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Grilled Chile-Spiced Pork Tenderloins

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4 to 6

Butterflied and pounded thin, pork tenderloins can be cooked quickly over a hot grill. Serve sliced with some rice and beans or lime-accented coleslaw, or cut the meat into strips and use as a taco filling.


  • 2 Tbs. ground chile powder, such as ancho, California, or New Mexico
  • 2 tsp. finely grated lime zest
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil; more for the grill
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped jalapeño
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 pork tenderloins (2 to 2-1/2 lb. total)
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, for serving
  • Lime wedges, for serving

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 210
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 70
  • Fat (g): 8
  • Saturated Fat (g): 2
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 4.5
  • Cholesterol (mg): 80
  • Sodium (mg): 330
  • Carbohydrates (g): 2
  • Fiber (g): 1
  • Sugar (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 30


  • In a small bowl, combine the chile powder, lime zest and juice, oil, jalapeño, garlic, cumin, oregano, and 1 tsp. salt to form a paste.
  • Butterfly the tenderloins by making a lengthwise slit down each, taking care not to cut all the way through to the opposite side. Open each tenderloin, cover with a sheet of plastic wrap, and gently pound the meat with a meat pounder to an even thickness of about 1/2 inch.
  • Generously rub the chile paste all over, and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour (or refrigerate, wrapped in plastic, for up to 1 day).
  • Meanwhile, prepare a medium (350°F to 375°F) gas or charcoal grill fire. Lightly oil the grate and grill the tenderloins, flipping once, until just firm to the touch, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a warm platter, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve with the cilantro and lime wedges.


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Reviews (4 reviews)

  • VickiRB | 11/10/2018

    Just made this and I have to say it is absolutely delicious. Very easy. I put the spice rub on about three hours before grilling the meat. Delicious!

  • judywrites | 06/15/2017

    Oh so very good! Didn't make any changes and it was delicious. We served the pork tenderloins with the Mexican Rice with Tomatoes and Beans, an avocado salad and fresh fruit. There were 9 of us and it was enjoyed by all - even our usual picky eaters.

    We did have enough leftover to have tacos - bueno!

  • kvelthaus | 04/12/2017

    Made this tonight. Amazing and easy. I used Ancho chili powder ground from dried whole ones. The only thing I would change is to make it a tad spicier. It didn't have much kick. I fully recommend this one with the Mexican Rice. Yummy

  • jec01 | 03/15/2017

    This is a great recipe that is full of flavor. I made it a day in advance and it turned out perfectly.

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