Chili-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin

pork tenderloin with green beans

This post could also be titled “The Only Pork Tenderloin Recipe You’ll Ever Need” or “World’s Best Pork Tenderloin” but I’m trying to be more humble so alas, Chili-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin it is. I was never a big fan of pork tenderloins. They were ok, but for the most part, I thought they were usually pretty dry and bland. Just a total yawn, ya know? It was also something that I just never really made because it seemed intimidating and like something that was meant only for special occasions. I have no idea why, just a weird story I had in my head. It’s common though – a lot of people, especially people in their 20s and 30s it seems like, think that making a pork tenderloin is a WHOLE THING.

Well, it’s not. Turns out, it’s easier to make than chicken. It’s about as easy as putting chicken nuggets in the microwave. Ooo that sounds so good right now…

This is really the only tenderloin recipe you’ll ever need.

So this is a recipe I make pretty much every single time I make pork tenderloin, because I am just full of variety and love to mix it up (not). But here’s the deal – I always have the ingredients on hand. Because all it is, is a few spices that I always have on hand. And I’m willing to bet you do too.

When I think about what to post on here, I’m always thinking 2 things:

  1. How LITTLE effort is it going to take to get this on the table?

  2. How can I make this happen using ingredients everyone probably already has on hand?

Meal prep is holy. It really is. It’s important because it allows us to not eat like assholes all week long. But I get it – life gets in the way and we’re planning dinner last second about 90% of the time. So I wanted to hand off this favorite to you guys so that as long you pick up a pork tenderloin the next time you’re at the store, you’re guaranteed to have a sexy dinner on the table in 20 minutes when you get home. With so little effort.

I would pair this dinner with some veggies – green beans, carrots, maybe some roasted potatoes with lots of butter. Seriously, this is a lean ass cut of meat. Soak a couple of tablespoons on those veggies!

If you want to see me make this and hear me talk about pork, head over to my Facebook page. I did a live show, making this whole thing with one hand.

pork tenderloin

Oh! Oh! One more thing – GET A MEAT THERMOMETER. Here’s one. Order it. There is almost no fat in a tenderloin, so you need to make sure you’re not over-cooking or it will seriously suck. This is v important.

Chili-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin

Author: Megan Hansen, RDN, LD

Prep time: 5 mins

Cook time: 15 mins

Total time: 20 mins

Serves: 3-4

The EASIEST, juiciest pork tenderloin you’ll ever eat!


  • 1 pork tenderloin (about 1 lb)

  • 2 Tbsp onion powder

  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder

  • 1 Tbsp chili powder

  • 1 Tbsp paprika

  • salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven by putting it on the broil setting.

  2. Start heating an oven-proof pan. I like to use my cast-iron.

  3. Generously season pork with salt and pepper.

  4. Mix together the seasonings, and start rubbing them on the pork. Give it a good coating. Depending on the size of the tenderloin, you may not use all the seasoning. Just make sure it’s all coated.

  5. Sear the tenderloin in the pan for 1 minutes on each side.

  6. Place the pan in the oven and let cook for 8-13 minutes, until internal temp is 145.

  7. If it’s a small tenderloin, check it after 8 minutes. Otherwise, pull it out after 10 and take the temp. If it’s not to 145 yet, put it back in for a couple minutes.

  8. Wrap the tenderloin in aluminum foil while you finish the rest of dinner. Letting the pork rest will hold the juices in and allow the tenderloin to be more juicy.

Serving size: 1/4 of a 1 lb tenderloin

Fat: 3

Carbohydrates: 0

Fiber: 0

Protein: 24

Notes: These make GREAT pork tacos. Just dice it up after cooking!

dog eating pork tenderloin and green beans

I’d like to end this post with a real behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to try to take pics of food with dogs who completely ignore and disobey you on a regular basis – yes he licked this whole thing, yes I still ate it.

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