Roast pork tenderloin with rhubarb sauce

Easy dish offers big flavour and pretty presentation!

This is one of those great deceptive meals that tastes fancy but is super easy to prepare. For the roast pork tenderloin, use your favourite spice rub so long as it’s not too strongly flavoured (you don’t want it to overwhelm the rhubarb sauce). I like to select the most vibrant coloured stalks of rhubarb, to give this sauce a bright hue; if you can’t find fresh rhubarb, frozen is fine. This sauce can be made up to 5 days ahead and also freezes well. I like to pair this with green beans or broccoli and these amazing extra-crispy roasted potatoes. If you’re a fan of this dish, you might also like this scrumptious roasted beet and rhubarb salad and there are over a dozen more great rhubarb recipes on my site (use the search facility to find them).


  • 1 small pork tenderloin (approximately 1 pound / 454 g)
  • 1 tablespoon (8 g) spice rub
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (15 g) sweet onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon (2.5 g) minced fresh gingerroot
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • few pinches cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups (260 g) diced rhubarb
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) water
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) red wine or cider vinegar
  • 3-4 tablespoons (45-60 mL) maple syrup, to taste


  • Pat the pork tenderloin dry and place it on a clean plate. Sprinkle spice rub all over then put the meat, uncovered, in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
  • While pork rests, make sauce. Heat oil in a medium skillet placed over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 3 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and ginger; sauté 2 minutes more. Sprinkle a few pinches each of salt and pepper over top and stir to blend.
  • Stir in rhubarb, water, vinegar and maple syrup. Bring to a boil then reduce heat so it is just simmering. Cook, uncovered, until rhubarb has softened but not disintegrated (about 5 minutes) and some of the liquid has evaporated. Taste and adjust seasonings to suit your preference.
  • Sauce can be made up to 5 days in advance and refrigerated; re-warm before serving with pork.
  • Just before serving time, cook the pork. You can grill it over medium heat, turning occasionally, until it reaches a temperature of 145F. Remove from heat and place on a clean plate; tent with foil for 3-5 minutes to allow juices to become evenly distributed through the meat before slicing.
  • Pork tenderloin cooks beautifully in an air fryer as well – set the machine to 390F and cook the pork for 10 minutes, then flip and cook for another 4 – 6 minutes, until it reaches 145F. Remove and tent with foil to rest briefly, as above.
  • Alternatively, you can oven-roast the pork at 400F for about 18-20 minutes on a foil-lined baking tray until it reaches 145F, flipping once. Tent with foil and let rest briefly, as above.
  • To serve, spread a moderate amount of the rhubarb sauce on plates then fan out thin slices of roast pork on top, passing any remaining sauce in a pitcher at the table.

Serves 2-3; recipe can easily be multiplied.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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