This easy grilled pork tenderloin is served with a simple chimichurri sauce that comes from Argentina. With just a few ingredients, you can cook up a flavorful dinner in about 30 minutes!
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Grilled pork tenderloin is a staple in our house for weeknight dinners. It cooks quickly and it works with endless sauces and marinades. I especially love it with chimichurri sauce. Ever had it?
It sounds fancy and complicated, but it's really a simple, homey sauce made with just a few ingredients. I want to say it's the Argentinian ketchup, but that really wouldn't be fair to the chimichurri. I made this grilled pork tenderloin when we had friends over and they were just astounded by the flavor. So simple, yet so tasty.
What is chimichurri sauce?
Chimichurri sauce is made of fresh parsley, garlic, crushed red pepper, and olive oil. It's a condiment for grilled meat that comes from Argentina, and it's also commonly served in Uruguay. Fresh, tangy, and garlicky, the bright flavor really goes well with the char from the grill.
Discovering chimichurri in Argentina
We went to Buenos Aires on our honeymoon. Meat is everywhere there, so chimichurri was also ubiquitous. In restaurants, it just sits in a glass jar on the table for everyone to scoop from.
The first meal we had after arriving on our overnight flight was lunch at La Cabrera. We were so tired and had no idea what we were doing. Not realizing that in Argentina, you order a big steak for the table and share, slicing some and putting it onto the plate in front of you. Not like here, where everyone gets their own.
We must have looked like animals, with a steak right in front of each of us, eating it right off the plate they served it on. The amount of food on the table was obscene. Steak, blood sausage, pork, bacon, all kinds of sauces, and of course, the chimichurri.
So it was a little embarrassing, but at least we learned the proper etiquette on our first day there. Now, whenever I grill meat I always want chimichurri sauce with it.
Chimichurri sauce is very easy to make. You're just chopping parsley and garlic, then adding some crushed red pepper flakes, vinegar, and olive oil. Let the flavors meld together for about 20 minutes (just about the time it takes your pork tenderloin to cook) and it's ready.
I adapted this chimichurri sauce recipe from one by Michelle Bernstein in Food & Wine.
When I'm chopping a lot of herbs for a recipe like this, I like to use a mezzaluna. I have this Inox mezzaluna and I love it. You rock the blade back and forth across the herbs. Much easier than chopping herbs with a chef's knife, and your fingers are a little safer, too! Because it's flat, it stores easily and doesn't take up much space.
Italian grannies have been using mezzalunas for years. Give one a try and see what you think!
How to grill pork tenderloin
It's so easy to make grilled pork tenderloin. Remember that it actually has three sides. Cooking time will vary slightly according to size, but on average, I grill mine over medium-high heat about 6 minutes per side for a total of 18 minutes on the grill.
Let the pork rest for about 5 - 10 minutes before slicing. Top with the chimichurri sauce and serve. And be sure to just leave a big vat of the sauce on the table so everyone can scoop it out. They will want more!
- If you're looking for an Argentinian dessert to complete the meal, these Alfajores cookies are irresistible, filled with dulce de leche!
Pork tenderloin should be cooked to an internal temperature of 140 - 145 degrees. It is perfectly okay for the meat to have a bit of pink. The meat will be tender and juicy at this temperature. Remember that there will be some carryover cooking once you remove it from the grill. You don't want to overcook pork tenderloin, as it can get very tough.
Pork tenderloin and pork loin are two very different cuts of meat from two different parts of the animal. Pork tenderloin is a long narrow muscle along the backbone. It should be cooked quickly at high heat. Pork loin is a larger, wider cut and it is a back muscle. It should be slow-cooked or braised. Both are pretty lean cuts.
More pork recipes
- Pork Tenderloin with Golden Beets and Apricot-Mint Sauce is another simple dish that's so flavorful.
- Pork Stew with White Beans, Wine, and Sage is a winter warmer that will make you feel like you're sitting by the fire in the snowy French Alps.
- Ukranian Cabbage Rolls were always on my grandmother's table. Homey, comforting, and delicious, made with very simple ingredients.
More grilling recipes
- Grilled Beef Short Ribs with Quick Pickles have a spicy lemongrass sauce that puts a fun spin on your summer grilling.
- Italian Steak Sandwich with Grilled Radicchio is made with flank steak so it cooks fast!
Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Chimichurri Sauce
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 3 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
- 2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste
Grilled Pork Tenderloin
- 2 pork tenderloins about 1 pound each
- kosher salt
- Place chopped parsley, chopped oregano, minced garlic, crushed red pepper and red wine vinegar in a bowl and stir together.
- Add olive oil and let stand 15-20 minutes before serving.
Grilled Pork Tenderloin
- Place the pork tenderloins on a baking sheet or in a casserole dish. Salt them and let come to room temperature. (Up to two hours.) Meanwhile, heat a grill to medium high.
- Place pork tenderloins over direct, medium-high heat and grill about 6 minutes per side. Pork tenderloin has three sides, so this will total about 18 minutes. Cook to an internal temperature of 140 to 145 degrees. Let rest 5-10 minutes before slicing.
- Top with chimichurri sauce and serve.
- Pick a good piece of pork. For this recipe, I ordered from Snake River Farms. They sell high-quality Korobuta Pork, from heritage Berkshire hogs. The meat is so much better than what you can get in the grocery store. So flavorful, you barely even have to salt it when cooking.
- Pork tenderloin is very easy to grill. Remember that it actually has three sides. Cooking time will vary slightly according to size, but on average, I grill mine over medium-high heat about 6 minutes per side for a total of 18 minutes on the grill.
Sounds yummy! Gonna try this one out! No need to marinate the pork?
No need to marinate it. Just season with salt and pepper. The chimichurri will give it all the flavor it needs!