Ok so I’m SO EXCITED to have this brown sugar spiced pork tenderloin in my rotation.  And that seems like I’m just trying to be dramatic because that’s what we do. But when meals and goals are built around a good lean protein and you find a new one– it’s GOLDEN.  This is so good and SO EASY! So much easier than grilling tons of chicken tenderloins which is my lot in life. And I’ve learned I’m absolutely herb-obsessed… so topped with some zesty lightened up chimichurri and this meal is HEAVEN.

Brown Sugar Garlic crusted Pork Tenderloin #macrofriendly #healthy #light #skinny www.lillieeatsandtells.com

We go thru pork tenderloin like water over here.  But we’re usually using it for some shredded meat in the instant pot like this barbecue pulled pork, or my favorite carnitas, or this shredded Greek pork! All three are on CONSTANT rotation over here.  But I’d totally been missing out on a good old sliced pork tenderloin!

I tend to avoid the more classic plated dinners… like sometimes they remind me too much of a Jenny Craig sensible and I’m like eh. But I’ve gotten really into a more traditional meal on Sundays — and I can ALWAYS use new ways to make lean meats interesting. This was inspired by one of our favorite FLANK steak recipes EVER from How Sweet Eats. And SO easy.  Whip up a quick rub/marinade… coat the tenderloins and let it marinate for a few…then throw them on the grill for 15 minutes — just long enough to make your quick light chimichurri, throw together a great salad, and slice some French or crusty bread to grill right when the pork’s done. Pretty much my Sunday dinner formula.

Brown Sugar Garlic crusted Pork Tenderloin #macrofriendly #healthy #light #skinny www.lillieeatsandtells.com


Brown Sugar Garlic crusted Pork Tenderloin #macrofriendly #healthy #light #skinny www.lillieeatsandtells.com

Brown Sugar Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Chimichurri

The easiest way to have delicious LEAN protein grilled up quickly for the whole family! This will be a new favorite for us…
5 from 40 votes
Author Lillie
Course Pork
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 -8
Calories 207 kcal


For the Pork:

  • 2.5 lb pork tenderloin only 2.5 g fat for a 4 oz portion- I always get mine from Costco
  • 6 cloves garlic or my favorite frozen dorot cubes
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

For the Light Cilantro Basil Chimichurri:

  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic frozen dorot cubes
  • 1/2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes


  • Trim fat off of pork tenderloins. I like to rinse mine, and pat dry.
  • Mix all of the other ingredients for the pork rub rub. It will make a thick marinade.
  • Using a spoon (or ziplock bags on your hands!) rub the marinade all over the two tenderloins. You can cover, and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight— OR just leave on the counter like I did for 15-30 minutes before grilling.  Always best to let it come to room temp before grilling.
  • Heat grill to pretty high heat.
  • Spray grill carefully with cooking spray.
  • Sprinkle tenderloins with additional kosher salt and pepper (not listed) and place on grill. Sear for about 2-3 minutes per side over the high heat, and then turn down to medium, and cover. Cook for about 15-17 minutes TOTAL, including searing time, rotating every 5 minutes or so.  If you have a meat thermometer, internal temp should be about 140.
  • Let rest for 10 minutes, tented with foil before slicing in!
  • Pulse all chimichurri ingredients in a mini food processor or blender… it’s not as pretty without loads of olive oil, but the taste was still incredible with the pork!*


  • If I have guests, (or for my chimichurri loving daughters) I’ll make this chimichurri, and then split it in half and whisk additional olive oil into one jar for anyone who’s not watching their fats.  My macros are calculated for it without of course, but as long as you section some off, you can just weigh your portion from that batch!
  • If you count macros, you can search “Lillie Eats and Tells Brown Sugar Spiced Pork” and “Lillie Eats and Tells Light Cilantro Basil Chimichurri” in My Fitness Pal and log the amount you take AFTER it’s cooked and prepared. You don’t have to worry about the raw ingredients etc!


Serving: 100g pork with 30 g chimiCalories: 207kcalCarbohydrates: 8.7gProtein: 28.2gFat: 6.2gSaturated Fat: 1.6g
Keywords brown sugar, chimichurri, grill, pork, tenderloin

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About the Author

Hello. My name is Lillie. I’m not a registered dietitian, or a macro coach, or a public figure or culinary genius. I’m a mommy of four who FOUND macro-counting and fell in love with this balanced approach to food...

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    My husband and I like to say we are amateur foodies. This is the first recipe in years he has spoken so highly of. Said he’d pay $40 to eat this at a restaurant. This recipe is definitely a keeper! I didn’t think I could like pork tenderloin until I tried this

  2. Hi Lillie! Any recommendations for an alternative to white balsamic vinegar? I only have regular balsamic and would love to make this. Thank you!

    1. Same here! I just used the regular stuff and it turned out just fine. It just a bit darker color than the white would have.

  3. 5 stars
    This is a Sunday night dinner staple for us! The pork marinade and chimichurri are so delicious! I love making extra to have on hand for lunch the next few days! My kids even love this meal!

  4. We just finished eating this and it was so delicious I can’t get over how quick and easy it was to cook. I marinated for only an hour and skipped the sauce because I forgot about it. The flavor was great. My kids appreciated the peach suggestion. Thank you so much!

  5. 5 stars
    I am not a big fan of pork, but WOW…this turned out perfectly. Not only did it have great flavor, but it was grilled perfectly following Lillie’s directions. Another Lillie hit!

  6. 5 stars
    We love all your pork tenderloin recipes! But, this one may be the new fave. Soooo good! Worth the effort to zest and juice😉

  7. 5 stars
    Made a double batch of this last night and it is already almost gone. It’s so easy, uses stuff you probably already have in the pantry, and is so versatile. I am hoarding the precious leftovers for a crunchwrap later!

  8. 5 stars
    Lillie does it again with another easy but ouTstanding meal. We had a favoritE pork tenderloin recipe before but this bleW it Away. I always make this for company in the sUmmer and eVeryone loves it.

  9. 5 stars
    This is a family favorite! The flaVor is amazing. I make a double batch to ensure plenty of leftovers. Super easy and in the weekly rotation.

  10. 5 stars

  11. 5 stars
    Soooo yummy! I thought i wasn’T a big faN of pork tenderloin buUuut turns out i just never made a tasty recipe with it! My husBaNd and i loved it and That chimichurri is drool worthy! Super grateful i found this recIpe

  12. Sooooo good!! I always make several at a time, slice it up and freeze it in portion size packages. So good with stir-fried veggies and rice or cauliflower rice, but even better on a toasted brioche bun with pickled veggies and some sriracha Mayo!

  13. 5 stars
    I had never cooked a pork tenderloin before and now I make this recipe once a week! It’s so good for dinner and just as good left over on a salad for lunch!

  14. 5 stars
    This has been a frequent go-to recipe for my family for months! My husband and kids all love it and it’s perfect for my meal prep! I change up the sides but serve the pork about every other week.

  15. 5 stars
    This is my husband and my ALL TIME FAVORITE RECIPE!!!! It is so delicious! We make it at least once a week! I have also used the left overs to make an arugula salad with green apple, green onion, goat cheese and some croutons and it’s amazing!

  16. 5 stars
    I can’t count the number of times I’ve made this. It’s easy and I usually have everything already on hand, it’s delicious and flavorful, and everyone in my house loves it! Thanks Lillie for making another fabulous recipe!

  17. 5 stars
    This is by far my fav pork tenderloin recipe! I make this for my extended family lots and they rave! I pair this with her smashed potatoes and homemade chimichurri! What a crowd pleaser!

  18. 5 stars
    I just made this for the first time this past Sunday. Everyone loved it and it was so easy! My husband told me to save the recipe, print it out, laminate it and stick it in my wallet. 😆

    Thank you for sharing it!

    Oh, and the chimichurri was also great with the golden mashed potatoes I served with this! Yum.

  19. 5 stars
    This is an awesome easy recipe for some delicious and juicy pork tenderloin! It’s definitely my family’s go to meal! We love to eat it with some sweet jasmine rice!

  20. 5 stars
    This recipe is our go to on Sunday’s or when we’re entertaining. It is so easy to make but, oh wow, is it delicious!!! Every person in my family loves it, including my picky 6 year old.

  21. 5 stars
    I wish I could give this recipe more than 5 stars. I’ve made this about 10 times so far. Everyone I feed it to can’t get enough. It’s perfect for a casual dinner party, it’s perfect for a bbq, it’s great for a simple family dinner. You’ll wish you tripled the recipe. I personally don’t need the sauce to go with it, it’s perfect on its own. My favorite ONE recipe.

  22. 5 stars
    If there was a way to give 10 stars I would. Seriously one of the easiest recipes and always turns out great! Used it to make a great salad for my family and my dad was taking notes at the end. (Biggest honor for my cooking!) thanks Lillie for making me look so good!

  23. 5 stars
    I LOVE this recipe, it’s so good and I’ve never really liked sliced pork tenderloin (only pulled pork in the crockpot). It’s so easy to make a large batch of the pork on Sunday for the week, but also impresses guests when we have people over and grill. Thanks Lillie!

  24. 5 stars
    This is so, so good! I hardly ever made pork until I came across Lillie’s recipes. This is a favorite of mine and my husbands! The chimchurri is also amazing!

  25. 5 stars
    Okay so not only is this recipe amazing and makes the best pork tenderloin that works on everything from a stand alone meal, to sandwiches, to tacos, it’s also super easy to make. I have also use the marinade on chicken tenderloins and it’s fabulous on there as well. I love how flavorful it is without making you feel guilty like using a sugar laden store bought marinade. Do yourself a favor and make this.

  26. 5 stars
    I only had balsamic vinegar not white but still turned out amazing! The sauce is to die for! Pork came out juicy and tender. I would highly recommend! Will put this in my weekly rotation for sure!

  27. 5 stars
    By far this was the BEST pork tenderloin I’ve ever made! My chimichurri was to thin but LOVE this recipe!

  28. I made it in my air fryer and it turned out perfect! Juicy with some crispy bits from the air fryer. I did it on 350 for 30 mins. Loved it!

  29. This is one of my favorite meals! the best part for me is that everyone in the family likes it too! I’ve yet to make the chimmichuri sauce, But the meat alone is so delicious!

  30. I made the sauce that you said to go with it and mine is superrrr liquidy! Is there a way to fix that? Do you chop up the cilantro and basil and measure it that way or do you just do the leaves?

    1. I just cut off a huge chunk, not careful to skip stems of cilantro, and shove it into a measuring cup… or the truth is I eyeball it and add more if I want more! And pulse so it’s not totally blended. But if it’s too runny, add more herbs! … also if you search for the smashed potato recipe, I have a slight variation where I add greek yogurt to thicken it a little without added fat… love that too.

  31. I made this today in the air fryer. I cooked it for 30 minutes at 360. It was so delicious, even before adding the Chimichurri

    1. It would definitely be a whole different kind of meat done in the instant pot, but sure! I usually do my pork in there for about 40 minutes.

    1. A grill pan! But in a pinch, i’d just use a skillet… as long as you’ve got hot, direct heat, you’ll replicate it fine. Grill marks are pretty but it’s good either way! But this one could also be seared and then finished in the oven for 25 minutes or so…

    1. So delicious! We made smashed potatoes with it and the sauce was so good on everything. By far the best tenderloin we have ever made 😊

    1. So glad you guys are loving it too! I keep wondering when I’m gonna branch out again on a Sunday but it’s really working for us right now…