Ever feel a little disenchanted with pork tenderloin? Like no matter what you do, it always seems a little too dry and a lot too bland? This keeper of an approach is coated in paprika, seared in a pan, and roasted in the oven just until it’s perfectly cooked and then finished with an easy pan sauce, resulting in a tenderloin that’s tender, surprisingly flavorful, and eminently doable on a weeknight. Not too spicy for the kids. But with enough oomph for the adults. Did we mention there’s just one pan to clean?–Angie Zoobkoff
Roast Pork Tenderloin with Paprika
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
- 2 teaspoons hot smoked paprika*
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- Two (1 1/4-pound) pork tenderloins, trimmed of silver skin and halved crosswise
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
- 6 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 3/4 cup store-bought or homemade low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 6 tablespoons (3 oz) salted butter, chilled and cut into 10 pieces
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C) and adjust the oven rack to the middle position.
- In a large bowl, mix together both paprikas, the thyme, and 2 teaspoons salt. Add the pork, turn to coat, and if you want, use your hands to gently massage the rub into the meat. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.
- In an ovensafe 12-inch (30-cm) skillet over medium-high, heat the oil until shimmering, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the pork and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 4 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast until the center of the thickest piece reaches 135°F (57°C) or is just slightly pink in the center when you slice into the tenderloin, 10 to 15 minutes. (The pork will continue to rise in internal temperature after it's taken off the heat.)
- Using an oven mitt, transfer the skillet from the oven to the stovetop. Transfer the pork to a large plate, tent with foil, and let rest 10 minutes.
- Place the skillet and its drippings over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until toasted and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the honey and stir until it slightly darkens, 10 to 30 seconds. Pour in the broth and simmer until reduced and slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Add the vinegar and simmer for 30 seconds. Stir in the butter, 1 piece at a time, swirling the pan to emulsify the sauce before adding more butter. (Don’t add the butter all at once to the pan sauce. Swirling it in 1 tablespoon at a time creates a nicely emulsified sauce that’s glossy and full-bodied.) Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Cut the tenderloins crosswise into thin slices and arrange on a platter or plates. Spoon the sauce over the pork.
*Hot Smoked Paprika SubstitutionIf you can’t find hot smoked paprika, you can simply swap sweet smoked paprika and add 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper for just a hint of heat.
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Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
It’s been a long since I served a dinner that everyone loved. Like no one talked because they were too busy eating. Adults and kids liked it and I got the whole thing on the table in less than 45 minutes, making it an ideal weeknight dinner – especially since it’s made in a single pan. The paprika rub adds plenty of flavor but it’s not crazy strong and the resulting pan sauce is delicious.
My grocery store doesn’t carry sherry vinegar, so I subbed red wine vinegar in a pinch and it was fine.
We served the pork with garlicky smashed roasted potatoes to sop up all that ridiculous sauce. Delicious. Next time, I’ll try the rub with chicken.
I LOVED this. A little spicy, kinda smoky, and oh-so-earthy and rich. The paprika rub delivered on so many levels, and that rich spiced butter sauce took it over the top. This will be my new go-to pork tenderloin recipe.
This paprika-rubbed pork tenderloin is a tasty and relatively easy recipe. Great for a family supper or company.
Pan searing the pork followed by finishing in the oven produced a very moist and tender result. The pan sauce was a very nice consistency and flavor. The garlic didn’t overpower it, which I was happy to see! And the addition of parsley to the sauce really leant it eye appeal in the overall presentation.
This was a very delicious way to prepare a pork tenderloin. Using two types of paprika added sweet, earthy, and of course smokey and spicy flavors to the meat and sauce.
The meat was perfectly done to our liking (slightly pink) and very juicy. I served it with mashed potatoes and roasted fennel. We both had second helpings, it was so good. It would be very good with noodles as well.
This was a delicious pork tenderloin recipe and perfect for a weeknight or buffet presentation. We loved the smoky-spicy flavor the paprika brought to the tenderloin and sauce.
If you use store-bought broth, make sure it’s not too salty. We loved the smoky buttery sauce and I did use the full 6 tablespoons of butter to finish. The vinegar, honey, broth, and pan juices made a perfect sauce with the paprika flavors.
I had a little tenderloin leftover and it was fantastic cold the next day over salad greens. I roasted new potatoes and carrots while the pork was roasting and had those on the side.
Easy but elegant. Smoky but rich. Lightly crisp on the outside but still moist and tenderness within. This recipe was a crowd pleaser and garnered an instant invitation to join the regular dinner rotation. (In fact, it wasn’t so much “You can make this again” as it was “Please! Make this again!”
The pork itself gains a surprising degree of flavor from the rub alone, but it’s most assuredly the sauce that elevates this dish to another level. I was a bit bug-eyed when reading the amount of butter I’d be using, as that seemed like quite a lot for 4 servings, but I’m so glad that I put head down and followed the directions. The butter emulsifies into a satiny gloss of garlic, paprika, and richness and it’s a perfect flourish for what is a relatively lean— and some would say plain—cut of meat.
We served this with smashed roasted potatoes, but I love the suggestion of buttered noodles, and rosemary or fresh thyme would be a terrific herbal flavor accompaniment.
I used unsalted butter and felt that was a good thing. The recipe calls for salted butter, but I found that the sauce was on the verge of being too salty with no extra added in the last step, so I’m not sure how it would have tasted if I had actually used salted butter.