This 7-ingredient pork tenderloin marinade is the best way to infuse flavor and moisture into pork tenderloin before grilling, searing, roasting, or air frying.
Pork tenderloin is a delicious cut of meat. Whether you make my grilled pork tenderloin, air fryer pork tenderloin, or sous vide pork tenderloin, it always makes for an impressive and tender meal. But to make the most succulent bites, you’ll want to start with this pork tenderloin marinade recipe first.
This simple 7-ingredient marinade for pork tenderloin comes together quickly using pantry-staple ingredients. Plus, it only takes 30 minutes for the savory, tangy, and umami flavors to penetrate the meat before it’s ready to cook. The result is an incredibly juicy, flavorful, and truly mouthwatering piece of pork!
Table of Contents
Any great meat marinade needs acid, oil, and flavoring agents. And, of course, high-quality ingredients make all the difference! These are the marinade ingredients to make the best pork loin marinade:
- Olive oil. Its robust and fruity flavor adds depth to the marinade.
- Dijon mustard. Dijon is more peppery, tangy, and creamy than yellow mustard. Plus, it helps form a thin, flavorful crust on the surface of the meat.
- Soy sauce. The salty, umami undertones in soy sauce enhance pork’s natural meaty flavors.
- Worcestershire sauce. For an extra layer of sweet, savory, and tangy flavors.
- Garlic. Freshly minced garlic cloves.
- Kosher salt and black pepper. For seasoning and improving the flavor.
How to make the best pork tenderloin marinade
I’ve included step-by-step photos below to make this recipe easy to follow at home. For the full printable recipe instructions and ingredient quantities, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Step 1 – Make the marinade. Whisk the olive oil and Dijon mustard until combined, then stir in the remaining ingredients.
Step 2 – Marinate the pork tenderloin. Pour the marinade into a large bowl or ziplock bag. Place the pork in the bowl/bag, then leave it in the fridge to marinate.
Step 3 – Bring it to room temperature. Take the marinated pork tenderloin out of the fridge and place it on the counter for 30 to 60 minutes to bring it to room temperature.
Step 4 – Cook the pork tenderloin. Take the meat out of the marinade and cook using your preferred method.
What is the best way to cook pork tenderloin?
Marinated pork tenderloin is best cooked quickly and over high heat. You can do so by grilling, sear it in a skillet or pan, bake in a 400ºF degree oven, air frying, or in a water bath using a sous vide machine.
Avoid overcooking the pork, as it can quickly become tough and chewy. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness – you’ll know it’s ready when it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F in the thickest part.
Bonus cooking tip- always let the pork rest for 5-10 minutes for the juices to redistribute.
Recipe tips and variations
- Marinating meat in a ziplock bag is best for easy cleanup. But if you use a bowl, make sure it’s a glass or ceramic bowl. Metal bowls tend to react with the acid in the marinade, leaving an unpleasant metallic taste behind.
- Shake off the excess marinade from the pork, but do not pat it dry before cooking! This keeps a thin layer stuck on the surface, creating a gorgeous, golden crust when cooked.
- For a honey mustard marinade, follow the recipe, but add 3 to 4 tablespoons of honey and/or brown sugar.
- For an Asian-inspired marinade, swap the Dijon for hoisin or oyster sauce and cut half of the olive oil with sesame oil.
- Make it gluten-free, by swapping the soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce for 3 tablespoons of gluten-free soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos.
To store: Stir the marinade together and keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 week. The used marinade, however, cannot be reused and stored away because it can harbor bacteria once it comes in contact with raw pork.
To freeze: Pour the marinade into a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 2 months. Let it thaw in the fridge before using it.
Storing cooked pork tenderloin: Place leftovers in a shallow container and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Frequently asked questions
Leave the pork to soak in the marinade for a minimum of 30 minutes. For the best results, leave it for 2 hours or overnight.
You can, but here’s the thing: despite their similar names, pork loin and pork tenderloin are two very different cuts of meat. The loin is larger and fattier, so it’s best cooked slowly and over low heat (slow-roasting, slow cooking, or smoking).
Yes, you can freeze pork tenderloin in the marinade. In fact, marinating the meat before freezing it can help infuse the flavors into the meat as it thaws.
The length of time for marinating pork tenderloin will depend on the recipe and the type of marinade used. As a general rule, pork tenderloin should be marinated for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.
More delicious marinades to try
- Lamb chop marinade
- Chicken thigh marinade
- Chicken drumstick marinade
- Tofu marinade
- 3-ingredient steak marinade
- 4-ingredient chicken marinade
Pork Tenderloin Marinade
- Whisk together the olive oil and Dijon mustard until combined. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
- Add the marinade to a large bowl or ziplock bag, then add the pork tenderloin to it. Allow the pork to marinate for at least two hours or overnight.
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