest of the recipe.
The pork will be slightly less golden on the outside, but you’ll hardly notice, because the glaze gives it a lovely brown shiny exterior.
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