This instant pot pork tenderloin has a delicious sweet and slightly tangy honey balsamic sauce that is irresistible. Make this recipe for an easy and healthy weeknight meal with some steamed veggies, over rice or even with potatoes. This dinner won’t take you a long time to cook but is tender as if it was made low and slow. Cook this tenderloin from fresh or frozen!
Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin With A Honey Balsamic Sauce Recipe
*This post is sponsored by the Ohio Pork Council, but all opinions are my own.
When I first got my Instant Pot, one of the first meals I made was this honey balsamic pork tenderloin. I wanted to try something I knew would be flavorful and tender, but if I’m being totally honest?
I also didn’t marinade anything ahead of time. Ever been there?
Don’t get me wrong, the right sweet-savory marinade can make a meal delicious… But sometimes? I just didn’t think far enough ahead.
Which is exactly where the combination of pressure cooking in the instant pot and creating this delicious light but the tasty sauce makes an extra delicious dinner recipe.
I actually made this recipe a couple of times to perfect it. The first time was too much garlic, the second time too tangy but the third time? I got the ratios just right. It’s like the Goldilocks of dinner.
I sent some leftovers to a friend, and a couple of hours later I got a text. “Two thumbs up from our family!” the text said. I knew I had a real winner, they are firm but fair critics in that house! If you haven’t tried instant pot pork tenderloin before, this is one to try!
How Long To Cook Pork Tenderloin In The Instant Pot
Fresh pork tenderloin should cook in the instant pot for five minutes with a natural release of at least five to seven minutes to keep it tender. (That means you let the pressure inside the instant pot come down on its own before you push the little valve!)
Use a meat thermometer to check that your pork tenderloin shows a temperature of 145 degrees inside. The pork still will have a slight blush pink look on the inside.
If your pork isn’t quite at 145 degrees (some cuts are slightly thicker then others) you can run it for an additional minute or two in the instant pot. Tossing the meat into the sauce in the instant pot at the end will also bring the temperature up just a few degrees (three or four). Be careful, cooking a pork tenderloin to 165 degrees results in a dried out overcooked tenderloin. Add only a small amount of extra time if your meat needs it.
Some cuts like Pork Italian Sausage in the instant pot need to be cooked to a higher temperature, but a pork tenderloin should still be slightly pink on the inside.
What Is The Difference Between Pork Loin and Pork Tenderloin?
Pork tenderloin is a thinner slice of meat that is from a different part of the animal then pork loin. A little smaller, pork tenderloins range from one to two pounds while pork loins are usually three to four pounds. Pork tenderloins tend to cook well with quick and super hot heat, while pork loins are more tender when cooked low and slow. This recipe uses pork tenderloin, as pictured below.
Can You Cook Frozen Meat In The Instant Pot?
Yes, you can cook frozen pork tenderloin in the instant pot. I’d add two to three minutes to your cook time. Your instant pot will likely take a few minutes longer to heat up and build the pressure in the beginning also.
Can You Cook More Than One Pork Tenderloin In The Instant Pot?
Yes you can cook more than one pork tenderloin in the instant pot. I used two in this recipe and simply sliced them in half before adding them. You can also stack your pork tenderloins for this recipe and they will cook just fine.
Can You Use Tenderloin For Pulled Pork?
Yes, absolutely you can use pork tenderloin for pulled pork. To make this honey balsamic pork into a pulled pork version, I recommend cooking your pork tenderloin for an additional one to two minutes before shredding.
Juicy and crispy Instant Pot Pork Carnitas are another great way to make shredded pork in the instant pot. Packed full of flavor, they come out restaurant-quality!
How Do You Use The Trivet In The Instant Pot?
The trivet is a metal stand that holds your pork tenderloin slightly higher and keeps it from coming in contact with the bottom of the pot. Slide the trivet into your instant pot, add your meat on top and make sure to add broth or liquid below the trivet when cooking in the instant pot.
Why Toss The Pork In The Sauce At The End?
I’ve found two reasons to slice the pork and put it back in the honey balsamic sauce for just a minute before serving. The first reason is it helps to infuse the meat even more with that delicious honey balsamic flavor and carmelizes the honey just a little on the outside of the pork.
The second reason is my daughter can be a picky eater, and cooking the meat in the sauce works better for her. If I over pour the sauce over her meal at the table she is much more likely to protest, but she eats it happily when the sauce is cooked on just a little more.
You could also use the drippings from this pork tenderloin to make more of homemade pork gravy though the flavor will be slightly different with honey and balsamic in the pan drippings. This version of the sauce is lighter and more of a glaze, while the gravy version feels a bit thicker and more rustic- and is heavier.
Do I Have To Make The Sauce?
Nope, you don’t have to make the honey balsamic sauce. Your pork tenderloin will still have a lot of flavor without it. However, the sauce is pretty darn delicious and worth the extra few minutes.
What Can I Serve As A Side With This Pork Tenderloin Recipe?
I like to serve green veggies like broccoli or asparagus with this recipe. Snow peas or sugar snap peas are also a hit. I typically steam or roast the veggies separately at my house like my honey-roasted carrots or these delicious lemon garlic greek potatoes or my crispy oven-baked potato wedges. Sometimes I’ll make a salad, and often I serve this with a bowl of simple rice or quinoa.
Can I Add Potatoes To This Pork Tenderloin Recipe In The Instant Pot?
You can add chopped potatoes, carrots or onions to the bottom of the pot easily while cooking this instant pot pork tenderloin and they will be delicious. You’ll want to strain the vegetables when it’s time to thicken the sauce.
Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin With A Honey Balsamic Sauce
For The Pork Loin
- 2-3 pounds pork tenderloin These are often sold in packs of 2, weighing a combined 2-3 pounds. I cook both at the same time. You can also cook a single pork loin with this recipe.
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ½ cup broth
For The Honey Balsamic Sauce
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons water
For The Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin
- Place metal trivet in the bottom of your instant pot. Slice pork tenderloins in half, and place all four pieces on top of the trivet.
- In a small bowl, mix together all spices. Sprinkle half of the spices on the pork tenderloin pieces. Flip pork tenderloins and then sprinkle the remaining spice over the pork.
- Add half cup of broth to the bottom of the instant pot. Drizzle balsamic vinegar and honey over pork tenderloins.
- Close and lock instant pot, and set for a manual mode of five minutes. Allow your pork tenderloin to cook, then have a natural release of at least five to seven minutes.
- Check your pork tenderloin’s temperature with a meat thermometer that it registers 145 degrees. Remove pork from the instant pot onto a clean cutting board.
For The Honey Balsamic Sauce
- Switch your instant pot to sautee mode.
- Mix cornstarch and water, then add to the instant pot with a whisk. Allow the sauce to cook on saute for one to two minutes.
- Slice pork tenderloin. Add slices back to the instant pot and sautee in the sauce for one to two minutes. Remove pork and drizzle any leftover sauce over the pork at the table. Enjoy!
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Have a question? Did you make this instant pot pork tenderloin and love it? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!