This recipe for Instant Pot Tenderloin features a perfectly cooked, seasoned pork tenderloin served alongside a delicious sweet potato puree for a flavorful all-in-one meal.
Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin
Pork tenderloin is a lean cut of pork that when cooked with care, results in a buttery, melt-in-your-mouth cut of meat.
But because pork tenderloin is such a delicate cut of meat that can easily overcook, I was hesitant to try cooking it in the Instant Pot. After all, I love my recipes for Baked Pork Tenderloin and Grilled Pork Tenderloin--why mess with perfection?
But after many requests from YOU, I have perfected the timing for cooking pork tenderloin in the Instant Pot and the results are quite spectacular.
Seasoned with garlic and cooked in apple cider, the pork tenderloin absorbs so much flavor, while cooking to the perfect temperature.
And while delicious served as an entree all on its own, I love to cook apples and sweet potatoes along with the pork, which results in a delicious, easy, one-pot meal that everyone loves.
- Pork Tenderloin: Be sure to use pork tenderloin not pork loin. The typical size of pork tenderloin is between 1.25 and 1.5 pounds.
- Apple Cider: Apple cider or apple juice is the perfect cooking liquid for pork tenderloin. It will help to season and sweeten the pork. Just be sure to NOT use apple cider vinegar--vinegar would ruin this meal.
- Garlic and Onions: For additional flavor and savoriness to the overall dish.
- Sweet Potato and Apple Mash: This is completely optional, but does make for a nice all-in-one meal. Just be sure to use an apple variety that holds up well to cooking like Gala, Honeycrisp, or Granny Smith.
How To Make Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin
- Turn the Instant Pot to Saute, add in oil, and let heat for 2-3 minutes.
- While the Instant Pot is heating, trim the silverskin if necessary from the pork and season liberally with salt and pepper.
- Once the Instant Pot is heated, add the seasoned pork to the inner pot and sear the pork on each side, 2-3 minutes per side, or until just golden.
- Remove the pork tenderloin to a plate. Turn the the Instant Pot OFF.
- Add in the apple juice to the inner pot and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom. This will prevent a burn notice.
- Add in the cubed sweet potatoes, apples, and onions to the inner pot, if using.
- Nestle the seared pork on top of the potatoes or in the apple juice.
- Place the lid on the inner pot and set the cooking time for 3 minutes on high pressure.
- Once the cooking time has elapsed, allow the pressure to release for 10 minutes. This will prevent the pork from being tough!
- Remove the pork tenderloin from the instant pot and place it on a cutting board to rest.
- Strain off the apples, sweet potatoes, and onions and place them into a blender or a large mixing bowl and add in ½ cup of the cooking liquid. Mash or blend to desired consistency, adding additional cooking liquid as needed.
Cooking Frozen Pork Tenderloin
You can prepare frozen pork tenderloin in the Instant Pot. There are just a few things to keep in mind.
- You will not be able to sear the pork, so the meat will be a bit more gray and soft after cooking.
- You will need to cook the frozen pork tenderloin for 12 minutes on high pressure instead of 3 minutes.
- Cut the sweet potatoes and apples into larger (2-inch) chunks to account for the longer cook time.
Yes! Simply omit the sweet potatoes, onions, and apples from the recipe. Season, sear, and cook the pork tenderloin in apple juice as the recipe states.
No. You can serve the sweet potatoes, apples, and onions on the side of the pork tenderloin. I just find that the mash is more kid-friendly.
Pork tenderloin is a very lean cut of meat and therefore only needs to be cooked in a couple of minutes. Cooking longer than the suggested times will result in an overcooked piece of meat that will likely be dry and tough. This method for cooking pork tenderloin at 3 minutes on high pressure will result in pork tenderloin at 150-155 degrees--which in my book is perfect. The pork tenderloin will be juicy, slightly pink, but warm all the way through.
Searing meat seals in the juices of the meat and gives the meat a bit of texture. It is not a necessary step, but it will elevate the flavor of the pork tenderloin, significantly. If you opt to skip searing the pork, cook for 4 minutes on high pressure.
I recommend storing any leftover pork tenderloin in a sealed airtight container for up to 3 days. Store leftover sweet potato mash in a separate airtight container for up to 3 days as well.
YES! If you would like to prepare 2 pork tenderloins instead of just 1, simply sear both tenderloins in batches and cook on high pressure for 3 minutes as instructed. If you would like to double the sweet potato and apple mixture, reduce the cooking time to 2 minutes to account for the extra time it will take for the Instant Pot to come to pressure.
More Instant Pot Pork Recipes
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Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin
- 1 ¼ pound pork tenderloin
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt divided
- 1 teaspoon pepper divided
- 2 teaspoons oil
- 1 cup apple cider or apple juice (NOT APPLE CIDER VINEGAR!!!!)
- 3 large sweet potatoes peeled and cubed into ½ inch cubes
- 1 large apple cubed
- 1 large sweet onion cubed
- 3 cloves garlic peeled
- Season pork tenderloin with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Turn the instant pot to saute function. Once the pressure cooker is heated, pour in 2 teaspoons oil. Sear tenderloin on each side until just browned--about 1 minute per side. Remove pork from the instant pot.
- Pour apple cider or juice into inner pot and scrape up any browned bits of bottom of instant pot.
- Add in diced sweet potatoes, onions, apples, garlic, and remaining salt and pepper. Place the pork tenderloin back into the pressure cooker on top of vegetables.
- Secure lid on instant pot and turn vent knob to sealed.
- Cook on high pressure:4 minutes for 165 degrees3 minutes for 155 degrees2 minutes for 145 degrees
- Allow pressure to release for 10 minutes and then do a quick release. Remove pork from instant pot and place on cutting board to slice.
- While pork is resting on cutting board, use a hand held-immersion blender or a potato masher, to combine the sweet potatoes, apples and onions until smooth. (Remove ½ cup cooking liquid if you would like a thicker mash.)
- Serve pork alongside the sweet potato apple puree.
- Sweet Potato Mash: There will be a lot of cooking liquid, feel free to remove ½ cup with a ladle or measuring cup before blending up the sweet potatoes and apples, for a thicker sweet potato mash. You can also opt to serve the apples, onions and sweet potatoes whole instead of serving it as a mash.
- Apple Cider: Feel free to use apple juice in place of apple cider. But DO NOT USE APPLE CIDER VINEGAR--this recipe is for apple cider or apple juice. Vinegar will ruin your dish.
- Pork Tenderloin without Sweet Potatoes and Apples: Sear the pork tenderloin as directed, and then add in apple cider to the Instant Pot and scrape up any browned bits from bottom of inner pot. Add in the onions and garlic and place tenderloin back in pressure cooker and cook as directed.
- Frozen Pork Tenderloin: skip Searing Pork Tenderloin and cook on high pressure for 12 minutes. If you want to add in sweet potatoes and apples, cut them into 2 inch chunks to account for the longer cook time.
This recipe was originally published in 2018 but was updated in 2021 with step-by-step process shots.