If you need a new pork tenderloin recipe, this seared pork tenderloin salad is for you. It’s fast, flavorful, and so easy to make. I serve juicy pork tenderloin with perfectly roasted carrots, a sweet and citrusy lemon-mint dressing, and creamy mozzarella for an easy and refreshing weeknight dinner! Pork tenderloin is one of my favorite weeknight options; it cooks up so quickly, and, if you’re careful not to overcook it, it can be so juicy and flavorful!
How to cook pork tenderloin:
Pork tenderloin is a super economical cut of meat that tastes fantastic and is even easier to cook. You can usually find it for $3–$5 per pound, and when cooked correctly, it’s so juicy and flavorful. The key is to NOT overcook it. While it may seem like a big piece of meat, it only takes a few minutes of searing per side and 12–15 minutes in the oven in total. Conventional wisdom may have you wanting to cook the tenderloin until it reaches 165ºF. However, guidelines now suggest that cooking pork until it reaches 145ºF is perfectly safe. I like to cook my tenderloin to 140ºF and let it rest up to 145
This seared pork tenderloin recipe is just a few easy steps.
- Step 1: Roast the carrots. You can cut them into rounds, but I love how whole roasted carrots look in this salad.
- Step 2: Sear and roast the pork tenderloin.
- Step 3: Make the lemon-mint dressing by whisking just a few ingredients and folding in fresh mint leaves.
- Step 4: Plate it up! Arrange arugula or watercress on plates with the mozzarella, roasted carrots, and a little of the dressing. Arrange the pork on top and drizzle more dressing on each dish. It’s perfection!
Need to make substitutions? Here are a few of my suggestions:
- Pork tenderloin: Boneless pork chops, chicken thighs or breasts, roasted chickpeas, or cubed butternut squash for a vegetarian version; cook time will vary
- Arugula: Watercress, baby spinach, or mesclun greens
- Mozzarella: Fresh ricotta, crumbled goat cheese, or shaved ricotta salata
- Mint: Fresh dill, basil, parsley, scallions, or chives
Looking for more pork recipes? Check my archives!
Seared Pork Tenderloin Salad
- Sheet pan
- Oven-proof skillet
- 1 pound carrots, scrubbed, trimmed, and halved lengthwise
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil
- 1 pound pork tenderloin
- 1 lemon, juiced and zested
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 ounce fresh mint leaves
- 10 ounces arugula or watercress
- 8- ounce ball of fresh mozzarella
- Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the carrots:
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
- On a sheet pan, toss the trimmed and scrubbed carrots in two tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer to the oven and cook for about 25-30 minutes until browned on the edges and cooked through, flipping once halfway through roasting.
Cook the pork:
- In an ovenproof skillet, heat two tablespoons cooking oil over medium-high until very hot. Add the pork tenderloin and cook for 3-4 minutes per side until well seared all over.
- Transfer to oven for 12-15 minutes or until instant-read thermometer reaches 140-145ºF for medium rare. Remove from the oven and rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
Prepare the dressing:
- As the pork and carrots are roasting, combine the lemon juice and zest with the remaining extra-virgin olive oil, sugar, and mustard. Whisk until smooth.
- Gently fold in the mint leaves. Taste and season with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Divide the arugula or watercress between bowls and drizzle lightly with half the dressing. Arrange the sliced pork tenderloin and roasted carrots on top and arrange the torn mozzarella around the dish. Drizzle the remaining lemon-mint dressing over the entire plate. Enjoy!