Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Zesty Dry Rub



I bookmarked this recipe around Thanksgiving and I’m not entirely sure why. The original recipe is for a turkey breast, which I’ve never cooked and really have no intention of ever cooking, since we’ve don’t have small Thanksgiving get-togethers. Still, the ease and sound of the rub made the recipe too good to pass up.

Given that an entire turkey breast made for 2 adults and a toddler would yield entirely too many leftovers that I’d probably freeze and then completely forget about, I decided to go another route. I’d planned to make this with a turkey tenderloin. However, neither the butcher nor the regular grocery store  had a turkey tenderloin (or really anything involving turkey besides ground turkey), so I just used a pork tenderloin.

Pork tenderloins are one of my favorite proteins for many reasons: they’re quite mild, so they are very much a blank canvas and work with a multitude of flavors; they cook pretty quickly; they’re lean and healthy; one tenderloin is pretty much the perfect size for us, with my husband eating a bit more than me and my son eating a bit less. The main benefit for me, though, is that the vast majority of the time, I sear the tenderloin in my cast iron skillet and then, before putting it in the oven to finish up cooking, I throw whatever our sides will be right into the same pan (in this case, sweet potato wedges and brussels sprouts). They need about 5 minutes longer to cook than the tenderloin, which means you can remove the tenderloin and let it sit for that amount of time before slicing into it. Also? Only one pan to clean.

I halved the rub recipe and still had a little extra, but it’s easier than trying to figure out how to scale the recipe down to 40% or something. Plus, you can always use the extra rub on whatever you are cooking alongside the pork or save it for next time (assuming it hasn’t touched the raw pork, obviously).

We all really liked this rub. It was a tiny bit spicy, a little smoky, and the tang from the lime gave it a nice balance. I love allspice in pretty much any application, so it’s  no surprise that it was probably my favorite flavor on this pork tenderloin. It’s definitely more of a background flavor than a predominant one, but it’s definitely there and makes this all the better.


Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Zesty Dry Rub

  • Looks delicious! I have a pork roast in the freezer, just waiting for something like this!

  • As far as meats go, pork is way more exciting than turkey in my opinion! So you made the right choice 😛 That rub does sound fantastic! Super flavorful.

  • Yum, this looks great Elly! I never know what to do with pork tenderloins, so I never buy them. Adding one to next week’s grocery list!

  • I think you made a good choice, when I cook that is what I do I take a recipe and make it my own. I cant wait to try this recipe

  • What a great combination of flavors. I’m intrigued by the roasted veggies in the background, too. Looks like a fantastic meal!

  • Mark

    Sounds tasty but through is a little over for me I’m a serve pork medium kinda guy it’s just tastier.

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  • Stumbled upon this recipe, liked the portions and ingredients, and decided to try it. VERY, very good. You don’t have any cajun or creole recipes….do you?

    • elly

      Patrick, I have a shrimp creole and a gumbo recipe posted that you should be able to find via the search bar or recipe index.

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  • Heather

    This sounds like a lovely recipe! I’ve got all of the ingredients for it, but I have one quick question. My college student kitchen isn’t stocked with an oven-safe skillet. Would a glass 8×8 pan work?

    • elly

      Sure, after you sear the pork you can move it into whatever type of oven-safe baking dish/pan you have. Enjoy!