Sweet, spicy, and downright delicious, these Apricot Glazed Pork Tenderloin Skewers are the perfect addition to your next summer party or BBQ! Featuring juicy, tender pork tenderloin slathered in a sticky honey-habanero-apricot sauce, this easy recipe for pork with apricot sauce requires just 9 ingredients and can be made in the oven or on the grill.
Featured comment: That glaze was calling my name so I had to try this recipe. The pork skewers are very good, but I could eat that apricot sauce with a spoon. Next time I’m going to double the sauce. Now I can’t wait for my next BBQ, because these are sure to be a hit! Thanks!” – Annie
Update: This recipe was originally published in February 2015. I’ve made updates to the post below to include more information about pork tenderloin skewers.
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About this apricot glazed pork tenderloin
Pork with apricot jam? It’s what’s for dinner!
This grilled pork tenderloin apricot glaze deliciousness is splendid for a few reasons. First, the apricot pork chunks are succulent, meaty, and juicy. Second, all of that tender, cubed pork awesomeness gets slathered in a sweet n’ spicy apricot sauce that’s so dang good, you’ll wanna lick the plate.
Why you’ll love this pork recipe
Aside from being fantastically full of flavor, though, this pork on a stick is ALSO:
- Quick & Easy! Simply cube and marinate some pork the night before. Skewer, bake and whip together the sweet and spicy glaze for pork tenderloin the next day and… Voila! Ready and on the table in less than 30 minutes, this apricot pork is the perfect weeknight meal!
- Made With Only 11 Ingredients. A short grocery list is always welcome, amirite?
- Crowd-Pleasing. While this sweet and spicy pork recipe does have a little heat, it’s not enough to deter most. In fact, I’d venture to say even picky tweens will love it!
If you love barbecuing skewers, try these kabob recipes next: Greek Salad With Oven Roasted Shrimp Skewers, Grilled Honey Lemon Chicken Skewers recipe, Balsamic Honey Chicken Skewers, Skirt Steak Skewers with Sofrito, and Rosemary Chicken Skewers!
Ingredients for apricot pork
To make the marinated pork tenderloin, apricot preserves, soy sauce, & garlic are your main ingredients. Keep these other notes in mind as you shop:
- Pork Tenderloin – Look for a package that’s about 2 pounds total.
- Salt & Pepper – Because everything needs basic seasoning!
- Olive Oil – Just your normal cooking oil will do perfectly.
- Apricot Preserves – Feel free to use either store-bought or homemade jams.
- You’re also welcome to swap in other stone fruit preserves, like peach, nectarine, or plum instead!
- Soy Sauce – For some salty, umami goodness.
- For all my gluten-sensitive homies out there, feel free to swap in tamari or coconut aminos. For soy-free yum-yums, coconut aminos or Bragg’s Liquid aminos are your best bet.
- Garlic – Fresh is best, but I won’t judge if you use jarred minced garlic or frozen garlic paste for convenience.
- You can also swap in some garlic powder, but that has more of a mild, sweet, cooked garlic flavor rather than the bold, brash flavor of fresh garlic.
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes – Because a little bit of heat helps to cut through all the sweet. Feel free to dial it up or down by adding more or less.
Apricot glaze ingredients
This pork and apricot recipe gets tons of flavor from this sweet n’ spicy glaze. Here’s what you’ll need (in addition to what’s listed above):
- Yellow Onion – Yellow onions tend to be sweeter than other varieties.
- Feel free to swap in red onions, shallots, or even white onions if needed.
- Habanero Peppers – These little orange buddies may look cute, but they pack a serious bite. Remove the seeds and membranes to tame them a touch.
- Other spicy yet still floral chilis like scotch bonnets can also be used.
- Honey – For making the glaze a little sweeter and a little stickier.
- Agave nectar, maple syrup, or brown rice syrup will all work, too.
- Ginger – Fresh ginger adds more warmth and a certain brightness. Like garlic, you are also welcome to use refrigerated or frozen ginger paste for convenience.
- In a pinch, you can swap in about ⅓ as much dried ginger powder.
- Lime Juice – Fresh is definitely best here. To get the most juice from your fruit, give it a firm roll on the counter for 10-15 seconds before slicing it open.
Recipe variations and dietary adaptations
While the Boy and I love this grilled pork tenderloin with apricot glaze, not everyone has the same palate or diet. Here are a few easy variations to try to make this recipe work for you:
- Pork-Free – If you don’t do pork, try swapping in boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead!
- Herbaceous-Flavor – If you have garden fresh herbs on hand you can absolutely use them in this apricot pork recipe. Fresh thyme, lemon verbena, and rosemary pair well with apricots and pork.
- Gluten-Free – Swap out traditional soy sauce for gluten-free tamari or use coconut aminos instead.
- Soy-Free – Gluten-free coconut aminos or non-GF Bragg’s Liquid Aminos are great subs for soy sauce.
- Extra Spicy – You can increase the heat by doing any (or all) of the following:
- Adding extra chili flakes or habanero to the apricot glazed pork.
- Leaving the seeds and/or membranes in the habanero.
- Adding a squirt of your favorite viscous hot sauce (e.g. sriracha or sambal oelek) to the pork marinade and/or pork glaze.
Expert tips for the best apricot glazed pork
- Consider what implement you wanna use to thread each pork kebob. If you use wood or bamboo skewers, make sure you soak them for 30 minutes to prevent them from burning away on the grill. Also, be REALLY careful with wooden or bamboo skewers if you have fur babies in the house. I had a friend whose doggie accidentally ate one and it punctured straight through her side. Not only was it sad for the pup, but also super spend-y for the mom. Don’t make this mistake!
- When you’re brushing the pork with apricot glaze, try to get into every nook and cranny. I find a silicone pastry brush works great here. Also, add a little extra right in the last few minutes of cooking!
- If you want to serve some of the apricot glaze sauce on the side for serving, be sure to reserve some in a small bowl before brushing on your pork – this will help prevent cross contamination!
FAQs: pork in apricot sauce
Is the spicy apricot glaze for pork really that spicy?
The apricot jam pork glaze does have a little kick to it, but only on the back end. It won’t turn your mouth into that of a fire breathing dragon or anything.
So, if you like things super spicy, I suggest you add another habanero to the relatively sweet pork glaze. And if you’re a real dare devil, keep some of the seeds in there.
However, if you are feeding younger bellies or simply don’t like spice at all, I recommend decreasing the habaneros in the glaze down to just one or two. However, don’t omit them completely! They add a little sumpin’ sumpin’ you don’t wanna miss.
Can pork tenderloin be a little pink?
Yep! While we don’t want to see pink in chicken, pork is actually considered food safe at 145F. At this lower, more medium-done temperature, seeing a little pink is totally normal. For more on the science behind cooking pork, visit the science behind cooking pork from the rad folks over at Serious Eats.
Can I use the apricot habanero glaze for anything else?
Sure! It’s also delightful on pulled chicken, air fried shrimp, and poached shrimp cocktail. If you’re adventurous, it might also be tasty over some vanilla ice cream or lime sorbet? Just make sure you don’t use contaminated the glaze from having brushed the raw pork with it.
Can I use pork loin instead?
Unfortunately, pork loin and pork tenderloin are not the same thing.
- Pork tenderloin is a smaller, thinner cut of pork and comes from the loin of the pig. This juicy, tender, flavorful cut of meat is perfect for high heat grilling.
- On the other hand, pork loin comes from the back of the pig, meaning this cut is longer, wider, and better suited for indirect heat cooking or slow cooking (think pork roasts).
Serving apricot sauce pork
- Chips and Dips: If you are looking for an easy dinner idea, serve this apricot pork with salty chips and your favorite dip, like Mango Salsa with Jalapeno, Roasted Chili Corn Salsa (Chipotle Copycat!), and Jalapeno Dip with Cream Cheese.
- Fruit Salads: Soak your favorite fresh fruits in a little bit of sugar, mint, and alcohol for the best fruit salad
- Salads: Anything from a leafy green salad to a tropical salad with mangoes or marinated cucumber salad works great here.
- Grains: Sweet apricot pairs perfectly with lemon rice recipes or coconut rice recipes. Other grains like barley, quinoa, or wheat berries also make a great base for tasty pork-filled grain bowls!
- Pasta Salads: Pair these pork kebobs with one of your favorite pasta salads, like Bacon Pea Pasta Salad or Greek Pasta Salad, for your next backyard bbq.
- Potato Dishes: Pork with apricot tastes great with potatoes too. I’m especially fond of this mayo-free potato salad with fresh herbs (SO GOOD!!) or stuffed potato skins with cheese.
- Seasonal Veggies: Throw your favorite vegetables, like corn, on the grill right next to your skewers for a super easy side dish. Or try these easy side dish recipes: Sauteed Peppers and Onions, Corn Succotash with Bacon, and Sautéed Mushroom Recipe.
Storing pork with apricot glaze
- Keep any leftovers of this pork with apricot sauce in the fridge in a clean, covered container for up to 3-4 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
- To serve, defrost overnight in the fridge and reheat in the oven at 300F for about 10 minutes. You can also quickly warm it in a pan on the stovetop or zap it in the microwave until warmed through.
- This pork apricot recipe can also be prepped, marinated, and threaded onto skewers and placed back in the marinade for up to 3 months. (The apricot glaze will also last this long, but freeze it in a separate container!) To serve, defrost, grill to perfection, and add the glaze as directed.
Wonderfully simple and super scrumptious, these Apricot, Habanero & Honey Glazed Pork Tenderloin Skewers deserve a place on your dinner menu. Give me your pinkie finger, because I promise you will love them! Until next time, Cheers!
More delicious pork dinners!
More recipes with an apricot glaze!
How to make Pork Tenderloin Skewers at home recipe👇
Apricot Glazed Pork Tenderloin Skewers
- 1 Gallon-Size Resealable Bag (for marinating pork)
- 1 Medium Saucepan (for making apricot glaze)
- As Needed Barbecue Skewers (for skewering pork)
- 1 Meat Thermometer (for temping pork tenderloin)
Pork Tenderloin Skewers
- 2 pound Pork Tenderloin – cut into 1 ¼’’ cubes
- Kosher Salt and Ground Black Pepper - to taste
- Marinate the Pork: In a large resealable bag, add the olive oil, 1/2 cup apricot preserves, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 clove minced garlic, and 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Whisk well to combine. Then, add the cubed pork to the bag. Seal the bag and place the pork in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or up to overnight. (Tip #1: Make sure you turn the bag over at least once during marinating to ensure the pork gets evenly flavored.)
- Prepare Wooden Skewers: If you are using wooden skewers (as opposed to metal skewers) you will need to soak them in water for at least 30 minutes to prevent them from catching on fire while grilling the skewers. Fill a pan large enough to hold your skewers with water. Then, add all the skewers to the water, set aside and let soak.(Tip: No skewers on hand? Use chop sticks - they work like a charm!)
- Make the Apricot Glaze: Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, habanero peppers, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and a scant 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-5 minutes or until onions and peppers are soft and starting to turn golden. Add Garlic: Then, add the remaining 2 cloves of minced garlic to the pan. Cook, stirring, for about 45 seconds, or until until fragrant.Add Remaining Ingredients: Add 1/2 cup of apricot preserves and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, along with the honey, ginger, and lime juice to the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 12-15 minutes or until the apricot sauce is reduced and thickened into a glaze. Remove the glaze from the heat and set aside.(Note: If you want to use some of the apricot sauce for serving, set some of it aside in a small bowl now. This will help ensure you don't cross-contaminate!)
- Meanwhile, Thread Pork onto the Skewers: If using wooden skewers, remove them from water and shake / pat dry. Next, remove the pork tenderloin from the marinade, discarding the marinade. Then, thread 4-5 cubes of pork onto each skewer.(Tip: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set the prepared skewers onto the paper for easy clean up.)
- Oven-Baking Method: Arrange baking racks to the middle and upper third position. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean up. Arrange the pork tenderloin skewers on the prepared baking sheet, being sure to space them apart so they bake (versus steam) in the oven. Transfer the pork skewers to the middle shelf in the oven and bake, turning once halfway through baking, for 12-18 minutes or until the pork is ALMOST cooked through and an insta-read thermometer reaches 120-130 degrees F. Remove the baking sheet from oven.Preheat oven to BROIL. Pour or pat off any juice collected in the bottom of the baking sheet. Use a pastry brush to generously apply the apricot glaze onto the top of the pork skewers. Broil the pork skewers for 2-3 minutes, or until glaze slightly caramelizes onto the pork. Remove the skewers from the oven. Flip the skewers over and repeat brushing the top of the pork with the glaze. Broil again for 2-3 minutes.
- Grilling Method: Heat an outdoor grill to medium-high and oil the grates. Place the pork tenderloin skewers onto the hot grill and cook, rotating 4 times during grilling, until the pork is cooked through about 8-12 minutes. During the last few minutes of grilling the pork, use a pastry brush to generously brush the apricot glaze onto all sides of the pork skewers. Remove skewers from the grill.
- Garnish the Pork: Finish the apricot pork by squeezing fresh lime juice over the skewers. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes for spice, or herbs for freshness. Serve apricot glazed pork immediately and enjoy!
- Apricot Preserves: Total amount of apricot preserves is a scant 13 ounces.
- Smooth Glaze: If you prefer a smooth glaze (versus a chunky one), use an immersion blender to puree the cooked glaze before applying it to the pork skewers. Alternatively, you can carefully transfer the glaze to a high-powered blender and puree it that way as well.
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