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Pan-Fried Pork Tenderloin

Written by Louise Hendon on March 14
paleo pork tenderloin recipe

I’m vacationing in the beautiful and sun-filled (and fun-filled) country of Costa Rica right now but really wanted to share this pork tenderloin recipe with everyone!

I have never had great success with pork tenderloin before now…somehow it always seemed to end up dry and not very tasty. But I was inspired to try again by a recent meal my neighbor cooked for us and also by a video of Michael Mina showing Tim Feriss how to cook pork tenderloin in a frying pan (edit- I removed the link to the video since that website disappeared!). Ok, so my pork doesn’t look quite as pretty as Michael Mina’s, but I’m not feeling too bad that my cooking isn’t quite up to Michelin-star chef standards!

This dish requires zero prep and uses very very few ingredients. So, how do you cook delicious pork in a frying pan?

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I started with a 1 lb piece of pork tenderloin and cut it in half. Then I put a tablespoon of coconut oil into a frying pan on medium heat and put the pork tenderloins into the pan. Inspired by Michael Mina’s suggestion of using tongs (he suggested that trainee chefs used them actually), I used my bbq tongs to turn the pork over after each side cooked. I also sprinkled salt on the pork while it was cooking.

So here’s my collage (I was lazy and took these photos with my iPhone):

Paleo Pork Tenderloin

I’m not that experienced in determining when pork is cooked “perfectly” (which is slightly pink in the middle), but it offered a great opportunity to try out my meat thermometers.

At an internal temperature of 145F (63C), pork is safe to eat – in fact, it’s really delicious at this point because it’s not dry and tough!

Then I sliced the tenderloin into 1-inch thick chunks to plate them and served them with a simple spinach and almond stir-fry (recipe here).

Paleo Pork Tenderloin

If you’re looking for other paleo pork recipes, try my Chinese Mu Shu Pork recipe here or this easy Pineapple Pork recipe.

Click To Email This Pork Tenderloin Recipe To Yourself

Pan-Fried Pork Tenderloin
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2 servings
  • 1 lb pork tenderloin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  1. Cut the 1 lb pork tenderloin in half (to create 2 equal shorter halves).
  2. Place the 1 tablespoon of coconut oil into a frying pan on a medium heat.
  3. After the coconut oil melts, place the 2 pork tenderloin pieces into the pan.
  4. Leave the pork to cook on its side. Once that side is cooked, turn using tongs to cook the other sides. Keep turning and cooking until the pork looks cooked on all sides.
  5. Cook all sides of the pork until the meat thermometer shows an internal temperature of just below 145F (63C). The pork will keep on cooking a bit after you take it out of the pan.
  6. Let the pork sit for a few minutes and then slice into 1-inch thick slices with a sharp knife.
Gloria - February 28

Thanks for the suggestion of how to pan-fry pork loin. I am just cooking my first ever.

Cindy - August 6

thank you so much for this recipe! i have tried a couple different pan-fried recipes, but wasn’t real satisfied. i have bookmarked this page and plan on sharing with my friends!

September - November 16

I only had avocado oil on hand, and it turned out great.

Vicki hart - January 17

My husband thinks if the tenderloin is pink that it is raw and I can’t convince him that it is so much better this way! I have to cook it till its dry for him to eat it!!!

Please help!

Thank you

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