This recipe for Cast Iron Pork Tenderloin is so delicious and easy to make! With a 5 ingredient sweet and tangy marinade, this pork tenderloin gets a sear in the cast iron pan and then finished in the oven.
Here's a pork recipe that you can really sink your teeth into!
This cast iron pork recipe is super easy to make with a simple pork marinade.
It's been deemed "the best" by my kids and well, if they love a marinated pork recipe that I make, then I'm going all the way with it😅
You know what else makes it the "best"?
The fact that you can cook your veggies right alongside the pork in the cast iron skillet when it's finishing in the oven.
Supper in one pan!
In my books, that's a winner🏅
By the way, have you tried much cast iron cooking? It's one of my faves.
Check out these recipes for even more delicious and gluten-free meals made in the cast iron pan:
📝Ingredients for this pork tenderloin recipe
Here's what you'll need to make this pork loin marinade:
- Brown sugar
- Gluten-free soy sauce
- Apple cider vinegar
- Fresh garlic cloves
- Fresh ginger
And of course, you'll need a piece of lovely pork loin.
See recipe card for quantities.
🔪Instructions for marinated pork tenderloin
Hints: For best results, a couple tips on cooking the pork loin after it's marinaded: if you can, take it out of the fridge about 10 minutes before you cook it. Also, watch you don't burn the pork in the cast iron pan when you're giving it the first sear, before it goes into the oven. Cast iron pans really retain their heat!
And finally, let your pork tenderloin rest for a few minutes on a cutting board after it's done cooking in the oven. This will help lock in all the juices and delicious flavours from the marinade.
- Brown sugar - I've been lovin' the dark brown sugar for a little depth of flavour but you can use regular brown sugar or even golden brown sugar. I've tried substituting maple syrup or honey for the brown sugar and it does NOT give the same results. Using a liquid sweetener doesn't allow the marinade mixture to cook down in the same way. Plus, the sugars more easily burn when you go to cook the pork on the cast iron pan.
- Apple cider vinegar - if you don't have apple cider vinegar, you can use regular vinegar or even white wine vinegar. You will get a slightly different flavour but still get the tang that the vinegar delivers.
- Fresh garlic - if you're searching for fresh garlic at home and don't have it, run over to your neighbours and grab a few cloves😄 Or you can sub in garlic powder no problem.
- Pork chops - if there's no pork tenderloin in sight at your grocery store, bone-in or boneless pork chops will work too.
For this cast iron pork recipe you'll need an oven safe pan. My favourite are cast iron skillets - they sear meat beautifully, retain their heat well and are super verstatile.
You can also use any other oven safe pan you have.
An instant read thermometer is also really useful for this recipe.
🍽️ What to serve with marinated pork tenderloin
To easily get a healthy and gluten-free meal on the table for supper, this cast iron pork tenderloin has got you off to an awesome start.
All you need is a healthy carb and some veggies.
Here are some ideas:
- Double duty dinner - see "Top Tip" below and cook some green veggies in the same pan as the pork. After searing the pork, add some cut broccoli, broccolini or sliced bell peppers to roast alongside the pork loin
- Make this recipe for Simple Roasted Broccoli and Potatoes (one pan) or this one for Roasted Tenderstem Broccoli🥦
- I love a lean protein with a salad and these salads you could easily make while the pork is finishing in the oven: Kale Quinoa Salad with Apple and Spiced Nuts, Butter Lettuce Salad with Pomegrantes and Pistachios or this Gluten Free Potato Salad Recipe (Healthy and Delicious!)
- Short on time? Make these Oven Roasted Cinnamon Sweet Potatoes (Cubed) and steam some green beans or peas. Easy peasy😄
⏲️How long to marinade pork tenderloin
The length of time to marinate pork tenderloin can vary depending on how much time you have and what's in the marinade, but a good rule of thumb is to marinate it for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.
For this recipe, I recommend marinating the pork tenderloin for several hours or overnight. This helps infuse the flavors more deeply into the meat.
Short on time? For a quick marinade, you can use an acidic ingredient such as vinegar, citrus juice, or wine, along with some oil and seasonings that you like. Let the pork tenderloin sit in the marinade for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
It's important not to marinate the pork tenderloin for too long, as the acid in the marinade can start to break down the meat fibers and make it mushy. A good rule of thumb is to avoid marinating for more than 24 hours.
❓How long to bake pork tenderloin
The cooking time for pork tenderloin can vary depending on a few factors, such as the size of the tenderloin, the oven temperature, and whether or not it's stuffed or wrapped in bacon.
However, a general guideline for baking pork tenderloin is to roast it in a preheated oven at 375°F (190°C) for 20-25 minutes per pound.
Because in this recipe, we're marinading the pork and searing the pork in the cast iron pan first, it's getting a jump on the cooking. Personally, I like shorter time in the oven with a higher heat (ie, 425 degrees F for about 12 - 15 minutes).
🥡Storage and Leftovers
Leftover cooked pork tenderloin will be good, stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
You can re-heat it or just have it sliced cold on a salad or wrapped in a gluten-free wrap with veggies.
Discard any unused marinade.
Do 2-in-1 meal preparation here! Why not add a fresh vegetable to cook alongside the pork tenderloin when it's finishing in the oven? After you sear the pork, you can add chopped broccoli, green beans or some sliced bell peppers to cook in the same pan as the pork! Then you'll have veggies AND your protein done in one pan😄
Another option: since your oven is hot already, why not make this recipe for Roasted Broccoli and Potatoes (one pan!) or these Roasted Carrots with Garlic and Parmesan Cheese. Then you've got all the healthy, gluten-free food needed for a complete supper. You're a basically a Superstar🌟
Check out these other recipes for easy chicken marinades too:
Hope you love this cast iron pork tenderloin recipe like we do!
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Best Cast Iron Pork Tenderloin Recipe
- 1 Cast iron skillet
- 0.5 - 1 kg Pork tenderloin
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup gluten-free soy sauce
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- Add marinade ingredients in a small sauce pan. Whisk to combine and bring to a simmer. Cook this down till thicker and a bit sticky, stirring often on med heat, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Place pork tenderloin in a baking dish or bag and pierce all over with a fork. Pour marinade over the tenderloin, place in fridge to marinade for 6 hours or overnight.
- When ready to cook, remove pork from fridge. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a cast iron pan over medium heat. Once hot, add tenderloin.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes to get a nice sear on the pork. Flip and cook on the other side for another 2-3 minutes. Spoon some of the melted butter over the tenderloin as it cooks.
- Remove from heat. Add green beans or broccolini (if desired). Place whole pan into the oven. Roast for approximately 15 - 18 minutes or until internal temperature is 145 degrees F.
- Let rest for 5 - 10 minutes before cutting into the tenderloin. Serve with the veggies and rice.