Honey-Orange Pork Tenderloin

Honey-Orange Pork Tenderloin thumbnailWhether or not I’m trying to eat healthy, one of my very most favorite things to eat is pork tenderloin. It’s super lean and no matter how you cook it, it’s done in a matter of minutes. When cooked right, it’s super lean, flavorful, adaptable to all sorts of flavors, and something quick and easy for a weeknight but also fancy enough to serve for company.

I saw this recipe in last month’s issue of Cooking Light and I knew when I read it that it would be amazing. I finally got around to making it last week and not only did I have all the sauce ingredients in my kitchen, but it was possibly the best pork tenderloin I’d ever eaten. My husband loved it. My kids loved it. It was a New Year’s miracle.

Luckily, pork tenderloins are almost always sold in pairs, so I happened to have another one handy for a repeat performance, which, even though I had eaten it only 3 days earlier, was just as incredible the second time around. My dog thought so, too–my tiny canine who, about 50% of the time, whines and cries because she “can’t” get up onto the couch leapt on top of my table and ate my beloved tenderloin after I took pictures. However, I would take her endorsement with a grain of salt; she subscribes to the “eat first, think later” philosophy. Unless it applies to her actual dog food, which she refuses to touch.

Preheat the oven to 400. One of the changes I made was increasing the oven temperature–I felt like it had to cook too long at 350 and didn’t come out browned on the outside and juicy on the inside.

You’re going to need 1 pork tenderloin (the recipe says a 1-pound tenderloin, but really, it could be quite a bit bigger or smaller and it would be fine), orange marmalade, soy sauce, garlic, honey, cider vinegar, salt, and pepper.

honey-orange pork tenderloin ingredients

Whisk together the sauce ingredients. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the sauce and set aside.

honey-orange pork tenderloin sauce

Place 2 tablespoons of vegetable or olive oil into an oven-safe skillet and heat over medium-high. While the oil is heating, sprinkle the tenderloin with kosher salt and black pepper.

seasoned pork tenderloinWhen the oil is hot, place the tenderloin in the pan and sear each side for 1-2 minutes until the tenderloin has a golden brown crust on both sides.

seared pork tenderloinWhen the roast has finished searing, remove from heat and drain excess oil. Drizzle about 1/2 of the sauce over the tenderloin…

tenderloin with sauceand place the pan in the oven. Cook for 10 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and flip the tenderloin. Word to the wise: Toss a hand towel or place a potholder over the hot pan handle. It’s easy to forget it’s hot. Sara and I have NO first-hand knowledge of this.

Pour the remaining sauce (except for the reserved sauce) over the tenderloin and place the pan back in the oven. Cook for another 10 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 155 degrees. Remove from oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes. Drizzle with reserved sauce and slice.

sliced honey orange pork tenderloinI served ours with a produce-department salad very similar to this salad and it might be my new favorite meal. Be sure to drizzle the sauce over the individual slices!

Honey-Orange Pork Tenderloin from Our Best BitesI think the nutritional information is a little high–most of the calories/fat come from the oil used to sear the roast (which I drained, but the Cooking Light recipe doesn’t include that step) and with the assumption that the sauce will be divided among 4 servings. My first tenderloin was pretty big, serving at least 6, and we didn’t even come close to using all the sauce. I’m not lowering any of the nutritional info, though–I figure it isn’t too bad to begin with and it’s better to overestimate than to underestimate, right?

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 275
Fat: 9.5
Carbs: 21.9
Protein: 24.8
WW Points Plus: 7




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Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. Hi, I’m new to your website. on your nutritional information, is that for one serving, or the whole meal?

  2. I just finished eating this. It was fabulous ! I love a recipe that doesn’t require me to buy crazy ingredients I’ll never use again. My pork did longer to cook.
    I recently discovered fresh herbs in plastic tubes in the produce section of my grocery store..genius idea !! I added some spicy red pepper paste and rosemary paste.
    I served this with brussel sprouts and roasted potatoes.

  3. I made this a few nights ago, and we all loved it, but for some reason the sauce turned into a big burned mess on the bottom of my pan. I made it again the following night, and omitted the honey thinking that would help, but the sauce still burned really bad. Any thoughts?

  4. Made this tonight and it was delish! I read Cooking Light, but didn’t even tag this…I guess I just need someone to say, “hey, try this…it’s great!” Thanks for giving me the push…for some reason pork kind of intimidates me! I have made several of your healthy meals this month and everything has been terrific! Thanks so much!

  5. I did a slight variation on this tonight, I omitted the marmalade and soy sauce and used some homemade applesauce instead. It turned out soooo good! I paired it with your garlic-rosemary roasted potatoes. Great dinner, Thanks!

  6. Hey!! Would this recipe work in a crockpot? We throw a pork roast in every Sunday before church, I thought this would make a great addition to our usual roast.

    1. I wouldn’t. Pork tenderloin is SUPER lean and tender. Most roasts that work best in the crockpot are tougher, fattier roasts that require a long time cooking at low heat to become tender. On the flip side, when you cook a cut like this low and slow, it makes it dry and flavorless. This needs to be cooked for a short amount of time at a high temperature to make it taste its best. The good news is that it cooks so fast that it’s done in no time. 🙂

  7. I made this for dinner tonight along with a carrot souffle (very time consuming and involved). The pork was the star of the show and much faster and easier. Yum!

  8. I made this the other night. I used strawberry jam because I didn’t have the marmalade and it was still really good. I made both of the tenderloins from the package so we would have leftovers and there was plenty sauce. Thanks for sharing such an easy and tasty recipe.

  9. This was DELICIOUS!!! I substituted red wine vinegar for the apple cider vinegar (that’s what I had in the pantry). I also had to cook mine a little longer to get up to 155 degrees (no biggie!). The orange marmalade is fantastic in this dish. Will DEFINITELY make this again!!! Thanks for a new recipe!

  10. KATE – what type of pan did you use to sear your pork in this recipe? It doesn’t look like a cast iron or non-stick pan – what’sit?

    1. It’s a stainless steel pan. They can be a pain to clean, but they’re great for searing meats. 🙂

  11. Do I have to use Kosher salt?
    Also your pork looks a little pink – I thought pork had be cooked until white?
    Can you tell I dont cook often….hahah

    1. You don’t HAVE to, but it’s super cheap and adds a nice clean flavor and helps the outside get a good crust. And pork should actually be a bit pink, even when it’s fully cooked. Tenderloins are super lean, so they really dry out if they’re overcooked. The USDA says 145 degrees is safe for pork tenderloin, but that’s a little too pink for my taste. If you cook it to 150-155 and then let it stand for 10 minutes, it will be juicy and maintain the natural pink color, but it won’t have a noticeably pink spot (like, say, rare or medium steak). It would be more like a medium-well steak. I promise, you don’t want a well-done tenderloin. Pork shoulder, definitely, but a well-done tenderloin would be like swallowing cotton balls. 🙂

      1. Thanks Kate!
        What I meant to ask…haha… was do I need Kosher instead of table salt – whats the difference? would table salt work too?

        1. Kosher salt is coarser, so it has more volume. Just use half the amount of table salt.

  12. I want to second the person who thanked you for including the nutritional information. After 5 kids and 4 decades I can no longer blithely eat whatever I like. I have to pay attention to calorie information. This makes it so much easier to know whether a recipe is something that I can fit into my meal plan for the day or if it is something that essentially IS my meal plan for day.

  13. I love your recipes so much but I get frustrated by your pin it Pinterest button. Every time I pin a recipe using your button it taks me back to the main page when I come back looking for it. Then I have to search through the recipe index. A small gripe, I know, but I wondered if this happens to anyone else. I only have that problem on this site.

    1. I noticed that today, too–I’ll see if we can fix it. And by “we,” I mean the people who do our IT stuff. We’re clueless. 🙂

  14. Could I use a regular loin for this recipe if I knew how to adjust the baking time or do you think it would not be flavorful enough?

    1. If you want to use a regular loin, I’d slice it into 1″ pork chops and seat it and cook it on each side with the glaze for 5-7 minutes per side. Does that make sense?

  15. I love pork tenderloin! You might be interested in knowing that the temperature pork is to be cooked to has been lowered by the USDA. The new guidelines say to cook pork tenderloin to 145 degrees. It will be a little pink but very juicy and tender. I think that cooking any longer dries it out. Can’t wait to try the new recipe.

  16. Fresh garlic upsets my hubby’s stomach, so I always sub garlic powder. Wondering if the garlic in tubes in the produce department would work without hurting hub’s tummy? (P.S. If you haven’t tried the tubes of herbs and spices…they are FABULOUS! We LOVE the ginger and also basil. Ours are in the produce and are by Gourmet Garden.)

    1. I LOVE those! 🙂 I’m not sure if the garlic in those tubes would upset his stomach or not, but they’re great!

  17. I am making this tonight for our family and also for a family with a new baby. It shows how much trust I have in your recipes!

  18. I don’t have a stove top to oven skillet…..would this work searing then putting in the oven in a regular roasting pan? thanks 🙂

      1. you need to look around for a cast iron dutch oven….so many uses, but one of the best for stovetop to oven cooking!

  19. I love all the pork recipes here in OBB, and this one is sure to be a hit!Thanks for sharing Kate!

  20. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the nutritional information!! Please continue to include the info as often as possible. I love all of your recipes because they are flavorful, beautiful to serve, and my “style” of cooking!

  21. Saw this in Cooking Light as well and made it a few weeks ago. SO good! Definitely a recipe I’ll hold onto. Hope everyone else enjoys it too. Thanks for all the great posts Kate, love your blog. Will be trying the Veggie-Packed Minestrone Soup this weekend, can’t wait.

  22. I’ve been a faithful reader of your blog for years…and have never commented. But that is now in the past! This was the perfect recipe for me today…I have all of the ingredients and I’m trying it for dinner tonight. Thanks for inspiring many meals for my family the past few years!

  23. it looks delicious! can I ask you what you paired it with? It looks good, and finding the right sides to serve with a meat dish is always hard for me! Thanks.

    1. Our Sam’s Club sells this AMAZING Asian salad in the produce department near the other salads. It has cabbage, cilantro, green onions, and celery in the mix and then it has a little packet of almonds and wontons and a sweet-ish soy-ginger dressing. That’s my favorite thing to serve it with! 🙂

  24. My wee dog will only eat her Science Diet nibbles if they have real meat added to them. Honestly I wouldn’t want to eat the same old nasty smelling stuff for every meal either.

  25. This sounds delicious! Is a pork tenderloin the same thing as a pork roast? The one they sell at my costco is about 6 feet long (ok, maybe more like 2) and I think they call it a pork loin. Is that the same thing just not cut up or is it a different part of the pig? If it’s different, can I assume the recipe will work the same way if I just cook it a little longer?

    Also, SO funny about your dog!

    1. The tenderloin is the leanest, smallest cut of the pork loin roast. I am 99% sure they sell tenderloins at Costco, just ask someone behind the meat counter so you don’t wind up with a lot more than you actually need! 🙂

  26. I think tasty pork tenderloin gives dogs magic jumpy legs. At least it does to my dog.
    This looks great…definitely going on my rotation.