When you need dinner fast, but you still want it tasty, this easy Instant Pot Paprika Pork Tenderloin is here to save you! Healthy, juicy bites of pork wrapped in a sweet paprika and pineapple sauce. Mmmmmmm….
I mistakenly thought that once my kids were older, making dinner would be a relaxing, joy-filled time. How could it get harder than two 2-year-olds crying at my feet, dumping drawers, flushing markers down the toilet . . . Cue flashback panic attack. Inhale, exhalllllllle.
Okay, so actually, I'm gonna say it is more enjoyable now, but still hectic. Those 2-year-old tantrums have turned into, “Mom! Where're my gymnastic clothes” “Mom! I don't understand my homework” “Mom! A boy tried to kiss me on the bus….” Say what!!! Oh no he din't!
Well, this combination of juicy pork tenderloin, smoky paprika sauce, and sweet pineapple is a home run, even for my 3 little anti-vegetable, vegetarians (it's complicated).
Joy filled my soul the second I lifted that lid off the pressure cooker and was hit in the face with that smoky sweet smell. This recipe has secured its spot on the monthly menu for sure!
WHY YOU WILL LOVE INSTANT POT PORK TENDERLOIN
- 5 minute cook time. Did you get that? 5 MIN-UTES! Of course there are the few minutes it takes to come to pressure, but basically, it's enough time for you to get the table set
- Yummy, tender pork. Always a fan favorite
- Versatility! Eat it on bread, over rice, on a salad, straight out of the pot . . . It's all good!
- Healthy, wholesome, good for you food right here, done before fast food takeout can even blink
BEST PORK CUT FOR ULTIMATE TENDERNESS
I tried everything from pork butt (too greasy), pork chops (too dry), pork loin (too chewy), before I discovered that the tenderloin delivered the best in taste and texture. I promise you! I've done the work, I've wasted the pork, just trust me on this one. Tenderloin is where it's at.
HOW TO MAKE PAPRIKA PORK TENDERLOIN
- Mix up the most amazing pork tenderloin rub ever
- Remove the silver skin from the tenderloin. Here's a video on how to do that, if you're not familiar
- Cut pork into large bite-size pieces
- Place pork in a bag, add seasonings, shake to coat. Let marinate (details on marinate time below)
- When it's time to cook, dump pork into the pot, add pineapple juice and cook!
- About 10 – 15 minutes later, add your pineapple chunks and your food is done!
Now you could absolutely just sit over the pot and eat juicy bites of pineapple and pork again and again until happily full, but I highly encourage you to take things one step further and make. . .
THE BOMB HEALTHY PITA SANDWICH OF MY DREAMS!
Throw your whole grain pita under the broiler to get it warm and crisp (don't burn the whole pan of pita bread like someone I know) then stuff it with pork, pineapple, and a load of other toppings like tomatoes, cilantro, romaine lettuce, and the best Sir Kensington's Chipotle Mayo. You just made dinner in 15 minutes and it looks like a million bucks!
Enjoy this my friends! It's a keeper!
VARIATIONS FOR YOUR PORK AND PINEAPPLE MASTERPIECE
- Rice bowl! Thicken the sauce with a cornstarch slurry and serve it over brown rice, white rice, or green rice
- Serve it on skewers for entertaining! That just came to me – that would be amazing!
- Open face on a slice of bread with pepper jack cheese melted over top (I tried this – wow!)
TOOLS/INGREDIENTS USED TO MAKE INSTANT POT PAPRIKA PORK SANDWICH
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Instant Pot Paprika Pork Sandwich
Sweet and smoky with a tiny bit of heat. Load it up with lots of toppings and enjoy every flavorful, juicy bite.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings
- Category: Entree
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: American
- 2 pounds of pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces (see note)
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ – ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 (6 oz) can pineapple juice
- 2 cups chopped fresh pineapple
To make a sandwich or wrap:
- pita bread (whole grain tortillas or flatbread will also work) and toppings such as chopped cilantro, cotija cheese, diced tomato, chipotle or regular mayo, chopped romaine lettuce, sriracha, greek yogurt, sour cream, etc
- Place pork in a gallon sized ziplock bag. Add seasonings and allow to marinate overnight in the refrigerator (see note).
- After meat has marinated, pour all of the bag's contents into the pressure cooker pot, add pineapple juice. Scatter the meat across the bottom of the pot, so they are not in one big clump. Secure the lid and turn pressure release knob to a sealed position. Cook at high pressure for 5 minutes.
- When cooking is complete, use a quick release.
- Add the pineapple and use the saute function to warm it through if needed.
- Optional: To thicken the juices, make a cornstarch slurry of 2 tablespoons cornstarch and 2 tablespoons cool water. Use the saute function to bring the juices to a simmer. Slowly add the cornstarch slurry while whisking until it thickens.
To make Pita Sandwich
- Toast pita bread lightly in a toaster or under the oven broiler. Cut in half and use a slotted spoon to scoop the pork and pineapple mixture into the pita. Top with desired toppings.
- Serve the pita with a small bowl of the juices from the pot for dipping.
- Label a freezer-safe Ziploc bag with the recipe name, date, and contents. Add pork and seasonings to the bag and seal shut. Put the bag inside the pressure cooker pot and press the meat out so it’s flat on the bottom of the pot. Freeze inside pressure cooker pot until solid, then remove the bag from the pot and place back in the freezer until ready to use.
- When ready to cook, place the contents of the bag into the pressure cooker pot. Add pineapple juice. Cook at high pressure for 8 minutes and proceed with remaining directions above.
- I buy the pork tenderloin that is vacuum-packed in plastic shrink wrap in the fresh meat department. It contains 2 pork tenderloins that weigh about 1 pound each. Grab a couple whenever you see them on sale
- Allowing the meat to marinate overnight really adds to the flavor of the pork, but in a pinch you could place all of the ingredients in the pressure cooker pot and cook right away.
- While I normally always do a natural release with meat, the pork tenderloin stays tender either way here.
- Leftovers freeze okay. The pineapple texture gets a little weird, but once it’s all heated up and stuffed in the pita, it tastes great!
Keywords: instant pot pork tenderloin, healthy pita sandwich, paprika pork