Try a grilled tenderloin for dinner with cherry sauce for an easy weeknight meal and one that will also impress when entertaining. Fresh or Frozen cherries add sweetness to a savory sauce that’s the perfect accompaniment for a baked or grilled pork tenderloin.
When I feel like I just can’t eat any more chicken, I turn to a grilled tenderloin with a savory cherry sauce. I have a friend who raises free range pigs at Two Boys Pork in North Carolina, and I’m lucky enough to get the most delicious pork. You’ve got to check out his YouTube channel or Facebook page, for some great videos.
Otherwise, pork tenderloin comes in a package of two with each weighing about a pound and a half. You’ll have enough sauce for both tenderloins in this recipe, it makes great leftovers. The tenderloin is one of the most tender cuts of pork and cooks in about 25 minutes making it a great choice for busy weeknights.
A grilled pork tenderloin with this impressive cherry sauce is also a great dish to make for guests. When it’s 94º outside, it’s nice if you don’t have to turn on the oven. Another reason to give this a try is that you can make the sauce in advance, so while the pork is cooking you can put your feet up. Mike always does the grilling for me, so I just hand him the pork and marinade and I’m done.
Why you’ll love it
- Pork tenderloin is a delicious, inexpensive cut of meat and is but delicious on the grill.
- The sweet and savory cherry sauce is the surprising win in this recipe – it’s easy to prepare and the natural sweetness of the cherries keeps the pork tender and flavorful.
- This meal comes together in under 30 minutes!
How do you bake a pork tenderloin
If you don’t want to grill the pork you can cook it in the oven at 425º for about 10-15 minutes until a meat thermometer reads 145º.
We don’t see cherry trees in the Carolinas, they grow mostly in Michigan, Wisconsin and on the West coast, but we still can find fresh cherries in the grocery. Cherries won’t ripen off the tree but they seem to travel well.
If you can’t find fresh or don’t feel like pitting them, frozen cherries will work perfectly in this homemade cherry sauce. Cherries freeze so well and don’t seem to loose any of their flavor.
The sauce is a little spicy which you can adjust, but I think you’ll like the sweet and savory combination. The deep rich cherry sauce is amazing served over tender pork.
You’ll use some of the glaze to brush over the pork while it’s cooking so that the cherry flavor is infused into the meat a bit. The sauce is then spread on top of the finished product for a beautiful presentation and mouthwatering dish.
What you’ll need
- Cherry preserves
- Balsamic vinegar
- Fresh/frozen cherries
- Pork tenderloin – this makes enough sauce for two tenderloins
- Spice mix – cayenne pepper and allspice
Pro Tip: If you’re in a pinch and don’t have a cherry picker, you can place a cherry on the top of a wine bottle and use a chop stick to push the pit into the bottle.
How do you make a grilled tenderloin with cherry sauce
For the glaze, combine cherry preserves, vinegar and allspice
In a skillet sauté onions and add fresh cherries, cayenne, and ¼ cup of the glaze. Cook until the cherries have softened and the mixture has thickened.
Puree the sauce with an emersion blender, or in a food processor, and keep warm while the pork is cooking.
Brush the glaze over the tenderloins and grill over direct heat to brown, then remove to indirect heat and continue to cook until a meat thermometer reads 145º.
Serve with the warmed cherry mixture.
Whether you have fresh cherries or have to resort to frozen, this sauce creates a company worthy dinner. Make the sauce ahead of time and you’ll be set for a stress free evening.
What to serve with pork tenderloin
Add some yeast rolls and a side and you’ve got a perfect dinner. If you’d like some greens, green beans with bacon and onions cooks up quickly, or be a little decadent and make the creamiest macaroni & cheese.
FAQs and tips
Whether you grill the meat or bake it, a meat thermometer should reach 145º.
The long, narrow, boneless cut of meat is a pork tenderloin and comes from the muscle that runs along the backbone. A pork loin larger and flatter.
Pork tenderloin is low fat with 120 calories and 3 grams of fat per serving.
Delicious sides you could serve with pork
More cherry recipes you’ll love
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Grilled Tenderloin with Cherry Sauce
- ¾ cup cherry preserves
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- ¾ teaspoon allspice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup onion finely chopped
- 2 cups fresh cherries 16 ounces, frozen cherries work as a substitute
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- 1 ¼ lb pork tenderloin
- Combine preserves, balsamic vinegar and allspice. Reserve ¼ cup.
- In a skillet over medium-high, heat oil. Add onion and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add cherries, cayenne, and ¼ cup of reserved glaze. Bring to a boil and cook until it thickens, about 8-10 minutes. Season with salt. With an immersion blender puree, or add to food processor and process so that there are no large chunks. Return to pan and keep warm while pork is cooking.
- Preheat grill to medium high. Salt and pepper pork and brush with some glaze. Grill over direct heat until browned. Move to cool side of grill and continue to cook until thermometer registers 140º to 145º, brushing with glaze several times throughout for about 25 minutes. Serve with cherry onion mixture.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- Use fresh or frozen cherries, if frozen, let them thaw first.
- This makes enough sauce for 2 tenderloins.
- If you want to cook this in the oven, cook at 425º for 10-15 minutes until meat thermometer registers 145º. The pork will continue to cook when removed from the heat.