Thyme-Crusted Pork Tenderloin

Lean pork tenderloin crusted and cooked with thyme
Yevgen Timashov / Getty Images
Prep: 8 mins
Cook: 70 mins
Total: 78 mins
Servings: 10 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
86 Calories
2g Fat
1g Carbs
15g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10
Amount per serving
Calories 86
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 41mg 14%
Sodium 509mg 22%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 15g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 16mg 1%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 248mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Pork tenderloin is a versatile cut of meat. It's accommodating in its shape; easy to carve, perfect for sandwiches (that is if you have any leftovers, which is unlikely), and it is so lean that it doesn't require any trimming.

It's easy to cook, as it isn't very thick and will cook quickly. It may be oven roasted, grilled, or even sautéed, and melds well with seasonings inspired by any cuisine. It can be an elegant dish when accompanied by a rich sauce, or a casual entree slathered with barbecue sauce.

Pork tenderloins range from 3/4 to 1 1/4 pounds. They are often pre-packaged with two tenderloins in a package, usually yielding 2 pounds total. This recipe uses a sort of dry rub, consisting of thyme, salt and 2 types of pepper, the use of 2 or more types of pepper being typical of Cajun cooking.

Pork tenderloins may also be marinated, however, the meat is very tender so it shouldn't be marinated for more than an hour or so, especially if there is any acid in the marinade. This could cause the meat to become mushy after more than an hour of marinating. 


  • 2 1/4 teaspoons salt

  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dried thyme

  • 3/4 to 1 1/4 pounds pork tenderloin

Steps to Make It

  1. Heat the oven to 350 F.

  2. Mix together the salt, pepper, and thyme and roll the tenderloins in the mixture, pressing the seasonings onto the surface of the meat.

  3. Place meat on a rack set in a roasting pan and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes, depending on thickness. It will usually reach 160 F after 1 hour of roasting.

  4. Slice across the grain to serve. 


Cook pork tenderloin at 350 F rather than at a higher temperature, as it is so lean that it can dry out if cooked at a higher heat. Take the meat out when it reaches an internal temperature between 150 F and 160 F. Allow the meat to rest for at least 5 minutes, during which time the temperature will rise about another 5 degrees. 

If the meat is taken out of the oven when the temperature is:

  • 145 F it will be about 150 F when you serve it, and the slices will be somewhat pink and moist;
  • 150 F it will be about 155 F when you serve it, and the slices will be just a bit pink and moist;
  • 160 F it will be about 165 F when you serve it, and the slices will not have a pink tinge but the meat will be moist.