Balsamic Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Grapes

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

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.

Sliced pork tenderloin on a cutting board

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

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Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 20 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.

Ingredients

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

Instructions

1

Preheat the oven to 500F. Combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, red wine, brown sugar, all but 2 teaspoons of the thyme leaves, 2 ½ teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper in a large measuring cup. Place the pork on an 18-inch sheet pan, scatter the grapes evenly around, and 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.

2

Roast the pork for 15-20 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the tenderloin registers 145F. Check the oven periodically to ensure the marinade isn’t burning- if it is, just add a splash of water to the sheet pan.

3

Transfer pork to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes. When ready to serve, slice the tenderloin crosswise against the grain and scatter the fresh thyme leaves on top. Serve with roasted grapes, spooning any additional sauce on top.

Nutrition

  • 477 Calories

Notes

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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