Pork Piccata is roasted balsamic pork tenderloin with caper sauce. Make this recipe for an impressive dinner in only 35 minutes! Check out the video in the recipe card to see how easy this meal comes together!
If you love the briny, salty flavor of capers, I can almost guarantee that this recipe will become a favorite! The overall flavor of this dish is very similar to chicken piccata.
The best part is, the pork tastes like it was roasted for hours, when really, pork tenderloin only takes 35 minutes to cook!
Pork tenderloins are pan seared, then popped in the oven to roast and caramelize. A heavenly balsamic caper pan sauce finishes off the dish for a spot-on, Italian influenced dinner.
To see the process of making this delicious meal from start to finish, scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of this post to watch the video.
- Season the pork tenderloin.
Make a quick paste of olive oil, minced garlic, lemon zest and fresh rosemary and rub it over the pork tenderloin. Add a pinch of kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper and it’s ready to cook.
- Sear the pork tenderloins in a hot skillet for a couple of minutes on each side, until they’re browned and have caramelized, crispy bits on the outside.
TIP: Use an oven-proof skillet so that you don’t have to dirty another pan! After searing the meat, you’ll just transfer the entire pan of pork piccata right into a preheated oven.
- Cook in the oven. Let the meat roast in the oven for 35 minutes while you make the caper sauce. The sauce is what truly makes this an Italian piccata.
- Make the pan sauce. It’s all about the pan sauce people. Beef stock, balsamic vinegar and reduce. Add the butter, swirl to emulsify (thicken) off the heat and add the capers. Spoon over the rested pork and you’ll be ready to serve an incredibly tender balsamic pork tenderloin to your guests!
I love capers, and when I was first introduced to them it was in a French sauce called beurre blanc, at a restaurant called Piret’s.
Beurre blanc is a white wine and butter emulsified sauce, which really means a warm, thick butter sauce usually made with a reduction of vinegar and or white wine and shallots. I used to make a batch and dip fresh, crusty French bread in it and be in heaven.
Capers are fantastic on chicken, veal, or pork piccata, as well as on dishes like lemon chicken.
In the flavorful sauce for balsamic pork tenderloin, they are a knockout.
- Be sure to purchase a pork tenderloin and NOT a pork loin. There is a difference!
Pork tenderloins are almost always sold two to a package, averaging 1.5 lbs each. Here is a great reference on the two different cuts of pork: The Difference Between Pork Loin and Pork Tenderloins.
- For an extra sweet flavor, substitute Meyer lemon zest for regular lemon zest. Meyer lemons are a cross between a lemon and an orange.
- Feel free to substitute 1/4 cup of balsamic glaze for the 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar. It’s already reduced and therefore, thicker.
Internal Temp for Roasted Pork Tenderloin
Don’t overcook the tenderloin. You want it to be nice and moist, not dried out. Internal temp for pork should be between 145°-155°F. Be sure to allow the meat to rest at least 3 minutes before you slice it.
What to serve with Pork Piccata
I serve this meal with roasted vegetables or a nice salad and a healthy grain like wild rice or quinoa.
This post was originally published in July 2013. The content was updated with new images and a video in August 2021.
Pork Piccata Tenderloin + Video
- 3 lb pork tenderloin (Two 1.5 lb tenderloins, See Note1)
- 4 cloves garlic crushed
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary stems removed
- 2 tbsp grated lemon zest (See Note 2)
- 2 tbsp olive oil separated
- 1 tsp EACH salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup beef stock
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (See Note 3)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp capers
- Preheat the oven to 450˚F.
- Combine the garlic, rosemary, lemon zest, one tablespoon oil, salt and pepper. Press this mixture onto the tenderloins.
- In a large skillet with an oven proof handle, heat 1 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add the tenderloins and cook, turning frequently, until brown on all sides, about 8-10 minutes.
- Transfer to the oven and roast for 12 minutes. (See Note 4)
- Remove pork from the pan and keep warm.
- Set the pan over high heat and stir in the beef stock and vinegar, scraping up the cooked bits. Bring this to a boil and cook until reduced by half. Turn the heat off, whisk in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time until melted. Stir in the capers and spoon over pork.
- Cut the tenderloin into thick 1″ slices and serve with balsamic caper sauce over the top. Great with scalloped potatoes, roasted vegetables or a fresh salad.
- Be sure to purchase a pork tenderloin and NOT a pork loin. There is a difference! Pork tenderloins are almost always sold two to a package, averaging 1.5 lbs each. Here is a great reference on the two different cuts of pork: The Difference Between Pork Loin and Pork Tenderloins.
- You could also use Meyer lemon zest. Meyer lemons are a cross between a lemon and an orange.
- Feel free to substitute 1/4 cup of balsamic glaze for the 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar. It’s already reduced and thicker.
- Don’t overcook your pork, keep it nice and moist, not dried out. Internal temp should be between 145°-160°F and allow meat to rest at least 3 minutes.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.