This sous vide pork tenderloin is buttery tender and packed with Cuban flavors. Pair it with an equally unique warm black bean salad for a protein-rich, low-carb, and gluten-free meal. You can prepare the entire meal—enough for a whole week—in under two hours.

This sous vide pork tenderloin is buttery tender and packed with Cuban flavors. Pair it with a warm black bean salad for a protein-rich and low-carb meal.

I don’t know about you, but before I actually got into meal prep, I associated it with bland, basic meals like chicken breast and broccoli for days. Hey, it’s great if that’s your thing! But it never got me too motivated or excited about the lunches ahead.

So now, when I do my Meal Prep Sunday series, the recipes must pass two important criteria before I share them with you: a) they must be packed with flavor, and b) the meals must be something exciting you wouldn’t find on your basic lunch menu.

This week on the menu is a buttery tender, Cuban-style sous vide pork tenderloin and a warm black bean salad side dish.

The pork tenderloin is cooked in a spiced citrus marinade, and the warm black bean salad has an equally unique combination of flavors, seasoned with cinnamon, garlic, cumin, lemon, and chili powder. The salad gets its substance from cooked kale, fresh tomatoes, and mashed black beans—which offers a boost of protein to keep you going until dinner time (or at the very least, happy hour).

This sous vide pork tenderloin is buttery tender and packed with Cuban flavors. Pair it with a warm black bean salad for a protein-rich and low-carb meal.

WHAT'S IN THE MEAL?

Buttery tender, juicy and packed with Cuban flavors, this sous vide pork tenderloin hits the spot every single time.

This hearty and filling black bean salad is not only the perfect side dish to your meat course but a great main dish for vegetarians.

INGREDIENT LIST

For Cuban-Style Pork Tenderloin:

  • 2 pounds pork tenderloin, cut into 6-8 chunks
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For the pork marinade:

  • 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • juice of 1 orange
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the warm black bean salad:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 (15-oz) cans black beans, undrained
  • 4 cups chopped kale, firmly packed
  • 1 cup fresh tomato, diced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • White sesame seeds for garnishing (optional)

WHAT KITCHEN EQUIPMENT DO YOU NEED?

MEAL PREP SUNDAY INSTRUCTIONS

Now that you’ve got everything you need, let’s get right into it.

#1 Marinate the pork tenderloin.

Rinse the pork tenderloin and pat dry with paper towels. Cut into 6 to 8 chucks and place them in a large Ziploc bag. Now, make the Cuban marinade by combining all the marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well, then pour it over the pork. Zip up and shake well. Let it marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

#2 Prepare the water bath with a sous vide precision cooker.

Attach the Anova sous vide precision cooker to a large saucepan or a sous vide container. Fill your saucepan with water until the water comes up to somewhere between the lines of “min” and “max” that are marked on your sous vide machine. Set the temperature to 144°F and turn on the machine to heat the water.

#3 Chop up the vegetables for the warm black bean salad.

Dice one yellow onion and one or two fresh tomatoes to make up one cup diced tomatoes. If your kale is not pre-chopped, wash the kale, remove the stems and roughly chop it up. You need four cups. Set all the vegetables aside. Don’t combine them.

#4 Let the pork swim in water.  

By then, your water should be ready. But if you think your pork needs a little more time to marinate, you can leave the sous vide machine on and keep the water bath temperature at precisely 144°F. This is a good time to pour yourself a glass of wine.

Take out the pork from your fridge. Unzip and slowly lower the Ziploc bag into the water bath, allowing the water to push out the air from the bag. Once the pork is completely under the waterline, zip up the bag and clip it onto the edge of your sous vide container. Set the timer for 1.5 hours.

#5 Cook the warm black bean salad.

While the pork is cooking, let’s finish the side dish following this recipe. In a medium saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt into the pan. Cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until onion is tender.

Stir in chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, and black beans with their liquid. Cook 2 minutes; mash the beans with the back of your spatula, leaving some beans intact.

Reduce heat to low; add kale, cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until kale is tender and mixture has thickened. Stir in lemon juice and tomato; taste and add more salt if desired. Garnish with white sesame seeds.

#6 Make some other ingredients for mix and match throughout the week (optional).

The cooking time for the warm black bean salad is only 10 minutes, so you’ll have plenty of time left to make some sides that go well with pretty much everything. Here are some ideas.

With those sides and ingredients on hand, you will be able to mix and match to create some healthy meals in just 5 minutes throughout the week.

#7 Sear the pork and slice it up.

Once the pork is done, remove the bag from the water. Carefully take out the pork tenderloin and transfer to a plate. Gently pat it dry with paper towels. On another burner, bring the marinade to a boil in a small saucepan and set aside.

Heat oil in a nonstick pan or a cast iron skillet over high heat; sear the pork on all sides until the outside is golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and slice it up.

#8 Pack your meals.

Personally, this is my favorite part of the meal prep. Place a few scoops of the warm black bean salad on one side of each meal prep container. Set one serving of pork (the serving size depends on personal preference) on the other side of each container. Drizzle with the Cuban marinade. If you want, add a hard-boiled egg in each meal.  

Now, you’ve prepared a week’s worth of awesome meals that are packed with protein and flavor. Enjoy them as lunches or dinners whenever you are short on time.

WHAT IF I DON'T HAVE A SOUS VIDE MACHINE?

I get this question a lot. That’s why I always include at least one other cooking method as an alternative. For this Cuban-style pork tenderloin, you can certainly grill it or bake it. Here’s how to do it.

For grilling:

  1. When marinating the pork, don’t add any salt and pepper yet. Sprinkle salt and pepper onto the pork right before you are ready to grill it.
  2. Preheat grill or grill pan on medium-high. Remove pork from marinade (discard marinade). As mentioned before, season pork with salt and pepper. Place pork on grill; cook 3-4 minutes on all sides.
  3. Reduce heat to low; cover and continue to cook 5-6 minutes more or until the pork is 145°F. Let pork stand 5 minutes. Slice and serve.

For baking:

  1. Heat oven to 375°F.
  2. Marinate the pork tenderloin chunks without salt and pepper. When ready to cook, season the pork with salt and pepper (discard the marinade). Sear each side of the pork in a cast iron skillet coated with oil over high heat for 2-3 minutes or until browned.
  3. Transfer the pork to a baking sheet lined with foil. (If you are making only one pound of pork tenderloin, you can bake it directly in the cast iron skillet.) Place some butter pieces on top of the pork. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the inner temperature of the pork reaches 145°F. Let it rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve. 

Here you have it. I truly hope you enjoy this combination. If you’re looking to spruce up your lunch box, this Sous Vide Pork Loin With Brussels Sprouts and Lentil Salad is another awesome meal prep recipe and a close second.

As always, if you like this and get a chance to prep for this meal, leave a comment below and let me know what you think. Now, here’s the single sous vide pork tenderloin (Cuban-style) recipe for you to save and print out. Happy meal prepping! 

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Sous Vide Pork Tenderloin (Cuban Style)

Sous Vide Pork Tenderloin

Buttery tender, juicy and packed with Cuban flavors, this sous vide pork tenderloin hits the spot every single time.

  • Author: Sharon Chen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4-5 servings
  • Category: Main, Gluten Free, High Protein, Low Carb
  • Method: Sous Vide
  • Cuisine: Cuban

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds pork tenderloin, cut into 6-8 chunks
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For the pork marinade:

  • 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • juice of 1 orange
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Place prepared pork tenderloin in a large Ziploc bag. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a small bowl, mix well, and pour over the pork. Shake well, zip up, and let marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat water to 144°F using a sous vide precision cooker. (I use Anova sous vide machine.)
  3. Once the water is preheated, take out the marinated pork from your fridge, unzip the Ziploc bag, and slowly lower it into the water bath. Let the water push the air out of the bag, then zip the bag above the waterline. The pork and its marinade should be completely under the water. Cook for 1.5 hours.
  4. Once the pork is done, remove the bag from the water. Carefully take out the pork tenderloin, and transfer to a plate. Gently pat it dry with paper towels.
  5. Bring the marinade to a boil in a small saucepan and set aside.
  6. Heat oil in a nonstick pan or a cast iron skillet over high heat. Sear the pork on all sides until the outside is golden brown, about 1 minute per side.
  7. Transfer to a cutting board, slice it up and serve with the reserved marinade.

Notes

  • Since we drown the pork tenderloin in the Cuban marinade and sous vide cook them all together, a Ziploc bag works better than a sous vide bag in this case. Once the contents are under the water, the water will push all the air out of the bag, so no vacuum sealer is necessary.
  • Cooking at 144°F will give your pork tenderloin a tender and blushing pink color when it’s done. If you like your pork medium-well, increase the temperature to 149°F, or 158°F for well-done pork, according to ChefStep’s Joule app.

Keywords: sous vide pork tenderloin

5 thoughts on “Meal Prep Sunday: Sous Vide Pork Tenderloin with Black Bean Salad (Cuban Style)”

  1. Oh my God, your dish looks amazing. Moist, Juicy and yummy… The combination of so many things in a salad makes it really healthy and tasty. Will make it for Dinner for the family to enjoy.

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