Juicy grilled pork tenderloin is a delicious, healthy protein and perfect served with lemon caper sauce for a quick and easy dinner.
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Pork tenderloin/pork fillet is a fantastic economical source of protein and is so delicious when grilled until golden brown and juicy on the inside. Because it’s a relatively bland cut of meat, it’s perfect served with a punchy sauce to add flavor. My lemon caper sauce recipe is my go-to when I need to serve a sauce alongside meat but don’t want anything too rich or creamy. Inspired by chimichurri, the sauce is packed with fresh herbs, capers and lots of lemon juice making it the perfect addition to grilled meat.
- Pork tenderloin/pork fillet.
- Extra-virgin olive oil.
- Fresh lemon juice. Lime juice can be substituted.
- Salt and black pepper. Other spices like smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, etc. can also be used but I prefer keeping the pork simple so that the sauce can shine.
- Lemon caper sauce.
How to grill pork tenderloin
Pork is relatively easy to grill but because it’s a lean cut of meat, it can dry out quickly. I prefer cooking it over medium-high heat so that the outside turns golden brown while the inside stays tender and juicy. This can be done with a charcoal grill, a gas grill or in a grill pan on the stove. Depending on the thickness of the tenderloin, the pork should be grilled for 7-8 minutes per side or until the pork’s internal temperature 145ºF/62ºC on a meat thermometer. Remove the pork from the grill or grill pan and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Can I make this ahead?
I like to make a simple marinade of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and allow the pork fillet to marinate for at least 30 minutes in it. You could do this the day before and keep the pork in an airtight container in the refrigerator overnight. You can also freeze the pork in the marinade in a freezer bag for up to 3 months. Simply allow to thaw before cooking. Remove the silver skin/sinew and excess fat from the pork tenderloin with a sharp knife before marinating/cooking. Leftover pork loin can be kept in the fridge for up 2 days.
What to serve with pork tenderloin
As with most grilled meat, salad, corn on the cob and potato dishes work perfectly as side dishes.
- Cucumber, tomato and red onion salad
- Grilled Corn on the cob with hot honey butter
- Rosemary butter hasselback potatoes
Pork tenderloin recipes
- Crispy pork schnitzel
- Garlic herb pork fillet skewers
- Date night pork tenderloin with mushroom risotto
Grilled pork tenderloin with lemon caper sauce
- 800 g (28oz) pork tenderloin
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- lemon caper sauce to serve
- With a sharp knife, remove any silver skin/sinew and excess fat.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pour the marinade over the pork and allow to marinate for 30 minutes or ideally up to 24 hours in the fridge. Remove the meat from the fridge an hour before cooking to allow it to come to room temperature.
- Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat then cook the pork for 7-8 minutes per side until golden brown on all sides. To test for doneness, insert a meat thermometer and if it reaches 145ºF/62ºC, the pork is done. I prefer removing the meat from the heat at 140ºF/60°C as it will continue cooking while it rests.
- Allow the pork to rest for 5-10 minutes while you make the sauce.
- Combine the capers, chopped herbs, garlic, lemon juice and zest and olive oil in a small bowl then season with salt and pepper.
- Slice the pork and serve with the lemon caper sauce and extra lemon wedges for squeezing.