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Sear-Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Garlic and Fennel

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4 to 6

Fennel is a classic flavoring for pork because it brings out the sweetness of the meat. Although this recipe is straightforward, you can make it even easier by skipping the browning step. Instead, roll the raw tenderloin in the garlic mixture and roast for about 30 minutes.


  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh sage
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
  • 4 tsp. fennel pollen or ground fennel seed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil; more as needed
  • 2 pork tenderloins (2 to 2-1/2 lb. total)
  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 210
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 80
  • Fat (g): 9
  • Saturated Fat (g): 2
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 5
  • Cholesterol (mg): 80
  • Sodium (mg): 440
  • Carbohydrates (g): 2
  • Fiber (g): 1
  • Sugar (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 30


  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, then set a large wire rack on the sheet.
  • Combine the garlic, sage, thyme, fennel, 2 tsp. salt, and 2 tsp. pepper in a small bowl (or right on the cutting board).
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown on all sides, 10 to 12 minutes. (You may need to sear the tenderloins separately, depending on pan size.) Transfer to the rack on the baking sheet and let stand until cool enough to handle.
  • Meanwhile, spread half of the garlic-fennel mixture on a cutting board. Roll one of the tenderloins in the mixture (it won’t cover the pork completely), then return it to the rack on the baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the garlic-fennel mixture and the other tenderloin. Scrape any remaining mixture from the board over the tenderloins, and press gently to adhere.
  • Roast until the pork registers 130°F to 135°F on an instant-read thermometer, about 15 minutes.
  • Transfer to the cutting board, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for 5 to 7 minutes. Slice and serve, sprinkled with the parsley, if you like. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


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Reviews (7 reviews)

  • Krispie | 03/26/2020

    I halved this recipe because there were just four of us. I didn’t have fresh sage (and wasn’t going to go out to find some due to the shelter in place). Dried sage worked great - I just used a teaspoon rather than a tablespoon. Everything else I followed to a “T”. This was extremely tasty. I would not up the spice amounts - I thought it had just the right amount of flavor while still allowing the perfectly cooked, moist tenderloin to shine though. I served with smashed redskins, broccoli and a salad. Excellent weeknight dinner.

  • user-7158306 | 12/13/2019

    This is a great recipe. I have cooked it numerous times for different groups and everyone raves about it. About to cook it again for about 60 people tonight. I do add a bit more or each of the fresh herbs and the fennel powder. I have cooked it on a gas grill removing the tenderloins after browned a bit then add the herbs and return to grill to finish cooking. I have browned in skillet per recipe and I have cooked directly in oven(least favorite but easier!). As I said "Always a Hit with All".

  • SoniaCosgrove | 12/03/2019

    This recipe was excellent! Quick and easy to make - and the house smelled amazing while it was in the oven. The whole family enjoyed it which is a win for me. Will definitely make this again.
    *I did use cumin seed as an alternative to fennel as I did not have and unable to obtain fennel seed*

  • user-3827951 | 01/29/2019

    Excellent and easy recipe I recently prepared for dinner party. I browned the tenderloins, in advance, in a mixture of olive oil and an Italian herb butter I had in the freezer, adding even more flavour. The recommended cooking time worked well (though I may have added a few minutes in the oven while attending to another dish) with the meat a perfect pink and juicy. I served it with a smokey chipotle red pepper jelly if someone wanted a condiment with this dish. A perfect match. I accompanied with dish with FC Potato, Thyme & Olive Oil Gratin. I will definitely prepare this recipe for future dinner parties!

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