Juicy apricot glazed pork tenderloin, seared until golden, and then roasted in the oven. This delicious pork recipe uses just a few ingredients and is ready in about 30 minutes.
Cooking this cut of meat is not difficult, following this recipe for apricot glazed pork tenderloin is actually super easy, but there is a thing about this piece of meat.
If you cook it right, the results are amazing, juicy, tender, flavorful meat. Overcook it, only a few minutes, and the meat is bland, chewy, and dry.
And if you would like more juicy, delicious recipes with pork, learn how to cook Cast-Iron Pork Tenderloin, Air Fryer, or Dutch Oven Pork Tenderloin. Try these amazing Pistachio Crusted Pork. The Cream Cheese Stuffed Pork Tenderloin recipe is also a huge hit every time I cook it.
Table of contents
Tips for juicy pork tenderloin
According to USDA pork is considered safe to eat when it has an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit/ 63 degrees Celsius. At this point, it will be medium-rare and quite pink. Don’t overcook the pork out of fear it might not be safely cooked.
After resting for 5 minutes, the meat will be perfect, it will have reached the internal temperature of 155 degrees Fahrenheit/ 68 degrees Celsius, it will be juicy and delicious. At this point, the pork is medium and only slightly pink.
If you can’t stand the idea of any pink in your pork, cook the meat until the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees Fahrenheit/ 68 degrees Celsius. After resting for 5 minutes, the temperature will rise to 160 degrees Fahrenheit/ 70 degrees Celsius. There will be no trace of pink anymore, but the meat will still be moist, the pork will be well-done.
The best way to avoid overcooking is to use a digital meat thermometer (Amazon affiliate link).
As mentioned above, you will only need a handful of ingredients.
- You will need the pork tenderloin, not the pork loin. There is often a bit of confusion regarding these two cuts of meat, but they are different.
- The pork tenderloin is a boneless, long, narrow fillet cut from the muscle that runs alongside the backbone of the animal. It is the leanest part of the pork.
- The pork loin is also lean but much larger. It comes from the animal’s back. You can buy bone-in or boneless pork loin. If you are looking for a recipe using this cut of meat, check out the Spicy Pork Roast Recipe.
- Apricot jam:
- You will need about 1/4 cup apricot preserves with no chunks in them. However, if all you have a chunky sort, no worries, blend the jam until smooth.
- For a different flavor, try the recipe with orange marmalade.
- Spices: fine sea salt, ground black pepper, red pepper flakes, and dried thyme.
- Vinegar: 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or something similar to balance the sweetness of the preserves.
- Olive oil for searing the meat in the skillet.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit/ 200 degrees Celsius.
- Prepare the meat:
- Place meat on a cutting board and remove any fat (1).
- Remove silverskin: place the blade of a small, narrow, sharp knife under the silver skin and cut a little piece of skin that you can hold on to. Holding this piece with one hand, run the knife under the skin, working at an angle. Carefully remove the silver skin without cutting away the meat underneath it. The skin should come away in a long strip (2).
- Halve the long tenderloin.
- Season: Mix the seasoning in a small bowl and rub the piece of meat all over.
- Make apricot glaze: Place all the required ingredients in a small saucepan, stir well. Heat preserves and cook gently on medium heat for 3-5 minutes until slightly thickened. Set aside (3).
- Sear the pork:
- Heat an oven-proof skillet on medium-high heat, a cast-iron skillet would be perfect, it is oven-proof, so you will only need one pan. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil.
- Place pork pieces in the pan and sear on all sides for about 5 minutes using tongs to turn them in the pan. This is where the magic happens. The so-called Maillard reaction will occur, meaning that the exterior of the meat will brown quickly without drying out. It is this reaction that imparts the meat that flavor we all love (4).
- Glaze meat with the apricot mixture (5).
- Transfer the apricot glazed pork tenderloin to the preheated oven. Roast for about 10 minutes or until the right internal temperature is reached. To check, insert meat thermometer in the thickest part of the tenderloin.
- My pork tenderloin pieces weighed 9 oz/ 250 g each. If your pieces are thicker, increase the roasting time until the right internal temperature is reached. The pan-searing time remains the same.
- Rest meat: Cover loosely with a piece of aluminum foil and let pork rest for 5 minutes before slicing. (6)
If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet, you can sear the pork in a regular skillet and heat a baking dish in the oven while you sear the meat. Transfer the meat into the baking dish and finish in the oven.
It’s tough and you will not want to chew on it. It will also shrink during cooking, making the meat look odd.
You should; it works without the searing part, but honestly, it only takes 5 minutes and imparts the meat so much flavor.
You can make sandwiches or fill tortillas/wraps. Or slice the meat into thin strips and serve with salad.
Refrigerate the apricot glazed pork tenderloin in an airtight container for about 3 days.
Freeze the slices in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge and reheat before serving.
Microwave: It works, but the meat will be slightly overcooked once reheated.
Stovetop: Heat a little oil in a pan flip the slices for a few minutes until hot.
Oven: Wrap the slices in aluminum foil and reheat at 350 degrees Fahrenheit/ 180 degrees Celsius until hot.
What to serve with it?
Most anything you like, from potatoes to bread or rice, salads to cooked or roasted vegetables.
Some of my starchy favorites are oven-baked potato wedges, pan-fried sweet potatoes, garlic smashed potatoes. Buttered Rice with Garlic or a creamy polenta mixed with cheese and freshly chopped herbs are perfect as well.
More easy dinners with pork
Juicy Apricot Glazed Pork Tenderloin
- 1 oven-proof skillet
- 1 pork tenderloin about 1 lb/ 500 g
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ cup apricot preserves 75 g
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Cut the long tenderloin in half.
- Remove any fat.
- Remove silverskin: Place the blade of a small, narrow, sharp knife under the silver skin and cut a little piece of skin that you can hold on to. Holding this piece with one hand, run the knife under the skin, working at an angle. Carefully remove the silver skin without cutting away the meat underneath it. The skin should come away in a long strip.
- Season meat: Mix the seasoning in a small bowl and rub the piece of meat all over.
- Place all the required ingredients in a small pan, stir well. Bring to a boil, and simmer on medium-low heat for 3-5 minutes until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat.
- Sear the pork: Heat an oven-proof skillet on high heat (Note1). Add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sear the meat on all sides for about 5 minutes using tongs to turn the pieces in the pan.
- Brush meat with the apricot glaze.
- Roast: Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven. Roast for about 10 minutes or until the right internal temperature is reached (Note 2). My pork tenderloin pieces weighed 9 oz/ 250 g each. If your pieces are thicker increase the roasting time until the right internal temperature is reached. The pan-searing time remains the same.
- Rest meat: Cover loosely with a piece of aluminum foil and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
- A cast-iron skillet would be perfect, it is oven-proof, so you will only need one pan.
- According to USDA pork is considered safe to eat when it has an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit/ 63 degrees Celsius. Use a digital meat thermometer to check.
- Medium-rare (quite pink): 145 degrees Fahrenheit/ 63 degrees Celsius.
- Medium (slightly pink): 155 degrees Fahrenheit/ 68 degrees Celsius.
- Well-done (no pink): 160 degrees Fahrenheit/ 70 degrees Celsius.