Paleo and Whole30 Apple and Onion Braised Turkey Tenderloin is an easy option for dinner any day of the week! It’s the perfect meal for special occasions or an easy weeknight meal. This recipe requires only a few ingredients and less than 10 minutes of prep. A gluten-free cozy and comforting fall dinner idea!
Simple ingredients create the best meals. This tasty turkey tenderloin recipe comes together easily to create a light, fresh and flavorful meal.
Originally published November 2020 and republished November 2021. I love this recipe so much! So easy to make and I hope you try it out!!
Turkey is always a nice option for the upcoming holidays. This makes a great idea for an intimate family meal, and it also is a great recipe for just just two! Save any leftovers to reheat (makes a great meal prep idea!).
I love cooking turkey tenderloin. The tenderloin is inexpensive and turkey is naturally low in fat. Not only low fat, but it also has immunity-boosting nutrients like zinc, iron, and potassium. The tenderloin soaks in the flavor of whatever seasonings or marinades it’s cooked with, so you could even adjust the seasonings to fit your tastes.
It’s really nice to create a seasoning flavor combination to marinade it with that you love. For this particular recipe, I keep it simple with the olive oil (extra-virgin Sicilian olive oil that I love), salt, pepper and some dried herbs (a dried herb combo my Italian mother-in-law Teresa made me!).
Turkey tenderloin are even as versatile as chicken breasts. I really love also roasting turkey wings, but the tenderloin is so much juicier and very tender.
What ingredients are needed to make Paleo and Whole30 Apple and Onion Braised Turkey Tenderloin recipe?
The first thing you need to do is gather all your ingredients to make this paleo and Whole30 tenderloin recipe.
Here is all you need to make this tasty turkey tenderloin:
For the turkey:
- turkey tenderloin, you could use pork if you can’t find turkey tenderloin
- extra-virgin olive oil
- sweet paprika
- dried herbs, I have a combo of rosemary and sage, but either one alone would work
For the sauce:
- sweet onion (or a regular white onion is fine)
- apples (I used gala, but any kind would be fine)
- apple sauce (NO sugar, to keep it clean eating)
- low-sodium chicken stock
- coconut aminos (if you're not following Whole30, use your favorite soy or tamari to keep it gluten-free)
- apple cider vinegar (or white wine or rice vinegar, as long as sugar free, it’s fine)
- fresh sage, you could use rosemary or thyme
How do you make Paleo and Whole30 turkey tenderloin with apples and onions?
I start by marinating the tenderloin with olive oil, seasoning and some dried herbs. It really could be left to marinate overnight or even right before cooking (sometimes I forget to marinate it and put it together even 30 minutes before).
Can I make turkey tenderloin recipe with pork instead?
Yes! I know it's hard to find turkey tenderloin in every market. If you really want to make this and can't find turkey, sub in pork tenderloin. IF using pork: Bake at 350F until pork is 150 degrees internally at the widest part of the tenderloin (about 25 minutes.)
The next part of the recipe is the delicious apple and onion sauce.
Once you gather all your ingredients for the apple and onion sauce, you cook them together in a skillet. Sauté them all together until they soften. Check the seasoning as your cooking and you could adjust by adding more vinegar or a splash of apple juice. Add a spoonful more of apple sauce if you want it a bit thicker. I used apple cider vinegar but even rice wine vinegar or white wine vinegar would work great (really, whatever vinegar you have in your pantry).
Then I add the apple and onion sauce to the baking pan.
I add turkey tenderloin on top of the apple sauce and some fresh sage. It all gets roasted together until the tenderloin is juicy and tender.
The flavorful turkey tenderloin comes together pretty quickly. The apple and onions are incredible. I usually make extra to have on the side to serve as like an apple compote. It goes so nicely with these instant pot mashed potatoes and a these lovely roasted Brussel sprouts.
How do I safely marinate turkey breast tenderloin?
Since the quick marinade you put together is being used with uncooked meat, there will be bacteria on whatever container you use to marinate it in. Any bacteria could remain on the container and even the marinade.
It’s important to take care and avoid any cross contamination. The best way to do that is use disposable gloves (if you have any on hand)or just be sure to wash your hands really well after handling the turkey.
To stay totally safe, it’s best to marinate in glass or stainless steel bowls, plastic storage containers or my personal favorite, a large disposable zipped lock bag.
Discard the marinade and thoroughly wash the container you marinated in. IF you are boiling the marinade as part of the sauce, it is safe to keep it.
What I like to do is marinade in a zipped lock bag. I then place the bag inside of a plastic container and place in fridge until ready to use.
How long should I marinate my turkey breast tenderloin?
The tenderloin will be more flavorful the more time you marinate it. Most often I try plan and marinate it overnight. Sometimes I forget and remember in morning, so 6 hours is enough. But truly overnight is ideal.
Last minute is fine, too! Sometimes I put the marinate together 30 minutes-1 hour before and the tenderloin still comes out tender and delicious.
Because of the acid of the vinegar, I wouldn’t marinade it for more than 2 days. But for this recipe, I really like marinating 8 hours for a really moist and tasty tenderloin.
What temperature does turkey tenderloin need to be cooked to?
Use a meat thermometer to ensure that your turkey reaches a safe internal temperature of 165° Fahrenheit.
How to store Paleo and Whole30 Apple and Onion Braised Turkey Tenderloin
The turkey and apple sauce could be stored in an airtight plastic or glass container in the fridge for 3 days.
To reheat, you could reheat any leftovers in a skillet on medium low heat (or a on a plate in the microwave).
I'm not sure how to explain how delicious this tenderloin truly is! It is so tender and the apple and onion sauce is incredible! My husband just loves it and so do the kids! I did make extra sauce to have on the side...you could use it again during the week even with chicken breasts (I wouldn't save the extra sauce for more than 5 days). An absolutely wonderful Whole30 dinner idea. Gluten and grain free for your paleo family members.
PIN for later!
Some other fall dinner ideas:
- Rosemary and Garlic Pork Tenderloin
- Instant Pot Italian Pork Roast
- Slow Cooker Turkey Bolognese Sauce
- Skillet Lasagna Bolognese
Originally published November 2020 and republished November 2021.
Paleo and Whole30 Apple and Onion Braised Turkey Tenderloin
- TURKEY TENDERLOIN
- 1.5 pound turkey tenderloin you could use pork if you can’t find turkey tenderloin
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 2 teaspoons salt divided
- 2 teaspoons pepper divided
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- dried herbs I have a combo of rosemary and sage, but either one alone would work
- APPLE AND ONION SAUCE
- 1 large sweet onion peeled and sliced 1/4″ thick
- 2 medium apples cored, peeled and sliced 1/4″ thick
- 1/2 cup apple sauce
- 1 cup chicken stock I used my own homemade that was low-sodium. Store bought is fine as long as low-sodium
- 2 Tablespoons coconut aminos
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- fresh sage you could use rosemary or thyme
- TURKEY TENDERLOIN
- The night before, or even 30 minutes before is fine, pat the turkey tenderloin dry. Season with 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper and 1 teaspoon paprika.
- Add the turkey tenderloin into a large zipped lock bag (or airtight container). Add a tablespoon of olive and if you have it in a zipped lock sealed bag, squish it all around the seasoning and oil.
- When you’re ready to cook it (you could prep this the night before or even day of cooking), remove from the refrigerator. Line a baking pan or a casserole with foil paper.
- Preheat your oven to 425º with the oven rack in the middle.
- Place a medium sized skillet on medium heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet.
- Once skillet is heated up, add the apples and onions.
- Saute’ until apples and onions soften.
- Add the apple sauce, chicken stock, coconut aminos, and vinegar. Cook until the sauce begins to thicken a little. If it seems to be too thick, add a few drops of water. Check the flavoring and add more apple sauce or a splash of vinegar, if needed.
- Add the apple and onion sauce to the foil lined baking pan.
- Place the tenderloin on top of the apple and onion sauce.
- Sprinkle on the remaining salt, pepper, and paprika on top of the tenderloin and a drizzle of olive oil. If you have any fresh sage (rosemary or even thyme), add to the pan around tenderloin.
- Place the baking pan in the heated oven.
- When it’s halfway through being cooked, check the sauce and if it’s thickened too much, and if it seems too dry, add 1/4 cup more of water (more if needed).
- Lower the heat to 375F for the last 10 minutes of cooking time.
- Bake until tenderloin reaches 160 degrees F in thickest part (about 30-40 minutes, every oven is different).
- Remove turkey tenderloin from the oven and let rest for at least five minutes to lock in juices. Slice and place on a serving plate with the apple/onion sauce. Serve with a side of roasted potatoes and your favorite green vegetables.
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information presented below is an approximation and may vary depending on the exact ingredients used.
- I used coconut amino acids to try to stay paleo and Whole30 compliant. If you aren't following paleo or Whole30, use your favorite tamari sauce (to stay gluten-free)or soy sauce (if you're not gluten-free).
- Refrigerate turkey within two hours and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- You could sub the rice vinegar with another vinegar that you have in your pantry.
- You could use pork tenderloin if you can't find turkey tenderloin.
- IF using pork: Bake at 350F until pork is 150 degrees internally at the widest part of the tenderloin (about 25 minutes.)