Served with a tangy tomato-based salsa featuring fresh avocados and dried apricots, this is the tastiest Balsamic Pork Tenderloin imaginable! Sweet, savory and citrusy flavors will delight your taste buds in each bite of this hearty dinner
Juicy Grilled Balsamic Pork Tenderloin
The combination of tender pork and chunky salsa will always be a family favorite of ours. Specifically, this grilled balsamic pork tenderloin and the accompanying apricot salsa, which beautifully complements the balsamic marinade used to prep the meat.
Between the creamy avocado chunks, the tart lemon zest, the herby chopped parsley and the sweet dried apricots, that juicy pork is pampered with next-level flavor.
Aside from the time it takes to marinate the meat, this meal comes together in just 30 minutes. It’s great for backyard barbecues and can even be cooked over the stove with the help of your handy grill pan. That means you can enjoy this sumptuous pork dinner all year long!
Why You’ll Love This Balsamic Marinade Pork Tenderloin
Here are a few reasons this is one of my all-time favorite pork tenderloin recipes.
- Ready in 30 minutes. Once the pork is marinated, it takes just 30 minutes to pull this balsamic pork tenderloin recipe together.
- Bursting with flavor. Between the balsamic glaze and salsa on top, every bite of this pork is bursting with flavor.
- Tender and juicy. One reason I love the balsamic marinade so much is that, in addition to the incredible flavor, it helps tenderize the pork and ensures it cooks up to be perfectly juicy each and every time.
What is Pork Tenderloin?
Pork tenderloin is also known as pork filet and is a long, thin cut of meat from the loin muscle. It is incredibly tender because it comes from an area of the muscle that runs along the pig’s spine, which means it’s not a muscle meant for movement. Unlike pork loin, it is a thin, small cut of meat with very little fat and without any bone.
What You’ll Need
Get started on your balsamic marinade pork tenderloin by rounding up the ingredients listed below. You’ll find the precise amounts in the recipe card toward the end of this post.
- Pork Tenderloins
- Frontera Roasted Tomato Salsa: Or better yet, make this easy Avocado Tomatillo Salsa from scratch.
- Worcestershire Sauce: Use your favorite brand.
- Balsamic Vinegar: The base of our marinade.
- Red Onion: Cut into 1/3-inch thick slices.
- Dried Apricots: Chop them into small chunks and toss them with some hot water to soften them up.
- Fresh Chopped Parsley
- Fresh Lemon Zest: Adds a citrusy tang to the marinade.
- Ripe Avocado: Halved, pitted, peeled and diced. I like to use a Hass avocado as it has a richer, creamier texture.
- Salt: Added to taste.
Will Other Cuts of Pork Work for This Recipe?
Not well – pork tenderloin is a unique cut of meat that shouldn’t be substituted. Even though pork loin has a similar name, this cut requires a totally different cook time. Stick with pork tenderloin for guaranteed success.
How to Cook Balsamic Pork Tenderloin on the Grill
Do not prepare the onion, dried apricots, parsley, lemon zest and avocado right away. You won’t need the onions until you’re ready to cook the pork, and the rest of the salsa ingredients come into play once the cooking process is complete.
- Marinate Pork: Cut each pork tenderloin in half. Mix together 1 cup of the tomato salsa with the Worcestershire sauce and balsamic vinegar. Place the pork into a large resealable bag or airtight container, then pour in the marinade. Seal the bag/container and refrigerate the marinating pork for at least six hours, or overnight.
- Heat Grill: Preheat a gas grill to medium.
- Cook Pork & Onions: Arrange the pork in the center of the grill, reserving the marinade in the bag for later use. Lay the red onion slices on the cooler section of the grill. Cover the grill and cook until the pork is nicely browned underneath and the onions are softening, about 10 minutes.
- Flip & Baste: Turn the pork and onions over, then baste them both liberally with the reserved marinade. Any remaining marinade can be discarded.
- Continue Cooking: Cover the grill and continue to cook until the pork reads 150°F on a meat thermometer, about 5 minutes more.
- Let Rest: Transfer the grilled pork to a cutting board and tent it with aluminum foil, letting each tenderloin rest for at least 5 minutes.
- Make Salsa: While the pork is resting, chop up the onion slices and transfer them to a bowl. Add the remaining tomato salsa along with the prepared apricots, parsley, lemon zest and avocado. Add salt to taste and stir the salsa gently.
- Slice Pork & Serve With Salsa: Thinly slice the pork and generously spoon salsa over the slices just before enjoying.
How Long Can You Marinate Pork Tenderloin?
I wouldn’t let your pork soak in the marinade for much longer than 12 hours. After a certain point, the vinegar will go from tenderizing the meat to making it rubbery. Plan accordingly to avoid that disappointment. As long as you let it marinate for 6-12 hours, your pork will come out perfect!
Tips for Success
Want more ways to ensure a flawless result? Take note of my grilled balsamic pork tenderloin tips and tricks.
- Make Sure the Pork is Coated in the Marinade: After pouring the marinade over your pork, squeezing the air out of the bag and sealing it, massage the marinade into the meat through the bag to make sure it’s fully coated. If you’re marinating the pork in a container, shake it gently from side to side.
- Use Tongs to Handle Hot Pork & Onions: Do not touch the pork or onions while they’re grilling. Instead, use tongs to flip them over and remove them from the heat. This keeps your hands and fingers away from the open flames.
- Grab That Meat Thermometer: Checking the internal temperature of the meat is the only way to confirm that your pork is done cooking. Insert your meat thermometer into the thickest part of each tenderloin, removing them from the grill once they register at 150°F.
- Don’t Skimp on the Resting Time: Remember to tent your grilled pork with foil and let it rest for at least 5 minutes before you slice it up. This allows the juices to redistribute, giving you the most tender and juicy meat you could hope for.
This flavorful main course deserves an equally scrumptious side dish to go with it. You can’t go wrong with any of these!
- Grilled Potatoes: Fresh parsley, basil pesto, minced garlic and more make these fluffy Pesto Potato Wedges utterly irresistible. They’re easy to grill in foil packets and can also be baked!
- Cabbage Slaw: Crunchy shredded veggies tossed with a tangy apple cider vinaigrette? Count me in! This Red Cabbage Carrot Slaw is a 15-minute godsend that tastes great alongside grilled pork tenderloin.
- Dinner Rolls: Stuffed with cheese and topped with nutty sesame seeds, these Macedonian Dinner Rolls will sweep you off your feet! They’re wonderfully soft and fluffy with the ultimate golden-brown crust.
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
- Fridge. Transfer your cooled leftovers to an airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to 2 days. If you store the salsa and pork in separate airtight containers, the meat will last for up to 3 days.
- Reheat. Warm up extra pork (without the salsa) in a 350°F oven with a piece of foil tented over it. The meat should heat through in 10-15 minutes.
Does This Recipe Freeze Well?
Although the avocado salsa doesn’t do too well in the freezer, the grilled balsamic pork tenderloin can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Transfer the cooled meat to an airtight container and keep it in the freezer, thawing it out in the fridge before you reheat it.
More Pork Dinner Ideas
Balsamic Pork Tenderloin
- 2 1/2 lbs pork tenderloins
- 16 oz jar Frontera Roasted Tomato Salsa
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 medium-large red onion cut into 1/3-inch thick slices
- 1/2 cup dried apricots chopped and tossed with a little hot water to soften
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
- 2 tsp lemon zest finely chopped
- 1 ripe avocado halved, pitted, peeled and diced. I like to use a Hass avocado
- salt to taste
- Cut each pork tenderloin in half. Mix together 1 cup of the salsa with the Worcestershire and vinegar.
- Place the pork in a large resealable bag, and pour salsa mixture inside bag. Seal bag and refrigerate for six hours or overnight.
- Preheat a gas grill to medium.
- Arrange pork in the center of the grill; reserve the marinade. Lay the red onion slices on the cooler section of the grill. Cover grill and cook until pork is nicely browned underneath and onions are softening, about 10 minutes.
- Turn pork and onions over. Baste pork and onions liberally with reserved marinade. Discard any remaining marinade.
- Cover the grill and cook until the pork reads 150°F on a meat thermometer, about 5 minutes more. Transfer pork to cutting board and tent with foil, letting it rest for at least 5 minutes.
- Chop the onion slices and transfer to a bowl. Add remaining salsa, apricots, parsley, lemon zest and avocado; season with salt and stir gently.
- Thinly slice pork and generously spoon salsa over slices just before serving.
- Makes 8-10 servings.
- To Store & Reheat: Transfer cooled leftovers to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days. If salsa and pork are stored separately, the meat will last for up to 3 days. Reheat extra pork (without salsa) in a 350°F oven with a piece of foil tented over it until heated through (10-15 minutes).
- To Freeze: Pork can be frozen without salsa for up to 3 months. Transfer cooled meat to an airtight container and freeze, thawing in the fridge before reheating.
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.