Harissa-Honey Pork Tenderloin Recipe (2024)

By Ali Slagle

Updated Oct. 11, 2023

Harissa-Honey Pork Tenderloin Recipe (1)

Total Time
35 minutes
Prep Time
5 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes, plus 10 minutes resting
Read community notes

For juicy pork tenderloin with a sweet, smoky and spicy glaze, coat it with honey and harissa before searing and roasting it. The two-ingredient coating caramelizes and chars in spots, developing a sticky glaze that’s much more complex than the work that went into it. Because pork tenderloin is such a lean meat, it’s easy to overcook, despite good instructions and intentions. If you find the sliced pork is not as juicy as you’d like, stir together a little more harissa and honey and spoon it on top. Eat the pork with yogurt sauce or a juicy citrus or tomato salad.

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Yield:2 to 3 servings

  • ¼cup harissa paste or 1 teaspoon harissa spice powder
  • 2tablespoons honey
  • 1pork tenderloin (1 to 1¼ pounds), silver skin removed, meat halved crosswise and patted dry
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2teaspoons neutral oil, such as grapeseed or canola

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (3 servings)

222 calories; 9 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 5 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 13 grams carbohydrates; 0 grams dietary fiber; 12 grams sugars; 25 grams protein; 352 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Harissa-Honey Pork Tenderloin Recipe (2)


  1. Step


    Heat the oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, stir together the harissa and honey. On a plate, season the pork all over with salt and pepper (about 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt or ½ teaspoon fine sea salt). Rub a thin layer of the harissa-honey mixture all over the pork and reserve the rest.

  2. Step


    Heat the oil in a medium ovenproof skillet over medium-high. Add the pork and cook until very browned on two sides, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Decrease the heat if the pork is burning; hold onto the plate.

  3. Step


    Turn off the heat and return the pork to the plate. Rub the pork all over with the remaining harissa-honey mixture. Remove any burnt bits from the skillet, then return the pork to the skillet and roast until a thermometer in the thickest part registers between 140 and 145 degrees, 8 to 12 minutes. (The thinner, tapered piece of meat may be ready first, so check both pieces and remove them as they’re done.)

  4. Step


    Transfer to a cutting board to rest at least 10 minutes (the meat’s internal temperature will continue to climb), then slice and serve with the juices poured over.



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Cooking Notes


Great method, the pork was very tender and moist! We substituted garlic instead of harissa so it was more kid-friendly, and it was very delish. Can't wait to try it with harissa as well!My only note--it wasn't completely clear to me which way to cook it in step 2 vs step 3. But I went with browning it on the stove for 2-4 mins each side, re-seasoning, and then putting it in the oven to roast for 8-12 mins. I think that's what's intended in the recipe, and it worked perfectly!


Turn the oven up to 425 and skip the stove top browning.


I don't usually like pork, but this was perfect. So juicy and flavorful. I followed the recipe exactly, except used maple syrup instead of honey, because that's all I had. I served it with basmati rice and a sauce of yogurt, sumac, lime and mint. It was an amazing weeknight dinner. Will definitely make again.


Very good. I was lazy and didn’t sear, slathered on harissa and put straight into oven, cooked to 138. Covered on cutting board with foil for 10-15 mins. Tender and juicy with a nice flavor.


Great weeknight main. Perfect as is and so fast.


too sweet for me


I too was lazy and did not sear the pork. It still was juicy, tender, and bursting with flavor. It's amazing how much flavor comes from just the harissa and honey. Delish.


yum! the sweet-salty-hot combination is scrumptious


This totally doesn't work at 6000 feet elevation. It also doesn't work with harissa powder and a really sticky honey. How in the world does it spread? My cooking time took 17 minutes to get to 140 degrees.


liquify the honey and spice powder in your microwave first - about 20 seconds. Pour over the pork, twirl the pork in the hot honey sauce.


Honestly pretty bland using New York shun Harissa (their spicy version) might be better to use powder.


My harissa doesn’t have coriander nor garlic. So I added a teaspoon of coriander powder and grated garlic. Delicious especially with the garlic sauce recommended.


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quick, easy, delicious. definite keeper! Made the tomato salad and the yogurt sauce; a little naan. Used harissa powder. Cut the recipe to serve two- worked perfectly.


This was great! I had my doubts about using harissa since I wasn't sure of our guests' tastes, but it was perfect. I would not hesitate to add a bit of mashed or finely chopped garlic in addition, next time, and like other commenters, felt that this recipe lends itself to adaptation (maple syrup instead of honey, mayonnaise--which makes a great coating for roasting food--and so on). Some of us drank red wine (dornfelder), some drank riesling, as an accompaniment, and everyone was happy.

Dan Urbach

Really good. I added about 1/4 cup mayo and grilled it over low temp with sear at the end. It was moist and tasted great


I don't usually like pork, but this was perfect. So juicy and flavorful. I followed the recipe exactly, except used maple syrup instead of honey, because that's all I had. I served it with basmati rice and a sauce of yogurt, sumac, lime and mint. It was an amazing weeknight dinner. Will definitely make again.


Careful not to overcook in the oven


The harrisa/honey sauce motivated me to jump into this recipe, reading other’s notes, I changed the cooking procedure a bit,. The browned meat was transferred to a sheet pan, given it’s final cost of sauce, then sent to oven to finish cooking.I used the original pan, with the browning bits, to quickly sauté some cut up bell peppers. Yummy!!A definite repeat.


Very good. I was lazy and didn’t sear, slathered on harissa and put straight into oven, cooked to 138. Covered on cutting board with foil for 10-15 mins. Tender and juicy with a nice flavor.

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Harissa-Honey Pork Tenderloin Recipe (2024)


Is it better to sear pork tenderloin before roasting? ›

Sear + Roast

This cooking method is a surefire way to make moist and juicy pork tenderloin without much fuss. Searing the meat first gives it that golden-brown crust before a quick roast in the oven finishes it off. It's an easy, crowd-pleasing meal for any night of the week.

Is it better to cook pork tenderloin fast or slow? ›

The size and structure of a tenderloin make it perfect for cooking quickly on high heat. You want to be able to brown the outside while still keeping it a little pink on the inside.

How do you cook a pork tenderloin without drying out? ›

Pork tenderloin should be cooked for a short time in a hot oven to prevent it from drying out. Bake pork tenderloin in a 400-degree Fahrenheit oven for 20-25 minutes. The exact cooking time will depend on the size of the tenderloins and how long you seared them.

Does cooking pork tenderloin longer make it tender? ›

At 400 degrees F, a 1-pound pork tenderloin will cook in 8 to 10 minutes after being seared on the stove. Unlike tough, fatty cuts of meat (like the shoulder used for Slow Cooker Pulled Pork), leaner cuts like pork tenderloin do not become more tender the longer they cook.

Is it necessary to brown pork tenderloin before baking? ›

This baked pork tenderloin recipe is perfectly juicy and melt-in-your-mouth tender. No searing is required, so it's fast and has minimal prep! It's ready in just over 30 minutes.

Do you season pork before or after searing? ›

Season with salt and pepper: Just before cooking, sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper. Wait to do this until you're ready to actually put the meat in the pan, otherwise the salt draws moisture out of the meat and you'll need to pat it dry again.

What is the secret to tender pork loin? ›

If you're not confident in your cooking skills, there is one foolproof way to guarantee your pork ends up on the tender side, even if you cook it too long: Soak it in a brine or a marinade. According to Hazel, these kinds of preparations always produce the most tender outcomes.

Is it better to cook a pork loin at 350 or 400? ›

Doing this will help the pork loin from becoming dry and tough. First, wait until your oven is preheated. Once your oven is at 400° F place the loin inside and cook for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes take the loin out and lower the oven temperature to 350 ° F and cook the loin for another 20 minutes per pound of meat.

How long to cook a 2 pound pork tenderloin in oven at 350? ›

How long to cook pork tenderloin in oven at 350? Cooking pork tenderloin in the oven at 350°F typically takes about 25-30 minutes per pound.

Is it better to cook pork tenderloin covered or uncovered? ›

We recommend that you keep the BBQ LID CLOSED while grilling pork tenderloin, but this is optional or personal preference. Grill pork tenderloin on the barbecue for approximately 4 MINUTES AND 30 SECONDS A SIDE (15 minutes in total). Remember pork tenderloins have “three” sides.

Should you wash pork tenderloin before cooking? ›

Washing beef, pork, lamb, or veal before cooking it is not recommended. Bacteria in raw meat and poultry juices can be spread to other foods, utensils, and surfaces. We call this cross-contamination. Some consumers think they are removing bacteria and making their meat or poultry safe.

Do you take pork tenderloin out of fridge before cooking? ›

Meat juices inside can not react when we cook cold meat. We need room temperature for a juicy and tender steak. If you want to cook a tasty, delicious pork tenderloin in your oven, keeping all the flavors, you need to take it out of the refrigerator one hour before.

How long should tenderloin sit out before cooking? ›

Once thawed, remove your roast from the refrigerator at least one hour (but not more than two hours) before cooking to allow the roast to come to room temperature. Season your Beef Tenderloin Roast well.

What is the difference between a pork loin and a pork tenderloin? ›

While pork loin offers a larger size, robust flavor, and versatility in cooking methods, pork tenderloin boasts tenderness, lean meat, and a milder taste.

What is the best temperature to cook pork tenderloin? ›

Brush the pork tenderloin with additional marinade, then bake in a preheated oven at 425°F for about 15-20 minutes, until the pork reaches a temperature of 145°F, then remove it from the oven. Cooking the pork tenderloin at the high temperature of 425 degrees F helps it cook quickly and prevents it from drying out.

How long should you sear pork loin before roasting? ›

You will first sear for a few minutes per side, then roast in the oven. 375℉ – Sear for 6-8 minutes; Oven roast for 20-23 minutes. 400℉ – Sear for 6-8 minutes; Oven roast for 18-20 minutes.

Should you sear tenderloin before cooking? ›

Should you sear beef tenderloin before cooking it? If roasting a tenderloin in the oven, you'll definitely want to sear it to get a golden brown crust. It doesn't take very long, and is so worth the effort.

Is it better to sear before or after roasting? ›

It's not really necessary to sear your roast before cooking, but caramelizing the surface gives the cut an incredible depth of flavor, enhanced with the complex layers of nutty caramel and coffee-like bitterness that meat-lovers find delicious.

Why sear pork tenderloin? ›

Pan searing is my favorite way to cook pork tenderloin to keep it from drying out. I've included a link to my recipe for Seasoned Salt, which made a great, flavorful rub, or you can use your favorite pork seasonings.

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