What Seasoning Can I Use As a Rub for Pork Tenderloin?

Updated April 17, 2017

Pork tenderloin is a versatile cut of meat that can be seasoned many different ways. Lean and heart-healthy, tenderloin's saturated fat content rivals that of skinless chicken breasts. It's also one of the most tender cuts of pork. A tenderloin's mild flavour makes it ideal for spice rubs, marinades and sauces. Pork tenderloin can be baked, roasted, grilled, sautéed, braised, broiled or even cooked in a crock pot.


Pair pork tenderloin with fresh or dried herbs that pack a lot of flavour, such as rosemary, thyme, sage, cilantro and coriander. Combine several herbs -- such as thyme and rosemary -- with garlic and make a rub for grilling or roasting. Herbs can also perk up a marinade or sauce.


Experiment with the vast variety of spices on the market. Mainstays such as garlic,chilli powder, coriander, curry and cumin are popular choices, but don't be afraid to try more exotic spices. Jerk seasoning, Chinese five spice, smoked paprika and Cajun seasoning offer a unique twist. A rub of chipolte chilli powder, brown sugar and garlic lends a subtle smokiness to grilled pork; cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves can accompany a sweeter marinade.

Fruits and jams

Add more savoury interest to pork tenderloin by using fresh or dried fruit and fruit juices in your cooking. Grilled apricots or peaches complement pork well. Apples are a favourite autumn staple; combined with cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar or maple syrup, the dish makes comforting fall fare. Or make a glaze made with balsamic vinegar and your favourite jam.


Check your pantry and refrigerator for vinegar, flavoured oils, butter, Dijon mustard, brown sugar, maple syrup, Worcestershire, breadcrumbs and soy sauce. These items can be used to make a quick sauce or marinade. Baste tenderloin with a honey mustard sauce for sweetness with a kick. Combine balsamic vinegar with brown sugar, add a little cornstarch and simmer until it thickens. There are countless ways to use staples you probably have on hand.

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About the Author

Cindy Lobert has been a professional writer since 1986. While her background is primarily in advertising copywriting, she has also published work for national magazines such as "Women's World" and "Louisiana Life." Lobert graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Arts in communications.