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Cumin-Crusted Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Salsa Verde

Cumin-Crusted Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Salsa Verde

Cumin-Crusted Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Salsa Verde

I love to use this recipe in my cooking classes, as it's easy and delicious. The key to making a moist pork tenderloin is to quickly sear it first, and not let it overcook. This pairs well with a medium-bodied pinot noir, possibly from Carneros, Russian River Valley, or Oregon.


  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 pork tenderloins
  • Salsa Verde, for serving


In a large, heavy self-sealing plastic bag, combine the garlic, spices, olive oil, dry mustard, salt, and pepper. Add the pork, turn to coat, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat a gas grill/barbecue to medium-high, or prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill/barbecue.

Remove the pork from the refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling. Grill the pork for 3 minutes on each of all four sides, a total of 12 minutes. Transfer to a carving board and tent with aluminum foil; let rest for 10–15 minutes. Cut the pork into slices 1–inch thick; reserve the juices. Serve drizzled with the juices and Salsa Verde.

Step 1

Reserve 1 cup salsa verde to serve with pork.  Pour the remaining salsa verde into a shallow, nonmetallic dish or a gallon-size resealable plastic bag. Add the pork and turn to coat. Cover the dish or seal the bag and refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight.

Step 2

Lightly oil the grill rack and heat the grill to medium. Grill the pork for 10 minutes or until cooked through, turning it over once halfway through the grilling time and basting often with the marinade.  Discard the remaining marinade.

Step 3

Remove the pork from the grill and let it stand for 10 minutes. Serve the pork with the reserved salsa.

Summer and warmer weather means grilling more and dining al fresco. Some of my favorite pork recipes are Quick Garlic and Lime Marinated Pork Chops and Apricot-Rum Glazed Spiral Ham.

Summer nights I want to stay out of the kitchen, and enjoy the great weather. With meals like this, it’s easy to do! I like to serve this with salad, but some grilled corn or pasta salad also makes a great side! You can easily double the recipe to serve more.


We were blown away by how good this was (easy too!). Very tender, flavor amazing, short cooking time on the grill. I rounded out the menu with grilled vegetables and a quinoa salad. 3 lbs of pork served five people with enough for some leftovers for the next evening for three. I prepared it the day before and left it in the fridge overnight.

Easy and delicious! I dropped the grilled cheese and served it with couscous with sauteed onions, chopped prunes, and almonds.

Fabulous! Made as written but added caper sauce as suggested and also roasted sweet potatoes in extra marinade. So good!

get in my belly. we've made this quite a few times..ALWAYS have leftovers which make my co-workers exceptionally jealous

Awesome. Followed other reviewers and made a dry rub, then sprayed a little olive oil on the pork as it marinated. I had caraway seeds and ground them, as they definitely added a certain nuttiness that only caraway can. I marinated the pork for about 2 hours, as it seems like the time doesn't matter much. I think think this rub would be great on chicken, goat, or any meat, quite frankly. I had plenty left over and plan plan to try it on other meats or even an oily fish, like Blue, Mackerel, etc., but definitely not Salmon!

Easy and fast. Will make it again

Have made this many times, my family loves it. I do not add the oil to the spices, (when I tried it once I found it diminished the flavors of the spices) I just treat it like a dry rub and put it on only about 20 minutes before grilling. It is awesome. Serve it with homemade naan and yogurt with capers and herbs.

Excellent! This makes a generous amount of marinade. I reserved 3 Tbsp and tossed it with chunks of sweet potato and butternut squash which I roasted in the oven at 375 (convection) until tender. Also oven roasted the pork tenderloin on a separate tray - same temp. Do try it with the Creamy Caper Sauce as others suggest! Will try with lamb next.

Delicious flavors. The butterflied tenderloin was a new idea and perfect since our grill ran out of gas and it had only been on for 4 minutes! Added some leftover marinade to the yogurt since only had it on for the pork for one hour. Now I'm looking for more Moroccan dishes to accompany this.

This has become a family fave. I serve it with tzatziki sauce on grilled garlic naan. Great for camping and picnics - I make the meat ahead and assemble sandwiches when we are ready to eat them.

Who knew these spices could be so bland! Tried it with yogurt and the "flavor" really disappeared. Will not bother with this recipe again. Pork tenderloin has more flavor than this rub.

Delicious! The flavors complement each other so well!

I would just love to see this served in a muslim country!!

I never thought of butterflying a pork tenderloin like Miss Matlock, but what a great idea! Made the recipe as is (no caraway seeds), marinated about 6 hours, "grilled" on a cast iron grill pan for about 9 minutes--perfectly yummy! Served with creamy caper sauce with a dash each of harissa and Dijon. Can't wait for leftovers tonight!

Fabulous! This is now our go-to pork tenderloin recipe. It yields the MOST tender, tasty meat! We tried oven-baking on foil -- but that allowed oil to pool, instead of drain off the meat. BBQ is the way to go. We just used the left-overs in another Epicurious recipe: MOROCCAN-SPICED PASTITSIO WITH LAMB AND FETA, with lots of substitutions, as you can imagine. We used the pork instead of lamb, gouda for feta, and omitted the spices, as the meat held more than enough (for us). It is also fabulous!

I am excited to try this. is this served on the grilled pita like a gyro or is the bread just a garnish?

I love this recipe and have made it several times for dinner parties to rave review. I have served it with pistachio salsa verde from another Epicurious recipe and this is now my go to finish

We loved it. Didn't have ancho chili powder so used a mix of regular and Chipotle. (Love the kick of the Chipotle). No Caraway, replaced with dill. Rubbed on the pork, let sit for about an hour then on the grill. disappeared quickly and everyone loved it!

I made this tonight. Did not have time for marinade. Just added a little olive oil to the spices and sugar and rubbed it on both sides of the flattened pork. Seared it on the stovetop in a hot pan with thin coating of olive oil for just a few minutes per side to form a slight crust. Finished it in a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Served with grilled naan, yogurt and dried figs. The meat was tender and delicious. Lovely blend of flavors with the spices, tangy yogurt, and sweetness of the figs. Our whole family loved it, including two teenagers. Will keep the recipe and try it on the grill next summer. Too cold in Maine for that now!

Really disappointed with this preparation, which was surprisingly bland. Despite the flavorful spices, the pork (which I marinated overnight) was completely unremarkable. I suspect it would be better as a dry rub on chops, but won't be bothering to try it again.

This is an awesome spice rub! And I served the pork with the creamy caper sauce from the recipe ɼrisp Pork Medallions with Creamy Caper Sauce' on this site. Even my 2.5yr old liked it!

My husband and kids completely went crazy for this! Even my five year old ate it up. Served it with the creamy caper sauce from the recipe, Crisp Pork Medallions with Creamy Caper Sauce on this site. We did grill it a little longer than Iɽ suggest, we took it off at 142 but it climbed to 147 when tented, next time I'll pull it at 138-140. Also, I didn't bother butterflying the pork because I'm lazy. Super easy, it will be in our regular rotation for sure.

We BBQ on a rotisserie for this recipe. We didn't marinate it long enough. I'll try it again for sure and and next time do it over night.

Husband loved this dish! We didn't bother butterflying it. I added some lemon juice, salt and olive oil to the yogurt and served with brown rice. Will add it to our weeknight meals we love!

This is an excellent recipe -- flavorful, easy to cook, and makes great leftovers. I ground the cumin, coriander and cinnamon by hand, all other ingredients were as is you can make it without caraway seed, but i want to try it next time to see the difference, i'm sure it will be just as good if not better I think dark brown sugar works ok too (that's all I had on hand). I served it with an Indonesian sambal sauce on the side, saffron rice pilaf and a simple green salad w/oil & vinegar dressing it's definitely a do-over dish

Salsa Verde Pork Tenderloin

I love putting pork tenderloin on the grill and this recipe doesn&rsquot disappoint. It&rsquos topped with grilled tomatillo salsa for a burst of bright, fresh flavor! Big thanks to Smithfield for sponsoring this post!

Alright, you guys. I&rsquove got something totally tasty for you today and I think you&rsquore going to love the vibrant flavors in this one!

I&rsquove been working with Smithfield for the past three years to bring you delicious ways to use their marinated fresh pork. I love their pork because it&rsquos already packing a ton of flavor, which means that a lot of the work is done for you and you can get dinner on the table super quickly.

My one skillet pork pasta recipe is the perfect weeknight dinner. Same goes for my easy pork stir-fry!

I thought I&rsquod get some south of the border flavors going on this time around with a simple grilled tomatillo salsa. The ingredients just get popped on the grill next to the pork tenderloin, so this is a super easy dinner with minimal clean up!

I started with a Smithfield Roasted Garlic and Cracked Black Peppercorn Fresh Marinated Pork Tenderloin that I grabbed from the local grocery store. They have tons of flavor varieties, so check around and see what flavor you&rsquod like to start with!

Next up, I chopped up some fresh tomatillos, onion, and peppers to add to the grill with the meat. These get nice and charred and make a great roasted tomatillo salsa for serving over your pork tenderloin on the grill!

This really is an easy recipe and is perfect for novice grillers. A tenderloin looks like a pretty good size chunk of meat, but don&rsquot worry that it&rsquoll take a long time to cook through. I used high heat and it was cooked to 150 degrees in 15 minutes. Talk about quick!

For more Smithfield grilled goodness, check out this video for grilled pork and potato planks! Be sure to also enter Smithfield&rsquos Real Flavor Real Fast contest for the chance to win some great prizes while taking a peak at some great recipes!


Step 1

Preheat oven to 500°. Roast cascabel, ancho, guajillo, and pasilla chiles on a rimmed baking sheet until completely blackened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and pour in cold water to cover let sit 30 minutes to soften. Drain.

Step 2

Meanwhile, roast jalapeños, garlic, and 4 tortillas on a clean rimmed baking sheet until blackened and charred, 12–15 minutes.

Step 3

Heat a dry small skillet over medium-high and toast oregano and cumin seeds, tossing often, until beginning to burn, about 1 minute. Transfer oregano and cumin to a small bowl. Char cloves and allspice, tossing often, until black and ashy, about 4 minutes.

Step 4

Purée softened chiles, tortillas, jalapeños, garlic, oregano, cumin seeds, cloves, allspice, orange juice, and salt in a blender until smooth. Place pork in a large bowl and pour adobo over (meat should be submerged). Cover and chill at least 6 hours and up to 12 hours.

Step 5

Remove pork from adobo, leaving as much paste on meat as possible, and let sit at room temperature 1 hour.

Step 6

Prepare a grill for medium-low heat. Grill pork, turning once after first 20 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 145°, 35–45 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 15 minutes before thinly slicing.

Step 7

Serve pork with tortillas, guacamole, Grilled Salsa Roja, Avocado-Tomatillo Salsa Verde, and lime wedges.

How would you rate Grilled Pork Tenderloin in Charred-Chile Adobo?

Sooooo tasty. Wish I found this recipe sooner! The only thing I would recommend is doing at least half the amount of salt. The first time I made it, it was way too salty and I was using Diamond Crystal. Great with turkey tenderloin too!

Recipes you want to make. Cooking advice that works. Restaurant recommendations you trust.

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Recipe Summary

  • 1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 (1-pound) pork tenderloins
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Green Apple-Cucumber Salsa

Toast cumin seeds and peppercorns in a small dry skillet over medium heat, shaking skillet often, 3 minutes or until spices are fragrant. Transfer to a plate to cool, and crush spices with a mortar and pestle. (You can also transfer spices to a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag, seal bag, and crush with a meat mallet or rolling pin.) Set aside 1/2 teaspoon spice mixture for salsa.

Sprinkle pork with remaining spice mixture, mint, and garlic, pressing to adhere. Cover and chill up to 8 hours.

Sprinkle pork with salt, and grill, covered with grill lid, over medium-high heat (350° to 400°), turning every 5 minutes, 18 to 20 minutes or until thermometer registers 155° and tenderloin is slightly pink in center.

Place pork on a cutting board loosely cover with foil, and let stand 10 minutes. Cut into slices, and serve with Green Apple-Cucumber Salsa.


As a five time B.A.S.S Champion and professional angler on the Bassmaster Elite Series Tour, Kevin Short spends most of his days on the water. But at the end of the day, he looks forward to getting his feet back on dry land…where he spends his nights grilling on his Big Green Egg. Here is one of K-Pink’s favorites.


  • ¼ cup cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp crushed black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Kosher Salt
  • 2 12-ounce pork tenderloins, trimmed


In a small dry skillet, heat cumin seeds, stirring constantly, until fragrant – about 2 minutes. Place in a small bowl and stir in pepper and salt. Press cumin mixture into pork, coating all sides.

Bump up the heat in the BGE to 450°F/232°C sear pork until browned on all sides.

Reduce temp of BGE to 350°F/177°C, tent pork with aluminum foil and cook, turning occasionally, until pork is only slightly pink in the center – about 8-10 minutes. During last 3 minutes of cooking, brush with ⅓ cup of reserved glaze.

Transfer pork to cutting board, tent with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes. Cut across the grain into 1-inch thick slices. Serve, passing remaining glaze (recipe below) separately. Serve with Grilled Corn Salad with Black Beans & Rice (recipe below).

Glaze Ingredients

  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 3 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  • ½ cup molasses
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Glaze Instructions

Set the EGG for direct cooking at 300°F/149°C degrees.

In a Stir-Fry & Paella Pan or nonreactive saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add jalapeños and garlic. Cook, stirring, until fragrant – about 1 minute.

Add orange juice and vinegar and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until reduced to ½ cup. Remove from heat and stir in molasses. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Grilled Corn Salad with Black Beans & Rice Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup short-grain brown rice
  • 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 large ears of corn, husked
  • 2 medium red onions, cut into 3/8 inch slices
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored and quarter lengthwise
  • 1 small ripe avocado
  • ½ cup hot tomato salsa, preferably chipotle
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • ⅓ cup fresh lime juice
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • ¾ tsp ground cumin
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Tortilla chips (optional)

Grilled Corn Salad with Black Beans & Rice Instructions

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook rice until al dente, 25 to 30 minutes. Drain and rinse. Place in a large bowl and toss with beans and set aside.

Set the EGG for direct cooking at 350°F/177°C.

Lightly oil the cooking grid and grill corn, onions and bell pepper, turning frequently, until tender and charred about 10 to 12 minutes.

Cut kernels from the cobs and add to reserved rice and beans. Dice bell pepper and half of the onions add to rice mixture. Place remaining onions in a mixing bowl. Peel and dice avocado add half to rice mixture and half to the bowl with sliced onions.

In a small bowl, whisk salsa, orange juice, lime juice, cilantro, oil and cumin. season with salt and pepper. Toss 3 tbsp of the salsa mixture with sliced onions and avocado. Toss the rest with rice mixture.

Spoon rice mixture onto a serving dish and top with onion-avocado mixture. Serve with chips if desired.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Salsa Verde

Peggy Lampman | Contributor

“What makes this sauce so tasty?”

“But I don’t care for anchovies.”

“Do you like Worcestershire Sauce sprinkled on a burger?”

“You betcha. Anchovies are the secret weapon in Worcestershire Sauce. You love the taste of those furry little critters you just don’t know it.”

And so began the dinner conversation after one of my guests tasted my recipe for Salsa Verde. I used it to sauce pork and was concerned that after they discovered the root of the flavor, the tenderloin slices would remained untouched. But they joined the Clean Plate Club, in effect canceling their membership with the Anchovy Despisers Club.

Pork Tenderloin waiting for the rub.

Peggy Lampman | Contributor

Anchovies aren’t born in a bottle or tin. They come from warm ocean waters and are particularly abundant in the Mediterranean. Mike Monahan, owner of Monahan's Seafood in Kerrytown, tells me he keeps a list of locals who enjoy them and notifies them of their sporadic availability from California.

The anchovies most folks cook with are the salted and cured ones, found on global grocery shelves or sold dried in markets. Anchovy lends complexity and depth to world cuisine, such as Thai, Chinese and Indian food, not to mention your everyday sport bar’s Caesar salads and pizza.

The chopped anchovy combined with fresh herbs and garlic in the following Salsa Verde recipe yields a small amount of sauce with a huge amount of piquant flavor.

Salsa Verde insists on a lot of chopping and a lot of herbs.

A variety of sauces found throughout the world are known as Green Sauce, and generally served chilled or at room temperature. The Mexicans have their green sauces of cilantro, tomatillas and peppers. In Central and South America, chimichurri is the ubiquitous green sauce generally served as a condiment with beef. In Germany you’ll find herb sauces combined with hard chopped eggs.

The recipe below would be more akin to an Italian/Mediterranean styled green sauce — Salsa Verde. It’s a recipe I adapted from Jamie Oliver, although I fiddled with quantities and omitted the gherkins he used.

With the abundance of fresh herbs to be had in gardens and at the farmers market, Salsa Verde is the perfect summer condiment. I used fresh basil, parsley and tarragon in the recipe below, but chives and mint would be other marvelous additions.

Like fresh herb pestos without the nuts and Parmesan, Salsa Verde is great tossed with vegetables and potatoes, spooned over steak, meat or chicken or used as a base for assorted crostini or a seasoning in fajitas.

This was a great make-ahead dish, served with potatoes, for a casual summer evening dinner party. I didn’t want to juggle pans when my guests had arrived so I did the cooking in advance. I made the Salsa Verde 24 hours in advance and I seasoned the pork and refrigerated it several hours before grilling.

An hour before guests arrived, I boiled quartered potatoes in salted water until they were just beginning to tenderize but still firm. I drained them, tossed the hot potatoes with olive oil, dry vermouth, chives and additional salt and pepper to taste. I covered the pan and let them soak up the flavors and tenderize in their residual heat to perfection.

I grilled the pork 30 minutes before they arrived, undercooking them slightly, and wrapped them in foil until we were ready to eat. I also recycled the empty jar of anchovies, eliminating all traces of secret weaponry.

Still haven’t convinced you to love, or to at least try, anchovies? Consider this: according to Wikipedia, in Roman times anchovies were eaten as an aphrodisiac. Still no anchovy go? I give up. But the following recipe for Salsa Verde is delicious even if you choose to omit them.

Yield: 4-6 servings
Active Time: 45 minutes
Grill Time: 20-35 minutes (depending on heat, thickness of pork, and desired level of doneness.)


1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 (1 pound each) pork tenderloins, as much fat and silver skin removed as possible

1 recipe for Salsa Verde (below)

1. In a small bowl combine olive oil, salt, rosemary, sugar, garlic and pepper. Rub into the flesh of the tenderloins. If time allows, let sit at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours refrigerated.
2. Prepare gas or charcoal grill to medium heat. Oil grill grates then place the tenderloins on the grill and cook, covered, turning occasionally, for 20-30 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 150-155 degrees.
3. Let pork rest ten minutes before slicing.(Pork may be grilled up to 45 minutes prior to serving cook no higher than 145 degrees, keep warm in foil or in a 150-degree oven, door ajar, up to 45 minutes.) Slice diagonally and serve with Salsa Verde.

Ingredients for Salsa Verde

1 large garlic clove (to yield 1 tablespoon minced)
3-6 cured anchovy fillets*
2 tablespoons capers
2 packed cups washed Italian parsley leaves (stems removed)
2 packed cups washed basil leaves (stem removed)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped washed fresh tarragon
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4-1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

*I enjoy the bottled Agostino Recca (Filetti di Alici) brand from Italy

Directions for Salsa Verde

1. Finely chop and combine garlic, 3 anchovy fillets, capers, parsley, basil and tarragon. Place in a bowl and stir in vinegar and mustard.
2. Slowly add olive oil until you have the desired consistency. Taste and add additional finely chopped anchovies as desired. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. (This will keep 1-2 days, refrigerated. This recipe may also be made using a mortar and pestle.)

Grilled Pork & Zucchini with Salsa Verde

Salsa Verde
1 lb tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed & dried
2 jalapeño peppers
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
½ cup cilantro
½ small white onion, diced
1 tbsp lime juice, plus zest
¼ tsp sugar
¼ tsp ground cumin
Salt to taste


Heat your grill to medium.

Trim the pork of any excess fat and rub with 1 tablespoon oil, oregano and salt and pepper to taste. Place pork in the center of the grill and cover. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes on direct heat, turning once halfway through. Transfer to a platter and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Cut the zucchini diagonally into long ½ inch thick pieces. Toss in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon oil, salt and pepper to taste. Place zucchini in a grilling bowl and grill for 2 minutes per side.

Preheat oven to 425ºF. Arrange tomatillos and peppers on a baking sheet lined with foil. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned and fully cooked. Remove from the oven and toss into a food processor. Add remaining salsa ingredients and pulse until fully combined. Serve over pork and zucchini.