Coated with a flavorful seasoning, this Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin is pan-seared and then baked until tender and moist on the inside. This perfect pairing of herbs and spices makes for a delicious pork tenderloin dinner that can be on the table in less than an hour.
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With grilling season almost behind us, it’s time to switch gears for a few months and start using the oven. This seared and then-baked herb-crusted pork tenderloin is an easy, family-friendly meal you can get on the table in less than an hour. If you’re into meal prepping, this recipe keeps well for quite a few days so go ahead and add it to your meal prep list. It’ll be a great option to reheat and serve during the week.
If you’re looking for a complete meal solution, herb crusted pork tenderloin pretty much goes with anything but works especially well with starchy vegetables or a side of rice. Try roasting this Simple Roasted Squash at the same time you roast the pork for a bright and flavorful vegetable side dish. These Crispy Oven Roasted Potatoes pair well as well and are served with a delicious yogurt chive dip that’s to die for! For a rice option, this Mexican-Style Pan Rice that is full of flavor or this mildly lemony flavored Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice would also work.
What spices go best with pork?
If you haven’t prepared pork before and aren’t quite sure how to season it, fennel seeds are one of the best options. Fennel is an herb, spice, and vegetable, and it’s quite delicious too!
If you are not familiar with cooking with fennel seeds it is best to mix them with other herbs and spices because fennel has a very distinctive flavor that may be slightly overwhelming if you aren’t used to it.
Garlic, paprika, oregano, cumin, and coriander are all great spices to mix with fennel seeds. Some folks enjoy adding brown sugar to sweeten pork, but fennel seeds do a good job of adding flavor and some sweetness.
Why You’ll Love This Herb Crusted Pork Loin Recipe
Flavorful: Loaded with a combination of herbs and spices, the flavor is fabulous.
Hearty: There’s nothing quite as filling and nourishing as a piece of pork tenderloin.
Versatile: Pork tenderloin pairs well with pretty much anything.
Tender and juicy: Pan searing and roasting make this tenderloin tender and juicy on the inside with a nice crust on the outside.
Ingredients To Make Herb Crusted Pork
- Pork tenderloin – Look for a pork tenderloin that has some marbling.
- Olive oil – Extra virgin olive oil is great but any kind will do.
- Fennel seeds – Crushed fennel seeds add loads of flavor.
- Garlic powder – Garlic powder enhances the flavor of the pork.
- Spices -Oregano, paprika and fresh ground pepper, cumin and sea salt round out the flavor.
- Fresh mint – Use fresh mint sprigs for garnish. You can also use cilantro or parsley.
How To Make Herb Crusted Pork Loin
- Step 1: Remove any fat from the pork tenderloin and pat dry with a paper towel. A dry pork tenderloin will help the pork develop a good crispy exterior. Transfer pork to a cooking sheet or pan.
- Step 2: Combine the seasonings for the pork herb rub in a small bowl and mix well. You want to be able to evenly distribute the spices when you season the pork.
- Step 3: Brush the pork with 1 tbsp of olive oil using a pastry brush or clean hands. You just need a thin layer of oil so don’t overdo it. Distribute the seasoning evenly to all sides of the tenderloin. The oil helps the seasoning stick to the pork.
- Step 4: Sear the pork in a large skillet filled with olive oil. Make sure the oil is hot so that the pork browns easily on all sides.
- Step 5: Transfer the browned pork tenderloin to the sheet pan and roast at 400F for about 28-30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145F to 155F.
- Step 6: Garnish the pork loin crust with fresh mint, cilantro or parsley.
Tips and Variations
- Change up the assortment of spices. Use Italian or Greek herbs for a different flavor profile to make this herb pork tenderloin or season with rosemary for a rosemary-crusted pork loin.
- Don’t skip the searing. Searing the pork tenderloin beforehand really helps create a nice flavorful crust so don’t skip this step if you are making this crusted pork tenderloin recipe.
- Use a meat thermometer. Invest in a meat thermometer so you can feel confident the meat is cooked thoroughly.
The safest internal temperature to consume pork is a minimum of 145F degrees. Using a meat thermometer will confirm whether your pork is cooked thoroughly or not. You can test for doneness at around 80% of the suggested cooking time so the meat doesn’t get overcooked.
The higher the oven temperature, the quicker the pork will cook. Cooking meats at a higher temperature also helps create a crust-like outer layer while maintaining a moist interior.
While fennel and a combination of garlic, paprika, oregano, cumin, and coriander are great pork herbs, other spices can also season pork well. Sage, thyme, caraway seeds, rosemary, or mustard seeds are also good savory options. Herbs for pork tenderloin can be both fresh or dried.
Cooking pork for a longer period does not mean it will get more tender. Excessively long cook times may dry out the meat. For the best results, follow the instructions for the recipe you are preparing.
Make ahead and storage
This herb crusted pork tenderloin can easily be prepared a few days in advance of when you want to serve it and stored in the fridge. Store the pork in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months. If you decide to freeze leftovers, you can slice them and store meal-sized portions individually so you can easily grab a meal at a time.
Looking for more pork recipe options?
It is important to note that all meats including pork must rest for 10 minutes before cutting. By letting the meat rest the moisture is re-absorbed and your meat will be tender and juicy.
If you make this Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin recipe, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a star rating! I love to hear from you and always do my best to respond to all your comments. Also, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram for a special shutout and/or a chance of being featured in my newsletter!
Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin
- 2 lb pork tenderloin
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp fennel seeds, crushed
- 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp each, oregano, paprika and fresh ground pepper
- 1/2 tsp sea salt and cumin
- fresh mint, cilantro or parsley
- Trim fat if any from pork and dry the loin with paper towel. Drying the pork will help achieve a good crust. Place in a medium size sheet pan.
- In a small bowl mix all the seasoning well so that when you distribute on to the pork the flavor is even throughout the meat.
- Season pork with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Using a cooking brush or your clean hands spread the oil on all sides of the pork. All you need is a thin layer here. Then add on the dry seasoning mix evenly on all sides. The oil will help the seasoning stick to the pork.
- In a large skillet heat the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil. When hot add the pork and brown on all sides for about 2-3 minutes or until you see a brown crust from. This should only take about 10-12 minutes.
- Transfer browned pork tenderloin back to the sheet pan and roast at 400F for about 28-30 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145F to 155F.
- Garnish the pork with fresh mint, cilantro or parsley.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.