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Because life is mostly one busy day after another, I wanted to start the year off with a recipe which is frequently a dinner saviour around here, our favorite steam oven sheet pan dinner with pork tenderloin, courgettes, peppers and olive salsa.
Sheet pan dinners, or tray bakes, are the best fall back I can think of when you don’t want takeout but need something fast. Quick to get into the oven and usually speedy to cook, I make so many variations of this kind of dish that I could probably create a whole sheet pan dinners index page.
For today, though, we’ll start with just one more addition to the sheet pan dinners genre, this seemingly plain combi steam recipe for pork tenderloin and vegetables. It gets elevated to new heights with the addition of a punchy, vibrant green olive, lemon and caper salsa, and it’s worth making for the salsa alone.
I suspect this recipe will be popular with many of you, just as it is for us. Especially considering another sheet pan meal, the Chicken, Chorizo and Pumpkin Tray Bake, is one of the most visited recipes on this entire site (right behind Simple Steam Oven Chocolate Cake – great to see you all have your dessert-then-dinner priorities straight). Like the chicken and chorizo dish, this one can be varied in many ways. If pork isn’t your thing, chicken or fish fillets will work just as well. And you could change up the vegetables too, using aubergine, squash or cabbage in place of the courgettes and peppers here.
Family friendly steam oven meals
Because family friendliness is the name of the game for my dinners, and many of yours, I try to cook things which the kids willingly eat, but can also be bumped up to adult-worthy meals with simple additions. No one wants to make two separate meals.
Here, the pork and vegetables are simple, comforting and enough on their own for the less adventurous eaters. The olive salsa, though, makes the dish absolutely shine, and it’s a regular request from my husband when I ask what he wants for dinner. It’s not often I ask him what he wants to eat, so the poor man takes his chances for special requests when he can get them.
Pork tenderloin in a combi steam oven
Pork tenderloin, or fillet, is an ideal cut for combi steam cooking. It’s small, lean and tends to dryness when overdone, so the addition of steam during cooking is hugely beneficial and gives a couple of minutes grace time in the cooking process.
I like to cook pork tenderloin hot and fast, never really giving it time to dry out. And though you could pan fry it quickly to brown the outside before putting it in the oven, I am inherently against adding another pan to wash, so I don’t bother. Instead, I use a favourite hack of rubbing dry spices onto the meat before cooking, which does double duty in flavouring and giving colour to the finished dish.
If an impressive 20 minute dinner is a necessity in your house this week, I can’t recommend this one enough.
Happy steam oven cooking, see you here again soon.
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Steam Oven Pork Tenderloin with Courgettes, Red Peppers and Green Olive Sauce
For the pork and vegetables
- 8 baby courgettes or 2 medium zucchini, thickly sliced (halve before slicing if using zucchini)
- 1 bell pepper (capsicum), large, deseeded and roughly chopped (use any colour you like, or a combination)
- 2 tbs olive oil 1 tbs for vegetables and 1 for the meat
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 pork tenderloins approx 10.5oz/300g each
- Set the oven to 400ºF/200ºC, combination steam setting. If your oven has variable humidity levels, use 50%. If not, don't worry! Just set combination steam and the correct temperature, and the oven will work out the humidity for you.
- Put the courgettes, bell pepper and 1 tbs olive oil into a stainless steel pan and cook for 8 minutes. They should be just beginning to soften.
- While the vegetables start cooking, rub the smoked paprika, salt and remaining oil over the pork fillets. Make the salsa by mixing all the ingredients in a small bowl to combine. Add a tablespoon or two of water if you want it a little looser, then set aside while you make the rest of the dish.
- When the timer goes off for the vegetables, remove from oven and shift the vegetables around to make 2 gaps where the pork will fit. If your pork tenderloins are very slim, like my pictured ones, fold the thin ends under to make things a bit more even for cooking. Return the pan to the oven until the pork is just cooked through, about 12 minutes. A thermometer or meat probe should read 160°F/71°C in the thickest part of the meat. By this time the vegetables should be browned and tender.
- Allow the pork to rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving with the vegetables on the side. Spoon the salsa over the meat at the table.
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And if you’re after more delicious combi steam recipes, the Easy Combi Steam Oven Recipes Index page has plenty. Try the Loaded Sweet Potatoes or the Maple, Lime and Ginger Chicken Tenderloins to start you off.