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How To Cook Pork Tenderloin In The Air Fryer with Sweet Potatoes

Learning how to cook pork tenderloin in the air fryer is the best, most efficient way to get a perfectly cooked tenderloin. A tender, juicy inside whose flavor is only matched by the outer spicy, honey garlic-infused crust. The flavorful marinade is then turned into a thickened sauce giving the pork a beautiful finish. Ready in under 30 minutes, this dish is great for easy weeknight dinners but the sauce makes this special enough for springtime entertaining! 

tabletop of serving platter with pork and potatoes

When you are looking for other great-tasting pork recipes be sure and check out some of our other favorite ways like these Grilled Pork Chops and these Asian Pork Meatballs. With so many different cuts of pork being so economical it’s always a nice choice for entertaining!

Today’s recipe for Pork Tenderloin in the air fryer is a fall comfort food recipe you’ll come to rely on for a quick dinner that is not only easy, but can double as a meal for entertaining. With the tangy honey mustard sauce spooned over the top it also is perfect for entertaining!

Why This Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin Recipe Recipe Works

  1. This is a quick easy dinner recipe you can have success with the first time you make it in the air fryer.
  2. Using a marinade and a thermometer to check doneness avoids any possibility of having dry pork.
  3. Using the pork tenderloin, aka the filet mignon of pork, is a leaner cut of meat so you can feel good about eating it!

Fall Flavors

The juicy, tender pork loin with sweet potatoes is a part of #fallflavors week that will run all week along with 40 other food writers highlighting all of the fall favorites using comfort food like apple, pumpkin, and all the flavors that make you happy cool weather is here.

Air Fryer Pork

If you’ve been around for a while you’ll know how much I love my Air Fryer. And if you own one, I’m sure you love yours too. It’s been a game-changer! And how fun is it to experiment?! It is an easy way to cook any pork tenderloin because the small size of the tenderloin fits right inside even the smallest of air fryer baskets. I tested this recipe in several air fryers, the Ninja Foodi, the Emeril Air Fryer 360 and the Phillips Air fryer and had success with both.  

After having had such success with our grilled pork chops with the honey mustard marinade I tried using it on the tenderloin and it’s delicious. I recommend letting the marinade coat the pork for at least 30 minutes for the best flavor on the outside. 

While a simple seasoning of brown sugar, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and Italian seasoning would have worked just fine, this flavor combination is out of the world. Plus it’s the honey that gives you the nice crusty caramelization, and we all want that!

This pork tenderloin air fryer recipe works even without a long marinate in the sauce. But by all means, leave it in the fridge overnight and have it ready the next day. By the time you are ready to make dinner, those flavors will only have permeated the pork even more.

ingredients to make air fryer pork loin

Ingredients

  • 1 pork tenderloin 1.5 – 1.75 pounds You can use a pork loin which is a little bigger, you’ll just need to increase the cooking time.
  • Honey – The sugars will caramelize giving the tenderloin a crusty exterior.
  • Dijon Mustard – Has more of a spicier kick than regular yellow mustard which will only enhance the flavor.
  • Hot Mustard Powder – Ground mustard that boosts the flavor
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – Gives flavor but the acid also helps break down the protein in the meat helping achieve a tender result.
  • Garlic – Grated on a Microplane
  • Onion – Minced very very fine
  • Salt & Black Pepper – Just a bit to bring out all of the flavors.
  • Dried basil – Optional

What is the difference between pork tenderloin and pork loin?

As confusing as this can be, there really is a difference. At first glance, you’ll notice that a pork tenderloin is long and narrow and a pork loin is wider and flatter. This is because they are both cut from different parts.

Pork tenderloin is pork’s version of Beef’s filet mignon. And because of its slender size, it has a quick cooking time compared to a pork loin. It is super tender, very succulent, and usually about 2” around.

Pork Loin is often roasted and slow-cooked, and 5-” in diameter. It can be cooked in the air fryer too, you’ll just need to adjust the cooking time to a longer time.

buffet plate of air fryer pork tenderliing

Do you need to brine pork tenderloin?

With this recipe, I tested it both ways and decided it was an unnecessary step. The short cook time in the air fryer combined with a wet marinade meant it was able to keep the pork very succulent and juicy, even without a brine.

What temp to cook pork tenderloin to?

The USDA and the pork board both list 145 degrees Fahrenheit as the safe temperature for pork to finish at. The center of the pork can be a little pink, it’s absolutely safe. 

If you prefer your pork a little more done, you can cook it until the internal temperature reaches 155° which should eliminate any pink and have a nice opaque center while still being very juicy.

For best results, use a digital meat thermometer to test the pork (affiliate link.) I pull it out of the air fryer a few degrees shy of 145° and know that it will continue to rise while it rests. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, I recommend investing in one. Not just for this recipe, but for all your meat recipes, it is super helpful to have an accurate reading.

How to make the best pork tenderloin in the air fryer

  • In a small bowl, mix the ingredients for the marinade.
  • Place the lean cut of pork into a zip-lock bag, (or an airtight container.)
  • Pour the marinade over the top, press out the air, then seal the plastic bag. Massage the marinade all around the pork.
  • Let it sit in the marinade for at least 30 minutes (or overnight.)
  • SLice the sweet potatoes to 1/3 inch coins, then coat in olive oil.
  • Remove the pork from the marinade and place on the bottom of the air fryer basket shelf.
  • Boil the marinade to cook the pork juices so they are safe to eat.
  • Slide the potatoes along the side.
  • Cook at a high temperature (390-400°) until the pork is done.
  • The best way to maintain the juices is to let the pork rest for 10 minutes before slicing, then spoon the marinade over the top. .

Tips for making air fryer pork

  • Depending on where you purchase your pork tenderloin you may have to remove the silver skin from the back. It’s easy to do. Take a sharp knife and lift it at one end, then using dry paper towels to slowly pull it back to remove it. 
  • At the same time trim away any excess fat there might be, although the tenderloin is a lean cut of pork there wont be much.
  • Make sure you get a tenderloin versus a pork loin, or adjust the cooking time to longer. The tenderloin is usually about 2 inches in diameter.
  • Don’t skip letting the pork tenderloin rest in the marinade for a good 30 minutes before cooking it. The flavors of the marinade need time to penetrate throughout. 
  • Once done remove the marinated pork tenderloin, making sure to save an excess marinade and cook it on the stovetop to cook out any raw meat juices. The marinade will reduce down while the pork is air fried to almost a glaze.
  • You don’t have to, but if one end of the tenderloin is a lot wider than the other you can tuck the little end back up and under and use string or a skewer to hold it in place. This helps the entire pork tenderloin cook evenly.
  • Spray the basket with an olive oil cooking spray to prevent sticking.
  • It’s key to let the pork rest on a cutting board after removing it from the air fryer. The meat needs time to absorb all the juices otherwise when you go to cut it you will lose all the delicious au jus. 

Common Questions in making juicy pork tenderlon in the air fryer?

How many people will one tenderloin serve? Depending on the people you are feeding I shop for about  ½ pound of tenderloin per person. There is some shrinkage during cooking, and the meat is so tender that any leftovers are great on sandwiches the next day (try this Cuban Sandwich). It’s also great as a filling for a burrito or inside enchiladas. 

Can I cook more than one tenderloin in the air fryer at a time? You can, but allow room for the air to circulate around all sides of the tenderloin. I can easily fit 2 in my smallest Gourmia Air Fryer and could fit 6 of them in the Emeril Air Fryer 360.

What to serve with pork tenderloin?

More of or Our Fall Flavor Recipes for the Whole Family

More Air Fryer Recipes you might enjoy

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Yield: 4

How to cook pork tenderloin in the air fryer

Serving air fryer pork tenderloin with potatoes

This air fryer pork tenderloin recipe is tender juicy and easy to make. Mustard sauce marinade, that doubles as a glaze for once done.Easy weeknight dinners like this are the BEST~

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1 pork tenderloin 1.5 - 1.75 pounds

Honey Mustard Marinde

  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Hot Mustard Powder ** see note 1
  • 3 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, grated on a microplane
  • 1/4 cup onion, minced very very fine
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Dried basil (optional)

Instructions

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade in a small bowl until well combined.
  2. Place the trimmed pork into a ziplock back or container you can seal. Pour the marinade over the top and let marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes. (Can be done the night before too!)
  3. After marinating, preheat the air fryer to 400°
  4. While it is preheating, remove the pork from the plastic bag and place on a plate until ready to air fry.
  5. Dump the extra honey mustard sauce into a small saucepan to heat for 7 -10 minutes to cook any pork juices so that it is safe to eat.
  6. Once the air fryer is ready, place the pork tenderloin into the air fryer basket.
  7. Cook for 18-20 minutes until the pork registers 145° on a thermometer.
  8. Once it hits 145°, remove it to a cutting board.
  9. Let the pork rest for 8 minutes, then cut into small slices (medallions) then spoon over extra honey mustard sauce.
  10. Serve immediately.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 145Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 583mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 1gSugar: 24gProtein: 7g

This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. Please calculate your own nutritional information if you want it exact to what you make and use my calculations as a guide only.

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More #FallFlavors Recipes Below:

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Jeff

Tuesday 21st of September 2021

I really like this dish! The sweet potatoes are excellent as well!

Jeff

Monday 13th of September 2021

The marinade is wonderful and cooking the tenderloin in the air fryer makes it simple easy to enjoy.

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