Grecian Pork Tenderloin is easy and impressive. Perfect for any weeknight dinner or for a dinner party where you want to impress. The tenderloins are nestled in a flavorful marinade for a few hours then cook quickly on the grill or in the oven. Serve with any vegetables or sides but for a meal that serves a crowd and tastes amazing, add fresh Gyro accompaniments.
I’ve made this Grecian Pork Tenderloins for years now and it’s become such a favorite that it’s time I share it with you. I love how versatile this recipe is, so let’s talk about that and then I’ll run through the steps for you. A great thing about this recipe is you can start the tenderloins in the marinade early and then after a day of work or a day of crazy whatever you just place the meat on a grill or in the oven for about 30 minutes and you have the most tender, impressive meat around. As for accompaniments, the sky’s the limit but I love to serve it with some lemon rice, naan or flour tortillas, and fresh veggies and feta for a perfect Gyro-like meal. This method is especially great when serving a crowd (my family and neighbors can attest- they’ve all had it at least once). If you prefer chicken, replace the pork with chicken breasts and replace the lime in the marinade for lemons. Again, a delicious and easy meal. Let me show you how:
The marinade is a combination of fresh squeezed lime juice (quite a bit is needed so I like to use a citrus-juicer or lime/lemon squeezer), olive oil, salt, dried oregano, and a good amount of fresh garlic.
Place 2 1-pound tenderloins in a gallon-size ziplock bag with the marinade and massage to coat the meat. Then refrigerate for at least two hours, turning occasionally, up to four or five hours. You may also marinate overnight but I’ve found that after about five hours, it’s perfect.
If using a charcoal grill to cook these tenderloins, I like to leave at least 1/3 of the grill free of charcoals so I can move the meat over if they’re browning too fast. Heat a gas grill to medium heat or heat an oven to 350F degrees. The flavors from grilling are fabulous but truly you’ll get a wonderful finish in the oven as well. (Pictures shown above for a double recipe)
I check the tenderloins every 5 or 10 minutes at first to make sure they’re not getting burnt on the outside, then after about 25 minutes total grill time I start checking the internal temperature. For the grill, the internal temperature should be 140F degrees, for the oven 145F degrees. Then remove from heat and tent with foil while you set out plates, side dishes, whatever. The pork only needs to rest for 3-4 minutes, then slice as thin as you like and serve immediately.
If you like the Gyro idea, here is what I serve with the tenderloins: Cooked rice, charred flour tortillas, sliced or diced tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, mint leaves, lime wedges, tzatziki sauce or plain Greek yogurt, kalamata olives, and feta cheese. Seriously friends, this is one perfect dinner party with such a small amount of effort. But however you serve the Grecian Pork Tenderloins, I’m confident you’ll be making the recipe again and again. And remember to try it with chicken, too!
Before you begin:
Instant Read Thermometer- An instant read thermometer takes all the guess work out of whether the tenderloins are done. Tenderloins cook very quickly, especially when marinated, and TENDERloins is what you want here. If they overcook, they’ll be dry and tough.
Citrus Juicer or Lime Squeeze- For recipes where you’ll need a lot of juice, a citrus juicer is handy and gets the job done quickly. If you’re not going to use a countertop juicer, I love this combination lemon and lime squeezer that I keep in my drawer and use all the time.
Pork Tenderloins- Most packaged pork tenderloins come with 2 1-pound tenderloins in one package. I always look for natural tenderloins without additives. Also, don’t confuse pork tenderloins with pork loin. Tenderloins are considerably smaller than loins. The pork will be labeled as ‘tenderloins’ and is a long thinner cut than a loin.
Limes- Did you know that when buying citrus, if you look for a skin that’s pretty smooth, you’ll find they have more juice in them? For this recipe, you’ll need 4 or 5 medium limes.
Olive oil- I have used extra-virgin olive oil and lighter olive oil in this recipe with success. Just use what you have on hand.
Vegan or Vegetarian guests?- If you make the pork to be served with Gyro fixings, just make up some falafel for your vegan or vegetarian friends and they can enjoy all the fixings right along with you. I’ve made scratch made falafels from a box and they’re are both excellent (Trader Joe’s Falafel mix is the best I’ve tried)
Giveaway – Last but not least, see this handy citrus juicer in the picture above? Zulay Kitchen is going to send one of you a citrus juicer AND a lemon/lime squeezer of your very own. There are a few easy ways to enter. Comment below with the color of citrus juicer you’d like if you were to win- Available in black, orange, red, or rustic copper, and then tell me what you’d make first thing using your juicer. For additional entries, go to my Instagram account @gooddinnermom and follow me AND @zulaykitchen on Instagram and comment on the Instagram post with a tag to someone else that you think would like this great juicing set. See the Instagram post for clarification if you’re not sure how to enter there. Contest is for Contigious 48 US only.
The giveaway will end on Saturday night, August 31st, 2019 at 11:59PM MDT.
Grecian Pork Tenderloin
- Citrus juicer or press
- Gallon refrigerator ziploc bag for marinating tenderloins
- Gas or charcoal grill, or can be cooked in the oven
- 3/4 cup fresh lime juice About 4 limes
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, smashed and sliced
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 3 tbsp dried oregano
- 2 pork tenderloins (1 pound each)
- Place lime juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and oregano in a large resealable plastic bag. Massage ingredients together a bit to mix.
- Place the tenderloins in the bag, seal, and turn to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator at least 2 hours and up to 5 hours.
- Preheat a gas grill to medium heat or heat roughly 75 charcoal briquets, leaving some room on 1/3 of the grill for indirect heat. Wait until briquets are white on the outside and glowing inside (about 30 minutes, depending on your grill).
- If cooking in the oven, preheat to 350F degrees, placing rack at the center position.
- Once ready to grill the tenderloins, discard the marinade. Place tenderloins on the grill for 20 to 30 minutes, covered. Check on the tenderloins every 5 to 10 minutes to ensure it doesn't burn (for charcoal grilling especially). Move tenderloins for indirect heat if browning too quickly. I find that once an instant-read thermometer reads 140F degrees.
- Remove the tenderloins and tent under aluminum foil for about 3 minutes. Slice as desired and serve immediately.
For cooking tenderloin in the oven
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Place tenderloins individually in aluminum foil, wrapping loosely. Bake on center rake until internal temperature registers 145F degrees. Remove from oven and enclose foil over tenderloins to rest for 3 minutes. Slice as desired and serve immediately.
If making to serve as a Gyro meal
- Ingredients for a great Grecian Gyro-type meal--Small flour tortillas, heated or charred-Kalamata olives, halved-Feta cheese, crumbled-Chopped or sliced vegetables like onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers-Tzatziki sauce, or other sour cream or Greek yogurt-based condiment (optional)-Lemon rice for serving on the side or in the Gyros -Thin-sliced fresh mint leaves-Lime wedges-If you have vegan or vegetarian guests, make some falafel for them and then they can eat right along with the meat eaters and enjoy all the fixings
- This recipe can be made with chicken rather than pork. Substitute lemon juice rather than the lime and do not marinate the chicken for longer than about 4 hours. Definitely not overnight as the citrus will break down the chicken too much and you'll just have a mushy mess on your hands.
- I highly recommend trying this sometime as a Gyro meal. Great for serving to guests, I've made this as an easy and stress-free party dinner. Easily doubled and all the Gyro ingredients I mention can be prepared the night before.
Recipe adapted from Allrecipes