Crockpot Meal: Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry Sauce

Since Luke’s birth, I have struggled to get nutritious meals on the table by 6:15 PM every day. Simply adding one other person’s (unpredictable) needs to the mix has thrown me for a loop. Some weeks I am very diligent about shopping and meal planning, while others are haphazard at best.

I have found that with a little forethought, I can employ my crockpot to slow cook meals for me. It has been a real blessing. This allows me to make breakfast the night before or supper during Sesame Street and Luke’s mid-morning nap.

I knew that I wanted to make pork tenderloin in my slow cooker yesterday, but wasn’t quite sure what I was in the mood for. I had originally planned to make this recipe, but wasn’t in love. After a little bit of googling, I found Pioneer Woman’s Pork Loin with Cranberry Sauce. It just so happened that I received two packages of cranberry’s in our fall CSA box that I was sure wouldn’t keep until Thanksgiving, making this the perfect meal.

The following is my slow-cooker rendition of her delicious looking recipe. I served the pork + sauce with Roasted Delicata Squash and Onions, that Matthew and I prepped during Luke’s afternoon nap, along with wilted beet greens + kale for Allan and I and steamed peas + green beans for Matthew.

The instructions below may seem long, but trust me, it’s actually very quick and easy. I did it all while Luke was napping in the Moby!

Crockpot Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry Sauce, adapted from Pioneer Woman

Serves 6

Print this recipe.

Two 1 lb pork tenderloins, or one 2 lb pork tenderloin
Sea salt and pepper
Herbamare, optional
1 tsp dried rosemary
3 cups fresh cranberries, divided (I bet defrosted frozen cranberries would work)
2 apples, cored and sliced thin, divided (I used Granny Smith)
1/4 cup juice or water (I used Organic Cherry; however, Organic Apple or Orange would be ideal)
2 tsp citrus zest, divided (I used lemon, but orange would be divine!)
1/4 cup maple syrup or raw honey, divided

Lightly mist the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray or EVOO in a Misto.

Place half of the apple slices on the bottom of the slow cooker followed by 2 cups of the cranberries, 1 tsp citrus zest and 2 tbsp maple syrup or honey.

Place the pork tenderloin on top of the cranberries. Generously season the pork with sea salt, pepper, rosemary and Herbamare, if using.

Top the pork with the remaining apple slices. Sprinkle the remaining cranberries on top of and around the pork tenderloin. Sprinkle the top with the reserved 1 tsp citrus zest and 2 tbsp maple syrup or honey.

Pour the juice or water into the slow cooker.

Securely place the lid on top of the slow cooker and set it to cook on Low temperature for 6-8 hours, depending on the size of your pork tenderloin. I used  two 1-lb pork tenderloins and they were fully cooked at 6 hours.

If possible, remove the pork tenderloin and allow to rest in a warm place for 30 minutes on a plate covered with a heavy towel or two. Set the heat on the crockpot to high and remove the lid. Cook sauce for an additional 30 minutes to thicken.

Alternatively, you could stir 1 tbsp arrowroot whisked into 2 tbsp of water into the sauce after removing the pork from the crockpot.

With the addition or a starch/grain and a green veggie, this is a decadent clean meal.

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