Wondering about the best way to cook pork medallions in the oven? This lean, moist cut is ideal for roasting and goes well with a wide range of spices. Depending on the ingredients used, pork tenderloin medallions can be just as nutritious as chicken or turkey breast.
The best way to cook pork medallions in the oven is to tenderize, sear and bake them. Marinate the meat overnight or for at least one hour before cooking to enhance its flavor and tenderness.
Is Pork Tenderloin Medallion Really Healthy?
Pork meat used to get a bad rap because of its high fat content. But some of the most common cuts of pork are about 16 percent leaner now than they were 19 years ago, per the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation.
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Pork medallions also cook faster, so you don't have to spend hours in the kitchen.
Low in fat and calories, pork medallions can replace poultry in most recipes. These circular cuts come from the pork tenderloin, or pork fillet, and can be roasted, grilled or fried in a pan. Just make sure you don't overcook them because they'll dry out and lose their flavor.
According to the USDA, a 3-ounce serving of roasted pork tenderloin provides:
- Calories: 122
- Total fat: 3 g
- Saturated fat: 1 g
- Cholesterol: 62.1 mg
- Protein: 22.2 g
- Zinc: 19% Daily Value (DV)
- Vitamin B1: 67% DV
- Vitamin B3: 39% DV
- Tryptophan: 83% DV
For comparison, a 3-ounce serving of roasted chicken breast has 140 calories, 26.4 grams of protein and 3 grams of total fat and 1 gram of saturated fat. It's significantly lower in zinc and vitamin B12 but higher in most amino acids compared to pork tenderloin.
When enjoyed regularly, lean pork meat may help you with weight maintenance. In a July 2012 study in Nutrients, people with overweight who ate 2.2 pounds of lean pork meat weekly for six months saw a decrease in body weight, fat mass, abdominal fat and waist circumference.
How to Marinate Pork Medallions
Pork medallions are juicy and tender, so it's not necessary to marinate them. Marinades, though, can enhance their flavor and keep them moist while cooking.
Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver recommends preparing the marinade at least one hour before cooking. If you can make it the day before, that's even better. His recipe calls for cumin seeds, fennel seeds, garlic cloves, sweet smoked paprika and fresh thyme. You will also need fresh orange juice, balsamic vinegar, ketchup, salt and pepper.
There are plenty of other marinade recipes you can try. Our Fresh Mango Marinade, for instance, takes just 5 minutes to prepare. It requires fresh mango, ginger root, orange juice, red pepper flakes and other healthy ingredients that yield an amazing flavor. Depending on your preferences, you may also use oyster sauce, rice vinegar, pineapple juice, cumin or dried oregano in pork marinades.
Once the marinade is ready, combine it with the pork meat in a large bowl or a zip-top bag. Use a 1/2 cup of liquid per pound of meat. Remove the pork medallions from the marinade before cooking and transfer them to the oven.
Try this Pork Tenderloin With Apricot recipe that calls for a delicious orange juice glaze.
How Long to Cook Pork Medallions in the Oven
The best way to cook pork medallions in the oven is to tenderize, sear and bake them — this will help prevent overcooking and boost their flavor.
If you've marinated the meat, it should already be tender. Then, do the following:
- Fry the pork medallions on one side over medium heat for about 3 minutes.
- Turn it over and put it in a roasting pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for six to eight minutes or until its internal temperature reaches at least 145 F.
- Let it rest for three minutes or longer before serving.
Another easy way to cook pork tenderloin in the oven is to roast it. Marinate it beforehand if desired. Then, roast the meat in a shallow pan (uncovered) at 425 to 450 F until it reaches a minimum internal temperature of 145 F, per the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service.
Cooking time depends on the size of the cut. A 1/2 pound to 1 1/2 pounds of pork tenderloin will take 20 to 27 minutes to cook if you use the above method.
Store it in the refrigerator at 40 F for three to four days or freeze it for no longer than three months.
- USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service: "Roasting Those 'Other' Holiday Meats"
- USDA: "Nutrition Facts for Roasted Chicken Breast"
- Nutrients: "Effects of Eating Fresh Lean Pork on Cardiometabolic Health Parameters"
- Jamie Oliver: "How to Make the Ultimate Pork Marinade"
- Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board: "How to Cook Pork Medallions"
- USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service: "Safe Minimum Internal Temperature Chart"
- USDA Food Safety anda Inspection Service: "Fresh Pork From Farm to Table"