This Grilled Lemon Garlic Pork Tenderloin recipe with rosemary is super simple, but full of flavor. It is easy to make and the pork takes on so much great taste from the marinade in only 1 hour! 

Grilled Pork Tenderloin on a white platter

I originally shared this recipe on April 20th, 2018. I have changed some of the text and added a video to reshare it with you today. 

If you’re a subscriber to my email list then you know my latest obsession is that I have been paying more attention to the saturated fat in my diet. It goes back to a recent study about saturated fat in EatingWell and I can’t stop thinking about it. I really encourage you to take a moment to read it this week, because there has been a lot of conflicting news and voices about fat over the last decade, and this is a study that is the first of its kind.

I know in the last five years or so, I have become somewhat lackadaisical about monitoring my saturated fat intake, eating more coconut oil, and using butter and ghee for cooking, and eating red meat. It’s been pretty confusing all the while the internet fanning the flames. EatingWell has always been a trusted source of information for me (I am a contributing editor after all.) So after reading this article, I’ve actually changed my course a little bit. Nothing drastic, but a gentle course correction. 

I should remind you that I am a trained chef, not a dietitian. So I am not offering advice about your diet, but I am telling you what my plan is in knowing this. I am going to focus a little more on getting my fats from unsaturated sources like nuts, seeds, salmon, tuna, avocado, etc and getting more of my protein from leaner cuts like chicken breast, pork loin, pork tenderloin, turkey and fish. 

Which brings me to the most delicious way to make grilled pork tenderloin with this easy Grilled Lemon Garlic Pork Tenderloin recipe!

lemon wedges, rosemary sprigs and grilled sliced pork tenderloin on a metal sheet pan

How To Make Grilled Lemon Garlic Pork Tenderloin

  • Pork Without Hidden Sodium: I made a special trip to our natural grocery store to buy sustainably raised pork. You can read more about why I do that here in this recipe for 15-minute ginger pork. Not only is the animal husbandry a consideration for this recipe, but also conventional pork tenderloin has sodium solution added to it, and I try to avoid that.
  • Make Seasoning Paste: I took two cloves of garlic and grated them with my micro-plane zester. Then I zested a lemon. I mixed the garlic and lemon together with a little chopped rosemary, salt, pepper and olive oil. It formed a paste of sorts which I coated the pork with.
  • Use Just a Little Lemon Zest: I only used 1 teaspoon of lemon zest. Any more than that makes the pork taste like lemon Pledge. 1 teaspoon however, is bright and lovely and pairs well with the rosemary.
  • Marinate the Pork Tenderloin Up To 4 Hours: If you plan ahead, refrigerate the pork all slathered in the paste for four hours. That will really impart a ton of flavor. But I also tested it with only an hour of marinating, and that was also totally fine.


A black try with a platter of pork on it

How To Grill This Easy Pork Tenderloin

Tie the Tail End for Even Cooking

Because pork tenderloins are thin on one side and thick on the other, the thin end becomes dried out while the thick end is still coming up to temp. To help even them out, I tie the thin end. To do this. Tuck the last two or so inches of the tenderloin tail under. Then secure with a single strand of kitchen string. Trim the string so there aren’t any long pieces hanging off because they’ll burn.

Prep Your Grill

To grill the pork tenderloin, I preheated the grill, and brushed it down well. Then I oiled it and on went the pork.

Turn Often

I turned it every three or four minutes, and then checked the internal temperature with my insta-read thermometer.

How To Insert The Thermometer

Make sure to insert the probe into several places to get an accurate reading. Note, the sensor of the thermometer may not be at the very tip. For pork tenderloin, I insert the thermometer lengthwise, from thick end and use the lowest temperature as my guide.

Internal Temperature For Grilled Pork

The official recommended internal temperature for pork is 145 followed by a rest. But when I tried that, it was really overcooked. These natural pork tenderloins are only 1 pound- and by the time the center is up to 145 it’s hot all the way through basically, and the carryover takes it way beyond where it needs to be. So I found pulling it at 138 was much better. As you can see in the pics, there is only a faint amount of pink. If you are at all concerned about the safety of the internal temp, I say do what YOU think is best.

Let The Pork Rest

Let the pork rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing. This allows the proteins to relax, and will ensure that all the juices don’t flow out when you slice it.


Steps To Make Grilled Pork Tenderloin

What To Serve With Grilled Pork Tenderloin

This Vegan Herb Potato Salad will make everyone happy! I love the addition of sun dried tomatoes. They really make the flavors pop! 

My Healthy Coleslaw is a fan favorite and so classic you can’t go wrong. But if you’re feeling more adventurous, try this blue cheese coleslaw with walnuts. The lemon and rosemary will really go great with the blue cheese. 

For a Low Carb side dish, make this Zucchini Ribbon Salad. We adore it! Or keep it low key and make a batch of my Apple Cider Vinaigrette and toss it with simple greens. 

For desserts try Pineapple Coconut Sorbet in frosted glasses topped with toasted coconut! 

slices of pork tenderloin

More Easy Healthy Grilling Recipes

If you like this Lemon Garlic Grilled Pork Tenderloin, then this Garlic Lemon Chicken Marinade will be right up your alley. You’ll never guess the secret ingredient! 

My family loves lamb, and these Kofta have been making a regular appearance on our menu lately. 

These Pork Chops with Rosemary are also so good, and the arugula and shaved cheese make it into an elegant meal to serve al fresco. 

As Mary Said in Something About Mary, the world needs more meat on sticks. I agree! Try these 4-ingredient Pork and Peach Kebabs with Sweet Onion. Amazingly sweet and savory. 



Do you pay attention to the saturated fat in your diet?


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a platter of pork tenderloin with rosemary sprigs and slices of lemon

Grilled Lemon Garlic Pork Tenderloin

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Diabetic


This Easy Grilled Lemon Garlic Pork Tenderloin recipe with rosemary is super simple, but full of flavor. It will be one you return to over and over again this spring and summer! It’s naturally gluten-free, paleo, whole-30 and low carb.


  • 2 clove garlic, peeled and grated with a rasp-style grater
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1-pound pork tenderloin, preferably with no salt added solution


  1. Combine garlic, oil, zest, rosemary, salt and pepper in a shallow baking dish. Add pork, turn to coat in the marinade, cover and refrigerate 1 to 4 hours.
  2. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Soak a paper towel with oil and set near grill with tongs.
  3. Just before grilling, hold the oil soaked towel with tongs. Drag gently along grill grates, pulling toward you. Immediately place pork on oiled grill. Cook, turning, every 3 to 4 minutes, until an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of the pork registers 138 degrees F, 13 to 17 minutes. (Note: It should rise above 145 degrees as it rests.)
  4. Let pork rest on a carving board tented with foil, at least 5 minutes. Slice cross-wise into ½-inch slices and serve.


Pork tenderloin from factory farms often contains added sodium solution. Not only does this pork come from farms with questionable animal husbandry practices, but the addition of sodium is unnecessary. Look for Certified Organic pork or Heritage pork instead. Check the label and make sure it doesn’t include added sodium.

  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: entree
  • Method: grilling
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 4oz
  • Calories: 214
  • Fat: 8.5
  • Saturated Fat: 2.3
  • Carbohydrates: 0.3
  • Fiber: 0
  • Protein: 32

Keywords: grilled pork tenderloin,garlic pork tenderloin,lemon garlic pork marinade

A plate of Pork and Lemon