Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin

Herb crusted pork tenderloin recipe

On the home front is this super sweet family session from last week.  I love the nearby park and taking photos where families with small children that only need to drive 5 minutes away.  It’s so hard with small children especially in the evening!  These are some of my favorites…

Mary Riley Photography Children Photography Wentzville St. Louis MO

Mary Riley Photography Children Photography Wentzville St. Louis MO


Mary Riley Photography Family Wentzville St. Louis MO


Recipe:  If you are a busy family like this one, you need this recipe in your life!  Pork tenderloin is one of the most versatile, cheap, quick and easy dinners on the face of the planet.  And let’s face it.  We all get sick of chicken.  Okay, well I do.  Check pork tenderloin alternatives here!

So super simple to freezer and eat.  Or prep this on Sunday to make on Monday or Tuesday.  Costco sells pork tenderloin packages in 2 packs with 2 tenderloins in each.

Herb crusted pork tenderloin recipe

How I cook pork tenderloin:

If I have lots of time (25-30 minutes) –> Leave whole and cook.

If I have no time at all (10-15 minutes) –>  Cut into 1/2″ or 3/4″ medallions and cook in a skillet.  The increased surface area will cook it faster.   Or one of those large grill pans that go on your stove top.

Herb crusted pork tenderloin recipe

Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
  • 1 Tb. olive oil
  • 2 – 1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed (silver skin removed)
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1 lemon zested, optional
  1. Add olive oil to a 12″ cast iron skillet and preheat the skillet on medium high heat. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. While they heat up, .combine the rest of the ingredients into a small bowl: garlic, thyme, basil, rosemary and a little zest of a lemon if you like. Rub these onto the pork.
  3. Cut the pork into medallions if you like. Or I usually cut mine once in half to ensure faster cooking.
  4. Once the pork is full of herbs, put into the skillet. Brown on one side about 4-5 minutes. Flip. Brown on all sides and the last side, don’t flip. Just put the skillet into the oven
  5. The size of your pork tenderloin will greatly determine cooking time. I start at 20 minutes. I also use a probe thermometer and set it for 145 degrees. Once the internal temperature hits 145, pull the skillet out of the oven and allow to rest 5 minutes before serving.
You could also make this in the pressure cooker for 14 minutes on high.[br]You could also make this in the slow cooker for 4 hours on low.


Chili Brown Sugar Pork Tenderloin | Instant Pot

Chili Pork Tenderloin-0419 copy

Good morning!  A very busy few weeks updating the new photography website Mary Riley Photography LLC.  I have some work below as well from a workshop I took on posing a baby.  The photos and editing are all mine.  The posing presented by Stephanie Cotta Photography.


Macro copy

Family 2 copy

White Basket Baby copy


Recipe:  I just love pork tenderloin!!!  It is my go to meal for a quick dinner.  The pork goes with any side dish and can handle anything from sweet cinnamon apple to spicy cayenne pepper.  You can bake pork tenderloins in the oven, throw them on a grill, slice them and cook in a skillet, pressure cook them and slow cook them.  The pork tenderloin just rocks.  Plus it is pretty cheap too.  I get four large pork tenderloins at Costco for around $13.  I see them in packages of 2 at our local Dierbergs grocery store for $5 during their $5 meat sale.

Chili Pork Tenderloin-0431 copy

If you don’t eat pork:   This chili powder combination tastes great on many other things as well!  I like it on chicken breast, pork roasts, or anything that needs a little sweet chili kick.

Chili Pork Tenderloin-0399 copy



Chili Brown Sugar Pork Tenderloin
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
Serves: 4 servings
  • 1 Tb. grapeseed or olive oil.
  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • 1 Tb. chili powder
  • 1 Tb. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced or 1-2 tsp. of garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste (I start out with 1/2 tsp. kosher salt and 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper)
  1. For OVEN: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Preheat a cast iron skillet or oven proof skillet with the oil to medium heat.
  2. Trim the silver skin from the pork tenderloin. You will see a sheet of bluish silvery stuff. Simply trim with a sharp knife. Cut the tenderloins in half for faster cooking or cut into medallions for an even faster cooking time.
  3. Now that the tenderloin is prepped, wash your hands. You just touched raw meat! 🙂
  4. In a small bowl, combine the spices. Rub them all over the pork tenderloin.
  5. Add the pork to the skillet and brown on all sides – about 5 minutes.
  6. Put the skillet into the oven and bake for about 20-30 minutes. Depends on if you cut the pork into a half or medallions. The pork is done once it reaches 140 degrees. It may be slightly pink in the middle even though it has reached that temperature. Clear juices will run through and most of it will be grey.
  7. Serve warm. Salt and pepper to taste.
  8. FOR INSTANT POT: Skip the oil. Make sure the silver skin is trimmed. Cut the pork in half. Rub the seasonings onto the pork.
  9. Add 1 and 1/2 cups water or chicken broth to the instant pot. Place pork on top and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Valve should be sealed.
  10. Quick release the valve. Remove pork and serve warm.
I usually double this recipe and we have leftovers the next day for lunch.


Asian-Style Pork Chops and Broccoli | Instant Pot

Asian Style Pork Chops and Broccoli

Most stir-fry dishes are the same:  chicken or beef.  I like to have another option in my pocket because well… sometimes you get tired of chicken and beef.  Or, pork chops go on sale and you want to do something else to them other than fry them up in apples and rosemary.  Which happens 99% of the time.

This is another recipe from the super cool book The Great Big Pressure Cooker Book by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough.  **I include the recipe for pressure cooker AND stove top**


Even without a pressure cooker…. this $15 book has 500 recipes on a lot of different flavor profiles like Asian style pork, tomato-chile pork chops and rice, turkey breast with mushroom gravy, turkey breast with prosecco and fennel, etc. etc.    I’m not sure the pressure cooker really saved any time on this dish.  But it was fun to try and the pork chops did not dry out as they sometimes can do when cooked on the stove top.

Asian Style Pork Chops and Broccoli2

Asian-Style Pork Chops and Broccoli
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
  • 1 and 1/2 Tb. toasted sesame oil
  • 4 – 1/2″ thick pork chops (bone in or boneless worked for me)
  • 6 medium scallions (or 1/2 yellow onion in a pinch)
  • 1 tsp. minced or pressed garlic
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tb. dark or light brown sugar
  • 1 Tb. rice vinegar
  • 4 cups broccoli florets (frozen works as well, but try thawing first)
  1. Pressure Cooker: Hit “brown” or “saute” on the pressure cooker and heat the oil. Brown the pork chops slightly. Add the onion and garlic. Cook 1 minute.
  2. Add the broth, soy sauce, brown sugar and vinegar. Cook 10 minutes on high pressure.
  3. Bring the pressure back down quickly with the valve/quick release.
  4. Add the broccoli. Put the lid back on and allow the broccoli to cook for about 5 minutes. Closer to 8-10 minutes for frozen.
  5. Serve meat with broccoli and sauce at the bottom of the pot.
  6. For Stove top: Take a large wok or pan and heat the oil over medium to medium-high heat. Brown the pork chops slightly. Add the onion and garlic. Cook 1 minute.
  7. Add remaining ingredients EXCEPT broccoli. Stir that around. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium/medium low, simmer and cover for 5 minutes. The pork chops will be done and should be 140 degrees internally.
  8. Add broccoli and put the cover back on the pan. Cook 5 minutes longer.
  9. Optional: serve with soy sauce.
Add a pinch of red pepper flakes to increase the heat.[br][br]If you don’t realize the pork chops are finished so quickly, then simply microwave the broccoli and add to the sauce/pork chops. Mine finished so fast that the pot was now on warm instead of hot – not hot enough to cook the broccoli. So, I had to cook the broccoli in the microwave.[br][br]As a side, I cooked brown rice in the pressure cooker before the pork chops. 22 minutes on high pressure with 1 cup brown rice and 1 and 1/8 cups water. The rice was kept warm in the oven.[br][br]Recipe from The Great Big Pressure Cookbook


Pork Tenderloin and Beans: 30 Minute Meal

Pork Tenderloin and Black Bean Dinner on Whisk Together

Books:  Since I loved reading “The Water Castle” so much I thought I would try Megan Frazer Blakemore’s “The Spy Catchers of Maple Hill”.  The beginning is boring, but it was a boringbeginning in the last book.  So maybe it will get better.  ??

*Insert pithy comments here*  I think about stuff to write here ALL DAY.  Seriously, I need a secretary.  By the time 10pm rolls around, I can only think of my recipe and sleep and…. oh.  I’m awake.  What?  Oh yes.  Sleep.  And fresh strawberry pie.

Pork Tenderloin and Black Bean Dinner on Whisk Together-2776

I liked this recipe because it is fast and tasty.  The entire meal includes two side dishes that are pretty healthy for you as well: beans, onions and peppers.  Our pork tenderloin comes from Costco at $3.99 per pound.  The other grocery stores also sell it at that price, but only when on sale.  So, $5 for the meat, 99 cents for the beans and $2 for the peppers and we feed 4 people for $8.  It isn’t the cheapest way to go… but still cheaper than dining out.  Could this be made with chicken?  Sure!

Pork Tenderloin and Beans: 30 Minute Meal
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
  • 1 red onion, sliced thin
  • 3 Tb. lime juice (fresh or bottled), divided
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin, divided
  • salt
  • 1 and 1/2 lbs. pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat and silver skim
  • 2 Tb. olive oil, divided
  • 3 orange or red peppers (green will work too), cut into strips
  • 1 – 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix half the onion, 2 Tb. lime juice, 1/2 tsp. cumin and pinch of salt.
  3. In a large skillet, heat 1 Tb. olive oil on medium high. Brown the pork for 8 minutes. Put the pork into a roasting pan, cookie sheet or casserole dish. and cook about 15 minutes or until 145 degrees.
  4. Now, into that empty skillet on the stove add the rest of the olive oil. Add the peppers. Cook a few minutes until a little soft. Add 1/2 cup water and some salt. Let sizzle and cook off for about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the onion/lime juice mixture.
  5. In a medium bowl, toss the beans, other half of the onion, honey and cilantro with 1 Tb. lime juice. Put this in the microwave for about 45 seconds if you want the beans slightly warmed.
Recipe adapted from Food Network Magazine


Hoisin Sauce Pork Tenderlon

Hoisin Pork Tenderloin_4 on Whisk Together

Soooo… I’m thinking of starting an Etsy shop!  I will post some fun things soon.  I usually post my crafts on my personal Facebook page, but I wanted to start a shop which would make it easier for me to handle sales taxes.  “Whisk Together” is very high on Google searches and I’m trying to decide whether I should use this blog to point to the shop or not.  The products won’t be food but custom vinyl items.  St. Charles county government prevents me from selling to the public anything I cook or bake 🙁

Hoisin Pork Tenderloin_3 on Whisk Together

Recipe:  We love pork tenderloin around here for its relatively low price, easy to cook and ability to take on many flavors like chicken does.  This recipe is from America’s Test Kitchen’s “Slow Cooker Revolution 2”.  I like this book for 2 reasons:  America’s Test Kitchen treats the slow cooker as another cooking device and tries to get the best dish from the slow cooker.  Many slow cooker recipes leave a recipe dried out or burned.  Or like this book’s predecessor, the recipe takes an hour to prep when what you really wanted to do was save time in the first place.

Tired of the same old BBQ, we cooked this with hoisin sauce and toasted sesame oil.  They are very common Asian food products in most grocery stores under “Mexican/Asian” section.

Note:  If you don’t want to make this in the crockpot because of the time frame, please don’t abandon hope (all ye who enter here  ha ha)!  Simply oil your skillet (cast iron works GREAT) and sear the sides of the meat.  Throw it into the oven at 400 degrees for about 20-30 minutes or until it reaches 140 degrees internally.  We used the same method on our lemon rosemary tenderloin as well!

Hoisin Pork Tenderloin_1 on Whisk Together

Hoisin Sauce Pork Tenderlon


  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 4 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 (14-16 oz.) pork tenderloins, trimmed of fat and silver skin
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 T toasted sesame oil
  • 1-2 tsp sriracha Asian chili (we omitted so it would not be spicy hot)
  • 2 scallions, chopped


  1. In the slow cooker, dump the chicken broth and 1 tablespoon of the ginger. Stir around
  2. Add the pork tenderloin and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook on LOW for 1-2 hours.
  3. Remove tenderloin and tent under some foil.
  4. In the slow cooker or microwave, heat the hoisin sauce, sesame oil and sriracha until hot.
  5. Drizzle the sauce onto the pork. Sprinkle with chopped scallions.

Slow Cooker Hoisin Sauce Pork Tenderloin
serves 4-6

1/4 cup chicken broth
4 tsp grated ginger
2 (14-16 oz.) pork tenderloins, trimmed of fat and silver skin
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1 T toasted sesame oil
1-2 tsp sriracha Asian chili (we omitted so it would not be spicy hot)
2 scallions, chopped

In the slow cooker, dump the chicken broth and 1 tablespoon of the ginger.  Stir around
Add the pork tenderloin and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cook on LOW for 1-2 hours.
Remove tenderloin and tent under some foil.
In the slow cooker or microwave, heat the hoisin sauce, sesame oil and sriracha until hot.
Drizzle the sauce onto the pork.  Sprinkle with chopped scallions.

Recipe from America’s Test Kitchen “Slow Cooker Revolution 2”.

Smothered Pork and Cheesy Grits

Smothered Pork Chops and Cheesy Grits_3 on Whisk Together

I found an interesting book entitled “Make the Bread, Buy the Butter:  What You Should and Shouldn’t Cook from Scratch” by Jennifer Reese.  It’s very charming, funny and witty.  It is like reading exactly what goes on inside my head… which is kind of scary and comforting at the same time.  I also enjoy the fact that she goes through each recipe and tells it like it is.  She comes often to the same conclusions I have about baking your own biscuits from scratch (yes, please for the love of everything please do!), if making your own yogurt is worth the cost, and if you can really make your own mascarpone cheese.  Here is an excerpt and example of what I mean:

“Owen needs cupcakes for school and look, here they are, ready to go, packed in clamshells.  Nutritionally irredeemable — but made.  Sixteen dollars for twenty-four supermarket trans-fat packed cupcakes?  Good grief.  I’ll bake.  That means I need eggs and the eggs here sure are cheap.  But I can’t buy them here because these eggs are laid by debeaked chickens living in cages the size of Tic Tac boxes.  If only I’d gone to the farmers’ market on Sunday and bought eggs there…But how do I know that guy treats his chickens well just because the eggs are blue?  And honestly, do I even really care about chickens.  I can’t believe I’m spending three dollars per pound for these crunchy tomaoes.  I shoould grow them, just like Barbara Kingsolver.  How does she find the time to make her own cheese and breed her own heritage turkeys and write books?  I need to work harder, sleep less, never watch TV again.  Wait, there’s high fructose corn syrup in Campbell’s vegetable soup?  Isn’t that supposed to be a deal breaker?”

Source: page 2 of “Make the Bread, Buy the Butter” by Jennifer Reese

Smothered Pork Chops and Cheesy Grits on Whisk Together


This recipe was published in Food Network Magazine last month.  The reviews also give it 5 stars.  Yippee!

The recipe was fast and easy to make.  I really did complete it well under 30 minutes.  It was something fun and different.  We don’t have grits very often and not sure why… they were quite tasty.  I’m sure the restaurants add more cheese.  The kids were not given the onions on top (which is fine – more for me!) and ate the pork right up, although they did not care for grits…. or my side of kale and apples which is another recipe post 🙂

Photo of making the gravy.  Because everything tastes good with gravy!

Smothered Pork Chops and Cheesy Grits on Whisk Together_4


Smothered Pork and Cheesy Grits


  • 2 tsps. olive, grapeseed or vegetable oil
  • 4 - 3/4" thick boneless pork chops (about 1.5 lbs is about right)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 large red onion or 2 small/medium red onions, sliced thin
  • 1 T. flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup quick cooking grits
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • fresh or dried parsley (optional, but keeps the dish from looking bland)


  1. On stovetop, heat a nonstick pan over medium to medium-high heat with the oil. My 13" pan was plenty big.
  2. Salt and pepper the pork chops. Cook on one side until browned - about 3-4 minutes. Flip and brown on the other side. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
  3. Now, add the onions and cook 3 minutes or so. They should be a little brown.
  4. Bring down the heat to medium-low and add flour. Stir 2 minutes.
  5. Add broth and bay leaf. Cook 3 minutes or slightly thickened.
  6. Add back the pork chops and cook them through (145 degrees).
  7. While the pork is cooking, in a medium or large pot boil 2 and 1/4 cups water. Add grits, 1/2 tsp. salt. Heat for 5 minutes. Stir once in a while and they should become thicker. Now, stir in the cheese. Reduce heat and keep warm until serving.
  8. Plate grits. Then the pork and top everything with the onions and gravy. Toss a little parsley on top so the pork and grits don't look so sad.
  9. Enjoy!

Paleo Cumin Pork Tenderloin

Cumin Pork Tenderloin_1 on Whisk Together

Don’t let the “paleo” label scare you.  I stayed away from it too at first thinking the food wasn’t going to be good or because it is soooo healthy it can’t possibly taste better.  I am not on the paleo diet.  I think of my diet as more in terms of the things I do eat instead of the things I don’t eat.  As with most diets, there is a host of pros and a list of cons even with the paleo diet.  I try not to stick to anything really except make sure it’s real food.  Pretty much covers anything from the French paradox to the tribes around the world with exceptionally limited diets (but it’s real food).

This dish was fast, simple and delicious.  The photo looks a little overdone because my probe thermometer stopped working while cooking.  So, it went over.  Any pork tenderloin dish is welcome here in our house.  First, the meat is $2.99/lb at Costco.  Second, you can season it with whatever you want.  Third, it requires little active time in the cooking process.  Setting a probe to beep at you at 140 or 145 degrees is all you need to watch the tenderloin.  Why such a low doneness temperature?  I confirmed the USDA allows 145 degrees for pork.

Cumin Pork Tenderloin on Whisk Together

Cumin Pork Tenderloin
serves 6

1 T. cumin
1 T. coriander
1 T. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
black pepper, to taste (about 1/4 tsp for us)
2 – 1 lb. pork tenderloins
2 Tb. bacon fat (or grapeseed oil or olive oil)
1 large onion, sliced
4 parsnips, chopped (optional.  I didn’t use since they aren’t in season)
1 orange, peeled and segmented

1.  Get out a 12″ cast iron skillet or another large skillet that is oven proof.  If you have a 10″ cast iron, this would fit in there because the meat will contract.
2.  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  (I’ve tried 375 degrees and up to 450 degrees.  It doesn’t change much but how long it takes to cook.)
3.  Mix up your seasonings in a small bowl:  cumin, coriander, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
4.  Pat dry the tenderloins and rub the spice mixture on.
5.  Heat your skillet to medium high with the fat or oil inside.  Sear all sides of the tenderloin.
6.  Add your onion, parsnips, and orange to the skillet.  Throw it all into the oven and bake.  My temperature probe goes off around 25 minutes.  When checking for doneness, remember that pork is still a little pink at the “done” temperature of 145 degrees.

Recipe adapted from Practical Paleo

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