Looking for an easy dinner? See how you can grill or roast this ultra-tender, juicy Cherry Balsamic Pork Tenderloin to perfection! It bathes in a sweet n’ tangy marinade which then doubles as a delicious sauce. Super quick, keto, gluten-free and so good!
This is a great recipe for a simple weeknight dinner and weekend entertaining throughout the year! The flavor just gets better the longer you can let the pork marinate and it cooks up quickly when ready.
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
- Flavorful - The cherries and balsamic vinegar penetrate and tenderize the pork and infuses another layer of great flavor.
- Easy – Simple recipe of less than ten ingredients and a cinch to make!
- Fast – Takes just 20 minutes to grill or roast pork tenderloin.
- Healthy – Keto, gluten free and the tenderloin is the leanest cut of pork.
- Budget-friendly – Pork is much less expensive than beef and can be less than chicken and the rest of the recipe uses inexpensive pantry ingredients.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Pork – The recipe uses two tenderloins, about one pound each.
- Cherries – Fresh or frozen work and you can substitute a blend of berries, peaches, nectarines, apples or pears if you prefer.
- Balsamic Vinegar – Adds big flavor to the marinade to contrast the cherries. Red wine vinegar can also be substituted. Soy sauce will add flavor too if you're not concerned with gluten.
- Olive Oil – You can also use avocado or vegetable oil.
- Garlic Cloves – Adds some bite to the marinade. Use garlic powder if in a pinch. You can also add some hot sauce if you’d like it spicy.
- Sweetener – I used honey to balance the tangy vinegar, but you can sub in maple syrup, agave or brown sugar.
- Dijon Mustard – Creole or a brown mustard will also work.
- Fresh Herbs – I used thyme but fresh rosemary would also add great flavor.
Grilling & Roasting Instructions
Having cooking options takes away the stress of being hamstrung to weather. The best way to get a crusty exterior while the meat is still juicy inside when grilling or roasting the pork, is to use medium-high heat. The recipe card below has all the details!
Combine the marinade ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth and creamy then season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Pour about a ½ cup of the mixture over the pork in a resealable plastic bag. Reserve another ½ cup of the marinade for basting and the remainder to pass separately when serving.
Marinate at least 30 minutes at room temperature or chill up to 48 hours. Remove pork from the refrigerator 30-45 minutes before grilling or roasting.
Preheat grill on medium-high heat. Place pork tenderloins in the center of the grill. Discard bag with marinade.
Close cover and grill, turning every 4-5 minutes, until the savory balsamic glaze is charred on all sides. Use the basting portion of the marinade when turning the meat while cooking.
Each pork tenderloin is around one pound which takes just about 15 minutes in total until done when grilled.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and place the tenderloins on a large, rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan so juices don't drip all over. Cooking time will be slightly longer than the grill, about 20 minutes, to reach the right temperature. Again, baste once or twice while baking.
What temp should pork tenderloin be cooked at?
When the pork reaches an internal temperature of 140-145 degrees F using an instant-read thermometer it’s safe to remove it from the grill or oven. There will be some carryover cooking while the meat rests which keeps it juicy.
Can pork tenderloin be served pink?
Absolutely. Raw in the middle is bad, but a slightly pink center is the goal which happens at the 140-145 degrees f mark. If the pork reaches 160 degrees or higher, you’ll have a dried-out tenderloin.
These are important things to keep in mind to ensure serving a perfectly juicy pork tenderloin every time!
- Marinate – The longer you can let the pork marinate the better but no longer than 48 hours.
- Room Temperature – As with all meats, remove the pork from the fridge at least 30-45 minutes before cooking to ensure it cooks evenly.
- When Grilling – Make sure the grates are clean to prevent unwanted flare ups.
- Reliable Meat Thermometer – I highly recommend buying a quality instant read thermometer to avoid overcooking.
- Let Rest – Be sure to let the pork rest 5-10 minutes before slicing so the juices have time to redistribute through the meat.
Side Dishes to Serve with Glazed Pork Tenderloin
A great way to round out your cherry and balsamic glazed pork tenderloin dinner is with these easy, delicious, gluten-free sides the whole family will love!
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Green Beans – A green veggie medley with broccoli and asparagus too. An easy sheet pan recipe!
- Cider-Glazed Sweet Potatoes & Butternut Squash – Orange veggies coated in an apple cider and maple syrup glaze infused with aromatic spices then topped with a fluffy meringue. Amazing skillet recipe!
- Oven-Roasted Root Vegetables – Another delicious balsamic-glazed veggie medley easily made on a sheet pan!
- Mediterranean Rice Stuffed Tomatoes – Another delicious one skillet recipe of bright tomatoes stuffed with brown rice, caramelized corn, green onions, pistachios, feta, fresh basil and oregano!
- Grilled Sweet Potato Fries – And topped with a sweet n' spicy fresh cherry corn salsa to boot!
What wine goes best with pork tenderloin?
Pork tenderloin has relatively mild flavors, so you'll want a lighter-bodied red wine such as Pinot Noir. And if you prefer white wine (like me!), chardonnay is a great choice.😉
Pork Tenderloin FAQs
Pork tenderloin should be cooked for a short time in a relatively high temperature to prevent it from drying out. It’s very lean and doesn’t require low-and-slow methods to become tender like large pork loins or pork roasts need.
Meat thermometers are the best way to tell if the pork is done cooking. However, you can gauge the doneness by the color of the juices that come out of it when pierced with a knife. If the juices run clear or are very faintly pink, the pork is done.
When grilling, the exterior of the pork will still get a nice char even when the lid is closed. But there is no need to cover the tenderloins in aluminum foil when grilling or roasting. They will steam rather than get a crusty exterior and can overcook quickly.
They are two different cuts of meat. The tenderloin is an elongated, lean, less-used muscle running along the central spine making it the most tender cut of pork. Loins are still "high on the hog" coming from the rib section but are much larger cuts than tenderloins.
More Quick & Easy Recipes!
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Cherry Balsamic Pork Tenderloin
- 1 ½ cups cherries, fresh or frozen then thawed, halved and pitted
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, plus a few sprigs for garnish
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 pork tenderloins, about 1 pound each
- Combine all ingredients except pork in a high-speed blender or food processor. Blend mixture until smooth and pureed, about 45 seconds.
- Makes about 1 ½ cups. Reserve ½ cup of marinade for basting and another ½ cup to pass separately when serving.
- Trim pork tenderloins of any excess fat or silver skin. Place pork in a resealable plastic bag.
- Pour remaining ½ cup of marinade over the tenderloins. Seal bag and make sure all the meat is coated.
- Marinate at least 30 minutes at room temperature or chill up to 48 hours. Remove pork from the refrigerator 30-45 minutes before grilling or roasting.
- Prepare grill* on medium-high heat.
- Remove the tenderloins from the bag and place in the center of the grill. Discard bag with marinade.
- Cover and cook for 12-15 minutes, turning every 4-5 minutes, until the tenderloin reaches an internal temperature of 140-145 degrees F using an instant-read thermometer.
- Let pork rest 5-10 minutes before slicing. Serve with reserved marinade. Enjoy!
To RoastRoast the tenderloins on a large, rimmed baking sheet in a 425-degree F oven for about 20 minutes until an instant-read thermometer shows an internal temperature of 140-145 degrees. Let meat rest 5 minutes before slicing. *See post for Recipe Tips
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