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Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin Recipe

Air fryer pork tenderloin is a dish that has become popular in recent years. It’s easy to make and results in crispy, flavorful meat on the outside with juicy meat inside. 

slices of air fryer pork tenderloin with a side of mixed vegetables

There’s a reason pork tenderloin is also called the filet mignon of pork. It’s tender and juicy if you cook it properly.

These days, many people are looking for healthier fried foods without all of the fat and calories that come with deep frying. 

Air fryers are an excellent alternative to traditional frying methods because they don’t require immersing the food in any oil or butter!

I also like the simplicity of the air fryer. It’s easy to cook with and just as easy to clean. 

Try a variety of air fryer recipes, and you’ll see what I’m talking about. It’s definitely one of my favorite ways to cook almost anything.

Delicious Pork Tenderloin

Since I first cooked a pork tenderloin in my air fryer, I’ve decided that it’s my favorite method for this particular cut of meat.

By nature, a pork tenderloin is lean and super tender. I have a variety of recipes for them, including this delicious slow cooker pork tenderloin and this versatile marmalade pork tenderloin.

You can slice them and serve them with your favorite side dishes. They’re also good shredded for sandwiches or toppings for potatoes or rice.

Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin Ingredients

I like to make a dry rub for my pork tenderloin. But you can also use a wet marinade if you prefer.

raw pork tenderloin on a paper towel

Here are the ingredients for this recipe:

  • Pork tenderloin
  • Olive oil (optional)
  • Brown sugar
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Paprika 
  • Cinnamon 
  • Salt and black pepper
salt, pepper, brown sugar, cinnamon, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, and olive oil

You can swap out any of those ingredients for something you like more. However, I recommend starting with this recipe and changing things up the second time you make it.

For exact measurements of each ingredient and full directions, go to the recipe card at the bottom of the page. You can even print out the card by using the “print” button.

Another dry rub recipe I like is this pork dry rub from Everyday Eileen. She has a lot of other yummy recipes on her page.

How to Make an Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin

Although this is an easy recipe to make, you’ll need to do a little preparation in advance. I like to put the dry rub on the night before I cook it, but you don’t have to.

Prepare the Meat

First thing you need to do is remove the pork tenderloin from the packaging and pat it dry with a paper towel.

patting the pork tenderloin dry with a paper towel

This next step is optional, but I think that the oil helps the dry rub adhere to the meat.

Drizzle the olive oil over the pork and rub it all over.

olive oil rubbed on raw pork tenderloin

Some people like to poke holes in the pork to tenderize it even more, but I don’t think that’s necessary. Set the meat aside while you make the dry rub.

In a small bowl, mix the dry ingredients.

dry rub ingredients mixed in a bowl

The pork tenderloin I purchased already had pepper on it, but I still added it to the mixture. We love pepper around here.

Now rub pork all over with the dry ingredient mixture.

dry rub mixture patted onto the raw pork tenderloin

And then pat it down because you want it to stick to the meat.

Wrap the meat in plastic wrap to make sure the spice rub stays on. Make sure it’s covered completely. Then put it in the refrigerator to marinate in the rub. 

meat wrapped in plastic

It’s best if you can marinate the meat for at least an hour. A full 24 hours is even better.

Cook the Meat

Before you cook the pork, it should have a chance to get close to room temperature. So remove it from the fridge about half an hour before you plan to cook it.

Next, preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F. You can spray a little bit of olive oil on the air fryer basket, but it’s not necessary. I like to use an oil spray that doesn’t have a propellant.

Once the air fryer has preheated, place the pork in the basket. Since it’s probably longer than the basket, you may have to curl the end so it will fit.

pork tenderloin in air fryer basket

Air fry the meat for 12 minutes. Once the internal temperature reaches at least 145 degrees F, it’s done. The cook time can vary a bit, depending on the strength of your air fryer, so I highly recommend using a digital meat thermometer.

Remove the tenderloin from the air fryer and put it on a plate or cutting board. For the best results, allow it to rest for about 10 minutes so the juices have a chance to settle.

air fried pork tenderloin resting on a plate beside tongs

Now it’s time to slice your juicy pork tenderloin.

Use a sharp knife to get delicious and moist little pork medallions. 

sliced pork tenderloin

It should be a little pink in the center.

This simple marinade provides a nice crust that helps seal in the juices to keep it from drying out.

plate of sliced pork

Serve it with your favorite sides and enjoy!

You and your family will love this tender pork tenderloin that you were able to easily make with the simplicity of an air fryer.

pork medallions with mixed vegetables

More Delicious Seasonings for a Pork Tenderloin

The recipe I have posted here is one of our favorites. However, everyone has different taste and preferences. My opinion is that the best way to cook anything is using the seasonings you like.

So I’ve come up with a list of other things you can season your meat with. And you’ll probably have a few that I haven’t thought of. 

Here are some ideas for different seasoning mixtures for an easy pork tenderloin:

  • Italian dressing
  • Lemon juice
  • Lemon pepper
  • Italian seasoning
  • Bbq sauce
  • Garlic butter
  • Teriyaki
  • Cajun seasoning (another favorite around here)
  • Thyme
2 plates of sliced air fryer pork tenderloin

How to Store Leftover Pork Tenderloin

Cover it in plastic wrap or foil and put it in the refrigerator. You can keep leftover pork tenderloin in the fridge for up to 4 days. 

If you want to freeze pork tenderloin, first put it in an airtight container, such as a freezer bag. It should be good for a couple of months.

See this recipe shared at Full Plate Thursday and Weekend Potluck.

Delicious Side Dishes to Go with Pork Tenderloin

Sometimes I keep things simple by serving steamed vegetables or a baked potato with my pork. Other times, I like to spend a little extra energy to come up with something special.

This recipe is packed with so much flavor that you don’t have to go crazy with the sides. It’s perfect for those busy weeknights when you need an easy dinner.

Here are some suggestions that are all pretty easy:

Mama’s Potato Salad – This southern style potato salad is actually the perfect side dish for pork tenderloin.

Classic Mac and Cheese Casserole – When you want comfort food, this is the one to reach for. Make enough to have more the next day because it’s so delicious!

Sweet Potato Patties – Sweet potatoes are the ideal side dish for any type of pork, and these are amazing!

Green Beans with Apple Dressing – These green beans from Miz Helen’s Country Cottage will quickly become a favorite side dish. Once you make them, you’ll want to add it to your rotation.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts – There’s just something wonderful about roasting any vegetable—especially Brussels sprouts. They have a crunchy exterior, and they’re super tender on the inside.

slicing an air fryer pork tenderloin

Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin Recipe

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes

This tender, juicy air fryer pork tenderloin is a delicious main dish that is easy to make for a family meal or dinner party.

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 pound pork tenderloin
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cayenne
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Remove the pork tenderloin from its packaging. Pat the pork dry with paper towels.
  2. If you use olive oil, drizzle it over the pork and rub it all over. This helps the dry rub stick to the meat.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients and mix well. 
  4. Rub the dry ingredient mixture over the pork. Wrap the pork in plastic and place it in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
  5. A half hour before you plan to cook the pork tenderloin, remove it from the refrigerator.
  6. Preheat the air fryer to 400˚ F.
  7. Place the pork tenderloin in the air fryer basket. You’ll probably have to curl the end of it to get it to fit.
  8. Air fry the tenderloin for 12 minutes.
  9. Remove the pork from the air fryer and place it on a plate. Let it rest for 10 minutes to allow the juices to settle.
  10. Slice the meat and serve it with your favorite sides.
Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 256Total Fat 8gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 110mgSodium 185mgCarbohydrates 3gFiber 1gSugar 2gProtein 40g

The nutrition information is a product of online calculators. I try to provide true and accurate information, but these numbers are estimates.

Did you make this recipe?

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Miz Helen

Wednesday 13th of July 2022

Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday, 596. Hope you are having a great week and come back soon! Miz Helen

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