This easy 5-ingredient Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin is fancy enough for company yet simple enough for a busy weeknight meal.
Pork tenderloin is the unsung hero of easy dinners on a budget. It's often overlooked because pork isn't a favorite for many.
But, I'm here to tell you that this versatile cut of pork can absolutely be tasty, healthy, easy to make, and yet radiate fancy vibes.
Unlike pork roasts which need time to break down all that fat (like in this Instant Pot Crispy Carnitas), this air fryer pork tenderloin recipe needs very little effort for maximum results.
With a simple 5-ingredient marinade and short cooking time, you can have this easy protein ready to pair with your favorite side dishes.
This pork tenderloin air fryer recipe calls for 6 simple ingredients.
- pork tenderloin: Most pork tenderloin weighs between 1 and 1 ½ pounds but occasionally you may come across 2 pound packages. Because this is an air fryer recipe, go with the smaller package so it all fits in one batch.
- extra virgin olive oil: This will create the base of our marinade.
- balsamic vinegar: A little healthy acid will accelerate the marinating process and will produce supremely tender pork.
- Dijon mustard: This lovely condiment adds great flavor for the marinade.
- fresh or dried thyme: Pork and thyme just go so beautifully together. One of my favorite ways to glam up boring meat is to add fresh herbs.
- garlic powder: For more flavor and a great addition to the pork marinade.
- sea salt: Always use good quality unrefined salt for all your cooking.
See recipe card for exact quantities.
Substitutions and Variations
- pork tenderloin - This is, of course, the star of the dish but you can swap it for boneless pork chops for lovely pork medallions
- dry rub - No time for marinade? Make a dry rub consisting of brown sugar, onion powder, chili powder, and a little sea salt.
- other herbs - Swap thyme with your favorite herbs or even Italian seasoning. Using fresh herbs will produce a supremely herbaceous pork tenderloin medallions.
Helpful Tips for Juicy Pork
- 🕐Avoid dry pork: In order to get juicy and moist pork is to make sure you don't overcook the meat. I like to pull it out of the oven when internal temperature reaches 140 degrees Fahrenheit and it will continue to rise with residual heat. Additionally, make sure you let the pork rest after cooking!
- 🚫Food Safety: On the opposite side of dry pork, you want to make sure to avoid under-cooked pork. According to USDA, 145 degrees Fahrenheit is the safe internal temperature for pork muscle meat, even if there is still some pink present.
💭Make it Nutrient-Dense: Because pork has a higher fat content than other animals, it's always best to source pastured and heritage-breed pork. Wild Pastures is a great option with US raised pastured pork.
The complete printable recipe is below in the recipe card for your convenience.
This easy pork tenderloin recipe calls for these basic ingredients: pork tenderloin, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, fresh or dried thyme, garlic powder, and sea salt.
Step 1. Make the marinade
In a small bowl, combine extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, fresh or dried thyme, garlic powder, and sea salt.
Step 2. Prepare pork tenderloin
Pat dry pork tenderloin. Trim excess fat if necessary but remember fat adds flavor so don't overdo the trimming. Remove the thin silver film with sharp knife if present on the tenderloin.
💭Pro tip: For most recipes, you can substitute fresh herbs with dried herbs using a 3:1 ratio. For example, for this tenderloin marinade, use 1 teaspoon dried thyme or 3 teaspoons of fresh thyme.
Step 3. Cover pork with marinade
Brush the marinade over pork tenderloin, making sure to coat evenly all the sides.
Step 4. Marinate
Cover with lid or plastic wrap and marinade for 30 minutes at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.
💭Pro tip: If marinating in the refrigerator, don't forget to allow time for the pork tenderloin to come to room temperature before roasting.
Step 5. Cook in Air Fryer
Don't forget to preheat the air fryer and pull out the pork tenderloin from the refrigerator before roasting! Air fry pork tenderloin for 12-15 minutes if using a toaster-oven type. For air fryer basket-types, start checking on the pork at the 10 minute mark.
Step 6. Rest the meat
This is a very important step and must not be missed! You have to let the pork tenderloin rest at least 10 minutes. The internal temperature of the meat will continue to rise during this time and juices will remain, yielding a very juicy pork tenderloin.
💭Pro tip: Cook times will vary depending on your air fryer. Roast the pork tenderloin until internal temperature registers at 140-145 degrees Fahrenheit. Generally, basket-type air fryers will cook about 3-5 minutes faster than toaster-oven convection air fryers.
Helpful Tools & Links
Below are some affiliate links that may be helpful to you as you make this recipe. You can find some of these items cheaper at your local store but it helps to have a link so you know what you're looking for.
- Tools: small glass mixing bowl, deep baking dish with lid, extra-large air fryer, instant read meat thermometer, chef knife, cutting board,
- Ingredients: extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, dried thyme, dried parsley, herbs de provence, Italian seasoning, real salt
- Storage Supplies: glass snap containers
Once the meat has rested well (at least 10 minutes), cut the air fryer pork tenderloin slices and serve with your favorite side.
Storage and Reheating Instructions
To store: Leftover pork tenderloin can be stored in airtight containers for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
Storage containers: These glass snap containers are perfect for leftovers as they can go from refrigerator to toaster oven for reheating.
To reheat: To reheat, gently warm on baking sheet in non-preheated toaster oven at 350 degrees until warmed through. Alternatively, you can reheat in a skillet over medium heat covered with lid. Add a few tablespoons of water or broth to create steam - that will assist in reheating.
Pork tenderloin, also called pork fillet, is considered the filet mignon of pork. It usually comes as a long, narrow, boneless cut of meat that comes from the backbone muscle. It's a lean cut yet when cooked right, is tender and flavorful.
The best way to achieve moist and juicy pork is to cook it at high temperature for lowest amount of time necessary. Roast pork tenderloin in your air fryer at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 12-15 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove pork immediately after reaching this temperature. It's also important to allow the meat to rest after cooking to let the juices settle in the meat.
Looking for more healthy air fryer recipes? Here are some ideas:
Did you make this? Please leave a ⭐ recipe rating in the recipe card below and leave a review in the comments. Thank you!💚
Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin
- In a small bowl, combine extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, fresh or dried thyme, garlic powder, and sea salt.
- Pat dry pork tenderloin and trim excess fat if necessary. Brush the marinade over the pork making sure to cover all sides well. Cover and marinade for 15 minutes at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.
- Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Air fry pork tenderloin for 12-15 minutes if using a toaster-oven type. For air fryer basket-types, start checking on the pork at the 10 minute mark.
- When internal meat temperature reaches 140 degrees Fahrenheit, remove pork from air fryer and allow to rest for 10 minutes. During this time, the temperature will continue to rise from residual heat.
- Cut pork tenderloin across into 1" slices and serve warm.
- If marinating in the refrigerator, bring the pork tenderloin to room temperature before roasting.
- Cook times will vary depending on your air fryer. Roast the pork tenderloin until internal temperature registers at 140-145 degrees Fahrenheit. Air Fryer basket type will cook about 3-5 minutes faster than toaster-oven convection air fryers.
- It's important to allow the cooked pork to rest after roasting. The juices will assimilate back into the meat to yield juicy pork.