You can make perfectly juicy and flavorful pork tenderloin in the air fryer in about 18 minutes! Wonderfully seasoned and tender, this recipe takes little time and makes the best healthy meal everyone will love!
The BEST pork tenderloin recipe
My whole family is obsessed with this pork tenderloin, which is good because I make it a lot! It’s just so quick and easy and comes out great every time!
It is loaded with so much flavor and the outside comes out deliciously crispy with a juicy center that is incredible! You can make it fast and it goes well with so many things. Plus it is low carb and low calorie since pork is a leaner cut of meat.
If you are feeling ambitious then you may want to try this stuffed pork tenderloin recipe that is slightly fancier and another great way to cook tenderloin.
Ingredients and variations
- Pork tenderloin – make sure to buy a pork tenderloin and not a pork loin. You will notice that pork tenderloin is a longer and thinner cut of meat and is usually about 1-1.25 pounds in weight and about 3 inches wide. Whereas pork loin is thicker and wider and usually weighs around 1.5-3 pounds, which means it will take longer to cook.
- Olive oil – this helps the seasoning stick to the pork and helps it get that nice crispy outer layer.
- Seasonings – you can use any pork seasoning you like in this recipe. I used a combination of garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, Chili Powder, salt, and pepper.
How to prepare pork tenderloin
Since pork tenderloin is a leaner cut of meat, it doesn’t require much prep work.
Most of the time, it will have what is called a “silver skin” on top of it that should be removed since it is tough. All you need to do to remove it is use a sharp kitchen knife to cut it off. Simply use your knife to slice through it to cut it off, then discard it. You can also remove any excess fat on the pork tenderloin if you want.
How to make pork tenderloin in the air fryer
This very easy pork tenderloin recipe is made in the air fryer in less than 20 minutes.
- Mix up the seasoning in a small bowl. Dry the pork tenderloin then rub it all over with oil. Sprinkle and rub the seasoning all over it.
- Place it into the air fryer (preheated if needed) and cook it for about 18 minutes, per the recipe card below.
- Once it is done, remove it from the air fryer and let it rest before slicing and serving.
Get the full list of ingredients and recipe instructions in the recipe card below.
Expert tip: Make sure to check the pork tenderloin at around 16-17 minutes since air fryers vary, which means so do cook times. You want to cook it until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. You can check using a meat thermometer.
- This recipe uses a 1.25 lb pork tenderloin to fit into the air fryer. If you use a larger or smaller piece of meat then you will need to adjust the cooking time. If your pork tenderloin is too big to fit your air fryer then you can cut it in half, the cooking time should be the same.
- Use a meat thermometer to check the meat to make sure it is done cooking. This is very important since it is a leaner piece of meat and could overcook easily.
- Season the pork tenderloin well with the oil and spice rub for the best flavor.
- Flip it over halfway through cooking to make sure it gets nice and crispy on all sides.
- Let the tenderloin rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing it to allow the juices to redistribute in the meat.
Best sides for pork tenderloin
This recipe goes so well with many different sides, which is why we love it so much. Here are some delicious sides to pair it with for a complete meal.
- Oven Roasted Potatoes and Carrots – my favorite
- Oven Roasted Broccoli or some Air Fryer Brussel Sprouts – healthy and easy
- Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes or some Easy Ranch Roasted Carrots – delicious and kid-friendly
Storing and reheating
Once you have cooked the pork tenderloin and allowed it to cool completely, you can keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
You can reheat portions in the microwave or in the air fryer at 350 degrees F for 3-4 minutes.
Ways to use leftovers
You can heat up any leftovers as noted above and slice them and enjoy them on healthy salads or make some pork fajitas!
More healthy air fryer recipes to try
- Simple Air Fryer Whole Chicken
- Air Fryer Ground Chicken Meatballs
- 15 Minute Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
- Air Fryer Crispy Smashed Potatoes
- 10 Minute Roasted Chicken and Vegetables