Balsamic Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Grapes

October 18, 2019

Doesn’t this sound nice? 

“Whisk together the marinade, pour it over the pork, pop it in the oven, wait for 20 minutes, dinner.”

Sounds like the way weeknight cooking should be.

I get it. You enjoy cooking, but that joy starts to wane after 3pm on a Wednesday.

Sometimes that joy turns into full-on resentment by the time you walk in your door at 6pm. 

This recipe seeks to preserve your love of cooking with a fast, straightforward process that yields a deceptively impressive result.

A simple balsamic/olive oil marinade, spiked with red wine and fresh thyme, flavors lean pork tenderloin and piles of red grapes.

Yes, grapes. 

Overhead view of sliced balsamic pork tenderloin with grapes on a sheet pan

Pork is commonly paired with a sweet counterpart- apples, cherries, apricots, peaches. Grapes are an elegant and easy option.

Grapes require no peeling or chopping, and they serve as an ideal cooking snack. 

As they roast alongside the pork, they soak up the vinegary marinade and turn into little pops of flavor that burst in your mouth.

Pretty fun for a Wednesday night, huh?

Let’s make balsamic pork tenderloin

I like to put all of the ingredients on a sheet pan, pour on the marinade, place it in the oven, and wish it well. 

Balsamic and olive oil marinade getting poured over pork tenderloin

If you’d like the grapes to retain more of their beautiful color, add them to the sheet pan halfway through cooking time. They won’t soak up as much of the marinade, but the dish will be more attractive. 

Cooking dinner on a weeknight in my maroon sweatpants and bunny socks, I don’t care about anything looking attractive.

A fork lifting one piece of balsamic pork tenderloin.

I use Rachel Ray‘s method of cooking pork tenderloin- hot and fast in a 500 degree oven. If you’re worried about burning the marinade, check on the pork halfway through. Add a splash of water to the pan if you see anything smoking.

Try this with other ingredient combinations depending on what’s around. Try chicken instead of pork, or fresh figs instead of grapes. 

Overhead view of sliced balsamic pork tenderloin with grapes on a sheet pan

Leftover balsamic pork tenderloin is wonderful tucked between two slices of sandwich bread, slicked with mayo and spiked with pickled jalapeño. 

Yes, this recipe involves leftovers too.

The only thing better than an easy recipe to restore your love of cooking is a fridge full of leftovers- so that you don’t have to cook tomorrow night. 

Doesn’t that sound nice?

Balsamic Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Grapes

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (8 votes, average: 4.38 out of 5)
Dinner American
By Samantha Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes

A fast recipe that yields an impressive result. A balsamic/olive oil marinade with red wine and fresh thyme seasons lean pork tenderloin and sweet red grapes.


  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 6-8 sprigs thyme, leaves stripped from stems (about 1 tablespoon)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lb pork tenderloin (about 2 tenderloins)
  • 3 cups seedless red grapes



Preheat the oven to 450F. Combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, red wine, Dijon mustard, brown sugar, all but 1 teaspoon of the thyme leaves, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper in a large measuring cup. Line a rimmed sheet pan (I use a 18 x 13in) with parchment or tin foil, place the pork on the sheet pan and scatter the grapes evenly around. Drizzle everything with the oil/vinegar mixture. Using your hands, toss everything in the marinade and rub it into the pork. Reserve the extra thyme leaves for serving.


Roast the pork for 18-24 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the tenderloin registers 145F (be sure to check it in several spots). Check the oven periodically to ensure the marinade isn’t burning- if it is, just add a splash of water to the sheet pan.


Transfer pork to a cutting board and let rest 5-10 minutes. When ready to serve, slice the tenderloin crosswise against the grain into 1/2 inch pieces. Serve with roasted grapes, spooning any additional sauce on top and scattering the fresh thyme leaves over everything.


  • 477 Calories


Try this with pitted cherries in the summer or fresh figs in the fall. Grapes are a great year-round option. You can also make this with chicken or turkey breast instead, just increase the cooking time to 25-30 minutes total. If you're making this without the grapes, you can roast it in a 9x12 baking dish instead. That'll preserve more sauce and you won't have to worry about the grapes getting soggy. You may need to increase the cooking time. Pair this with the red wine you're cooking with! Try a dry red with medium tannins and little to no oak, such as Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese (the main grape in Chianti), and lighter-style Cabernets. Don't splurge on the bottle here, go for younger wines with lively fruit notes.

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