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Lunch / Dinner

Breaded Pork Tenderloin

If you’ve never taken a bite of a breaded pork tenderloin sandwich, you’re in for a treat with this oversized Midwestern specialty. Even if you’ve ordered something like this a hundred times, you’ll appreciate the unique breading made from saltine crackers instead of bread crumbs. The coating gets super crunchy, while the pork remains moist and tender. Just keep in mind that it’s important to get the oil really hot before frying to prevent the breading from becoming soggy. True to a Midwestern menu, serve the sandwich with a side of mac ‘n cheese. Just kick it up a notch with the addition of jalapeño.

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Test Kitchen Tip

Don’t confuse pork loin for pork tenderloin. Whole tenderloins are more tender, narrower, less than a foot long, and taper at one end.


Cut tenderloin crosswise into four equal pieces. Butterfly each piece by cutting about halfway into the thickness of the meat, then slicing partway into each side to create flaps. Spread open each piece of pork. Place pork between sheets of plastic wrap. Using the flat side of a meat mallet, pound pork to ¼ inch thick; season with salt and pepper.

Whisk together eggs, Dijon, and garlic powder in a shallow dish. Place cracker crumbs in another shallow dish.

Heat ¼ inch oil in a sauté pan over medium-high to 350–360°.

Dip pork in egg mixture, letting excess drip off. Dredge pork in cracker crumbs, pressing to adhere. Fry pork in oil, turning once, until meat is golden brown, 2–4 minutes per side.

Serve tenderloins on rolls with pickles, yellow mustard, and onion.


To butterfly a piece of pork, slice down the center halfway, then slice into each side so the cuts make a “T.”


Place the pork between two sheets of plastic wrap, and gently pound the meat to an even thickness.


Ensure cracker-coated tenderloins crisp up nicely by frying them one at a time in hot oil, flipping once.

Nutritional Facts

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