If you need a quick, healthy protein option, you can’t beat this juicy and well-seasoned Air-Fryer Pork Tenderloin. It cooks in minutes, and it’s as simple as can be!
Easy Pork Tenderloin, Loaded with Flavor!
I am a big fan of pork tenderloin. This versatile, easy-to-cook cut of meat is a busy cook’s dream, since it’s juicy and moist by nature, plus quick to cook thanks to its small size and lean, tender texture. I make this Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin all the time, and now, I’m bringing my air fryer pork recipe to you!
While pork tenderloin can be a bit pricey these days, if you find some on sale, you can get it for a very affordable price, and throw an extra tenderloin (or two) in the freezer for later.
You can cook pork tenderloin in the oven, in a skillet, or – my latest favorite – in the Air Fryer. That’s what we’re doing today, with this easy air-fryer recipe. A mouth-watering mustard and spice blend comes together in a snap, and then the tenderloin goes right into the air fryer basket. 18-ish minutes or so later, dinner is done!
Air fryer pork tenderloin is perfect for a busy weeknight, and still a nourishing, comforting, home-cooked option that makes a wonderful meal. What could be better?
The List of Ingredients
So what exactly is in this recipe? Here is the (incredibly simple) list of ingredients that you’ll need to make this dish. Check out that list of spices, you guys. I can practically taste it just by reading ’em!
- Pork Tenderloin: The star of the show! Make sure not to get a pork loin, which is much larger and takes longer to cook than a tenderloin.
- Dijon Mustard: I love the wine-scented kick of a good Dijon mustard, but feel free to use any mustard that you like.
- Olive Oil: For rubbing onto the pork. This not only adds moisture, but also helps the tenderloin turn golden-brown in the air fryer.
- Herbs and Spices: My spice blend includes dried oregano and rosemary, garlic powder and onion powder, a bit of smoked paprika, and of course salt and freshly ground pepper.
Let’s Make Air-Fryer Pork Tenderloin!
Okay, so those are the ingredients. But, just how do you air-fry a pork tenderloin? It’s actually very easy, so even if you’ve never cooked pork tenderloin before, don’t be intimidated! This is one you’ll want to make again and again, especially when you see how simple it is to prepare. Here’s how to do it, step by step.
- Preheat. First, make sure to preheat your air fryer to 400˚F. Some recipes don’t call for preheating the air fryer, but I think that preheating gives a better result.
- Prep the Pork. To get the pork tenderloin ready for air-frying, pat it dry with paper towels. Then, whisk together the herbs and spices, mustard, and olive oil in a small bowl. Spread this mixture all over the tenderloin. I used two smaller tenderloins – they were about a pound, each.
- Arrange the Tenderloin in the Air Fryer Basket. Spray the air fryer basket with oil (don’t use an aerosol spray) and place the tenderloin in the basket. If it’s too big to fit, you can cut it in half, or bend it around, and place the two pieces side by side. Leave a little space between them for browning.
- Cook. Air-fry the pork for 10 minutes. Flip it over and continue to cook for 10 minutes, or until done. You will know it’s done when he internal temperature of the pork registers at 145˚F. Make sure to use your handy dandy Instant Read Meat Thermometer. If cooking two pork tenderloins tied together, as I did here, it will take a little longer to cook through. About 4 to 6 more minutes.
- Enjoy! Transfer your cooked tenderloin to a cutting board, and let it stand for about 5 to 8 minutes before cutting.
Is Pork Tenderloin Supposed to Be Pink?
You might be a little alarmed if you slice into your pork tenderloin, only to find that it is rosy inside. But don’t worry! If the internal temperature is correct (and again, that’s 145˚F) in the thickest part, then you can rest assured that the pork is fully done. A little rosy color is just fine.
Making this recipe is super easy, but I still have a few tips I’d like to share. These are my must-know, helpful hints for making the perfect air-fryer pork tenderloin.
- Cooking: Be very careful not to overcook! This can ruin the meat, making it tough and dry. Keep a careful eye on your pork, and check it first at the minimum time. A meat thermometer is the best way to make sure your meat is done properly.
- Thickness: When cooking your tenderloin, keep in mind that the thickness of your pork will change the time it takes to cook. For even cooking, I suggest to remove the tenderloin from the fridge about 15 minutes before cooking.
- Silverskin: You may notice a pale, silvery skin on your pork tenderloin – if you do, use a sharp knife to slice it away and discard it. Silverskin is very tough.
Serving Ideas that Everyone Will Love
Pork tenderloin goes well with so many side dishes, from fancy holiday-like sides to the absolute basics! Here are a few of my family’s favorites for serving with juicy, tender pork:
- Crispy Air Fryer Frozen French Fries: These satisfyingly Crispy Air Fryer Frozen French Fries are a dream alongside slices of juicy, air-fried pork. The kids will absolutely love this option! 🍟
- Roasted Parmesan Cauliflower Bites: Cheesy and crispy – my Roasted Parmesan Cauliflower Bites are a killer low-carb side dish with flavor for days.
- Skillet Zucchini and Mushrooms: Skillet Zucchini and Mushrooms offer a healthy side dish to your tenderloin, full of meltingly tender summer flavor. This side dish is drool-worthy enough to be a meal on its own!
Storing and Reheating
- For easy storage, wrap any leftovers tightly in plastic wrap or tin foil. You can also use zip-top bags – so easy! Refrigerate for up to four days.
- To reheat, bake the leftover pork at 350˚F, or heat it in a covered skillet on low heat, until it is heated through. Don’t overcook, or the pork will be tough.
Can I Freeze Cooked Pork Tenderloin?
- Yep! To freeze your pork tenderloin, slice it and put it into freezer bags.
- Keep it in the freezer for two to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin
- Preheat Air Fryer to 400˚F.
- Remove pork tenderloin from the fridge about 15 minutes before you are ready to cook it.
- Pat dry the pork tenderloin with paper towels.
- In a small bowl whisk together the mustard, olive oil, oregano, rosemary, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Spread the mustard mixture all over the tenderloin.
- Spray the air fryer basket with oil and place the tenderloin in the basket. If needed to fit, bend it or cut the tenderloin in half. Grease the top of the tenderloin with cooking spray.
- Cook for 10 minutes; flip, lightly grease with cooking spray, and continue to cook for 10 to 14 more minutes, or until the internal temperature of the pork registers at 145˚F. See my Notes below.
- Transfer cooked tenderloin to a cutting board and let stand for about 5 to 8 minutes before cutting.
- Cut and serve.
- A meat thermometer is the only, and best way to make sure your meat is done properly.
- The thickness of the pork will determine the time it takes to cook. For even cooking, I also suggest to remove the tenderloin from the fridge about 15 to 20 minutes before cooking.
- If you want to cook two tenderloins tied together, as I did here, make sure that they are small – no more than 1 pound each – and tie them together at 3-inch intervals with kitchen twine. Keep in mind that it might take longer to cook them through, about 4 to 6 minutes.
- If you are looking for a bit more browning on top, you can place the cooked pork tenderloin under the broiler for about 2 minutes, or until browned.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.