Pork Tenderloin with Cilantro Pistachio Pesto

Pork Tenderloin with Cilantro Pistachio Pesto


Too many people use store-bought pesto. Pesto is so simple to make and a well-stocked kitchen will have all the necessary ingredients to make it. All it requires is some fresh herbs, olive oil, salt & pepper and possibly some garlic, nuts and citrus zest. Blend together in a food processor and voila – fresh pesto! Trust me. You will never buy pesto in a jar again.


Although I’ve tried many combinations, one of my favorite pestos is made from cilantro and pistachio. If you don’t like or don’t have cilantro, use parsley. Or try your own combination of fresh herbs! Tarragon gives a light sweet flavor and sage will make a rich smoky pesto.


Pesto can be tossed with pasta, potatoes or veggies or even used as a sandwich spread. Here, I’ve used it to coat pork tenderloin. This pesto lends a bright and complex flavor to the juicy pork and presents itself beautifully. This is an easy to make dish that will make a big impression!


Cilantro Pistachio Pesto


Cilantro Pistachio Pesto Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • ¼ cup pistachios
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 oz water chestnuts, finely chopped

Other Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ lb pork tenderloin


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.









Chop off stems from cilantro. Some stems remaining are ok. Lightly chop garlic. Combine these two ingredients along with the lemon zest, pistachios, salt, pepper and water in the food processor. Process on high until finely minced and combined. Stop the processor and scrape the mixture down the sides with a rubber spatula. Continue processing on low and slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Scoop the mixture into a bowl and combine with the water chestnuts.









Place the pork tenderloin in a roasting pan and coat on the top and sides with the pesto. Cook for 35-45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Let the pork rest on a platter for about 8 minutes before slicing.



Pesto Only:

Servings: 5      Serving Size: 2 Tbsp

Calories: 93                 Fat: 5.5g          Sat. Fat: .7g     Carbs: 3.9g

Sodium: 357.2mg        Fiber: 1.1g       Sugar: .6g        Protein: 1.4g


Pesto Tenderloin:

Servings: 7      Serving Size: 3 pieces, 4 oz.

Calories: 248               Fat: 9.5g          Sat. Fat: 2.4g   Carbs: 3.1g

Sodium: 336.4mg        Fiber: .8g         Sugar: .4g        Protein: 35g

3 Responses to “Pork Tenderloin with Cilantro Pistachio Pesto”

  • Patty Schultz says:

    The pesto sounds very light. I will have to try it. 🙂 I just love pesto and sell garlic scape and basil pesto at the farmers market. Can’t go wrong with pork tenderloin!! Sounds great!!

  • Barbara says:

    Thanks Patty! I would love to try your basil pesto. I bet it’s amazing!

  • Lorie McMullen says:

    Can’t wait to try this. We love cilantro and pork tenderloin–but never had them together. Jim buys pesto in the store a lot, but now he has a recipe to try. Thanks for posting this.

Leave a Fab Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About Me
Hi! I'm Barbara and yes, I cook! Welcome to my world of mouth-watering delicious food that you don't have to feel guilty about.
More about me →

Recent Recipes

Bruschetta 5 Ways, Whole Foods Event & a GIVEAWAY!
Ultimate Thanksgiving Lasagna
Citrus and Avocado Salad
Roasted Green Salad with Chanterelles
Allergy-Free Potato Latkes with Pear Mandarin Sauce