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Easy Oven Roasted Cuban-Style Mojo Pork Tenderloin Recipe

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I’d always heard submarines served the best food in the Navy. I’m sure many 20-something guys think a rotating menu of Philly cheese steaks, corn dogs, and pizza is pretty much the most amazing thing ever, but the sailor in my life longs for things like pork, beans, and rice. I created this oven-roasted Cuban-style mojo pork tenderloin recipe for him.

The homemade mojo marinade and spice rub work perfectly with a naturally mild pork tenderloin, giving it a bold, tropical flavor and ensuring it doesn’t become a dehydrated disaster in the oven.  

Surprisingly easy to make, you can let it marinade while you’re at work and then finish it up in 35-40 minutes in the evening. It goes great with rice, plantains, or tostones, or you can pair it with your own favorite side!

cuban mojo pork tenderloin recipe

The first time I made this roast tenderloin, my husband said he didn’t really want rice, just the pork and some plantains. I first asked if he could repeat that into a recording device, and then checked to see if we needed to visit the ER. It’s not like him to turn down rice! Later I figured out he just wanted to save room for as much pork as possible.

There were no leftovers.

Oh, and he asked if I could make it again the next day.

Rice with Lime

Cuban mojo pork tenderloin

Juicy on the inside, crusty on the outside, and full of flavor, this recipe is the cure for the common pork tenderloin.

One of the great things about this recipe is you can prepare the pork and marinade it for a few hours, or you can leave it marinading overnight.

This means you can plan ahead and have supper half made ahead of time if you know you have a super busy day coming up. You can also marinade it quickly if you have a vacuum sealer and a quick marinade container! 

Sliced Roast mojo pork tenderloin

5.0 from 9 reviews
Oven Roasted Cuban-Style Mojo Pork Tenderloin
Recipe type: main dish
Cuisine: Cuban
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat and the silvery sheath
For the marinade
  • ½ cup of orange juice
  • ¼ cup of lime juice
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ½ a teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon or dried oregano
  • ½ a teaspoon of red pepper flakes
For the rub
  • 2 or 3 cloves of garlic
  • ½ a teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of oregano
  • ½ a teaspoon of cumin
  • ½ a teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • ¼-1/2 a teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
To brown
  • 1 tablespoon of butter, or enough to brown your tenderloin (for a larger pan and/or tenderloin, use more. For a very small tenderloin, you may need less.)
  1. Mash the 2 garlic cloves with the salt, either using a fork or a mortar and pestle. Mix in the cumin, oregano, and red pepper flakes.
  2. Combine the garlic/salt mash with the orange juice and lime juice in a gallon zip top bag and add the trimmed pork tenderloin. Press out as much of the air as possible and then place in the refrigerator.
  3. Marinade the pork for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, flipping it occasionally to ensure all parts of the pork are marinaded.
  4. When you're ready to start cooking, adjust a rack to the middle position of your oven and preheat it to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking tray with aluminum foil. This will make your clean up so much easier!
  5. While the oven is heating, create your spice rub mixture. Again, smash the garlic and salt together, then combine with the other ingredients. You can actually just put everything in your mortar and pestle it around, if you'd like. If you don't have one, use a fork to mash minced garlic and the salt together, then combine everything with a fork in a small bowl.
  6. Remove the tenderloin from the marinade and pat it dry with paper towels. This is really important because it will not brown up well and develop the tasty crust if it's too moist on the outside!
  7. Rub the spice mixture into the pork tenderloin as evenly as possible.
  8. Place a large skillet over medium/medium-high heat and melt the butter. After the butter has melted and foaming has subsided, add the tenderloin and let it cook without moving it for 3-4 minutes so it can develop a nice, browned exterior. Flip the pork and continue browning, turning when necessary, until all sides are browned. This should take about 8-10 minutes total.
  9. Once the tenderloin is fully browned, move it to the prepared baking tray, place in the oven, and cook for approximately 15-18 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer shows 140-145 degrees Fahrenheit.
  10. Remove the tenderloin from the oven, tent it loosely with foil, and allow it to sit for 5-10 minuets. After waiting, the internal temperature should be about 150 degrees.
  11. Cut on a slight diagonal, serve, and enjoy!

Cuban Mojo Pork Tenderloin

From start to finish, this recipe does take quite a while. Once the pork is marinaded, however, you can go from fridge to table in about 45 minutes, which isn’t so bad considering most of that time it’s just sitting there! It goes really well with rice, plantains, or even mashed potatoes – whichever is your favorite!

If you’re a fan of Cuban-inspired recipes, you might like these lechon asado plantain nachos:

Or these easy Cuban-style black beans!

There are many more Cuban-inspired recipes on The Artisan Life – please just check out the “Cuban” drop down menu under recipes! And, of course, be sure to subscribe to my once a week newsletter using the box below this post so you don’t miss out on more Cuban homestyle favorites in the future. =)


{ 41 comments… add one }
  • Mary April 11, 2018, 07:30

    How many lbs. is the pork loin?

    • Natasha April 11, 2018, 08:44

      This recipe is scaled for tenderloin, not loin – they’re actually two very different cuts even though they have similar names. Most pork tenderloins I’ve seen where I live are in the 2-3 pound range, but you can do it with something larger. Just use your thermometer to check the inner temperature to know when it’s done!

  • Cat March 4, 2018, 18:39

    This was absolutely delicious! Thank you so much for providing such a great recipe that was not only flavorful, but was also easy to follow along with great tips! I will be making this again!

    • Natasha March 4, 2018, 20:07

      I’m so glad you enjoyed and thank you for letting me know!

  • Kenn February 13, 2018, 11:20

    This is a terrific recipe and worked very well. I did substitute juice from sour oranges (naranja agria) for a little more authentic Cuban flavor. Living in South Florida, they are easily obtained, but in a lot of other areas you will definitely need to use juice oranges, although the more tart, the better.

    • Natasha February 13, 2018, 11:24

      I’m glad you liked it and can find sour oranges! We have such a hard time finding ‘comfort food’ ingredients here in Hawaii so we have to make do with what we can fin. My mother in law assumes we can’t even find espresso and is always trying to send us home with loads of coffee whenever we visit the Mainland!

  • Eleanor November 27, 2017, 14:13

    What size pork loin does this recipe call for? Thanks!

    • Natasha November 27, 2017, 14:22

      I used a pork tenderloin, not a pork loin. It’s smaller and takes so much less time to cook! I just used one out of the usual package of two. I think the pork tenderloins I get are usually about 11-13 oz each.

  • Kristy November 3, 2017, 12:31

    How much butter? Am I can’t find the amount

    • Natasha November 3, 2017, 12:36

      Sorry! I’ll add a suggestion. Use whatever amount of butter you need for the size of your tenderloin and your pan. I usually use 1/2 – 1 tablespoon.

  • Christy August 14, 2017, 14:56

    Oh my, this was amazing. I did mine in the crock pot, shredded it once done. My hubby didn’t feel very well when he got home so I put it in covered dish with the juice it made. The following night I warmed it in a pan, rolled out hooggie rolls( sub rolls) loaded the bread with the shredded pork topped with swiss cheese, toasted the sandwiches in a pan. This is a must try. I don’t typically leave reviews but I had to with that s one it is beyond amazing.

    • Natashalh August 14, 2017, 14:59

      Those sound like delicious sandwiches! I’m so glad you enjoyed and thank you for letting me know.

  • Elmer Holt August 3, 2017, 14:28

    Made this tonight, Served it with black beans and rice, plantains, what a wonderful flavor and so easy, this is a keeper!

    • Natashalh August 3, 2017, 14:33

      So glad you enjoyed and thank you for letting me know!

  • Kenny April 29, 2017, 02:23

    You M’am have created monsters! I have used your recipe a couple of times now at family gatherings, and it is now a much requested dish!! This pork loin, with my mac n cheese pretty much puts everyone into food comas!! Very delicious!

    • Natashalh April 29, 2017, 09:57

      Sounds so delicious! Macaroni and cheese is my favorite food group =D

  • jeff April 22, 2017, 01:00

    This is great! We’ve made it a few times and planning to this weekend again. Thanks

  • Cabell November 26, 2016, 17:40

    This is delicious! I will make it again and again. Going to try it with chicken next. Thank you!

    • Natashalh November 27, 2016, 13:50

      Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed and I appreciate you letting me know. =)

  • Cat October 7, 2016, 13:05

    A few weeks ago I tried a mojo recipe and was about to never make it again because it was so bland. Thank GOODNESS I found this one!

    I marinated boneless skinless chicken breasts for about an hour, grilled them, and made a rice bowl with rice, chicken, grilled onions and peppers (little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, and a sprinkle of oregano), and shredded Monterrey jack cheese.

    I will definitely be keeping this recipe!

    • Natashalh October 7, 2016, 13:11

      That sounds so delicious! I’m so glad you liked the recipe and thank you for letting me know. =)

  • Mike January 17, 2016, 11:58

    Curious – what’s the benefit of trimming the fat? Would you still trim the fat if you were going to use this for Cuban sandwiches?

    • Natashalh January 17, 2016, 17:24

      The main thing to make sure to trim away is that silvery sheath that’s on most pork tenderloin. It’s really no good! Most slow cooked pork recipes for Cuban sandwiches do also suggest removing excess fat, too, but I guess that’s your call. I’ve read articles about how fat on the exterior of the meat doesn’t actually melt into/penetrate the meat, so having it on there doesn’t seem to be particularly beneficial to me in a slow cooker situation where there won’t even be any tasty crispy bits on the outside!

  • Carol A. December 26, 2015, 12:23

    Made this tenderloin for a Cuban night party and it was a great success. Making it again for a 3 King’s Day party. Tender, flavorful and juicy. Great recipe.

    • Natashalh December 26, 2015, 18:58

      I’m so glad! Thank you for letting me know you enjoyed it. =)

  • Valerie November 27, 2015, 13:29

    I want to make this tomorrow (marinating tonight), but my tenderloin is 3.75 pounds. How long should that cook after being browned?

    • Natashalh November 27, 2015, 13:54

      The best way to know when your tenderloin is done is by checking the internal temperature with a thermometer. You’re looking for somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 degrees. I hope that’s helpful!

  • lupe November 25, 2015, 18:07

    I’m looking to cook a rack of pork with the same seasoning. I should probably increase measurements or do you recommend i follow the same steps prior to cooking meet in the oven.

    • Natashalh November 26, 2015, 06:52

      Sounds tasty! It depends on the weight/surface area. If it’s a small rack, go with the same quantities, but if it’s larger, I’d probably double the amounts. I think it’s better to have some spices leftover and have everything fully seasoned than to not have enough!

  • John Padmore November 7, 2015, 05:31

    Made this and it was a big hit. Cooked in my Big Green Egg and it came out very juicy. Have been making mojo pulled pork for awhile and this recipe makes a great addition to my mojo repitour. Thanks for posting!

    • Natashalh November 7, 2015, 07:24

      That’s awesome! I’m glad it worked out for you and thank you for letting me know. =)

  • Kelly C August 6, 2015, 12:46

    Tried this, it was fantastic !!! Full of flavor , easy and not expensive at all. Would recommend….

    • Natashalh August 6, 2015, 17:07

      That’s awesome! I’m so glad you liked it and really appreciate you stopping by to let me know. =)

  • Shawna August 22, 2013, 10:24

    This is one of my favorite ways to make pork loin. Thank you so much for sharing it on our BBQ Block Party

    • natashalh August 22, 2013, 21:58

      Thanks for stopping by!=)

  • Laura@bakinginpyjamas August 19, 2013, 21:33

    I’ve only just had breakfast but could take a bite of this, it looks delicious.

    • natashalh August 20, 2013, 04:23

      Ahaha – thanks!

      • Katherine August 8, 2015, 10:27

        This recipe looks delicious, but for the marinade, there is no mention of the red pepper flakes, cumin, salt, pepper, and oregano. Do you just mix those with the juices and garlic/salt? Thanks!

        • Natashalh August 8, 2015, 12:35

          Sorry about that! I either mix them with the garlic mash or just add them to the juice, depending on my mood that day. =)
          Thanks so much for commenting! I used to have a separate food blog, but then I moved all the recipes to this blog earlier in the year. Some of them didn’t quite transfer all the way. I really appreciate you asking!

          • Katherine August 9, 2015, 03:32

            Thank you! I am taking this to a Cuban party this afternoon, una Pachanga 🙂 I know everyone will love it!

          • Natashalh August 9, 2015, 07:06


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