Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin

Pork tenderloin cooked in the Instant Pot comes out tender and juicy. This particular recipe gets a boost of flavor from a spice rub that includes light brown sugar for sweetness, paprika, chili powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper, as well as salt and pepper. Make sure you use a 1 ½-pound tenderloin, as a smaller cut of meat will overcook. Cooking the potatoes in chicken stock along with the pork (and pork drippings) means they emerge garlicky and savory, ready to be mashed with butter while you wilt the kale in the pot with the reserved cooking liquid. The entire meal is ready in just one hour, so it's a great option for busy nights where you still want something substantial. If you would like the doneness of the pork to be closer to medium, let the pressure release naturally for two minutes before venting the pot to manually release the pressure.

Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin with greens and mashed potatoes
Photo: Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Ali Ramee / Prop Styling by Christine Keely
Active Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs


  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar

  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • ½ teaspoon paprika

  • ½ teaspoon chili powder

  • ½ teaspoon onion powder

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 (1 1/2-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed of excess fat and silver skin and patted dry

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (from 3 garlic cloves)

  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock

  • 1 pound, 4 ounces baby gold potatoes, halved

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

  • 2 (6-ounce) bunches curly kale, stemmed and chopped (8 cups)


  1. Stir together brown sugar, salt, black pepper, paprika, chili powder, onion powder, and cayenne in a small bowl until well combined. Rub mixture all over pork.

  2. Select SAUTÉ setting on a programmable pressure multicooker (such as Instant Pot). (Times, instructions, and settings may vary according to cooker brand or model.) Select HIGH temperature setting; add oil to cooker, and allow to preheat 4 to 5 minutes. Add pork; cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown on all sides, 8 to 12 minutes total. Transfer pork to a plate.

  3. Add garlic to cooker; cook, stirring occasionally, until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add stock; cook, stirring and scraping bits from bottom of cooker, until bits from bottom of cooker have completely released, about 30 seconds. Add potatoes. Cover cooker with lid, and lock in place. Turn steam release handle to VENTING position. Continue to cook on SAUTÉ setting for 5 minutes. Press CANCEL, and remove lid from cooker.

  4. Place pork on top of potatoes in cooker. Cover cooker with lid, and lock in place. Turn steam release handle to SEALING position. Select MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK setting. Select HIGH pressure for 1 minute. (It will take 5 to 6 minutes for cooker to come up to pressure before cooking begins.) Let the pressure release naturally for 6 minutes. Carefully turn steam release handle to VENTING position, and let steam fully escape (float valve will drop). (This will take about 10 seconds.) Remove lid from cooker. A thermometer inserted into thickest portion of pork should register 135°F (the temperature will rise to 145°F as it rests).

  5. Transfer pork to a cutting board. Loosely tent with aluminum foil, and let rest 10 minutes. Transfer potatoes to a large bowl; reserve cooking liquid in cooker. Using a potato masher, coarsely mash potatoes in bowl. Fold in butter until melted. Add additional salt to taste. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm, and set aside.

  6. Select SAUTÉ setting on multicooker. Select HIGH temperature setting, and bring reserved cooking liquid to a boil. Add kale; cook, stirring occasionally, until kale wilts and is tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Press CANCEL. Add additional salt to taste.

  7. Cut pork tenderloin crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Serve alongside kale, mashed potatoes, and reserved sauce from cooker.

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