Whenever my in-laws come to visit, we face a real dinnertime dilemma.
My father-in-law won’t eat poultry, my husband doesn’t like steak, my mother-in-law thinks shrimp are slimy, I’m not a fan of seafood — and we won’t even address all the foods Jackson won’t eat.
So, it’s normally tacos or burgers or Chinese takeout or the occasional meatloaf. By default, pork has been on the menu a lot, too. But a lot of those meals have been ho-hum and barely palatable until I figured out how to cook pork tenderloin so it stays tender, juicy and delicious.
Seriously, this is the best pork tenderloin recipe ever. And it’s easy, too. Five ingredients, including the tenderloin. It cooks up in less than 20 minutes, so this recipe is definitely do-able on hurried weeknights.
And did I mention juicy? This is not the dried-out hunk of pork I’m used to pulling out of the oven, off the grill or even out of the slow cooker.
I think the secret is in the sear. Or maybe it’s letting the tenderloin rest after cooking instead of slicing into it immediately. Or maybe it’s the lemons. Whatever the “secret,” this is some good eating and simple cooking. My mind of meal.
Before putting the tenderloin in the oven to roast, I season each side with salt and pepper and saute it, just a few minutes on each side.
Then it goes into the oven, flanked by two lemon halves, for 15 minutes.
Here’s the easy-as-can-be recipe:
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small pork tenderloin
- 1 lemon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Slice lemon in half.
- Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.
- Season tenderloin with salt and pepper on each side.
- When oil is hot, add tenderloin to the pan and saute for 2 to 3 minutes of each side, or until golden brown.
- Remove pork to a foil-lined baking sheet and place the lemon halves on each side.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until pork is firm.
- Remove from the oven and let tenderloin sit for 5 minutes before slicing.
This definitely ranks as an easy dinner recipe. If you need menu planning ideas, be sure to check out these other quick and easy weeknight meals.