Dinner Plans: Pork Tenderloin

Prep 3 Delicious Meals From 1 Easy Pork Tenderloin Recipe

Pork Tenderloin

Steven Krug / Getty Images 

Pork tenderloin is a tender, quick-cooking piece of meat that's also extremely versatile. Roast some glazed pork for a lovely prep day dinner and go ahead and cook some extra while you're at it. Thanks to some clever prep, you'll turn one main dish into three delicious meals in no time.

Game Plan

Prep Time: 45 minutes

  1. Prepare and roast 5 pounds of boneless pork tenderloin (about 4 large tenderloins or 6 to 7 small ones).
  2. Follow the recipe but don't add the glaze until after roasting. Only glaze half of the roasted pork for the prep day dinner.
  3. Once cool enough to handle, chop the remaining cooked pork into cubes and store in the fridge.
  4. Cook 1 1/2 cups white rice and let cool. Store in the fridge for fried rice night.

Prep Day Pork Tenderloin With Cabbage

Time: 45 minutes

Glazed pork tenderloin goes perfectly with colorful and tender red cabbage with apples and bacon. It's a savory, tangy, salty, and lightly sweet meal that's mostly hands-off, giving you time to prep your other meals.

Simple Glazed Pork Tenderloin
The Spruce / Diana Rattray 

Getting Dinner on the Table

  • Prep and start cooking the cabbage first so it has time to cook down on the stovetop.
  • Don't double or triple the glaze in the pork recipe since you're only using it for the prep day dinner.

Taco Night

Time: 20 minutes

Give leftover pork tenderloin a new life as shortcut al pastor. Instead of cooking for hours in a slow cooker, halve the recipe and omit the chicken stock before quickly simmering the sauce and pork on the stovetop. While the pork reheats, warm up tortillas and make guacamole as a topping or dip.

Tacos Al Pastor
The Spruce / Leah Maroney 

Getting Dinner on the Table

  • Halve the recipe and purée the sauce, leaving out the chicken stock. Add a splash or two of water if needed to the blender to make a smooth sauce.
  • Add half of the leftover cubed pork and the sauce to a large saucepan and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and coated the pork.
  • While the pork heats up, warm the tortillas and make guacamole.
  • Get ahead on prep day: To save even more time, make the purée on prep day and store in the fridge.

Pork Fried Rice Night

Time: 20 minutes

Fried rice is always a family favorite. It's perfect for planning ahead since the dish is actually best made with leftover rice. Toss in extra veggies to make it a more balanced, one-pot meal.

Pork Fried Rice
The Spruce

Getting Dinner on the Table

  • Use the remaining cooked, cubed pork instead of ham
  • Use the leftover rice you cooked on prep day
  • Add in extra veggies for more color and nutrition, like zucchini, spinach, peas, chopped green beans, sugar snap peas, or small-diced broccoli.

Essential Info

Making quick weeknight dinners is easier when you start with a few building blocks. Dinner Plans is a realistic roadmap to help you achieve that goal, by putting in a few hours of work (planning, shopping, and prepping) at the outset. Preparing a big batch of one ingredient (protein, vegetables, or grains) gives you the flexibility to plan a variety of meals. And who knows? You just might discover your new favorite weeknight recipe in the process!

Show everyone how together you are: Instagram your meal prep photos and tag them #thespruceeats.