This succulent and tender sweet and spicy pork tenderloin has a BBQ flair and it is beyond fantastic.

When we ate this meal, I told my husband it was official: pork tenderloin is my favorite cut of meat ever. Which is why I have recipe upon recipe upon recipe for pork tenderloin residing here on this blog (and even one more on the docket coming up in the next few weeks).

I love that it cooks quickly but remains succulent and tender and lends itself well to any variety of flavors, not to mention that it is a leaner meat so is easier to keep lighter and healthier.

Thick slices of seasoned pork tenderloin on a white platter.

Just like the cookies, I figure I could try a 100 more variations of pork tenderloin and never tire of the journey.

This version is the first I’ve posted with a BBQ flair and it is beyond fantastic.

Slightly sweet and slightly spicy (we are talking very lightly spicy – nothing major to burn out the taste buds, I promise!), the pork benefits from a dry rub that also does double duty in the throw-together BBQ sauce topping the pork after roasting.

Slices of seasoned pork tenderloin on a white plate with a salad in the background.

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Sweet and Spicy Pork Tenderloin

4.46 stars (79 ratings)


  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 (12-16 ounces each) pork tenderloins, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sugar


  • Adjust an oven rack to middle position and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Pat the pork tenderloin dry with a paper towel. In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the spice mixture and use the rest to rub over the pork tenderloin on all sides.
  • In a large 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until it is rippling and hot. Add the pork tenderloins in a single layer and cook the pork until browned on all sides, 5-7 minutes total (flipping as needed). Transfer the pork to an aluminum-foil lined baking pan and bake until the meat registers 140 degrees at the thickest part, about 15-18 minutes. Transfer the pork to a platter or plate and tent with foil, letting it rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
  • In a bowl, combine the reserved spice mixture, ketchup, vinegar and sugar and brush over the cooked pork. Slice the pork and serve.
Serving: 1 Serving, Calories: 215kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 30g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 92mg, Sodium: 596mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g

Recipe Source: from Cook’s Country April/May 2012