Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Cilantro Pesto has a lot of lively flavors along with the tender meat, for a perfect Father’s Day treat! Of course, you can make it any time you are ready for a good meal from the grill. Note the pork should marinate for an hour in addition to the prep time given. click here to jump down to the recipe.
Steak is the first thing that pops to mind when I think about a Father’s Day treat. But I like pork tenderloin just as much as a steak, and would be quite pleased to enjoy this Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Cilantro Pesto for my Father’s Day meal.
Pork tenderloin earns its name — tender meat that can be cut with a butter knife. The delicate flavors of the meat let a flavorful sauce like this cilantro pesto shine. Cilantro, lime and garlic combine for a bright and lively pesto that is perfect for pork. This pesto doesn’t have any nuts or dairy, if you happen to be avoiding either.
The simple marinade of olive oil, salt and garlic yields succulent meat. Our 11 year old skipped the pesto and love the simply prepared pork.
Couscous and a green salad are the perfect accompaniments to the grilled pork tenderloin with cilantro pesto. But you could certainly mix it up, maybe our sweet potatoes with cumin sage butter? Or does Dad have a favorite side dish you might serve along with this pork tenderloin?
Making Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Cilantro Pesto
This recipe is pretty easy, I have just a few things to point out. Pork tenderloin doesn’t need a long marinating time. An hour in the fridge plus about 20 minutes will work; though you could do 2 hours or a bit more marinating if you like.
I make the cilantro pesto in a food processor, but you could easily mix it together in a bowl by finely chopping the cilantro and garlic cloves.
You don’t want to overcook the pork! As noted in this blog post, 145 degrees internal temperature has been proven safe for pork tenderloin. A bit of pink is fine, in fact it is a good sign that you have tender and flavorful meat ready to eat.
Pairings for Pork Tenderloin with Cilantro Pesto
Wine is my beverage of choice, and that is what I served with I made this pork tenderloin with cilantro pesto. An aromatic white wine makes a good partner for the cilantro pesto. We enjoyed the pork with a Moscato Giallo from Northern Italy; it had a white pepper quality that made a great match for the pork. A Gewürztraminer could be a good choice here, or perhaps a Pinot Grigio.
But if Dad or others around your table prefer beer, have no fear. A good IPA style beer should pair nicely with this pork tenderloin with cilantro pesto. Whatever is in your glass, I hope that you have a wonderful Father’s Day!
Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Cilantro Pesto
Tender grilled pork tenderloin served with zesty cilantro pesto for a delicious summer main course.
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 40 mins
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Main
- Cuisine: American
- 2 pork tenderloins, about 2.5 lbs total
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1.5 tsp coarse salt — kosher or sea salt
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 cup cilantro
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- pinch red pepper flakes
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- oil spray
- Make the marinade: combine 4 tbsp olive oil, garlic powder and coarse salt in a bowl.
- Rinse and pat dry the pork tenderloins. Place the pork in a large sealable plastic bag, then pour in the marinade. Toss gently to coat, then place in refrigerator. Marinate refrigerated for 1 to 2 hours, then take the pork out refrigerator to marinate at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
- Make the cilantro pesto as the pork marinates. Combine the 2 garlic cloves, cilantro, lime juice, red pepper flakes and ⅓ cup olive oil in a food processor. Puree until the cilantro and garlic are finely chopped and everything is well mixed together. Transfer the pesto into a bowl for serving.
- Preheat a grill to medium high. Coat with oil spray. Shake the excess marinade from the pork, then place the pork on the grill. Grill covered for 8 minutes, then turn to grill for another 8 minutes.
- Check the pork for doneness after 16 minutes of grilling; it will take about 16 to 20 minutes depending on your grill and thickness of the pork. Pork tenderloin should be cooked to 145 degrees internal temperature; a bit of pink is fine.
- Let the pork rest for 5 minutes, then slice into ½ inch thick pieces. Plate several slices along with some cilantro pesto and enjoy!
Sunday Supper Father’s Day Menu Ideas
Sides Dad Will Love
- Best Dark and Stormy by Cricket’s Confections
- Spanish Cheese Plate by Caroline’s Cooking
Mains for the Main Man
- Blue Cheese Bacon Burger with Crispy Onions Strings by Confessions of a Cooking Diva
- Chicken Fajita Burgers by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Chili Cheese Omelet by Food Lust People Love
- Chinese Chicken Salad by Pies and Plots
- Cider Braised Pork Belly Tacos by Gourmet Everyday
- Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches by Soulfully Made
- Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Cilantro Pesto by Cooking Chat (you are here!)
- Jalapeno Cream Cheese Burger (The JCB) by This is How I Cook
- Korean BBQ Steak Bowls by Fantastical Sharing of Recipes
- Out of a Can Chili by Bottom Left of the Mitten
- Pork Chops With Brandied Cherries by Mysavoryspoon
Dad’s Favorite Desserts
- Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip Brownies by Desserts Required
- Chocolate Tofu Cupcakes by NinjaBaker.com
- Devil’s Food Strawberry Shortcake by The Freshman Cook
- Simple Fudgy Brownies by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Snickery Springform Cookie by What Smells So Good?
The Best Recipes You Need Now for Father’s Day by Sunday Supper Movement
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