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This Instant Pot pork tenderloin recipe yields juicy tender pork medallions smothered with tangy balsamic apple sauce!
Searing the meat before pressure cooking adds a ton of flavor. And to ensure juicy tender pork tenderloin, pressure cook the meat on low setting and make sure to naturally release the pressure for at least 15 minutes.
Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Apple Sauce
- 1 lb pork tenderloin, Note 1
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 apples, peeled, quartered and cored (Note 2)
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Instant Pot
- Set the Instant Pot to Sauté.
- Meanwhile, remove silver skin from pork tenderloin using a sharp pairing knife. Rub the seasoning and salt all over the meat.
- To sear pork tenderloin, when the display on Instant Pot reads “HOT”, add olive oil and heat it.
- Once oil is hot, add pork tenderloin and brown on all sides until nice and golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Remove the brown pork tenderloin onto a clean plate.
- To pressure cook pork tenderloin, add chicken stock, and deglaze the pan with a wooden spoon. (This is an important step to avoid "burn" notice.)
- Add apples, vinegar, sugar and garlic into the pot.
- Place the seared pork tenderloin on top.
- Close the lid and make sure the valve is set to “sealing”. Hit Cancel to turn off "saute" function.
- Set the Instant Pot to Pressure Cook/Manual for 5 minutes on low setting. (NOTE: It took 4 minutes for my IP to come to pressure.)
- Once the time is up, allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes, and then carefully turn the valve to venting. Once the pin drops, carefully open the lid.
- Transfer the pork tenderloin onto a cutting board. Cover and rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
- To thicken the sauce, set the Instant Pot to Sauté and mash the apples with a potato masher. Bring it to a boil.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water.
- Once the sauce comes to a boil, add cornstarch slurry and cook until the sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes. Pour the sauce over sliced pork tenderloin and serve.
PORK TENDERLOIN VS PORK LOIN
First thing first, choose the right cut of meat! Pork tenderloin is not the same as pork loin.
And for this particular recipe, you can’t substitute pork loin for pork tenderloin, because pork loin takes way longer to cook.
For more details read my blog post about Pork loin vs. Pork tenderloin.
HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT PORK TENDERLOIN:
- Step 1. Remove silver skin from pork tenderloin using a sharp pairing knife and sear the pork in the Instant Pot.
- Step 2. Remove the pork, add liquid to deglaze the pot. Then add in the apples, remaining ingredients, and place the pork tenderloin back into the pot. Cook on low pressure. (For cooking times, see the recipe card above.)
- Step 3. Allow the pot to release pressure naturally for at least 15 minutes. Then remove the pork, mash the apples and thicken the sauce, if desired.
TIP: Pork tenderloin is a lean cut of meat that requires very little time to cook. That’s why it’s important to cook pork tenderloin on LOW pressure! If overcooked, pork tenderloin comes out tough and dry, and no one wants that!
Voila, there you have a delicious meal!
To maximize the flavor, we’ll sear the pork tenderloin, rubbed with Italian seasoning. If you don’t have Italian seasoning, any kind of poultry seasoning will work too.
To prevent the dreadful “BURN” notice, don’t forget to deglaze the pan after searing the pork tenderloin. Just pour the chicken stock and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
SECRET TO COOKING JUICY MEAT IN INSTANT POT
When cooking any kind of meat in Instant Pot, it’s important to release the pressure naturally, which simply means let the pot depressurize on its own.
You don’t need to do anything, but you can unplug it, if you want to.
I recommend at least 15 minutes of NPR (natural pressure release) for perfectly juicy and tender meat.
- Quick pressure release (QPR), or turning the valve to venting immediately after the cooking time is up, dries the meat out.
So if you ever noticed that your meat comes out dry when you cook it in Instant Pot, that’s the reason why! Always NPR for at least 15 minutes when cooking meat!
TIPS FOR DELICIOUS BALSAMIC APPLE SAUCE
The only way to make these pork medallions better is to smother them with flavorful balsamic apple sauce.
- Step 1. To thicken the sauce, set the Instant Pot to “sauté” and mash the apples with a potato masher. Bring it to a boil.
- Step 2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water.
- Step 3. Once the sauce comes to a boil, add the cornstarch slurry and cook until the sauce is thickened for about 5 minutes. Pour the sauce over sliced pork tenderloin and serve.
HOW TO STORE LEFTOVER INSTANT POT PORK TENDERLOIN
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
WHAT TO DO WITH LEFTOVERS AND REHEATING TIPS
As pork tenderloin is a lean meat, I recommend reheating the leftovers on a skillet.
- Simply preheat the skillet and then lightly fry the pork medallions on both sides. Then serve it with your favorite sides.
TIP: I don’t recommend microwaving this as it dries out the pork.
Here are a few side dish suggestions:
This recipe was originally published on April 23rd, 2019, and last updated on May 28th, 2020.