How to Cook Pork Tenderloin to Perfection

Reasonably priced and bearing enough meat to feed the whole family, pork tenderloin is the obvious choice for many households when planning a meaty main dish. Still, if not prepared thoughtfully, pork tenderloin can go dry and dull—not what you want af…

Reasonably priced and bearing enough meat to feed the whole family, pork tenderloin is the obvious choice for many households when planning a meaty main dish. Still, if not prepared thoughtfully, pork tenderloin can go dry and dull—not what you want after spending all that energy in the kitchen. When it comes to pork tenderloin, there are a couple tricks to achieving a moist, tender roast.

What Is Pork Tenderloin? Is that Different from Pork Loin?

Pork tenderloin and pork loin are not the same thing. The former (also known as pork fillet or pork tender) is long and thin, cut from the muscle running along the spine; the latter (also known as a pork center rib roast or a center-cut pork loin roast) is a heftier slab of meat with a fat cap, cut from back by the ribs (you may know it better sliced, as a pork chop). Perfect for those “I need dinner in an hour” nights, pork tenderloin cooks up tender and quickly when properly prepped.

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Pad See Ew

PAD SEE EWPad See Ew is my go to Thai takeout dish of choice. I love the wide, flat rice noodles that soak up all the delicious soy based sauce, the slightly crisp Chinese broccoli and the fluffy scrambled egg that picks up all the flavors of the dish!…

PAD SEE EW
Pad See Ew is my go to Thai takeout dish of choice. I love the wide, flat rice noodles that soak up all the delicious soy based sauce, the slightly crisp Chinese broccoli and the fluffy scrambled egg that picks up all the flavors of the dish!…

Brined, Roast Pork

I’m often asked what my favorite cookbooks are and invariably I pull out a copy of The Zuni Cafe Cookbook by Judy Rodgers. It’s one of those rare books where you learn something from every sentence on every page, and in every recipe that you make from it. Judy was an amazing cook and whatever she made was unusually good, in spite of its (seemingly)…

I’m often asked what my favorite cookbooks are and invariably I pull out a copy of The Zuni Cafe Cookbook by Judy Rodgers. It’s one of those rare books where you learn something from every sentence on every page, and in every recipe that you make from it. Judy was an amazing cook and whatever she made was unusually good, in spite of its (seemingly) relative simplicity, ranging from the lightest ricotta gnocchi you’ll ever have to the legendary Zuni roast chicken, which was worth the one-hour wait after you ordered it at the restaurant. It gave you plenty of time to have a margarita, a pile of shoestring fries, and a classic Caesar Salad. (Fun fact: I worked at Zuni Cafe when I first moved to San Francisco and made a lot of Caesar Salads, which, if I may be so bold, were excellent and the recipe is in the book.)

Continue Reading Brined, Roast Pork...

Slow Cooker Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork

There’s nothing quite like a slow-cooked, tender, juicy shredded pork. It’s versatile and freezes well, so I love making a big batch of this Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork to keep on hand for quick dinners later. This heavily spiced pulled pork has become one of my favorites over the years and is probably one of […]

The post Slow Cooker Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork appeared first on Budget Bytes.

There’s nothing quite like a slow-cooked, tender, juicy shredded pork. It’s versatile and freezes well, so I love making a big batch of this Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork to keep on hand for quick dinners later. This heavily spiced pulled pork has become one of my favorites over the years and is probably one of my most cooked recipes. It’s just too easy, with the slow cooker doing all the work, and the results are soooo delicious! 

Originally posted 9-12-2015, updated 2-13-2021.

Overhead view of a bowl full of chili rubbed pulled pork with taco fixings on the sides

Use a Slow Cooker for Tender, Moist Meat

Pulled pork is super easy to make, especially if you have a slow cooker. Slow cooking holds in all the moisture during cooking and slowly breaks down connective tissue, so the meat is so tender that it just falls apart and shreds with the touch of a fork. Combine those spectacular results with the fact that slow cookers are essentially hands off, and this is, without dispute, my favorite way to make pulled pork.

How To Use Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork

This delicious shredded meat can be used so many different ways. Pile the pork into rice bowls, burritos, quesadillas, tacos, or just enjoy on a bun. I also love using it to top salads for an extra shot of protein.

Freeze the Extras

This makes a BIG batch, so keep some in your fridge for the week and freeze the rest. To freeze the pulled pork, divide the pork into more manageable portions (I usually do 1-2 cup portions), then chill it completely in the refrigerator overnight. Transfer the pork to the freezer once completely cooled and keep frozen for up to 3 months. Any freezer safe container works.

Front view of a bowl full of chili rubbed pulled pork with taco fixings in the back

Overhead view of a bowl full of chili rubbed pulled pork with taco fixings on the sides

Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork

Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork is a tender, juicy, and flavorful meat that can be used for tacos, nachos, burritos, salads, and more!
Total Cost $5.54 recipe / $0.92 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6 (1/2 cup each)
Calories 434.52kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. boneless pork butt or shoulder $4.47
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder* $0.60
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika $0.30
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder $0.05
  • 1 tsp salt $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly cracked black pepper $0.02

Instructions

  • Combine the chili powder, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper in a bowl.
  • Cut the pork butt into 2-3 inch cubes. Place the pork cubes in a large bowl, sprinkle the prepared spice mix over top, then stir to coat the meat in the spices.
  • Place the seasoned meat in a slow cooker, place the lid on top, and cook on high for 4-5 hours, or low for 8-9 hours.
  • After cooking, stir the meat with a fork to shred the meat. If it's not tender enough to fall apart when stirred, return the lid and cook for an additional 30 minutes adn try again. After shredding the meat, it is ready to serve, or portion and refrigerate or freeze until ready to use. Keep the shredded meat in the juices from the slow cooker until ready to serve for the best flavor.

Notes

*This chili powder is not spicy. It is a mild, earthy blend of chiles and other spices commonly referred to as "chili powder" in the United States.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5Cup | Calories: 434.52kcal | Carbohydrates: 2.37g | Protein: 40.1g | Fat: 28.6g | Sodium: 649.27mg | Fiber: 1.42g

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Three pulled pork tacos on a plate with coleslaw

Chili rubbed pulled pork served as tacos in corn tortillas with sliced jalapeños, pickled red onions, and cotija, Cumin Lime Coleslaw on the side.

How to Make Slow Cooker Pulled Pork – Step by Step Photos

Spices for the chili rubbed pulled pork in a small wooden bowl

Prepare the chili spice rub first. In a small bowl, combine 2 Tbsp chili powder, 1 Tbsp smoked paprika, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp onion powder, 1 tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Stir until they’re evenly mixed.

Pork butt cut into large chunks

Cut one 3 lb. boneless pork butt or shoulder into large chunks (about 2-3 inch pieces). 

Seasoned pork butt pieces in a bowl

Place the pieces of pork in a bowl and pour the spices over top. Stir the pork pieces until they’re evenly coated in spices.

Seasoned pork in the slow cooker

Place the seasoned pork in a slow cooker (I’m using a 5 qt slow cooker and it’s only about half full). I do not add any water or liquid to the slow cooker, as the meat will release quite a bit of liquid as it cooks. If your slow cooker specifies that you must add some liquid, you can add a cup of water.

Cooked Pork in the slow cooker

Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 8-9 hours. After cooking it should be so tender that it begins to fall apart when stirred. If it doesn’t, simply put the lid back on and continue to cook for 30-60 minutes more. Sometimes that last little bit of time makes a huge difference in the texture.

Shredded pork in the slow cooker

Stir the pork in the slow cooker until it has shredded into smaller pieces. Serve immediately or transfer to a food storage container and refrigerate and/or freeze for later. I like to keep the meat right in the cooking juices during storage for maximum flavor.

Overhead view of a bowl full of chili rubbed pulled pork with taco fixings on the sides

It’s soooo tender and juicy! And those spices!!

Close up of a chili rubbed pulled pork taco

And it makes the absolute BEST tacos!!

Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork - BudgetBytes.com

The post Slow Cooker Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Sticky Hoisin Oven Baked Ribs

STICKY HOISIN OVEN BAKED RIBSThese Sticky Hoisin Oven Baked Ribs are an absolute favorite over here! Our recipe produces the most tender, flavorful and easy to make ribs! If you’ve ever been intimidated by cooking ribs at home, baking them in the…

STICKY HOISIN OVEN BAKED RIBS
These Sticky Hoisin Oven Baked Ribs are an absolute favorite over here! Our recipe produces the most tender, flavorful and easy to make ribs! If you’ve ever been intimidated by cooking ribs at home, baking them in the oven is the easiest, foolproof way to make them!…
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MOST RECENT

Pork Milanese with Lemon Parmesan Arugula.

Welcome to my new favorite dinner for 2021… pork milanese! I mean, technically it’s the only dinner I’ve shared in 2021 so far, but I promise, it will be a new favorite. I’m about to show you the best way to make pork chops! This crispy pork milanese is the juiciest pork I have ever […]

The post Pork Milanese with Lemon Parmesan Arugula. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Welcome to my new favorite dinner for 2021… pork milanese!

pork milanese with lemon arugula greens

I mean, technically it’s the only dinner I’ve shared in 2021 so far, but I promise, it will be a new favorite.

I’m about to show you the best way to make pork chops! This crispy pork milanese is the juiciest pork I have ever eaten – and we’ve all been freaking out over it! 

crispy pork in a skillet

My mom was the queen of pork chops when I was growing up. She made them once a week or every other – they were my favorite meal she made on weeknights. They were so tender and fall-apart delicious. It’s been tricky to try and master them! While this recipe isn’t anything like the one she made when I was growing up, it’s definitely delish and a great way to make wonderful pork chops for a weeknight meal.

I mean, we all get bored of chicken every now and then, right?! 

lemon arugula with parmesan

Now yes, I DO have a similar recipe that I use for chicken – my crispy parmesan chicken and arugula is easily one of the most made meals here on the site. It’s so easy, so delicious, so filling and light at the same time. I love making it when we may have had a bigger lunch or we’re just not starving for dinner. Everyone is always surprised at how flavorful it is. Love it.

crispy pork milanese in a skillet

The key to make this pork absolutely wonderful is to not overcook it. Not at all! I do it all in the skillet – not in the oven – and I highly, highly suggest you use a meat thermometer so you know when it is done! I find that it usually takes 3 to 4 minutes of pan-frying on both sides – and that’s all it needs. 

The outsides are crispy and wonderfully crunchy.

The insides are juicy and flavorful and tender. 

It’s such a good meal! 

crispy pork milanese

Much like the crispy parmesan chicken recipe I mentioned above, I like to serve this with some lemon arugula topped with parmesan. It’s such a simple salad but one that is refreshing, crisp and has a bit of a peppery bite from the arugula. It complements the pork so well too. 

pork milanese with lemon arugula

Of course my favorite part is that it comes together in about 30 minutes!

pork milanese with lemon arugula greens

It ridiculously flavorful and such a great meal to add to the new year rotation!

pork milanese with lemon arugula greens

Pork Milanese with Lemon Arugula

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Crispy Pork Milanese with Lemon Arugula

This is the best pork milanese - so tender, juicy and crispy crunchy! Serve it over lemon arugula with parmesan cheese for a lovely meal.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless pork loin chops
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup seasoned panko bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil

lemon arugula

  • 6 to 8 cups arugula greens
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • 1 to 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup freshly shaved parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Use a meat tenderizer to pound the pork chops until they are about ½ inch thick. You want them all even in thickness. Season the pork all over with salt and pepper.
  • Lightly beat the eggs in one bowl. In another bowl. Combined the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese.
  • Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the pork chops (you may need to do this in batches) and cook on each side for about 3 to 4 minutes, until golden brown and crispy and the internet temperature is 145 degrees F. Remove the pork and let it rest a few minutes before slicing.
  • Slice and serve over the lemon arugula!

lemon arugula

  • Place the arugula in a bowl and toss it well with salt and pepper. Squeeze on the juice of 1 lemon and drizzle on 1 tablespoons of olive oil and toss well. You can add more lemon juice/oil if you wish – go by your preference!
  • Add in the shaved parmesan and toss well. Serve immediately with the crispy pork.

pork milanese with lemon arugula greens

Ahh look at that crispy, crunchy topping!

The post Pork Milanese with Lemon Parmesan Arugula. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder with Apple Gravy

This slow-cooked pork shoulder is just the ticket on a cold winter day. It marinates overnight, then roasts all day. Dinner is ready when it’s fall-apart tender. Serve with an easy apple gravy and some roast vegetables on the side. Continue…

This slow-cooked pork shoulder is just the ticket on a cold winter day. It marinates overnight, then roasts all day. Dinner is ready when it's fall-apart tender. Serve with an easy apple gravy and some roast vegetables on the side.

Continue reading "Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder with Apple Gravy" »

Parmesan Pistachio Stuffed Pork Tenderloin.

This parmesan pork tenderloin is sponsored by the National Pork Board! Parmesan pistachio pork tenderloin is what’s for dinner tonight!  This flavorful weeknight meal is going to become a staple in your dinner repertoire this season. It’s exciting, delicious and a great way to bring some excitement into your kitchen. Today I’ve partnered with the […]

The post Parmesan Pistachio Stuffed Pork Tenderloin. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

This parmesan pork tenderloin is sponsored by the National Pork Board!

Parmesan pistachio pork tenderloin is what’s for dinner tonight! 

parmesan pistachio stuffed pork tenderloin with brussels sprouts

This flavorful weeknight meal is going to become a staple in your dinner repertoire this season. It’s exciting, delicious and a great way to bring some excitement into your kitchen.

stuffing pork tenderloin

Today I’ve partnered with the National Pork Board and their Pork as a Passport Campaign to bring you this delish stuffed pork tenderloin recipe. Pork tenderloin is so underrated. We love it as a weeknight meal, and it doesn’t take very long to cook either. Bonus! 

pork tenderloin ready for the oven

Pork tenderloin is also incredibly lean, making it one of our favorite meats for dinner. And we’re not alone! Pork is the number one consumed protein globally, and it really allows you to explore different cultures when it comes to cooking, especially when we’re not traveling as much. I’ve made many versions in this past, and it’s a great way to elevate your weeknight meal with tons of flavor. It feels special!

parmesan pistachio stuffed pork tenderloin with brussels sprouts

If you’re looking for inspo, I’ve made this fig and gorgonzola stuffed pork tenderloin, this grilled thai pork tenderloin and this apple, squash and goat cheese stuffed pork tenderloin. Oh and this wonderful holiday pork tenderloin too. They are all dreamy!

parmesan pistachio stuffed pork tenderloin with brussels sprouts

I’m excited to add this new one to the list. Pork is a fantastic way to transport you from your kitchen and experience exciting new flavors and dishes from cultures around the world. It’s also such a versatile cut of meat, one that can continuously bring a whole new life to the dinner table.

That’s why we’re making this parmesan pistachio pork tenderloin today! It is absolutely loaded with flavor – while using minimal ingredients. That’s a must during this busy season. 

Yes!

parmesan pistachio stuffed pork tenderloin with brussels sprouts

I absolutely LOVE the parmesan pistachio combo. Let me tell you how it goes down!

I find that throwing the pistachios in a food processor makes them the perfect consistency. So we combine the pistachios with ricotta and parmesan cheese to make the most incredible filling. It’s cheesy and nutty and savory and delicious. You can eat it with a spoon, but we’re going to stuff it in the pork tenderloin. 

parmesan pistachio stuffed pork tenderloin with brussels sprouts

I chop a ton of herbs – things like parsley and sage, though you can use what is in season! – to throw in the filling too. This combination is also ridiculously flavorful and adds wonderful aromatic value too. 

parmesan pistachio stuffed pork tenderloin with brussels sprouts

Another reason I love pork tenderloin? The options for side dishes are endless. You can serve this with some roasted vegetables or even mashed potatoes. You can throw it on top of a salad. If you’re utilizing leftovers, you can even throw it on a sandwich! 

It’s a sure fave! 

parmesan pistachio stuffed pork tenderloin with brussels sprouts

Parmesan Pistachio Pork Tenderloin

Print

Parmesan Pistachio Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

This parmesan pork tenderloin is stuffed with a delicious pistachio parm ricotta filling and tons of herbs. It's a show stopping meal!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Resting Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 4 to 6
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless pork tenderloins, 1.5 to 2 lbs each in size
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • ½ cup roasted, salted pistachios
  • 8 ounces ricotta cheese
  • cup finely parmesan cheese
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup chopped fresh herbs, such as sage and parsley
  • brussels sprouts salad, for serving

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a roasting pan or baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray it with nonstick spray.
  • Place the pork on a cutting board and get a sharp knife. I like to slice it twice to open it up so I have a lot of space to work with. I start at the bottom of the pork (about 1/4 inch from the bottom) and slice it lengthwise, then continue to cut again and open up the pork. You want to have a flat surface to work on. I place a piece of plastic wrap over top of the pork and use a meat tenderizer to pound it out to even thickness. Season the inside with salt and pepper. Repeat with the other tenderloin.
  • Place the pistachios in a food processor and blend until small crumbs remain. In a bowl, combine the pistachios with the ricotta, parmesan cheese, garlic and egg. Add a big pinch of salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Divide the mixture evenly between the 2 tenderloins. Spread the ricotta mixture on top of the pork, leaving 2 inches or so around the edges so you can roll it up. Sprinkle the chopped herbs on top.
  • Tightly roll up the tenderloins and tie each with kitchen twine. Season the entire outside with the salt and pepper.
  • Place the pork on the roasting pan or baking sheet and roast for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the inside is cooked and reads about 140 to 145 degrees F. Let the pork rest for 20 minutes before slicing.

parmesan pistachio stuffed pork tenderloin with brussels sprouts

Throw it in the dinner rotation! Because FLAVOR.

The post Parmesan Pistachio Stuffed Pork Tenderloin. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.