An easy spiced rubbed pork tenderloin with cocoa topped with a berry mushroom sauce. As delicious as it is pretty.

Sometimes there are recipes that I put on here that I know are just going to be impossible to convey how amazingly delicious they are.

Or, stuff you’ll look at and be like “that title is about 7 words too long, is she on crack? This must be way too hard to make. Moving on to the next post…”

This pork tenderloin recipe probably fits into both those buckets.

Cocoa spiced rubbed pork tenderloin with crimini berry sauce
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

But too bad. I’m sharing it anyway.

I won’t really attempt to try to explain how outrageous this tasted with the cocoa rub (but know that it did) and I won’t try to defend my obnoxiously long title (but seriously, which word would you cut out?! And, it’s not nearly as complicated as it sounds!).

But, I will tell you about the super creepster experience I had driving to work yesterday.

It’s way more entertaining than listing every descriptor in the thesaurus for “delicious” anyway.

So there I am on I-95 in New Haven stuck in traffic (granted, that’s a given if you’ve ever traveled that stretch of highway, you’d know) during rush hour, being a typical girl, singing to whatever lame top 40 song is playing and being completely oblivious to those around me.

I look over to see a nice Audi SUV along side of me with a guy in it legitimately staring me straight in the eyes.

We make eye contact for a second in which I expect him to look away like a normal person that looks at the car next to you but quickly turns their head once eye contact is established, except that never happens.

Spice rubbed pork tenderloin with crimini berry sauce

He is so intently staring at me that my train of thought goes to “ok, do I KNOW this person?”

So then I stare back.

I start to crack a smile thinking it’s a coworker in a different car than normal or something because he did sort of look like one of my coworkers but then I see a wedding ring on his finger and that coworker isn’t married.

So now I’m freaked and my half smile acknowledgement turns to a “WTF is wrong with you look?” But that half smile was all he needed.

He then starts smiling directly at me and picks up his phone to show me through the window.

He points to it and starts giving me his number through hand signals as if I should be typing them into my phone to call him.

At this point I just bust out laughing and try my best to look straight ahead pretending like this isn’t actually happening to me.

Out of the hundreds/thousands! of cars on this highway, why me?

Like is this for real? Does a grown married man (who is flashing his wedding ring at me through the window) seriously think he can pick up women like this?

Is this real life?

Cocoa spiced rubbed pork tenderloin

I had about 10 miles to go until my work parking lot, 9.5 of which he followed directly behind me occasionally waving when I’d look up in my rear view mirror.

I was convinced he was going to pull up next to me at work when thankfully, he turned the opposite way off the exit ramp.


Or, maybe his wife just doesn’t make him kick-ass cocoa rubbed pork tenderloin and he was looking for someone that could.

Because I don’t want to deal with the sexism comments that will likely roll in after that sentence, one word: sarcasm.

Pork not your thing? This balsamic dijon crusted beef tenderloin and this grilled venison backstrap (which is sometimes called venison tenderloin) are great options instead.

Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
No ratings yet

Cocoa Spice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Crimini Berry Sauce

Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
An easy spiced rubbed pork tenderloin with cocoa topped with a berry mushroom sauce. As delicious as it is pretty.


For the Pork Tenderloin:

  • 1 1/2 lb. pork tenderloin
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For the Crimini Berry Sauce:

  • 1/2 lb. crimini mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed & quartered
  • 1 small yellow onion, sliced
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup blackberries
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • salt & pepper to taste


For the Pork Tenderloin:

  • Combine all the spices in a small bowl.
  • Rub the entire pork tenderloin with the spice rub and let sit for 20 minutes.
  • Heat a grill to the 425-450 range and grill the pork on each side for about 5 minutes or until cooked through and internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.
  • Remove cooked pork to a cutting board and let sit for at least 5 minutes before slicing.

For the Crimini Berry Sauce:

  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the butter, olive oil and onions and saute for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the mushrooms, stir and cook for another 5-7 minutes until mushrooms have released their moisture and are starting to caramelize.
  • Add the rosemary and stir to combine.
  • Add the blueberries and blackberries and stir to slightly break down the berries.
  • Add the raspberries last and give one final light stir (the raspberries are the most delicate of the berries so you don’t want to turn them to mush).
  • Season with salt & pepper to taste and then spoon over the sliced pork.


Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 363kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 47gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 128mgSodium: 531mgFiber: 4gSugar: 9g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American


Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

You May Also Like:

Leave a comment

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

Recipe Rating


  1. This looks amazing! How would I cook this in the oven (time & temp) & do you think I could put the spice rub on the pork tenderloin and refrigerate overnight or would the flavors be too strong ?

    Thank you in advance – I can’t wait to try this!

    1. You can definitely put the spice rub on the night before and refrigerate. If you want to make it in the oven I would suggest a quick brown on all sides in a skillet on the stove top first then transfer to the oven. Use a meat thermometer and cook until internal temp is 145F degrees. I’d probably cook it at 350F.

      1. Thank you for your help with cooking this pork tenderloin in the oven. Its just too cold to grill out. I grew up in Connecticut but live in Texas & we are experiencing unseasonably freezing cold temps! The tenderloin came out perfectly tender. I followed your instructions of searing first on stove top then into the oven it went. The flavors are delicious!

        1. So glad it worked out! I’m in NY and equally freezing so I can commiserate with you on that!

    1. Yeah, the spice rub itself it definitely tasty. I just prefer pork with some sort of sauce/liquid but if that’s not your thing, go for it!