These pork tenderloin tacos are topped with a simple homemade BBQ sauce and wrapped up in flour tortillas along with a tangy jicama-radish slaw.
If it’s some sort of tender meat, wrapped in a flour tortilla and served with toppings I’m happy to grab one and call it dinner. I’ve never met a taco I didn’t like, even the what-should-be-considered horrible school lunch tacos I ate growing up. Although, I suspect if I came into contact with one of them now I might not be too excited. But when I was a kid? Taco day at school was the best thing ever.
And the love of tacos burns strong still. I don’t always have bread, but I always have a package of tortillas hanging around and pretty much anything goes when it comes to filling them.
So, during a dinner at my mom’s a few weeks age during which she served up a sliced pork tenderloin glazed with a tangy BBQ-inspired sauce served with a cool and creamy jicama slaw on the side I couldn’t help but wonder what it would all be like wrapped up together taco-style. I love pulled pork sandwiches piled high with slaw, so I figured it would all taste pretty delicious wrapped up in a tortilla.
BBQ Pork Tenderloin Tacos
And so I set out to create said pork tenderloin tacos. Pork tenderloin is very tender and it’s long and slender in shape. It takes really well to baking so getting it in the oven is the first step in the recipe and it couldn’t be easier. While the pork tenderloin bakes you can make the sauce and the slaw so it’s all ready to go once the pork is done.
- First, pat it dry and coat it with a little olive oil and season it well with salt and pepper.
- I like to bake it on a sheet pan lined with tin foil, which makes for easy clean-up.
- Bake the pork tenderloin at 400°, during which you will brush it a few times with sauce (more on that in a minute).
- I like to cook the pork tenderloin until it reaches an internal temperature of about 145°F to 150°F. While it rests it will continue to cook so by the time I slice it has reached a medium level of doneness, or a temperature around 160-165°F. This takes about 40 minutes in my oven, but I recommend using a meat thermometer to eliminate any guesswork on the temperature.
5-Ingredient BBQ Sauce
While the pork is in the oven you can make the BBQ sauce which is so simple, it takes less than five minutes to pull it together…
- This is a small-batch sauce so you’ll need a small saucepan.
- It starts with ketchup, apple cider vinegar and Worcestershire sauce.
- I like to add some chili seasoning, which is just a prepared mix of spices not to be confused with regular chili powder. So, use your favorite spice mix that you’d use to make chili.
- I also added some pepper jelly, which is sold at most grocery stores. There are lots of different kinds and the one I used included some jalapenos for a spicy kick.
- Combine all five ingredients for the sauce in the saucepan and bring it to a simmer. I like to heat it up to activate the seasonings and to melt the pepper jelly. Give it a stir a few times and lower the heat.
- Part of the BBQ sauce is used to glaze the pork as it bakes and the rest is reserved for drizzling over the tacos.
A simple jicama-radish coleslaw adds a crunchy texture for the pork tenderloin tacos and also some richness from the dressing.
- Jicama is a round tuber with light brown skin. They’re kind of a pain to prep so I like to buy jicama “sticks” which are already prepped for you. I haven’t had a problem finding them in the produce department and it makes it really easy to chop them up for the slaw.
- If you can’t find jicama you can substitute some chopped granny smith apple. It has a similar texture to jicama and will give your slaw a fruity flavor. Or, you can just omit the jicama. No big deal.
- I love adding sliced radishes to coleslaw because I love the flavor – they’re sort of peppery – and their color. I cut each in half and sliced them into half-moon shapes.
- For the cabbage, I buy bags of shredded cabbage because buying a whole head yields way more cabbage then you’ll need. I like green cabbage, but a mix of red and green will work, too. You can also use a bag of coleslaw mix which also includes carrots if that’s what you can find.
- Mix the dressing first, which includes mayo, apple cider vinegar, a touch of honey, and a bit of Dijon mustard and toss the veggies in it.
I used small street taco-style tortillas to serve the tacos. Pile some slaw on the tortilla, top it with some pork tenderloin, and garnish it all with some chopped fresh parsley.
Happy taco-making 🌮
More Taco Recipes
If you can wrap it in a tortilla and load it with toppings then it’s a taco in my book! I love them and never get tired of them so here are three more of my favorite taco recipes…
Instant Pot Braised Beef Tacos | An Instant Pot makes these tender and savory braised beef tacos totally doable on a weeknight. The beef tastes like it simmered for hours in the oven but all of it comes together in less than an hour.
Baked Double Decker Tacos | These amped-up baked tacos are a nod to one of my favorite drive-through tacos. The ground beef filling and refried beans are stuffed into a crunchy taco shell and wrapped in a flour tortilla. They’re not super sophisticated, but they are so fun to make.
Fully-Loaded Breakfast Tacos | Breakfast tacos with a savory black bean and potato filling, soft scrambled eggs, and topped with salsa, cilantro, and cheese. They’re a little messy and totally satisfying – this is how to do breakfast on the weekends.Print
These pork tenderloin tacos are topped with a super simple homemade BBQ sauce and wrapped up in flour tortillas along with a tangy jicama-radish slaw. Everything comes together in the time it takes to cook the pork so when the pork is done you just wrap and serve.
For the Pork Tenderloin
- 1 pound pork tenderloin
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- salt and pepper
For the Sauce
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons chili seasoning (see note 1)
- 2 tablespoons pepper jelly (see note 2)
For the Coleslaw
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 cup chopped jicama (see note 3)
- 6 large radishes, sliced
- 1 cup shredded green cabbage (see note 4)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 10 small street taco flour tortillas (see note 5)
- Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
How to Prepare the Pork Tenderloin and Sauce
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a sheet pan with tin foil. Pat the tenderloin dry with some paper towels and then rub the olive oil over the top. Season the tenderloin with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Place the tenderloin in the oven and bake it for 20 minutes. While it’s baking make the sauce.
- In a small saucepan, combine the ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, chili seasoning, and pepper jelly. Heat the sauce over medium heat and, stirring frequently, bring it to a simmer. Once it starts to bubble, reduce the heat to low and give it a stir every so often. You want to ensure the pepper jelly melts into the sauce.
- Transfer a few tablespoons of the sauce from the pan to a small bowl. Save the rest of the sauce for spooning over the tacos. After the tenderloin has baked for 20 minutes, brush or spoon half of the sauce in the bowl over the top of the tenderloin in an even layer. Return the tenderloin to the oven and bake it for another 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, brush the rest of the sauce from the bowl over the top of the tenderloin. Bake it for another 10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145-150°F. At this point, I like to remove the tenderloin and let it rest for a few minutes during which its internal temperature will increase to about 160-165°F which is about medium doneness. After the tenderloin has rested, cut it into bite-sized pieces.
How to Make the Coleslaw
- In a medium bowl, combine the mayo, vinegar, honey, and mustard. Add the jicama, radishes, cabbage, and parsley and stir to combine. Spoon the coleslaw on the tortillas and top with pieces of tenderloin. Drizzle some of the reserved sauce over the top and garnish with chopped parsley, if using.
- Be sure to use a chili seasoning, which is a mix of different spices, and not regular chili powder.
- Pepper jelly is sold at most grocery stores and there are usually a few to choose from. I used a pepper jelly with some jalapenos which give the sauce a spicy kick.
- Jicama is a round tuber with light brown skin. You can buy a whole one and peel it or look for pre-prepped jicama sticks in the produce department. They are a little pricier, but a lot easier to deal with. If you can’t find jicama, you can substitute the same amount of chopped granny smith apple, which will change the flavor a bit or just omit it.
- A whole head of cabbage yields a ton of shredded cabbage, so I like to buy bags of pre-shredded cabbage instead.
- I like to use small street taco flour tortillas, but you can also make regular-sized tacos with 8-inch flour tortillas and assemble fewer tacos. I used Mission brand, so depending on the brand you use the nutrition estimate may vary.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 small taco
- Calories: 202
- Sugar: 8.9g
- Fat: 9.8g
- Carbohydrates: 25.8g
- Fiber: 1.1g
- Protein: 2.7g
Keywords: pork tenderloin tacos, coleslaw, baked pork tenderloin