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Pork Tenderloin with Sage & Marsala Sauce

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4

This may look like a special-occasion roast, but it’s actually perfect for a weeknight, and while the fried sage leaves are optional, do try them. They make an unusual crisp garnish and add visual appeal to this simple but elegant dish.


For the fried sage leaves (optional):

  • 12 to 16 large, whole sage leaves, thoroughly washed and dried, stems left on
  • Olive oil, for frying
  • Kosher salt

For the pork:

  • 1 large pork tenderloin (1-1/4 to 1-1/2 lb.), trimmed and cut in half crosswise 
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. pink peppercorns, crushed (optional)
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sweet Marsala
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh sage leaves

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 300
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 120
  • Fat (g): 14
  • Saturated Fat (g): 6
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 6
  • Cholesterol (mg): 95
  • Sodium (mg): 200
  • Carbohydrates (g): 5
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 28


Make the fried sage leaves, if using:

  • Pour enough olive oil in a heavy skillet to cover the bottom by about 1/8 inch and heat over medium heat until the oil shimmers. Add the sage leaves in a single layer and fry until brittle but still a bright green color with no browning, 15 to 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and sprinkle with salt.

Cook the pork:

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F. Season the pork tenderloin with the salt and pepper and rub it evenly with the pink peppercorns, if using.
  • Heat 1 Tbs. of the butter and the oil in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet or straight-sided sauté pan over medium-high heat. Put the pork in the pan and sear it until golden brown on all sides, about 5 minutes total. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the meat registers 140°F, 10 to 15 minutes. Move the pork to a cutting board and tent loosely with foil.
  • Pour off and discard most of the fat left in the skillet. Set the skillet over medium-high heat and add the Marsala. Bring to a vigorous simmer, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits. Simmer until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Off the heat, add the remaining 1 Tbs. butter and the chopped sage. Swirl or stir the sauce until the butter melts.
  • Slice the pork into 12 pieces, arrange them on a platter, and pour the hot pan sauce over the meat. Garnish with the fried sage leaves, if using.

Serve this dish with mashed potatoes, braised vegetables, or just a fresh green salad.


Rate or Review

Reviews (25 reviews)

  • butterscotch | 02/03/2019

    Terrific with garlic mashed potatoes and a green salad. I had only dry Marsala so I added a squirt of honey to the pan along with the wine when making the sauce.

  • SVcook | 03/23/2017

    Really, really tasty and easy. Just remember to cut the tenderloin so it's narrow enough to cook quickly!

  • user-3118048 | 04/11/2016

    This was wonderful. Love the sauce. It was very moist.

  • tatiemily | 03/10/2016

    WOW! Super fas! Super Easy. Super Delicious! Definately a weeknight meal. I made the fried sage leaves, I loved them, my husband was lukewarm on them. I had NO fat to pour off from the pan out of the oven. I only ended up with 4 Tbsps. finished sauce and that included the juices from the rested loin. I wish there had been more. Not sure if I could add some chix stock to the pan when making the sauce to render a bit more sauce.

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