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Spice-Crusted Pork Tenderloin Bites (Pinchos Morunos)

4 Servings

50 min 25 min active

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Loosely translated as “Moorish bites impaled on thorns or small pointed sticks,” pinchos morunos is a Basque dish of seared pork rubbed with a blend of spices, garlic, herbs and olive oil. The recipe dates back generations, boasting influences from Spain and North Africa. Classic versions skewer the meat, which is seasoned with ras el hanout, a Moroccan spice blend, among other flavorings. We streamlined, nixing the skewers. And since ras el hanout can be hard to find, we went with a blend of cumin, coriander, smoked paprika and black pepper. We finished with a drizzle of honey, which heightened the flavor of the pork and seasonings.




Don’t cut the pork tenderloin too small. Cutting it into 1- to 1½-inch cubes produced more surface area, allowing the spice rub to quickly penetrate and season the meat. Any smaller and the meat cooked too quickly.

50 min

25 min active


  • teaspoons ground coriander

  • teaspoons ground cumin


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Michael G.
December 10, 2023
Great dinner!
Simple to make and the family loved it! I probed to temp the meat as it does depends on the size of meat cut. Will make again!
Laura H.
July 11, 2023
Very tasty and great for a weeknight meal!
So easy to make and the ROI is great! We served with rice and a salad. Yum!
Dennis D.
November 14, 2022
This recipe was easy and quick, yet at no sacrifice to flavor. The tenderloin was moist, tender and exceptionally good.
James B.
December 12, 2023
This was a great recipe. I had received some ras el HANOUT from a friend that went to Morocco, and was looking for something to do with it. I have an newly minted 8 year old who gobbled it up, with the chopped oregano!
Tom C.
April 1, 2023
Tasty and fast
I’ve made this several times. Note the directions about not cutting the pork too small and don’t sleep on this while cooking. Easy to overcook if you’re not paying attention.
Ramona W.

Very flavorful and an easy weeknight nosh for impromptu guests that came to unwind after work.

Connie S.

I love these! Easy, fast, impressive and delicious. I make them often, both for home and for company, and love them every time. Thank you!

Lori O.

These were easy and great. I ate the leftovers next day for lunch wrapped in a corn tortilla with some guacamole. Delicious!

Karen W.

These are absolutely delicious and have become something we have often. My only comment would be that 1 lb. of meat is pretty skimpy for 4 servings. It's not much more work to double the recipe and if it doesn't all get eaten in one sitting, the leftovers are as good or better.

Scott M.

Agreed with other commentors...very good flavor and super easy to make. A win!

Brent T.

This is a great recipe. I make them ahead for lunches at work with some rice.

Donna B.

I have lost count the number of times I have made this recipe. It is easy, quick, flavorful, and oh so delicious! - a recipe my husband requests now by name! I would recommend this to anyone who wants a great pork tenderloin dish in their rotation. Great for family as well as guests.

Gregg C.

Great recipe. Will double the honey/lemon/garlic drizzle next time. Great weeknight dinner. Served with an oven risotto that had peas, kale and spinach.

Natalia S.

This was very easy but it was not very impressive. Would not make again

Peter Chris S.

This is remarkably easy to make considering the flavor you get. Have made this multiple times now, and have taken to doubling the recipe because leftovers are great eaten cold, straight from the fridge, as a snack or lunch. But we also love pairing this with Milk Street's Patatas Bravas for a great Spanish tapas meal.

Heather E.

So easy, and so good! Beautiful color and crust, and finishing at the end with the sauce took it to another level. I paired with patatas bravas and an arugula salad with lemon and olive oil.

Laura M.

I don't have smoked paprika, but do have half-sharp Hungarian paprika from Penzey's Do you think that would work?

Lynn C.

Hi Laura -

Half-sharp Hungarian Paprika will work in the recipe, but it will obviously change the overall flavor profile of the dish. Smoked paprika is a hallmark of Spanish cooking, so losing that smokiness will change this from something that is decidedly Spanish towards something more Hungarian.

The Milk Street Team

Jarrod C.

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