This Pork Tenderloin Marinade is quick and easy to make, and it adds so much delicious flavor. This is a great recipe to use for summer grilling, but it works just as well in the oven or on the stove!
I love marinades – they are such an easy way to add flavor to otherwise plain meat. It’s pretty amazing how just a few ordinary ingredients can completely transform your meal.
As much as I like a Ranch Baked Pork Tenderloin – when we grill out in the backyard during the summer, nothing beats having pork tenderloin waiting in the fridge in this yummy marinade!
Ingredients you’ll need
Here is a visual overview of the ingredients in the recipe. Scroll down to the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for quantities!
- Herbs: I highly recommend using the fresh herbs (they just taste so good here!), but the marinade is still very good using dried herbs instead. Use ½ teaspoon dried parsley flakes and ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary in place of the fresh.
- Mustard: I like to use both whole grain and smooth Dijon mustard here, but you can just use one kind if you prefer.
- Honey: I highly recommend using a clear, mild, runny honey here for best results.
- Lemon juice: Either fresh or bottled lemon juice are fine in this recipe.
How to make the best Pork Tenderloin Marinade
1. Start by placing all of the marinade ingredients in a large measuring jug. Whisk well until everything is evenly combined.
2. Trim any visible fat off your tenderloin, then place it in a large zip-top bag together with the rosemary sprig. Pour the marinade on top.
3. Remove any excess air from the bag, then zip it close. Spend a minute carefully massaging the marinade into the meat, then place it in the fridge for at least one hour, and up to 3 days.
4. Once ready to cook, remove the tenderloin from the marinade, shaking off any excess. Discard the bag and remaining marinade and prepare the tenderloin to your preference!
I prefer to marinate pork for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. According to the USDA, it’s fine to let pork marinate for 3-5 days in the fridge. The meat will not break down or get brittle, as it is firm enough to endure a few days in the acidic marinade.
The minimum safe internal temperature for pork, according to government guidelines, is 145°F followed by a 3 minute rest. The national pork board has a great overview of different levels of doneness at different temperatures, you can find it here.
My favorite ways to cook pork tenderloin are either the grill or the oven.
When making it in the oven, sear it first on the stove in an oven-safe skillet over high heat for about 1-2 minutes per side. Then, transfer it to a 400°F oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until it reaches your preferred internal temperature.
Alternatively, you can use a Dutch oven with a lid, or wrap the pork tenderloin in foil. Bake it at 350°F for around 40-45 minutes, or until done to your liking.
On the grill, cook it over high direct heat, covered, for 5-7 minutes per side. Then, move it to indirect heat and finish grilling until it reaches your desired internal temperature.
Always allow your pork to rest for 3-5 minutes before slicing it to serve. This helps to keep the meat as juicy as possible.
Yes, you can easily prepare this ahead and store it in the freezer.
Make sure you use a freezer-friendly bag. Squeeze out any excess air before zipping the bag close to help avoid freeze burn. Label it with name and use-by date, then freeze for up to 5 months.
Defrost in the fridge overnight, then cook according to the recipe instructions.
Pork Tenderloin Marinade
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons honey mild and runny preferred
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard either smooth or whole-grain, or a mix of both
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice fresh or bottled are both fine
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ground black pepper to taste
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 2 ½ pounds pork tenderloin
- Make marinade: Combine ingredients for marinade in a measuring jug. Whisk well.
- Add pork: Place pork tenderloin in freezer bag and pour marinade on top. Close bag well, then lightly massage marinade into pork.
- Marinate: Marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour, and up to 3 days.°F.
- Cook: Remove pork tenderloin from bag, discarding marinade, rosemary and bag. Cook tenderloin on the grill or in oven until cooked to a minimum temperature of 145°F, followed by a 3 minute rest (see cooking instructions in notes below). Slice to serve.
- If using dried herbs, use ½ teaspoon dried parsley and ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary in place of the fresh.
- Pork tenderloin can be frozen in marinade for up to 5 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight, then prepare as directed in the recipe.