5 satisfying beef, pork, and lamb tenderloin recipes that’ll fuel your muscles

COOKING FOR YOURSELF, a date, or a party? Sink your teeth into these simple, satisfying tenderloin meals. Juicy, lean, and loaded with protein, the following 5 recipes—provided by Lindsay Brown—have 40g of protein or more to help you satisfy hunger and fuel muscles.

 Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin

Makes 4 Servings 

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½ lb boneless pork tenderloin
salt and pepper, to taste
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried rosemary
¼ cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 400˚F with the rack in the middle.
2. Trim tenderloin of fat and any silver skin, then pat dry with a paper towel. Pierce pork loin all over with a fork. Rub with 1 tbsp olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper.
3. Combine remaining ingredients and sprinkle onto tenderloin. Then, use your hands to rub in the spices until evenly coated.
4. Heat remaining tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat in a large oven-safe pan (cast iron or a Dutch oven will work). Once oil is hot, add pork and brown on all sides, about 6 minutes total.
4. Place in the oven and bake uncovered at 400˚F for 13-15 min, flipping the tenderloin over halfway through baking. Bake until center of pork registers 145˚F on a meat thermometer, then transfer to a cutting board and let meat rest 5-10 min.

Nutrition info, per serving: 310 calories, 45g protein, 13g fat, 1g carbs

Pair with: a simple green side salad, mashed sweet potatoes, steamed asparagus, or grilled zucchini.

Cuban Mojo Pork Tenderloin

Makes 4 Servings 

1 ¼ lb pork tenderloin
¾ cup orange juice
¼ cup fresh lime juice (from about 3 to 4 limes)
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 ½ tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil

1. Trim any fat and silvery skin from the tenderloin. In a bowl, mix together the orange juice, lime juice, garlic, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Pour about half the mixture into a large resealable plastic bag. Reserve the other half for later. Add the pork to the bag, seal, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
2. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Heat olive oil in a large cast-iron pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Remove pork from the marinade and add to pan. (Make sure you throw away the bag and any remaining marinade in it!) Sear the tenderloin, turning until it’s browned on all sides, about 6 minutes.
3. Place pan (or Dutch oven) into the oven and cook about 15-18 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the pork measures 150°F on a meat thermometer.
4.  While the pork is roasting, pour the half of the marinade you reserved into a saucepan and simmer on the stove for a few minutes until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and set aside.
5. Remove tenderloin from the oven and let it rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes. Cut into ½-inch slices and drizzle the reserved sauce on top.

Nutrition info, per serving: 412 calories, 40g protein, 24g fat, 10g carbs

Pair with: Black beans and brown rice or oven-baked sweet plantains.

Simple Roasted Beef Tenderloin

Makes 6 Servings

2 ½ lbs center-cut beef tenderloin
1 tbsp olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. In a cast-iron skillet or a roasting pan, rub beef tenderloin with oil. Season with at least 2 teaspoons each salt and pepper.
2. Place beef in oven and roast, turning halfway through, 30 to 45 minutes, depending on desired doneness.
3. Remove from oven and cover pan loosely with foil and let rest 10 minutes before thinly slicing and serving.

Nutrition info, per serving: 409 calories, 55g protein, 20g fat, 0g carbs

Pair with: Roasted vegetables, butternut squash puree, or simple spinach salad.

Makes 6 Servings

2 ½ lbs beef tenderloin
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced

1. Trim tenderloin of fat and silvery skin. Generously season both sides with salt and pepper, then set aside. In a large resealable bag, combine remaining ingredients. Add tenderloin to bag and refrigerate for at least one hour or up to overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 425°F. Transfer tenderloin to a baking dish and roast for 30 minutes, for rare, and up to 45 minutes, for well done.

Nutrition info, per serving: 531 calories, 56g protein, 29g fat, 10g carbs

Pair with: Brown rice, roasted green beans, or snow peas.

Mediterranean-Style Stuffed Lamb Loin

Makes 6 Servings

2 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup spinach leaves, shredded
1/4 cup fresh basil, shredded
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 lbs boneless lamb loin
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. In medium-sized skillet, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat and cook onion and garlic for about 3 minutes. Add spinach and basil, then cook until spinach wilts, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in feta cheese; set aside.
2. Trim fat from lamb and slice halfway through meat, down the center, lengthwise. Cover with plastic wrap. With a meat mallet (you can also use a rolling pin or heavy pan), pound the lamb to 1-inch thickness. Place filling down center of meat; roll and tie with cooking string at 2-inch intervals. Brush with remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
3. Place lamb in a roasting pan, then roast in the oven to desired doneness: 145°F for medium-rare, 160°F for medium, and 170°F for well done. Cover with foil and let lamb rest 10 minutes before carving.

Nutrition info, per serving: 360 calories, 45g protein, 19g fat, 2g carbs

Pair with: Couscous with cucumbers and onion, tomato salad with mint, or mixed green salad with arugula.


1. “Beef tenderloin is one of the leanest (and most expensive!) cuts around, so be sure you don’t overcook it,” Brown says. Buy a cheap meat thermometer at the grocery store, if you don’t already have one, she adds. For rare, insert the thermometer in the thickest part of the tenderloin and cook until it registers 125-135°F; for medium, it should register 135-140°F; and for well-done, it should register no more than 150°F.
2. “To evenly cook your beef tenderloin, tuck the thinner, tapered ends under themselves and tie with cooking twine,” Brown recommends. Or, ask your butcher to tie it for you.
3. Always trim the white or silvery connective tissue off the tenderloin before cooking. “If you leave it on, you’ll be left with a tough slab of meat that’ll be hard to cut and chew,” she adds. (This goes for lamb and pork, too!)


1. When buying lamb, look for a cut that’s soft pink in color and has white marbling.
2. “Lamb can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days before use and frozen for up to 4 months,” Brown says.
3. For the ideal medium-rare lamb, roast for 15 to 20 minutes per pound at 325°F.


1. You’ll know your pork is done when a meat thermometer reads 145°F and the juices run clear.
2. When marinating pork, never reuse the leftover marinade the meat’s been in contact with—it can be full of bacteria and make you sick. Instead, set aside a small amount to use for basting or reducing before you marinade your meat.
3. “Pork tenderloin is a lean, delicate cut of meat, so marinating the meat before cooking will lock in the flavor and keep it moist,” Brown says. .

For a dry marinade liberally coat tenderloin with: salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes before cooking.

For a liquid marinade, add the following ingredients to a ziplock bag and let marinate for at least 30-45 minutes:
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Pineapple juice
2 cloves garlic, chopped

Juice from half a lemon
1/2 olive oil
2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste


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