You can’t beat Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Asparagus. Juicy pork is rubbed with a super flavorful seasoning blend, seared over the stove, then roasted to perfection along with tender spears of asparagus!
Need another tempting pork dinner? Treat yourself to this Instant Pot Garlic Pork Tenderloin.
This Hearty Pork Dinner is Made in One Pan!
Easy enough for busy weeknights and fancy enough for a holiday, this healthy sheet pan dinner never disappoints. The pork is flavored with a fragrant mixture of herbs and spices while the asparagus is lightly seasoned with salt and pepper to enhance its natural flavor. I like to garnish the juicy meat and tender veggies with sweet-tart pomegranate seeds and some fresh thyme.
As soon as this wholesome dish is placed on a platter at the center of the table, everyone will be rushing to fill their plates. It’s hard to hold back when you’re smelling that savory, herby, garlicky pork and those soft, earthy asparagus spears. My mouth is watering as I write this!
Is There a Difference Between Pork Loin and Pork Tenderloin?
There is indeed – pork loin and pork tenderloin are two entirely different cuts. Pork tenderloin is a narrow dark-meat cut from a muscle along the backbone while pork loin is a wider, flatter cut that’s lighter in color.
The flavor and fat content also vary between the two, with pork tenderloin on the milder, leaner side. Pork tenderloin is always boneless, but pork loin can be either-or. Despite their similar names, these are separate cuts of meat that can’t be used interchangeably.
What You’ll Need
Let’s break our ingredients down between the roasted pork tenderloin, the spice rub and the asparagus. Check out the recipe card toward the bottom of this post for specific amounts.
For the Pork
- Pork Tenderloin: Be sure to let the meat sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before you begin.
- Olive Oil: Some of this will be used to help the seasonings stick to the pork – the rest will be used to sear it.
- Fresh Garlic Cloves: Thinly sliced into slivers.
- Fresh Thyme Leaves: For the garnish.
- Pomegranate Seeds: Optional, to add to the garnish.
For the Seasoning Rub
- Salt & Pepper: Freshly ground black pepper will give you the best flavor.
- Sweet Paprika
- Cayenne Pepper: To lend a hint of heat.
- Garlic Powder & Onion Powder
- Dried Herbs: I use thyme, basil, rosemary and parsley.
For the Asparagus
- Fresh Asparagus: Don’t forget to remove the tough, thick base from each stalk. It should snap right off with no trouble.
- Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper: Added to taste.
How to Make Baked Pork Tenderloin
This crave-worthy roasted pork tenderloin comes together in about 30 minutes, asparagus included. Here’s how it’s done!
Prepare the Pork
- Prep for Baking: Preheat the oven to 450°F and set the rack in the middle of the oven. Line a large sheet pan with foil and set it aside.
- Trim Pork & Pat Dry: Trim each tenderloin to remove any silver skin or fat, then pat them dry with a paper towel.
- Add Oil & Garlic: Pierce the meat with a knife in several places. Rub the tenderloins with 1 tablespoon of olive oil all over, then stuff some of those piercings with the slivers of garlic. Set the pork aside.
- Make Seasoning Blend: Place all of the spice rub ingredients into a small mixing bowl. Mix until everything is well combined.
- Rub Onto Pork: Sprinkle the seasoning rub onto each tenderloin, then use your hands to rub the spices into the meat until both tenderloins are evenly coated. Set the pork aside.
- Heat Skillet: Place a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat to heat it up.
- Add Oil & Pork: Once the pan is hot enough, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and wait several seconds, then add in the pork tenderloins.
- Sear: Sear the first side of each tenderloin for 2 minutes, or until you’ve got a golden crust. Sear the remaining sides for another 1-2 minutes per side, until the whole tenderloin is well-seared.
Prepare the Asparagus & Bake
- Add Asparagus to Pan & Season: Place the asparagus onto the center of the prepared sheet pan. Drizzle it with half a tablespoon of olive oil and season it with salt and pepper, mixing it around until each spear is coated. Set the pan aside.
- Add Pork: Lay the seared tenderloins – side by side without touching – lengthwise on top of the asparagus.
- Bake: Roast the pork and asparagus for 20-25 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 140-145°F.
- Let Pork Rest, Then Cut: Remove your roasted tenderloins and asparagus from the oven and transfer the pork to a cutting board. Tent a piece of foil over it and let rest for 10 minutes before you slice it up.
- Garnish & Serve: Garnish the dish with fresh thyme leaves and pomegranate seeds if you’d like. Enjoy!
How to Check for Doneness
The best way to determine the doneness of your pork is by checking its internal temperature with a meat thermometer. Remember to insert the thermometer into the thickest section of meat. The USDA recommends that pork is cooked to at least 145°F, but I like to remove mine from the oven a little earlier since it will continue to rise in temperature for a bit.
Tips for Success
This recipe is guaranteed to result in a low-calorie, low-carb, high-protein meal! Let’s make sure it tastes delicious too.
- Don’t Skip the Searing: The searing process doesn’t just lock the juices into the pork – it also adds some nice smokiness and makes for a crisp exterior. It really doesn’t take much time or effort, and I promise it’s more than worth it!
- Season the Asparagus to Taste: Feel free to season your veggies with the amount of salt and pepper that works for you. You could even pump up the flavor by adding a splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice or a few red pepper flakes.
- Make It a Truly One-Pan Meal: Instead of using a sheet pan, you can prepare this entire meal with your large oven-safe skillet. Just arrange the asparagus spears around the pork and stir them around a few times throughout the cooking process.
- Let The Pork Rest Before You Slice It: Don’t cut into that meat right after it’s done cooking! Let it rest under a tented piece of foil for 10 minutes first to allow the juices to redistribute.
You really don’t need to make a side dish for this meal since the pork tenderloin already comes with roasted asparagus. But if you’re in the mood for a feast, you certainly can! The flavors of this sheet pan dinner pair wonderfully with this easy Garlic Butter Cauliflower Rice.
You’ll also love enjoying your pork and veggies alongside a bowl of Mashed Sweet Potatoes! If you’re not the biggest fan of sweet potatoes, you can’t go wrong with these creamy Rosemary Mashed Potatoes. Is your stomach rumbling or is that just mine?
Storage and Reheating
Let the pork and asparagus cool completely before you store them (don’t leave the pork at room temperature for longer than 2 hours). Both the meat and veggies should be refrigerated in an airtight container and eaten within 3-4 days – I usually store them in the same container, but you can separate them if preferred.
When you’re ready to warm up your leftovers, place the pork onto one side of a baking sheet and roast it in a 325°F oven for about 23-24 minutes. Tent a piece of foil over the meat to prevent it from over-browning. When the 23 minutes are up, add the asparagus to the other side of the baking sheet and continue to cook for about 6-7 minutes. When everything is heated through, remove the pan from the oven and serve.
How to Use Leftovers
There are tons of things you can do with your leftover pork. Get creative with it!
- Shred It Up and Make Pork Tacos
- Add It to Sandwiches
- Serve It as a Salad Topper
- Dice It Up for Pork Fried Rice
- Put It in Soup
- Add It to Pasta
Can I Freeze Roasted Pork Tenderloin?
You can, and it’s super easy! Wrap each piece of pork in a layer of plastic wrap and freeze them in a heavy-duty freezer bag or airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw out frozen pork in the fridge before you reheat it.
Sheet Pan Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Asparagus
- 2 (1 lb each) pork tenderloins
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 3 garlic cloves thinly sliced into slivers
- fresh thyme leaves for garnish
- pomegranate seeds for garnish (optional)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 pound fresh asparagus
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 450°F and set rack in the middle of the oven.
- Line a large sheet pan with foil and set aside.
- Trim tenderloin of fat and any silver skin and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Pierce the meat with a knife in several places; rub the tenderloins with 1 tablespoon olive oil all over, and stuff some of those piercings with slivers of garlic. Set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl combine salt, pepper, sweet paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, basil, rosemary, and parsley; mix until incorporated.
- Sprinkle seasoning rub onto the tenderloins then use your hands to rub the spices into the tenderloins until evenly coated. Set aside.
- Place a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat to heat up. When hot enough, add 1 tablespoon olive oil; wait several seconds then add in the pork tenderloins and sear on one side for two minutes, or until you’ve got a golden crust.
- Continue to sear the remaining sides for another one to two minutes per side until the whole tenderloin is well-seared.
- In the meantime, place asparagus in the center of the prepared sheet pan.
- Sprinkle asparagus with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper; mix around until combined. Set aside.
- Lay seared tenderloins, side by side without touching, lengthwise on top of the asparagus.
- Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 140°F to 145°F degrees.
- Remove from oven; transfer pork to a cutting board, tent a piece of foil over it, and let rest for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
- Garnish with fresh thyme leaves and pomegranate seeds. Optional.
- To Store: Place cooled pork and asparagus into an airtight container and refrigerate for 3-4 days.
- To Reheat: Place pork onto one side of a baking sheet, tent it with foil and roast at 325°F for about 23-24 minutes. Next, add asparagus to the other side of the baking sheet and cook for about 6-7 more minutes. When everything is heated through, remove pan from oven and serve.
- To Freeze: Wrap each piece of pork in a layer of plastic wrap and freeze them in a heavy-duty freezer bag or airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw out frozen pork 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.
More Fail-Proof Pork Recipes
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