This pork tenderloin is expertly seasoned with a blend of garlic, Parmesan cheese and Italian herbs, then cooked to absolute perfection in an air fryer. The Parmesan cheese and herbs form an amazing crust while the pork is so juicy and tender inside. Finally, we top it all off with a simple creamy Dijon sauce. Oh my goodness! It seriously doesn’t get much better than this!
Pork tenderloin is such and awesome cut of meat which can be used so many different ways. It’s naturally very lean with a buttery soft tenderness that just can’t be beat. It’s one of my very favorite cuts of meat. And now with the popularity of air fryers, pork tenderloin is getting a whole new audience of appreciation as the air fryer is the perfect appliance to make this spectacular meat.
Get to Know Pork Tenderloin
Pork tenderloin is a long, narrow piece of very lean pork. The size is generally .75lb to 1.5lbs in size. The most common size is about 1.25 lbs. Pork tenderloin is not to be mistaken with other, similar sounding cuts of pork. Names such as “pork loin filet” or “pork loin” are not pork tenderloin and will require different cooking instructions. All pork tenderloins will clearly be marked as such. Often, they are sold in packages of two, which may show the total weight – which naturally will be closer to 3lbs. total.
Our pork tenderloin will be seasoned with a very simple mix of parmesan cheese, minced garlic, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. By using both minced garlic and garlic powder, we get the most complete flavor profile. The minced garlic will help form a nice crust with the Parmesan cheese, while the garlic powder will provide a nice uniform garlic flavor throughout the meat. We add a little olive oil to the tenderloin, then generously apply the parmesan cheese seasoning mix.
After unpackaging the pork tenderloin, you can remove any excess fat or silver skin. There won’t be much and it generally comes off very easy with a sharp knife. Then pat dry with a paper towel and add the olive oil. Next, add the the parmesan cheese seasoning mix. Use a large plate, or even a piece of foil to help keep everything in one place. Press that mix into the pork and roll the pork around in any that falls off. You’ll find that most of it will stick to the pork tenderloin. Then, preheat your air fryer at 400°(F) for 5 minutes.
Air Fry at 400°(F) for 18-22 minutes
Temperatures in air fryers can vary from appliance to appliance, and of course meat can be slightly different weights and sizes. But your cook time will generally be 18-22 minutes. To get the very best results, use an instant read thermometer. We want the pork to have an internal temperature of 145°(F). Be careful not to overcook it. Because it’s so lean, it can be easy to overcook and be dry if we don’t keep an eye on it. Pork is OK to be a little pink in the middle. In fact, to get the very optimal results, pull the pork out of the air fryer once that internal temperature reaches 140°(F), then let it rest on a plate lightly covered in foil. It will actually continue to cook and the results will be awesome. If you definitely don’t want any pink in the middle, take the tenderloin out of the air fryer once it reaches 145°(F).
Once we take the pork tenderloin out of the air fryer, it’s important to let it rest for about 5 minutes. This let’s all the juices redistribute throughout the meat and not come pouring out by cutting into it right away.
Let’s Get Saucy!
While this part is optional, it really adds to the awesomeness of the recipe. Use a small sauce pan on the stovetop. Add some minced garlic and a dash of oil over low heat and sauté the garlic for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Let it just start to barely brown. The fragrance will be great. Then add ½ cup of heavy cream, the Dijon mustard, parsley, salt and pepper. Whisk it all together and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.
Ready to Serve
Use a sharp knife and slice the pork tenderloin into medallions of about ½″ thick. Pour the creamy Dijon sauce over the pork and enjoy!
What’s on the side?
We can pair up our pork tenderloin with any number of delicious side dishes. A few of our favorites are Air Fryer Roasted Zucchini and Peppers, Instant Pot Garlic Parmesan Potatoes and Green Beans, and Baked Asparagus with Garlic and Parmesan. As you can see, the garlic and parmesan combination is quite popular!Print