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. IΒ 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. MyΒ 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 leaptΒ 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





  1. 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! πŸ™‚

  2. 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.

  3. 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! πŸ™‚

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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 πŸ™‚

  8. 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!

  9. 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.)

  10. 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.

  11. 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?

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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. πŸ™‚

      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?

  15. 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?

  16. 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!

  17. 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.

  18. 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!

  19. 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. πŸ™‚

  20. 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!

  21. 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!

  22. 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?

  23. 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.

  24. This was awesome! I followed the directions to the T and it came out perfect. My neat thermometer conked out on me but the meat was perfect after the 20 minutes. So tender and flavorful! Will definitely make this again. Thanks for another keeper recipe!

  25. Hi ladies, I’ve been following you for a while and I have to say, my husband wants to ban me from coming here because the food is just too good. He has a hard time just eating one serving.

    I also wanted to let people know that I found this homemade orange marmalade recipe, http://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/recs/1242/Really-Quick-Orange-Marmalade125347.shtml for those of us who forget to go shopping and/or forget to pick up the orange marmalade. I used it this evening and it made this dish so tasty!

  26. This was really good! Had my three year old who usually doesn’t like at least one thing out of every meal I make asking for more. I am so happy that one of the ladies I visit teach referred me to your blog (one of the more unexpected blessings of visiting teaching πŸ™‚ ) Looking forward to trying more of your meals this week!

  27. Made this last night for some friends and it was truly delicious. I added a few teaspoons of fresh grated ginger because I love that combo. I’m so glad there’s enough leftovers for my lunch today!

  28. Had this tonight and actually made two tenderloins (yay leftovers!!). It was delicious and oh so easy. Served with sweet potatoes, a salad, and rolls. Very filling and seemed like a Sunday dinner instead of a quick weeknight meal. Everyone including the kids cleaned their plates. The meat came out perfectly. Thanks!

  29. I made this last month and it was SO WONDERFUL! My favorite thing about all of your recipes is that they actually turn out the way yours look in the photos. I was SO impressed with myself for serving a perfectly beautifully seared tenderloin with an incredibly yummy sauce. I’m making it again tonight for dinner because it was so good, so healthy, and so EASY! Thank you, you are my hero!

  30. This looks similar to our New Year’s Day meal… & it might be because I’m Polish and German but we eat ours with sweet and sour cabbage with bacon & I’m not a fan of cabbage but it’s SO good!

  31. Cooked this tonight for dinner. I have 5 kids and all of them like this!!! It was a hit!!! It was amazing and will be doing this dinner again!! Thank you!!

  32. I’m a big fan of Cooking Light so that was one reason I tried this recipe. I made this last night for a family dinner and it turned out awesome! There were four adults and I used a 2 poundish tenderloin and there were 5 or so slices left. I made 1 1/2 the amount of sauce and left the reserve sauce off and let people put it on their own servings. Next time I will probably double the sauce for a 2 pound piece of meat so I have more reserve sauce. Also, I probably cooked it a little too long, even though I used a meat thermometer. I checked the temp every 5 min or so after the 20 min per the instructions. I ended up cooking for about 40 min total. The last 5 min the pork must of cooked faster since the temp went from 140 to over 160. I suggest shooting for 145 degrees. It was still good but not as juicy and moist as I’ve had before. Thanks for the recipe! (Every recipe I’ve made from here I’ve loved!).

  33. Wow this was great ! I used thin boneless pork chop. I sauteed them in a pan and poured the sauce on them and put them in the oven to finish cooking. Served with rice and steamed green beans. Awesome quick and healthy meal

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.