Cajun Blackened Pork

4 from 1 vote

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Quick and dirty Cajun blackened pork is a fast-paced, boldly seasoned recipe that has all the style and jazz you’d expect from a New Orleans meal! This tender blackened pork recipe is coated in Cajun blackening seasoning, quickly seared in butter, and on your plate in 15 minutes or less.

closeup: crunchy Cajun blackened pork

There are few styles as classically Cajun as Paul Prudhomme’s blackening technique. You give a cut of meat a quick, almost charred coating of earthy, aromatic spices in a super hot skillet. It retains the meat’s natural flavor beneath a richly seasoned crust!

Cajun blackened pork is one of my favorite examples of this. While many blackened pork recipe options out there use pork chops, I’m partial to the tenderloin — I find that the chops are easier to overcook and are just tougher most of the time. Plus side, no bones to contend with either!

closeup: several pieces of blackened pork over rice

Whichever cut you’re working with, a good old-fashioned Cajun blackening is a surefire method for bold flavor, maximum juiciness, and delicious texture. It’s also great for Louisana-style shrimp if you’re leaning towards seafood!

Looking for a bit of sauce with your Cajun blackened pork? Serve up some zesty remoulade — it really goes with everything — or some tangy, spicy Alabama white sauce.

Tip From Kevin

Keep things ventilated!

Remember the technique of blackening is to have a cast iron skillet scorching hot, which means to preheat a skillet over high heat for 5 minutes! Once the butter and seasoning hit that pan it will get slightly smoky, so keep things ventilated or open a window! I often times do this on the grill to avoid that in the house, optional.

overhead: cooking blackened pork in a cast iron skillet

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

(Be sure to check the recipe card for a full list of ingredients and quantities)

  • Pork Tenderloin – I prefer tenderloin for Cajun blackened pork, as opposed to pork chops or loin. It’s cut from the delicate loin muscle that runs along the backbone of the animal. Because of its placement, it doesn’t move much, which means it’s a very tender, juicy cut. Perfect for a quick sear!  
  • Butter – Melted butter is the key to getting that spiced crust on your blackened pork. If you’re feeling a little ambitious, make an herb butter!
  • Cajun Blackening Seasoning – Use blackening, not blackened seasoning — there’s a difference! Blackening seasoning contains peppery, lemony, and sweet herbs and spices, including paprika, cayenne, ginger, oregano, fennel, and clove. It’s perfect for both poultry and pork. Blackened seasoning, on the other hand, is better for beef.
overhead: my blackened pork recipe over white rice with broccoli to the side

How to Make Cajun Blackened Pork

  1. Trim. Use a sharp knife to carefully trim and discard the silverskin from one side of the tenderloin.
  2. Slice. Carve the meat into ¾-inch medallions. Pat dry with a paper towel, transfer to a bowl, and set aside. 
  3. Season. Melt the butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Pour over the medallions to coat and then toss with Cajun seasoning to coat.
  4. Blacken. Preheat a skillet over high heat for 5 minutes. Once the skillet is hot, add the sliced tenderloin and sear for 1 or 2 minutes until a blackened crust forms. Flip and repeat on the other side.
  5. Serve. Let the blackened pork rest for 3 to 5 minutes, then serve immediately while hot and juicy! Enjoy with lemon slices, steamed rice or mashed potatoes, and a vegetable of your choice.
  • Cast Iron Skillet – With Cajun blackened pork, we’re talking high heat, a quick sear, and a thick crust. There isn’t anything better for this than a cast iron skillet! If you don’t have one, then select the heaviest-bottomed skillet you have.

Storing and Reheating

Leftover Cajun blackened pork can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. 

Reheat the tenderloins in the oven. Preheat to 350 degrees F, place on a baking sheet, and heat for 10 minutes or so until warmed through.

closeup: several pieces of Cajun blackened pork over rice

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is blackened food spicy?

It’s less of a Scoville-level kind of heat and more that you’re biting directly into a crust of spices — including cracked black pepper, cayenne, clove, and ginger. They have their own kind of “spicy” heat that hits your tongue as soon as you bite down.

How can you keep pork tenderloin moist and juicy?

The blackening technique employed in this blackened pork recipe is extremely effective at retaining moisture, whether you’re preparing this recipe, poultry, beef, or even seafood! 

The secret is using very high heat to quickly sear a thick, spiced crust onto the tenderloin while sealing the juices into the center as it’s just cooked through — all in the span of a few minutes.

What is “silverskin” on pork?

Silverskin is a layer of connective tissue found on certain cuts of beef and pork. This tissue is made of collagen that doesn’t break down when cooked. It’s better to remove it so that it isn’t detrimental to the texture or flavor of the meat.

Is pork okay to eat if it’s a little pink in the center?

Yes — sometimes fully cooked blackened pork will be slightly pink in the middle! The important thing is to get it to a safe internal temperature of 140°F, per USDA guidance.

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Cajun Blackened Pork

4 from 1 vote
Cajun blackened pork is a juicy, flavorful seared tenderloin coated in spicy, vibrant Northern Louisiana flair. Make it in just 15 minutes!
Servings: 4
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 15 minutes



  • Using a sharp knife, trim, remove and discard all excess silver to white connective tissue on one side of the meat called silverskin.
  • Slice the tenderloin into 3/4-inch medallions and pat dry with paper towel. Transfer to bowl.
  • Add the melted butter and Cajun seasoning and toss to coat well.
  • Heat a cast iron skillet or heavy bottomed pan over high heat for 5 minutes (be sure to cook in well ventilated area).
  • Sear each piece of pork on one side until a crust forms and turn over cooking another minute or two.
  • Serve immediately. I like to serve with lemon slices to squeeze over with steamed rice or mashed potatoes and vegetable of choice.


Calories: 196kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 106mg | Potassium: 527mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.4g | Vitamin A: 1901IU | Vitamin C: 0.03mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 2mg

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.

Course: Dinners
Cuisine: Cajun, Southern
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
titled image (and shown): blackened cajun pork recipe


Whether in the kitchen or on the grill, you’ll find me cooking American favorites with a love for BBQ, Mexican and Tex Mex. I’m passionate about making tasty food because life’s too short to be bland!

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  1. 4 stars
    Hello, In your recipe to make the seasoning it says coat the proteins in melted. Salte or unsalted ?? then cover with seasoning in the pork recipe it says add spice mixture to butter stir in , then coat pork , which way is best and why ???? excuse. melted butter. salted or unsalted ,??

    1. I typically use salted butter because where I get it, usually Costco, it’s what they carry. In reality the salt added is so minimal and amounts change by brand, with 1/4 teaspoon per half cup being the highest. Feel free to use what you prefer. The melted butter is poured over the pork to coat and then the Cajun seasoning goes in and adheres to that.