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Maple Glazed Pork Tenderloin + Lemony Smashed Potatoes

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
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Big Kids Plate
Toddler Plate

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Why we love it:

Warning: this sauce is to die for! The maple syrup caramelizes and picks up the savory notes of the shallot and garlic for a 3 ingredient win. Be sure to use real maple syrup!


  • 1 pound Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt (divided)
  • 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter (divided)
  • 214 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (divided)
  • 1 Lemon (zest and juice)
  • 1 Pork Loin, Boneless (typically about 1 ¼ pound)
  • 1 Shallot
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 4 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
  • 15 ounces Baby Spinach

Cooking Instructions


    Wash the potatoes, skin and all. Slice into 1 ½” thick rounds and place them in a pot and cover with water. Add about 1 teaspoon of salt and bring to boil. Cook for about 12 minutes or until the potatoes are completely tender but not falling apart. Drain well. Return to the hot pot and set on the stove without heat. Add 2 Tablespoons of butter and 2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Add the zest and juice of the lemon (to taste - you might not want to add it all, start slow and add more until you like it!). Season with salt.

  • 3. PORK

    Meanwhile, pat dry the pork tenderloin and pinch off any fat that’s hanging off. Season with a generous pinch of salt. Heat a large, oven safe sauté pan over medium-high heat; add 1 teaspoon of oil, and when hot, the pork. Don’t move it once it touches the heat. Sear for 6 minutes, then roll over to another side - think about the loin like a triangle shape rather than a square. Sear for 6 minutes, and roll to the third side and sear for another 6 minutes. Brush with glaze (see below) and move to the oven to finish cooking for about 5 minutes. Remove and let rest for 3 - 10 minutes before slicing.

  • 4. GLAZE

    While the pork is searing, make the glaze: slice the shallot and garlic into thin rings. In a small pot or sauté pan, add the remaining olive oil (about 1 teaspoon) over medium-high heat, and add the sliced shallot and garlic. Cook for about 2 - 3 minutes or until fragrant. Add the maple syrup and when it comes to a boil, turn off heat and whisk in the remaining 1 Tablespoon of butter until it’s combined. Brush this over the pork when you place it in the oven.

  • 5. SPINACH

    Wash and shake dry the leaves as needed. When the pork tenderloin is done, remove from the oven and use tongs to set it on the cutting board. Place the pan over medium heat and add the spinach. Use tongs to wilt and add a pinch of salt to taste.

  • 6. SERVING

    Slice pork into ⅓” thick slices. Plate over mashed potatoes and with spinach on the side.

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  • PORK:
    a half chicken works well, or use chicken breast but reduce cooking time
    pork chops can be seared on both sides, a pork loin can be roasted in the oven for about 35 minutes and served with the sauce
    any thin skin potatoes, red skin, german butterball, white potatoes
    serve with veggie of your choice

Kid Friendly Version

Big Kids Plate
Toddler Plate

How to Tweak This Recipe for Kids:

  • Cut pork so it’s easy to eat without a knife
  • Offer spinach, but also offer a raw baby spinach leaf which is crunchy and might have a preferable texture

For Toddlers

  • Slice pork into small bite size cubes
  • Spinach can be a difficult texture, so try chopping it finely and mixing with a bit of potato
  • Alternatively microwave some frozen broccoli or serve fruit and raw veggies

For Choosy Eaters

  • Slice pork so they can’t see the glaze, but the taste of it may be a hit because it’s sweet, don’t show the onions and garlic though
  • Serve with potatoes, try to aim for less visible skin. Or if needed, slice one potato into fry shaped wedges and roast it while the oven is on so it looks like fries. Serve with ketchup, honey mustard, or BBQ, etc.
  • Spinach can be a difficult texture, so microwave some frozen broccoli or serve fruit and raw veggies

Prep Ahead & Use It Up

  1. Make potatoes – reheat in a pot stirring often or the microwave
  2. Slice shallot and garlic (store in an airtight container)
  3. The cooked and glazed pork is delicious leftover, heat in a toaster oven or slices in a sauté pan until warm. They’re all good sliced very thin on a sandwich
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