Spice-rubbed pork tenderloin roast becomes a second meal of tacos.

Spice-rubbed pork tenderloin roast becomes a second meal of tacos. Credit: Marge Perry

Clever you, planning ahead. With very little work or time, you’ll have this smoky, sweet, and oh-so-savory pork tenderloin for dinner one night — and crowd-pleasing tacos for another night. All you have to do is combine a bunch of dried herbs and spices in a bowl with a touch of brown sugar, rub it on the surface of the tenderloins, and roast them in the oven for 22 to 27 minutes. (It depends on the girth of your particular loins.) And if you want to take your multi-tasking to the next level, throw some broccoli tossed in a little olive oil on the sheet pan at the same time, and you’ve got tonight’s vegetable taken care of, too.

Wrap the second tenderloin in plastic and stick it in the fridge: tomorrow (or the next day) cut it into strips. The easiest way to do this is to slice it across, then stack a few slices at a time and cut them in strips. Turning the entire tenderloin into strips this way will only take a few minutes.

Heat your favorite bottled salsa in a skillet, add the pork and cook until the meat is just warmed through. (Don’t overdo it: the pork dries out when cooked too long.) Serve the warm pork with a bunch of corn tortillas, sliced avocado, lime wedges, shredded lettuce, maybe some tomatoes tossed with onion and olive oil … and whatever else you like in your tacos. (I’ll always go for a dollop of sour cream.) And then gloat for a minute, because you cooked once — and got two great meals out of it. Clever, clever you.


1 tablespoon ancho chili powder

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon (pinch) ground allspice

2 pork tenderloins, about 2 1/2 pounds

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Coat a sheet pan with cooking spray.

2. Combine the ancho chili powder, brown sugar, salt, oregano, garlic powder, cumin, cinnamon, and allspice in a small bowl. Sprinkle the mixture over the entire surface of both tenderloins and pat lightly to help it adhere.

3. Roast the pork in the middle of the oven until an instant read meat thermometer inserted in the center of the thickest part registers 140 to 145 degrees, about 22 to 27 minutes.

4. Allow one tenderloin to rest 5 minutes before slicing. (Let the other cool completely before refrigerating.)

Makes 8 servings.


Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months