This oven roasted Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Fig Sauce is such an amazing combination of sweet and savory. Sweet figs mixed in with the bursting flavor of balsamic vinegar poured on top of a tender flavorful pork loin is a total dinner win! This was the most flavorful and tender piece of pork I've ever prepared. It really came out so incredible. The pork was so moist and juicy, you'll want to make it again and again! Bonus: my kids both loved it!
How to make oven roasted pork tenderloin
1. Searing pork really makes a difference
Get a nonstick (I've used this one linked for a year and I love it!) or cast iron skillet really hot. Allow to heat for about 5 minutes on medium heat and add oil to pan. After seasoning with salt and pepper, use tongs to pick up tenderloin and place in skillet.
Lightly brown each side of the pork, turning after about 3 minutes. Try to brown evenly all the way around, and stand it up on the ends, using the tongs and brown each end as well. This will truly lock in moisture and flavor.
2. Lots of seasoning equals lots of flavor
Generous salt and pepper really enhances the natural flavors of pork and helps lock in the juices. Then the thyme adds an earthy, herby flavor to your tenderloin to take it to the next level.
3. Wrap tenderloin in foil and roast in the oven
Oven roasted pork tenderloin is a delicious and simple way to cook your pork. The best way to keep the juices and flavor is to wrap the tenderloin in foil with (lots of) butter. It'll take about 30 minutes at 350°F. Roast until the center of the pork reads 150°F for medium well or 165°F for well done on a meat thermometer (I've used this one for about 6 months and love it!).
4. Rest your loins
Always, always, always allow your pork tenderloin to rest. This might be the most important step to keep your meat from drying out. Remove the wrapped loin from the baking sheet, vent the foil about one inch and then rest for 5 minutes. Unwrap completely and place on cutting board (be prepared for it to be very juicy). Slice into medallions about 1" thick and arrange on a platter. Spoon sauce over the top and serve with more sauce on the side.
Figs make everything fancy - And dried figs are always in season!
And if you've been around my blog at all, you know I have an obsession with figs. This recipe uses chopped dried figs (which I always have on hand). They're not expensive and they really go with anything. I often eat them for lunch with a few slices of cheese and the combination is so sweet and sharp and full of flavor. And now combined with balsamic vinegar? Dynamite!
Ingredients for balsamic fig sauce
- Butter — the perfect start to every sauce, right? To skip the dairy, simply swap butter for a non-dairy substitute or olive oil.
- Shallot — The sweet sweet cousin of the onion. Finely chopped shallot adds depth of flavor and a savory buddy to the sweet figs.
- Water — A little water helps the dried figs soften and then will steam off to leave behind just the right amount to make the sauce pourable.
- Balsamic Vinegar — I LOVE some good, thick balsamic vinegar. It's not necessary in this recipe since we'll simmer and thicken the sauce.
- Dried Figs – I buy a small bag of dried figs from Trader Joe's and they're delicious and last a long time!
- Dried Thyme —Fresh thyme is awesome too, but I have a black thumb and refuse to spend $4 for that tiny plastic box of fresh herbs in the salad aisle. So in this recipe, the dried thyme does the trick and tastes amazing when baked with butter.
How to make balsamic fig sauce
- While the pork is baking, place a medium skillet over medium heat and melt butter. Add shallot and cook until translucent.
- Add water and balsamic vinegar. Heat uncovered until reduced by about half and it is noticeably thicker.
- Add chopped figs and thyme. Stir until fully combined and figs have softened slightly. This takes about three minutes.
- Once thickened, remove sauce from heat and pour over cooked and rested pork loin. Serve extra sauce on the side too.
Perfect Pork Tenderloin Side Dishes:
- Parmesan Smashed Potatoes - these can go in the oven along with the pork!
- Healthy Parmesan Broccoli
- Miso Stuffing Bread Cubes
- Fully Loaded Twice Baked Potatoes - easy to make ahead and reheat along with dinner.
- Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes - another great make ahead side dish!
Balsamic Fig Sauce - No such thing as too much
The times I made this where my pork loin was larger (closer to 3 pounds) I wish I had doubled the sauce. Although there was still enough, I like everything drenched in sauce. And especially this one. So if you end up with a bigger tenderloin, double the sauce recipe. You won't be sorry. And if you need a great appetizer to go with this meal, try this Fig & Goat Cheese Crostini with Honey & Mint.
Recipe Modification Ideas
- The balsamic fig sauce tastes amazing on chicken breasts ! Simply grill or bake chicken breasts until cooked through to 165 degrees F at the thickest part and then pour sauce on top and serve.
- This also tastes amazing on pork chops. Follow the recipe with the same seasoning, but cook in a nonstick or cast iron skillet. Or grill until the center reaches about 160 degrees F. Remove from heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Top with balsamic sauce.
Pork Loin with Balsamic Fig Sauce
For the Pork Loin
- 2 pounds pork tenderloin
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper enough to generously cover the pork loin
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme or 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons butter cut into 4 pats
For the Balsamic Fig Sauce
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 medium shallot finely chopped
- ⅓ cup water
- ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup chopped dried figs
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a baking pan with heavy duty aluminum foil.
- Generously season pork with salt and pepper.
- In a large pan, heat olive oil until shimmery. Add tenderloin and cook on all sides until browned.
- Place tenderloin on foil in the baking pan. Sprinkle with thyme on all sides. Place pats of butter on top of tenderloin. Wrap in another layer of foil.
- Bake until an internal thermometer reads 150° at the thickest part of the meat. 25-35 minutes.
- When pork is done, remove from oven and let rest at least 5 minutes to lock in the juices.
- Slice against the grain and serve with balsamic fig sauce (recipe below).
For the Sauce
- While the pork is cooking, place a skillet over medium heat and melt butter. Add shallot and cook until translucent. Add water and balsamic vinegar. Heat uncovered until reduced by about half and it is noticeably thicker.*
- Add chopped figs and thyme. Stir until fully combined and figs have softened slightly. About 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and serve over pork.