Sage Rubbed Pork Tenderloin will be your new favorite way to prepare this lean cut of pork.  Pork tenderloin is rubbed with sage and other spices, then roasted to juicy perfection. Pair with some of my fall-inspired side dishes.

A slice of roasted pork tenderloin that is coated in a sage rub.

This is the best and easiest pork tenderloin recipe that uses a rub on the pork rather than a marinade because it cuts down on the prep time. You can come home from work and get the tenderloin into the oven in the time it takes to preheat the oven.

The difference between pork tenderloin and pork loin

Pork tenderloin is longer and thinner than a pork loin. Tenderloin has barely any fat which does best with faster cooking and the loin has a thick cap of fat on top which can hold up to longer, slower cooking.

Tenderloin is the best lean cut of pork. It is the filet mignon of white meat because it is lean and roasts up really fast.

A pork tenderloin on a cutting board viewed from overheat with fresh sage leaves

Combination cooking method

The method that has worked for me for years is to sear the tenderloin in a skillet on the stove top then finish in the oven. Searing on the stove gives the pork a delicious crust and helps seal in the juices.

Pork tenderloin cooking time

The best way to make sure you don’t overcook this lean cut of meat (and it’s easy to do) is to use a meat thermometer (instant-read thermometer is best). 145°F/63°C is the ideal internal temperature to ensure the best result. 

It is advisable to remove the pork from the oven at 140°F/60°C as the meat needs to rest. Place tenderloin on a cutting board (lightly tented with foil) at room temperature for 10 minutes before slicing. In this time, it will continue to cook and it can quickly go from soft and juicy, to dry and tough.

Slicing a sage rubbed pork tenderloin

Best spice rub for pork

The seasonings are simply dried sage, garlic powder, salt and pepper. I always use fresh sage leaves in the fall and winter, but some fresh herbs don’t hold up to high temperature cooking and sage is one of them so I use dried for this spice rub.

I have to say that I think sage is my favorite herb. Of course in the summer, I say that basil is my favorite, so apparently  I change my mind with the seasons and that’s OK. In addition to sages earthy flavor, it is such a versatile herb.

I typically always use fresh garlic in my recipes, but again, when garlic is overcooked or cooked at high temperatures it can turn bitter. It is not advisable to use fresh garlic for this recipe.

Serving Sage Rubbed Pork Tenderloin

Pork tenderloin are perfect for dinner parties as you can make 2 or 3 depending on how many guests you have. In addition to preparing it simply spice rubbed, I also like Roasting with Balsamic Glaze, or cooking Pork in Apple and Ale Gravy.

I like to serve this sage rubbed pork tenderloin with a side of Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberry Glaze that is slightly sweet and tart and the glaze is also delicious on drizzled on the pork (see below).

Sliced of pork on a white plate with Brussels sprouts and a cranberry glaze

Another idea for a little sweet with your savory, and another delicious side option, is Indian Apple Chutney. Apples are a delicious paring with pork.

Pork tenderloin leftovers

If I have any leftovers, I like to slice the pork into half-inch slices and serve Pork & Cranberry Crostini. Great for the holidays and entertaining. 

If you’ve tried this Sage Rubbed Pork Tenderloin or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how it turned out in the comments below. I love to hear from my readers!

Yield: 6

Sage Rubbed Pork Tenderloin

A closeup of sliced pork tenderloin surrounded by fresh sage leaves

Pork tenderloin is rubbed with fresh sage and spices, then roasted to juicy perfection.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon dried sage
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pound (453 grams) pork tenderloin
  • 2 teaspoon vegetable oil


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F/225°C.
  2. Add the sage, garlic powder, salt and pepper to a bowl and mix well.
  3. Drizzle the tenderloin with oil and rub all over. Sprinkle the spice mix all over the pork and rub well with hands.
  4. Preheat a large cast iron skillet or oven-proof skillet on the stove over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add the pork and seer on each side for 3 minutes each.
  5. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast for 15-17 minutes until a meat thermometer measures 140°F/60°C. Remove from the oven and allow the pork to rest on a cutting board 10 minutes before slicing. The pork will continue to cook when it comes out of the oven and 145°F/63°C is the final temperature it needs to reach using a meat thermometer.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 93Total Fat 8gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 18mgSodium 541mgCarbohydrates 1gNet Carbohydrates 0gFiber 0gSugar 0gSugar Alcohols 0gProtein 5g

This nutrition calculation is provided by Nutronix that is only a guideline and not intended for any particular diet.