This Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry Sauce is an easy weeknight meal or a fancy holiday dinner — you decide! The BEST pork tenderloin recipe.
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So I was digging through my freezer last week and discovered I had two packages of pork tenderloins down in the bottom. I was thrilled!
Pork tenderloin is one of those things that cooks so quickly and easily that it can easily be supper on a crazy weeknight when you have a million other things going on, or it can be dressed up as Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.
This Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry Sauce? I like to thing it can swing either way 😉
I long ago discovered the amazing combination that is pork and cranberry but I’ve yet to do anything with it around here. Today’s the day that changes!
Since you’re all going to have buckets of leftover cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving and Christmas, it’s probably a good idea to add this to your post-holiday-leftovers menu.
This cranberry sauce is awesome over mashed potatoes with a side of veggies or salad — it’s the perfect combination of sweet and tangy and savory — and the crock pot pork tenderloin is so tenderloin, you can cut it with a fork!
You can definitely use this recipe for pork loin (I love cooking pork loin in my crock pot or slow cooker, too!), but you’ll need to adjust the cook time because they are not the same thing.
A pork loin is much thicker (likely twice as thick in diameter) as a pork tenderloin, so it’s important to know the difference because a pork loin will need at least twice as much time.
A pork tenderloin is always right around the 1 lb (between .75lbs and 2 lbs) mark in weight, while a pork loin can fall anywhere between 2 and 5 lbs.
- Trim the silver skin. Once you unwrap your pork tenderloin, you’ll see a silver skin that runs almost the length of the tenderloin. You want to take a sharp knife and run it along the edge to remove this skin, which can become tough and chewy during the cooking process. Here is a handy little video that shows you how if you’re unsure.
- Prep the sauce. The sauce is simple and you can definitely adjust the seasonings to your tastes. Feel free to substitute homemade cranberry sauce for my shortcut of canned whole berry cranberry sauce if you have it around.
- Lay the tenderloin flat. You will likely want to cut the pork tenderloin in half to fit flat in the slow cooker, so that it cooks evenly.
- Don’t overcook. Tenderloin doesn’t actually take that long to cook, so be sure not to leave it cooking all day or it will end up dry. A thermometer in the thickest part of the tenderloin should read 150-160 degrees, depending on how well you like it done.
This Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin is a great recipe to prep ahead for the the next day! You can simply prepare the sauce and tenderloin in the crock pot, cover, and refrigerate until the morning.
In the morning (or afternoon!), place the pot in the slow cooker and continue with the cooking process.
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- 1 pork tenderloin (1-1.5lbs, trimmed — see post above)
- 1 1/2 cups whole berry cranberry sauce (1 348ml can)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar (35g)
- 1/3 cup low sodium chicken broth (75g)
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (30g)
- 1 tablespoon corn starch (10g)
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 pinch black pepper
- Place pork tenderloin in 2-4 quart crock pot, cutting in half lengthwise to fit flat if necessary.
- In a large bowl or glass measuring cup, whisk together cranberry sauce, sugar, broth, vinegar, corn starch, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour over tenderloin in crock pot, lifting the pork to let the sauce seep underneath.
- Cover and cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 150-165 degrees. Remove pork and place on a cutting board to rest for 3-5 minutes.
- If desired, add an additional tablespoon of corn starch mixed with a tablespoon of water to thicken remaining juices.
- Slice and serve with sauce.
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