You see chicken fajitas, you see beef fajitas, but you hardly ever see pork fajitas. Why is that? It made no sense to me, so I decided I needed to create pork fajitas. To make fajitas, I decided to try a technique I hadn’t seen other people try before, and boy, did it turn out delicous. I hope you enjoy these pork tenderloin fajitas as much as my family did, because we made them twice in three days we thought they were so good!
About the Pork
The first question you may be asking is why make pork tenderloin fajitas? Chicken fajitas are perfectly fine and beef fajitas are totally delicious. Well, it’s because chicken is just…fine. It’s chicken. It’s not super flavorful and it’s just meh. Beef is incredibly flavorful, but it’s much more expensive than chicken or pork. I think pork is right in that sweet spot of good flavor but not super expensive, so, to me, pork tenderloin fajitas sound like a great idea!
One of the reasons something like a beef flank steak works so well for fajitas is because it comes in a flat shape that’s easy to slice into fajita strips. Pork tenderloins aren’t shaped in such a convenient way. That’s why I thought of this technique – it’s the perfect way to make the pork tenderloin into a “flank steak” kinda shape. Usually I’ve only seen pork tenderloins pounded for Iowa Breaded Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches, so I was a little leary, but I had to try it!
I took my meat mallet and after a few whacks with the flat side (not the pointy side!), I had a pork tenderloin that was flattened to about 1/4″ thick. The pork actually looked a bit like a side of fish, and it was perfect for this recipe. I was so excited! If you don’t have a meat mallet, you should get one, they’re super useful! But if you don’t, you can also use a rolling pin, a can of vegetables, or even a heavy sheet pan.
How to Season Pork Tenderloin Fajitas
Once you have your pork tenderloin, it’s time to season it with your favorite southwest rub. I used the Urban Accents Mesa Rosa Chipotle Spice Blend to season the meat. It has a bit of smoky flavor, some heat, and a bit of sugar, which is very important. The sugar will start to burn a bit over the hot grill, which gives a great char to the pork tenderloin fajitas. I think the char really adds something special to the flavor, which is why I selected this seasoning.
We sell the Mesa Rosa Chipotle rub at LGCM, you can get it online from the manufacturer, you can use your own favorite southwestern-style spice rub, or use this recipe to make a quick rub at home:
- 2 tbsp. Kosher Salt
- 2 tbsp. Chili Powder
- 1 tbsp. Ground Cumin
- 1 tbsp. Garlic Powder
- 1 tbsp. Onion Powder
- 1 packed tbsp. Light Brown Sugar
- 1 tbsp. Black Pepper
- 2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper (optional for spicier version)
Season your pork generously with your rub of choice, and then let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes while you get the grill ready and everything else prepped.
How to Cook Pork Tenderloin Fajitas
With the pork tenderloin seasoned, you are ready to get cooking! I think grilling this recipe over charcoal is the best way to bring a smoky, delicious flavor to the meal, but a normal gas grill works well also. If you don’t want to grill, you could use a broiler, or even cut the meat into strips and pan fry. I really do prefer grilling the meat whole though, so if you can grill it, please do!
It’s important to get your grill to a nice high heat before you put the pork on the grill. 500 – 550ºF is a good place to get a solid sear on the outside and get the sugar a little charred. Since we’ve pounded the pork tenderloin thin to make fajitas, the meat will cook fast. After searing on each side, remove the pork tenderloin from the grill, and wrap it in aluminum foil and let it rest for 5 – 10 minutes to cook through and let the juices redistribute throughout the meat.
I know it’s tempting to slice into the meat right off the grill, but by letting it rest, you’ll have a juicier, more evenly cooked product that you’ll enjoy much more. As soon as it’s done resting, you can slice the pork tenderloin fajita meat into thin strips and start making fajitas!
How to Serve Pork Tenderloin Fajitas
These are great with all your favorite toppings. Whatever you like is fair game for your fajitas. I served them with sauteed onions, yellow, green, and red peppers, as well as a squeeze of fresh lime juice and a bit of guacamole. I also warmed my fajitas over a stove burner to get a bit of char on them, which I love. Not sure what to put on your fajitas? Here are some ideas:
- Sautéed yellow or white onions
- Pickled red onions
- Sautéed bell peppers
- Pickled jalapeno peppers
- Fresh salsa like pico de gallo
- Salsa verde
- Sour cream
- Shredded cheese
- Queso fresco (Mexcian-style crumbly cheese)
- Fresh lime juice
Really the possibilities are endless, so go crazy and put whatever you like on the fajitas. Just make sure you serve them with a delicious ice cold margarita, Mexican beer, or a tall, cool glass of lemonade!
We hope you like this pork tenderloin fajitas recipe. It was fun for us to try something a little outside of the box, and the results were delicious. What do you think? Do you like using pork for fajitas? If you like southwestern flavors and pork, you can also check out this Southwest Pork Tenderloin Bowl recipe. It has all the fun of a fajita in a no-mess bowl form!
If you’ve made any tweaks or have any suggestions, we’d love to hear from you. Just leave us a comment below with your thoughts. We appreciate you sharing. See you soon at Lake Geneva Country Meats – cheers!
- 1 LGCM Pork Tenderloin
- Urban Accents Mesa Rosa Chipotle (or your favorite seasoning, see note above)
- 2 Yellow Onion (or white onions)
- 1 Green Bell Pepper (thinly sliced)
- 1 Red Bell Pepper (thinly sliced)
- 1 Yellow Bell Pepper (thinly sliced)
- 2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
- Kosher Salt
- Black Pepper
- 12 Flour Tortillas (warmed)
Lay your pork tenderloin on a cutting board and cover it with plastic wrap. Take a meat mallet and use the flat side of the mallet to pound the meat until it is approximately 1/4 – 1/2″ thick. Start in the middle and work your way towards the outside, and angle the mallet so that the blows land slightly outwards so the meat spreads out evenly.
Once your pork tenderloin is pounded flat, season it generously with the Urban Accents Mesa Rosa Chipotle spice blend, or your favorite southwestern-style seasoning. See the note above for ideas. Let the meat sit while you prep your vegetables and heat the grill.
Heat your grill to high heat: 500 – 550ºF. Make sure the grill is hot and the grill grates are clean before cooking.
Add vegetable oil to a large non-stick skillet, and heat to medium heat. Add the sliced onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 4 minutes, then add the bell peppers. Season the peppers with salt and pepper, and continue cooking on medium heat until all the vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally to promote even cooking. Once the vegetables are cooked, remove from heat.
Place the pork tenderloin directly over the high heat on your grill and cook for 2 – 3 minutes per side, making sure you have a good sear and color on each side. Once seared, remove the pork from the grill, wrap in aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 – 1o minutes. After resting, slice the meat into thin strips for your pork tenderloin fajitas.
Assemble your pork tenderloin fajitas by smearing guacamole on a warmed tortilla, then adding your desired amount of pork tenderloin fajita slices and fajita veggies. Add a squeeze of fresh lime juice on top. Feel free to add your own favorite toppings – a big list suggested toppings are in the notes above! Enjoy!