The best, simple one-skillet roasted pork tenderloin with baby potatoes! This healthy dinner takes around 30 minutes to make, and the result is a beautifully moist tenderloin with perfectly cooked potatoes!
Pork tenderloin is a fairly lean cut of meat, which is great for nutrition, but that also means it can go from perfectly tender and juicy to tough, dry, and chewy in a matter of a few minutes....so no pressure when cooking it! ;) I've definitely made an overcooked pork loin or two, or maybe more... but now I've finally figured out how to get this cut of meat to come out deliciously moist and tender every time! I guess it's proof that practice really does make perfect, especially in the kitchen!
The most important thing to keep in mind here is that this cut of meat needs the right cooking method and must be watched closely. I've found that the safest way to ensure the
perfect tenderloin (and perfect cook on any meat for that matter) is to use a meat thermometer. You can find them at pretty much any grocery store these days, or a cooking store, and the
prices range from under $5 for a simple one up to about $20-30 for a fancy one that has a timer and temperature alert. I've got the fancier one that can be set to beep when the meat reaches
the temp I want, and I have to admit, it's pretty handy because it keeps me from having to watch the meat constantly. But the simple versions work just as well!
As far as the cooking method, I've tried several different ways to cook pork tenderloin, and finally found the way that works best for me! The best part is, it's quick, and since it uses a skillet, there's enough room to add some veggies to cook with it! You can also use a roasting pan for this recipe if you're looking for room to fit even more veggies (broccoli or zucchini would be great here!) and maybe even a second tenderloin to have for leftovers.
Here's how it works: First, I make the seasoning and oil mixture for the pork and potatoes - it's just a combination of canola oil, balsamic vinegar, dried sage (which was made to go perfectly with pork!), salt, pepper, garlic, and a pinch of brown sugar. About 2/3 of the mixture gets brushed or rubbed all over the pork, and the rest gets tossed with the baby potatoes to lightly coat them. While the oven is preheating to 450 degrees, the cast iron skillet or roasting pan goes into the oven with a teaspoon of oil so it gets hot enough to sear the meat when ready. Once the pork and potatoes are coated with the oil mixture and the oven is preheated, I carefully place the meat into the hot pan and the potatoes all around it, and put in the oven for 10 minutes.
At that point, I flip the meat over, reduce the oven to 400 degrees and cook the tenderloin for about 15 more minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees on my meat thermometer (the temperature will continue to rise to the perfect 145-150 degree range after removing it from the oven).
The baby golden potatoes cooked perfectly in that amount of time for me, but if for any reason they're still a little under done, the pork can be removed from the pan and the potatoes can go back into the oven for a few more minutes until they're tender. The pork needs to rest for about 10 minutes before cutting into it so the juices stay where you want them - in the meat. This is one delicious dinner a regular on the meal rotation at our house, and I hope you enjoy it too!
One Skillet Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Baby Potatoes
Makes about 6 servings
- 1 pork tenderloin, about 1 1/2 pounds
- 3 cups baby potatoes
- 1 tablespoon of canola oil, plus one teaspoon for the pan
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dried sage
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. While the oven is preheating place a large cast iron skillet or roasting pan in the oven with 1 teaspoon of oil.
- In a small bowl, combine the remaining oil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, sage, salt, pepper, and brown sugar. Rub or brush about 2/3 of the mixture over the tenderloin, and toss the rest of the oil mixture with the potatoes to lightly coat them.
- Once the oven has preheated, remove the pan and place the pork tenderloin in the center, with the potatoes around it. Cook for 10 minutes, then flip the tenderloin and reduce the heat to 400 degrees.
- Bake for about 15 more minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 140-145 degrees. Remove the tenderloin from the pan and let it rest for at least 10 minutes. The potatoes should be tender, but if they aren't completely done, put them back in the oven until they are tender.
- Slice the pork tenderloin just before serving. If the meat is cooked to 140-145 degrees, there will be a very slight pink color in the middle.