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Paprika-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin

6 Servings

30 minutes

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A mixture of hot smoked paprika and regular sweet paprika gives these pan-roasted pork tenderloins smoke, spice and color. If you can’t find hot smoked paprika, use sweet smoked paprika but add ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper for a bit of heat. The tenderloins are seared on the stovetop then finished in the oven, so you’ll need an oven-safe 12-inch skillet. Remove the pork from the oven when it hits 140°F; it will continue to cook with residual heat as you make the sauce.




Don’t add the butter all at once to the pan sauce. Swirling it in 1 tablespoon at a time creates an emulsified sauce that's glossy and full-bodied. If the sauce breaks and the butter separates, drizzle in a few drops of water while swirling the pan until the sauce once again becomes shiny and emulsified.

30 minutes



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Sarah T.
February 22, 2024
Everyone is right - 5 stars
Did it all exactly as prescribed and it was truly delicious. Served along wild rice and asparagus and we loved it. Next time (and there will definitely be a next time), I want to drizzle that sauce over some smashed potatoes!
Rita Y.
January 24, 2024
Broken link
Reporting that the link for the sherry vinegar in the ingredient list seems to be broken (Page Not Found).
Kim V.
December 25, 2023
Christmas dinner hit!
I just used smoked and sweet paprika and added a teaspoon of Aleppo pepper. Also had to use dried thyme. The sauce is just killer! I did add a little cornstarch to thicken it just a bit. The kids and grandparents alike wolfed it down. I will definitely make this again for guests. Thanks Christopher & crew!
Mark H.
December 25, 2023
absolutely delicious
Pretty easy to make, only $17 for two frozen pork tenderloins and turned out delicious with the sauce, will make again and again!
Robert G.
May 18, 2023
Easy, Cheap, Tasty
Very easy to make with pantry ingredients, great flavor, quick, minimal clean up. Paired with roasted green beans and it was delicious.
Matthew K.

Made this last night - everyone loved it, including the 7 & 5 year olds. Really delicious!

Donnamyles H.

We couldn't find smoked paprika locally, so we went with hot hungarian paprika imstead. One day I hope to compare the two, but this variation with a slight kick was fantastic.

Tricia S.

I am not sure how y’all brown the pork without immediately burning the paprikas, but I just shrugged, threw it in the oven, and then scraped the burned bits out of the skillet when I made the sauce. I am trying to reduce overall fat consumption, so I am happy to report you can skip half the butter, add a wee bit of cornstarch in water, and finish the sauce to a silky consistency without 3 of the 6 T of butter. (I am sure it is amazing with all the butter, but I can’t go there); I also dislike chopping or slicing raw garlic, so I roasted the cloves with the pork and added the smashed, roasted garlic cloves to the sauce. All of the recipe’s flavors, less fat and work. BTW, I used one of those Costco sirloin pork tip tenderloin roasts cooked to 140, rested to 150, and it was the best version of that cut I’ve ever had.

Rowena V.

what can i substitute for the sherry vinegar? i don't use that so i never have it in my pantry. or is that non-negotiable?

Lynn C.

Hi Rowena -

Sherry vinegar has a pretty distinctive flavor, but you could substitute with red wine or apple cider vinegar. Sherry vinegar is a little bit sweeter than those so I would taste and see if it needs a pinch of sugar too.

The Milk Street Team

Margo V.

Excellent recipe! I didn't have any thyme - and I am sure it would have been even better if I had had. I also added less butter at the end because it was a weeknight. Weekend presentation though-looks fantastic plated!

William H.

Cannot wait to try this recipe, but I need some clarification, please. The ingredients list states: 1 tablespoon sweet paprika, (and) 2 teaspoons hot smoked paprika; and the narrative says: "If you can’t find hot smoked paprika, use sweet smoked paprika but add ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper. . . ". So, if I can't find hot smoked paprika, am I using 2 teaspoons sweet paprika with ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper for JUST the "2 teaspoons hot smoked paprika" in the ingredients list (and in addition to the 1 tablespoon sweet paprika, also in the ingredients list). OR, am I using 2 teaspoons sweet paprika with ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper for ALL of the paprika in the ingredients list (both the 1 tablespoon sweet paprika, and 2 teaspoons hot smoked paprika)? Thank you.

Lynn C.

Hi William -

You would use a total of 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons sweet paprika plus 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper.

The Milk Street Team

Marty A.

This is absolutely delicious and officially replaces my previous favorite pork tenderloin in our menu rotation!

Peter Chris S.

This was very easy to make, and the sauce was off the charts (with 3/4 stick of butter, it had better be). I'm not sure how much flavor the spice rub contributed, though-- the sauce was the dominant component. I'm not complaining, mind you-- the sauce is fantastic. Will make again.

Brenda R.

This was delicious but made a big smokey mess of my oven. I was afraid my smoke detector was going to go off. Be prepared for some smoke but it was a delicious dish

Jacelyn R.

This was outstanding. I did make a couple substitutions out of necessity (subbed Northwoods seasoning for the sweet paprika, which it thought I had on hand, apple cider vinegar for the sherry), but otherwise prepared as written.

Diana S.

This was the second time making this recipe. Both times it was outstanding. Made it for Christmas Eve dinner. We had leftovers the day after that were just as juicy and delicious (even though we had used up all the sauce).

Mary Clare H.

Followed this exactly and it was delicious!