The other white meat — my favorite pork tenderloin recipes

You may remember the advertising slogan from 1987, but did you realize that pork tenderloin is just as lean as the leanest type of chicken (a skinless chicken breast)? A study carried out by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) found that pork tenderloin contains only 2.98 grams of fat per 3-ounce serving1, compared to 3.03 grams of fat in a 3-ounce serving of skinless chicken breast.

Years ago when Kim Donovan and I carried out an ethnography study for the National Pork Board (repeat that name 10x fast!), we discovered that many consumers don’t understand the different cuts of pork or how to prepare this meat.

In fact, one of the culprits for disastrous pork outcomes was overcooking. To avoid dry, overcooked pork, use a meat thermometer or simply “cut and see.” I like to pull it off the heat while it’s still a bit pink in the center, then let it “cook” a few minutes on the kitchen counter before serving.

Below are my top five favorite – EASY– pork tenderloin recipes!

Pork Verde: One of my research subjects suggested this one, so I tried it out when I got back home.

Fennel Crusted Pork Tenderloin: From Real Simple Magazine, my friend Lisa recently told me about this delicious dish (though I substitute a different root vegetable for the pears).

Cinnamon Grilled Pork Tenderloin: I have been making this for years and it’s hard to get much easier.

Chili Rubbed Pork Kebabs with Mango Salsa: I adapted this recipe from Real Simple Magazine, this recipe has been a staple for years. Easy and healthy!

Spice-Crusted Pork Tenderloins with Banana Date Chutney: This recipe from is a replica of one from my favorite cookbook, License to Grill. It takes a wee bit longer to make than the previous four, but it’s well worth the effort. I’ve even made it without the chutney and it’s still good!


Melinda Hinson