Pork Cutlets with Flavor Galore!

Don a sombrero and grab a margarita, it’s about time to get your Mexican on. This recipe starts with chili-garlic-infused oil, then is finished with a chipotle-lime sauce. Bigger flavor is built by breaking down a marinade.

Mexican-Style Grilled Pork Cutlets use a chili-and-garlic-infused oil to season pork tenderloin cutlets before quickly grilling them. The remaining oil is made into a sauce/marinade to drizzle on afterward to add a fresh burst of flavor. We served ours with Mexican rice and red beans, but you could also slice into strips and nestle into warmed corn tortillas with chopped white onion, fresh cilantro for making tacos.

The directions say not to grill the second sides of the cutlets for more than about 1 minute or they will overcook. But I pounded our cutlets to a 1/4″ thickness as opposed to 1/8″ because we like ours a bit thicker, thus they take a minute or two longer—use an instant-read meat thermometer to test for doneness at 145°. Aim to get charring on only the first sides, then serve the pork charred side up.

¡Arriba, arriba! ¡Ándale, ándale!


Mexican-Style Grilled Pork Cutlets

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. sweet paprika
  • 2 Tsp. ground coriander
  • 2 Tsp. packed brown sugar
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1¼ Lb. pork tenderloin, trimmed of silver skin
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 chipotle chilies in adobo, chopped, plus 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
  • ⅓ cup fresh lime juice, about 2 limes
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro


  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the oil, cumin, paprika, coriander, sugar and garlic. Microwave on high until the garlic is softened, about 1 minute.
  2. Measure out 3 tablespoons of the seasoned oil, including some of the solids, into a large baking dish.
  3. Cut the tenderloin in half crosswise, then cut each piece in half lengthwise. Using a meat pounder, pound each piece to an even ⅛-inch thickness.
  4. Place in the baking dish, turning to coat on all sides with the oil mixture. Cover and refrigerate while you make the sauce and prepare the grill.
  5. Into the remaining oil mixture, whisk ¾ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, the chipotle chilies, adobo sauce, lime juice and cilantro. Set aside.
  6. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill. For a charcoal grill, ignite a large chimney of coals, let burn until lightly ashed over, then distribute evenly over one side of the grill bed; open the bottom grill vents. For a gas grill, turn all burners to high. Cover and heat the grill for 5 to 10 minutes for charcoal or about 15 minutes for gas, then clean and oil the cooking grate.
  7. Place the pork in a single layer on the hot side of the grill and cook until well browned, about 2 minutes.
  8. Using tongs, flip each piece and cook for 1 minute (or a bit longer if your cutlets are thicker).
  9. Transfer browned side up to a platter. Stir the sauce to recombine, then drizzle desired amount over each cutlet.
  10. Tent with foil and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve with your favorite sides and the remaining sauce.


Original recipe by Diane Unger from 177milkstreet.com

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