Irresistibly Crispy Air Fryer Breaded Pork Tenderloin Recipe

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Get ready for a crispy sensation that’ll make your taste buds tango! Say hello to our irresistible Air Fryer Breaded Pork Tenderloin. With its golden and crunchy exterior, juicy and tender interior, and a hint of tantalizing seasoning, this dish is a flavor fiesta waiting.

air fried breaded pork tenderloin, served as a sandwich with fries on the side

Notes: We are currently in the development and testing stage for this air fryer breaded pork tenderloin recipe. Stay tuned for more updates. If you have any tips on making this dish even better, please leave us a comment below. We appreciate your input!

Happy frying!

air fryer breaded pork tenderloin, recipe bite-shot, served as a sandwich with fries on the side

Ingredients for air fryer breaded pork tenderloin

Here are all you need to make crispy air fried breaded pork tenderloin.

  • Pork tenderloin
  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • Paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Egg
  • Avocado oil

You can find the exact measurements of the recipe ingredients and customize the serving size in the recipe card after the detailed step-by-step instructions section.

Substitutes

Looking to switch things up? Here are some substitutes (and additions) you can consider:

  • Breadcrumbs: You can use either regular or panko breadcrumbs. But, besides breadcrumbs, you can swap them with crushed cornflakes for an added flavor and texture.
  • Egg: Trade traditional eggs for creamy buttermilk, infusing your breading with rich flavor and a hint of tang.
  • BONUS: Unleash a burst of savory goodness by incorporating an equal measure of Parmesan cheese proportionate to the breadcrumbs. This’ll elevate your breading’s flavor.

Recipe Video

Here’s a video of a similar recipe that we’re going for.

How to Cook Breaded Pork Tenderloin in an Air Fryer?

Step 1: Prepare the breading station.

Begin by assembling your breading station in three shallow dishes:

  1. In the first one, combine all-purpose flour with paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder. This blend promises a burst of aromatic delight in every bite.
  2. In the second bowl, whisk an egg to velvety perfection. This liquid gold is the secret to ensuring the breading adheres to the pork.
  3. Lastly, add breadcrumbs to the final shallow dish.

Step 2: Prepare the pork.

In order to create the best breaded pork tenderloin in air fryer, you have to cut and pound the meat into even thickness. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Start by placing the pork tenderloin on a clean, sturdy cutting board.
  2. Carefully cut the pork tenderloin crosswise with a sharp knife into four evenly-sized pieces. This will make it easier to work with and ensure even cooking.
  3. With each of the four pieces, carefully make an additional butterfly cut, leaving one edge uncut. This’ll allow you to open the pork slice like a book, creating a larger surface area for even cooking. (The butterfly cut is optional, but step 5 might become more challenging.)
  4. Now, place a sheet of plastic wrap over the pork.
  5. Using a meat mallet, gently pound each opened pork slice. Start from the center and work outwards, using even and controlled pressure. The goal is to achieve a uniform thickness of about 1/2 inch.

💡 Pro Tip: Take care not to cut all the way through – you want the pork to remain connected on one side.

Step 3: Preheat your air fryer to 400ºF (204ºC).

Preating Instant Pot Vortex Plus Air Fryer to 400°F (204°C).

If your air fryer doesn’t have a preheating option, set your desired temperature then let it cook for 5 minutes without food.

🚨 Important: Reduce the cooking temperature to 380°F (193°C) if you’re using a 4-quart air fryer or smaller. They are hotter due to the heating element being closer to the food.

Step 4: Season and bread the pork tenderloin.

Sprinkle a pinch of salt and black pepper over the tenderized pork. Ensure you season all sides generously.

Embrace your inner chef and gently massage the pork, letting the seasoning blend seamlessly into every nook and cranny. This step ensures that every bite of the air fryer breaded pork tenderloin recipe bursts with delectable flavor.

Now, bread the pork tenderloin:

  1. Coat both sides of each pork slice in the seasoned flour mixture, ensuring an even and gentle covering. 
  2. Dip the floured slice into the beaten egg, allowing any excess to drip back into the bowl. 
  3. Finally, place the egg-coated slice onto a bed of breadcrumbs and press gently, ensuring the breadcrumbs adhere evenly. 

This meticulous triple-layer coating ensures a satisfying crunch and savory taste in every mouthwatering bite.

Step 5: Air fry the breaded pork tenderloin for 6 – 10 minutes at 400ºF (204ºC).

Place the breaded pork slices onto your air fryer’s basket – a single layer is vital to get that perfect crunch. Since the pork tenderloin will be wide, cook in batches. In my case, I could only fit two.

Spray the breaded pork slices with avocado oil for an extra golden finish.

Slide the basket into your preheated air fryer and cook at 400ºF (204ºC) for 6 – 10 minutes. Halfway through, flip those slices and spray with more avocado oil to ensure even cooking and browning.

Here’s the thing:

Cooking time varies, depending on several factors: pork’s thickness, your air fryer’s specs, initial temperature, etc. Thus, it’s essential to use a meat thermometer to ensure a perfect breaded pork tenderloin.

So, starting at the 6-minute mark, check the temperature by inserting the thermometer in the thickest part of the meat (ideally in the center). Once it reads 145ºF (63ºC), you can remove the tenderloin from the air fryer.

💡 Pro Tip: You can remove the pork at 140ºF (60ºC) as the carryover cooking will allow the pork’s internal temperature to climb to the safe temperature. Doing so will also result in more juicy breaded pork tenderloin.

Step 6: Serve and enjoy!

air fried breaded pork tenderloin, served as a sandwich with fries on the side

Once cooked, let the pork rest at room temperature for 5 minutes.

Now comes the fun part – time to dig in! This air fried breaded pork tenderloin is perfect on its own, but you can elevate it even further. 

Try placing each pork slice on a burger bun. Add fresh lettuce and tomato for an Iowa-style breaded pork tenderloin sandwich. 

💡 Pro Tip: Looking for a flavor boost? Whip up a zesty dipping sauce using mustard, mayo, and honey. It’s the perfect companion to this crispy delight.

There you have it, a taste of porky perfection from your air fryer. Prepare to embark on an easy, scrumptious, and oh-so-satisfying culinary adventure.

Freezing & Storage

Fridge: Got leftovers? No worries! You can store your air fried pork tenderloin in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Freezing: And hey, if you want to freeze the cooked breaded pork tenderloin, go ahead! They can last up to 3 months in the freezer. Just be sure to thaw them in the fridge overnight before reheating.

Reheating: To reheat, just pop them back into your trusty air fryer for 5 – 7 minutes to restore that delightful crunch. Btw the ideal temperature for reheating is 350ºF (177ºC).

Frequently Asked Questions

Air fry breaded pork tenderloin for 6 – 10 mins at 400ºF (204ºC), flipping halfway. Ensure that the internal temp is 145ºF (63ºC) before serving. 

prep time15 minutes
cooking time6 minutes
total cooking time21 minutes

Irresistibly Crispy Air Fryer Breaded Pork Tenderloin

courseDinner
cuisineAmerican
Get ready to indulge in crispy perfection with this easy-to-follow air fryer breaded pork tenderloin recipe. A golden and succulent dish that will leave your taste buds dancing!
air fried breaded pork tenderloin, served as a sandwich with fries on the side
5 from 1 vote
number of servings4

This ingredients checklist is interactive; you can use it as your grocery list.

Ingredients
 

  • 1 lb pork tenderloin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • Avocado oil
  • Optional: Burger buns, lettuce, tomato, ketchup, mayo, pickles

Instructions
 

  • Set up the breading station. Mix all-purpose flour with paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder in a shallow dish. In another shallow bowl, beat the eggs. Lastly, add the breadcrumbs to the third dish.
  • Slice the pork. Begin by cutting the pork tenderloin crosswise into 4 even pieces. Then, make another crosswise cut on each piece, leaving it connected at one edge to open like a book. Take care not to cut all the way through.
  • Pound the tenderloin. Using a meat mallet, gently pound each opened piece until they’re approximately 1/2 inch thick. This will help tenderize the meat and ensure even cooking.
  • Season the pork tenderloin. Season each side of the pork with salt and pepper. Use your hands to massage the meat and evenly distribute the seasoning.
  • Preheat your air fryer to 400ºF (204ºC) for 5 minutes.
  • Bread the pork tenderloin. Dredge each pork slice in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess. Then, dip each flour-coated pork slice into the beaten egg, ensuring it's fully coated. Let any excess egg drip off. Transfer the egg-coated pork slices to the breadcrumb mixture. Make sure the pork is evenly coated with the breadcrumbs. Press gently to adhere.
  • Spray with avocado oil. Lightly spray avocado oil onto the breaded pork slices.
  • Air fry breaded pork tenderloin. Place them in a single layer in the air fryer. You might need to cook them in batches to avoid overcrowding. Air fry the pork slices for 3 – 5 minutes. Carefully flip the pork slices and spray with more avocado oil. Then, cook for 3 – 5 minutes more or until the pork is cooked through and the breading is deep golden and crunchy.
  • Check doneness. Make sure the internal temperature of the pork reaches 145ºF (63ºC) using a meat thermometer. This ensures the pork is cooked to a safe temperature while remaining juicy.
  • Once cooked, transfer the air-fried breaded pork tenderloin slices to a serving platter. Then, let them rest at room temperature for 5 minutes before serving.
  • Serve and enjoy. For a delicious Iowa-style twist, place each air fried breaded pork tenderloin on a burger bun and add fresh lettuce and tomato to mimic a classic breaded pork tenderloin sandwich. Pair it with your favorite dipping sauce or sides, and savor the crispy, flavorful delight!

Notes

  • Remove them from the air fryer for perfectly juicy and tender pork when the internal temperature is 140ºF (60ºC). The resting time will let the temperature increase to a safe temperature.
  • Considering that cooking time varies depending on the meat’s thickness (and your air fryer’s specs), always check with a meat thermometer if your pork is cooked thoroughly. The pork’s safe internal temperature is a minimum of 145ºF (63ºC).
  • If your air fryer doesn’t have a preheating option, you can set the temperature to 380°F (193°C) and then let it cook for 4 – 5 minutes without food. 
  • You can skip preheating by adding 2 – 4 minutes to your cooking time. Increment gradually to prevent burning the breaded pork tenderloin.
  • I used a 6-quart (air fryer) to test the breaded pork tenderloin. Cooking time and temperature may vary depending on your air fryer and the number of servings you are making. For optimal results, begin with the lower end of the suggested cooking time.

Nutrition

Calories: 282kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.05g | Cholesterol: 156mg | Sodium: 481mg | Potassium: 539mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 368IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 3mg
Keywords: air fryer breaded pork tenderloin, breaded pork tenderloin in air fryer

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