THIS POST IS SPONSORED BY
the National Pork Board, who I am thrilled to grill with this summer! Grilled pork is quick, easy to prepare, and, most importantly, absolutely delicious! All thoughts & opinions are my own.
Absolutely Perfect Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Every Single Time!
Pork tenderloin is one of my favorite proteins to cook (& eat!), especially during the summer months. It’s healthy (lean & super high in protein!), easy to work with, & has a beautiful mild flavor that lends itself especially well to bold seasonings & marinades. If that isn’t a grilling season dream, I don’t know what is!
This Lemony Garlic Grilled Pork Tenderloin recipe is one of my all-time favorite ways to prepare pork tenderloin. I’ve been making it for years – it’s absolutely perfect, every single time.
The lemony garlic marinade makes this recipe really shine. It’s seriously bright & aromatic, made with loads of lemon, garlic, & fresh herbs – all things that pair absolutely beautifully with the sweet, mild flavor of pork tenderloin. Plus, since it’s a lean, tender protein, it cooks pretty quickly with the high heat of the grill. The intense heat creates a crave-worthy charred crust, while the center of the pork tenderloin stays completely juicy & tender. It’s so good!
& the very best part? It’s a super simple & super quick recipe, so it’s great for weeknight grilling but it’s also the kind of thing that’s so impressive to serve when you have guests over. An easy, all-purpose crowd-pleaser? Yes, please!
Lemony Garlic Grilled Pork Tenderloin Recipe Highlights
You’ll love this grilled pork tenderloin recipe because it’s…
- BRIGHT & FLAVORFUL. All thanks to a pork tenderloin marinade that absolutely bursts with bright & herbaceous flavor. It’s made with simple ingredients, like lemon, garlic, & fresh herbs, that pair beautifully with lean & mild pork tenderloin.
- SERIOUSLY SIMPLE. With a minimal ingredients list & a relatively quick cooking time!
- AN ALL-PURPOSE SUMMER MEAL! Quick & easy enough for weeknight grilling yet flavorful & impressive enough for summer entertaining!
Bright, bold, & simply the best! ♡ Read on to learn more about this perfect Grilled Pork Tenderloin recipe, or jump straight to the recipe & get cookin’!
The Best Lemony Garlic Herb Marinade for Pork Tenderloin!
What makes this recipe really special is the bright & flavorful marinade. Based on my favorite Simple Lemon Herb Marinade, it’s made with 6 simple ingredients, most of which are probably already in your pantry!
Note: Full Ingredients List, including measurements, is included in the Recipe Card, below.
Here’s what you need:
- Pork tenderloin – Of course! Pork tenderloin (not to be confused with pork loin roast!) is a boneless cut that comes from the loin. As implied by its name, pork tenderloin is very lean & tender, which lends very well to quick grilling. Given its mild flavor, it takes to marinades really well, which is why I love pairing it with the bright & bold flavors of this lemon garlic grilled pork tenderloin marinade!
- Lemons – For maximum flavor, use both the lemon zest & juice. Be sure to look for lemons that have thin skin & feel heavy for their size to ensure they’re juicy enough!
- Aromatics – Namely loads of garlic & fresh herbs. The herbs are truly optional here, since the marinade gets a ton of flavor from the lemon & garlic, but they’re always a welcomed add-in, especially if your herb garden is overflowing this time of year. I suggest hardy fresh herbs, such as oregano, thyme, rosemary, or sage, which all pair beautifully with pork.
- Simple pantry staples – A little bit of Dijon mustard adds richness & depth, a little bit of honey adds sweetness that balances out the brightness of the lemon & creates crave-worthy caramelized char on the grill, & a little bit of olive oil brings all of the components of the marinade together. Pretty simple!
Grilled Pork Tenderloin Marinade Tips & Tricks.
Suggested Marinating Time. ⇢ Given the amount of acidity in this lemon garlic marinade, avoid marinating too, too long. Aim for at least 1 hour & no longer than 12 hours.
Meal Prep Tip! ⇢ Despite the relatively short marinating period, you can prep the marinade well in advance to make your grilled pork tenderloin dinner even more effortless. Simply mix up the marinade & store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The day you’d like to make grilled pork tenderloin, simply give it a shake, pour it over the pork, & let it do its thing until dinnertime. Pretty easy! Check the Recipe Notes, below, for more meal prep tips.
Alternate Grilled Pork Tenderloin Marinades. ⇢ The bright, bold, & herbaceous notes of this lemon herb marinade pair beautifully with pork. If you’d like to try a different flavor profile, check out these 7 Go-To Grilling Marinades – my All-Purpose Marinade & Bourbon Balsamic Marinade are both excellent for pork tenderloin, as well.
How to Grill Pork Tenderloin
Once the pork tenderloin is marinated, you’re ready to hit the grill. Since it’s a lean cut, grilling pork tenderloin is a pretty straight-forward process. Simply preheat the grill, grab an instant-read thermometer for precise results, & get grilling!
Note: Full Recipe Directions, with step-by-step photos, provided in the Recipe Card, below.
Here’s what you’ll do:
- Prep the grill: In my experience, it’s ideal to grill pork tenderloin with pretty high heat, about 500-550 degrees F. The high heat prevents the pork tenderloin from sticking to the grill & cooks it quickly, creating nice grill marks without overcooking in the center.
- Grill the pork tenderloin: Place the marinated pork tenderloins on the grill grates directly over the flame, positioning them such that they run perpendicular to the grates. Rotate the pork tenderloin every 3-4 minutes, until the entire surface of the pork tenderloin has beautifully charred grill marks & an instant-read thermometer registers an internal temperature of 145 degrees F when inserted in the center of the tenderloin.
- Rest before carving: Transfer the pork tenderloin to a clean plate, tent with foil, & set aside to rest for 3 minutes. This quick rest allows the juices to redistribute throughout the pork tenderloin, ensuring it stays totally juicy & tender when you serve it.
Grilled Pork Tenderloin FAQs:
- How long to grill pork tenderloin? ⇢ With 500-550 degrees F direct heat, pork tenderloin takes about 10-12 minutes to grill, though the grill time for pork tenderloin varies based on the temperature of your grill & the intensity of its heat source.
- Grilled pork tenderloin temp. ⇢ Rather than focusing solely on grill time, the best way to check for doneness is with use of an instant-read thermometer. You can pull pork tenderloin from the grill once an instant-read thermometer registers an internal temperature of 145 degrees F, which results in pork that is tender, juicy, & has just a touch of pink in the center.
- Related – Did you know? ⇢ It is a misconception that pork must be cooked until juices run clear and the meat is white! According to USDA & FDA Food Code standards, thanks to modern pork production practices, commercial retail pork is safe when cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F, which will be a light blush pink color. Learn more about grilled pork tenderloin temp & doneness.
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Grilled Pork Tenderloin Serving Suggestions:
Once the pork tenderloin is grilled & rested, it’s ready to carve & serve. For best results, slice at a slight angle into 1/2 inch-thick medallions. Arrange the medallions on a serving platter, & serve alongside your favorite summer sides – easy!
Our Favorite Easy Side Dish Lemony Charred Green Beans!
Since the grill is already lit for the pork tenderloin, my personal favorite sides is grilled veggies, like Lemony Charred Green Beans (pictured). They’re made with many of the same ingredients used in the garlic herb marinade, so it’s an easy add-on for your pork tenderloin dinner.
Lemony Charred Green Beans! ⇢ Toss a pound of trimmed green beans or haricot verts with a little olive oil, lemon juice, loads of chopped garlic, & a good pinch of salt & ground black pepper. Cook in a grill basket over 500-550 degrees F, tossing occasionally until they’re blistery and charred. Absolutely delicious!
Other easy summer sides for perfect grilled pork tenderloin:
- Other grilled veggies! Since the grill’s already lit, really can’t go wrong with letting it do double duty for an easy dinner. If green beans aren’t your jam, the seasoning detailed above also lends itself well to asparagus, broccolini, & zucchini. For a heartier option, try grilled potatoes or sweet potatoes.
- A simple green salad with garden cucumber, tomato, or whatever veggies you happen to have on hand. Try the PWWB All-Purpose Vinaigrette, which has bright, mustardy flavor that complements the lemony pork tenderloin beautifully.
- Or, make a festive summer salad, like this Lemony Grated Zucchini Salad or this Grilled Peach and Burrata Salad – they’re both total crowdpleasers!
I am so excited for you to try this Lemony Garlic Grilled Pork Tenderloin recipe! It’s truly perfect, & I know you’ll love it as much as we do. If you do give it a try, be sure to let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. I LOVE hearing about & seeing your PWWB creations!
Love summer pork recipes? Be sure to try my Must-Have BBQ Pulled Pork, these Pressure Cooker Baby Back Ribs, or these show-stopping Prosciutto & Asiago Cheese Stuffed Grilled Pork Chops. Happy cooking! ♡Print
Grilled pork tenderloin is a summertime staple, & this Lemony Garlic Grilled Pork Tenderloin is the absolute best! Lean & flavorful pork tenderloin soaks up a bright & zesty marinade made with loads of lemon, garlic, & fresh herbs. Grilled, sliced into medallions, & served alongside your favorite summer sides, this grilled pork tenderloin is the perfect light & easy summer meal!
- 2 whole pork tenderloins (roughly 2 pounds), trimmed & silver skin removed
- 2 large, juicy lemons, zested & juiced
- 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
- ¼ cup finely chopped hardy fresh herbs, such as oregano, rosemary, sage, or thyme
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- kosher salt & ground black pepper or crushed red chili flakes, to season
- Prep the lemon herb marinade & marinate the pork tenderloin: Add the lemon zest & juice, garlic, fresh herbs, olive oil, Dijon mustard, & honey to a large baking dish or resealable plastic bag. Season with 2 teaspoons kosher salt & ground black pepper or crushed red chili flakes as desired. Whisk to combine. Add the pork tenderloin to the baking dish, tossing to completely coat with the lemon herb marinade. Cover & marinade in the refrigerator for 6-12 hours.
- Preheat the grill. About 30 minutes before you’d like to begin grilling, pull the pork tenderloin from the fridge to let it come up to room temperature as the grill preheats. Prepare the grill for 500-550 degrees F direct heat grilling.
- Grill the pork tenderloin: Place the marinated pork tenderloin on the grill such that it’s positioned perpendicular to the grill grates, shaking off any excess marinade into the baking dish. Discard excess marinade. Close the lid & grill the pork tenderloin 10-12 minutes, rotating the pork tenderloin every 3-4 minutes to ensure even cooking, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the pork tenderloin registers an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. Transfer the pork tenderloin to a large plate or serving platter. Tent with foil & allow to rest for 3 minutes before serving.
- Serve the grilled pork tenderloin upon resting. Carve into 1/2 inch-thick medallions & serve alongside your favorite summer dishes – see Recipe Notes for pictured charred green beans. Enjoy!
- Easy Side Dish – Lemony Charred Green Beans: I love serving pork tenderloin with green beans. Since the grill is already lit for the grilled pork tenderloin, it’s really easy to grill some green beans alongside the pork for a quick & simple side dish. Here’s what I do:
- Add 1 pound trimmed green beans to a large mixing bowl. Toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, juice of 1 lemon, 4-5 cloves finely chopped or grated garlic, & a good pinch salt & ground black pepper.
- Add the seasoned green beans to a grill basket over 500-550 degrees F direct heat.
- Grill, tossing occasionally, until charred & softened as desired, 10-12 minutes.
- Storage & Reheating: This grilled pork tenderloin is best served fresh off the grill, though leftovers will keep for a couple of days. Transfer cooled pork tenderloin to an airtight container & store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Easily reheat in the microwave until warmed through.
- 15-Minute Meal Prep: If prepping beyond the suggested marinade time, above, simply prep the lemon garlic marinade in advance. Prepare according to Step 1 of Recipe Directions above, storing the lemon garlic marinade in a jar or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days – the flavors meld together even more as the marinade sits. When you’re ready to start marinating (12 hours – 2 days before grilling), simply give the lemon garlic marinade a shake & pour it over the pork tenderloin as described in Step 1. Easy!
Recipe & Food Styling by Jess Larson, Plays Well With Butter | Photography by Rachel Cook, Half Acre House.
Ready to Hit the Grill?
If this all still feels new to you, I encourage you to head over to Grilling 101, a compilation of tips & tricks for all of the grilling basics – everything from how to light your grill to how to clean your grill.
All this talk about grilling have you feelin’ ready to hit the grill? Me too! Be sure to check out this post for my 15 go-to marinades you need this grilling season. At our house, a good marinade is at the heart of grilling season. I’m positive these marinades will be on repeat at your house this summer! For even more grilled goodness, be sure to check out all of our Grilling & Smoking recipes.
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