Easy Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin takes less than 10 minutes to prepare and slow cooks to perfection in about 2 hours. Made with wholesome ingredients and no onion soup mix packet, this comes with its own gravy. A family favorite!
- About Pork Tenderloin in Crock Pot
- How to Make Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin
- Recipe Tips
- Frequently Asked Questions
About Pork Tenderloin in Crock Pot
If you like pork tenderloin, onions, garlic, and red wine, then you will love this pork!
Why? Here are a few reasons:
- It takes less than 10 minutes to prepare and is super fantastically easy thanks to the slow cooker.
- Not only do you get a lean but amazingly flavorful slice of pork, it also makes this to-die-for gravy that is literally made for mashed potatoes.
- I filmed a video for you to see exactly how you cook this. The extended version is in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
This is hands-down the most popular recipe on my blog and has been since I originally posted it in 2013.
I've also made it countless times (so I could test different versions and alternatives to report back to you!) so I know it's a crowd-pleaser.
I get messages from readers, family, and friends all the time sharing how much they loved this recipe.
And every time I make it for my niece and nephew recently, they start planning the next time this will be on their weeknight menu.
If you're worried about putting pork tenderloin in the slow cooker because you think it might dry out, don't be! It is seriously tender, and you definitely do not need a knife for this meal. Plus, all that gravy in the slow cooker goes beautifully served over the pork.
However, it's best to cook on High for about 2 to 3 hours to keep the pork from drying out. Cooking on low for a longer period of time will work ok (keep it to about 4-5 hours), but the low-and-slow method of cooking is better for thicker/fattier cuts of pork.
Very important: If you aren't a fan of red wine, garlic, and/or onions, I do not recommend this recipe. Try my other delicious pork recipes like Pork Tenderloin with Vegetable Sauce, Crock Pot Pulled Pork, Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Pork, and Pork Chops, Apples, and Onions.
Wine: Be sure you pick a tasty red wine to use. It doesn't need to be expensive, but you want to use a wine that you would actually drink since you will taste the wine in this crockpot pork tenderloin recipe. This recipe has been tested with Pinot Noir, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. All worked well.
Pork: Use a pork tenderloin that is between 1 and 2 pounds. You can cook two (1-pound) tenderloins in the slow cooker as well. See below for tips to double the recipe since the ingredient measurements in the recipe are listed for a 1 to 1.5-pound pork tenderloin.
Garlic: You'll use fresh garlic as well as dried garlic powder, so this has a lot of garlic flavor which I love. If you are out of fresh garlic, you can use all garlic powder: add an additional ½ teaspoon of garlic powder in place of the tablespoon of minced fresh garlic.
Onion: This recipe is heavy on the onion flavor. Cut the amount in half if you want less. When shopping, note that dried onion flakes and dried minced onions are the same things, and onion powder can also be used. Fresh onion can be substituted.
Spices: This recipe has lots of spices. Dried onion flakes, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and paprika. Occasionally, I'll add cayenne pepper for extra spiciness. Also, a dash of nutmeg and/or turmeric enhances the flavor if you have them in your spice cabinet. But they're not mandatory.
Sugar: While the sugar is optional, I like to add it for a little added depth to the recipe. I use basic granulated sugar; no need to get fancy sugar for this pork.
Tips for Buying Pork Tenderloin
- Make sure you buy pork that has no added solutions or marinade.
- The marinade or solution might negatively affect the flavor of this slow cooker pork tenderloin recipe.
- This recipe is for pork tenderloin, but other people have had success with using pork loin. Pork loin is usually thicker and larger, so you will need to cook it for a longer period of time. Be sure to use a thermometer and cook it to an internal temperature of at least 145°F.
- Pork 1.2 pounds: $7.19
- Red wine ¾ cup: $2.88
- Worcestershire sauce 1 tablespoon: $0.30
- Fresh garlic 1 tablespoon: $0.18
- Dried minced onion 2 tablespoons: $0.40
- Cornstarch 2 teaspoons: $0.04
- Garlic powder ½ teaspoon: $0.04
- Salt ½ teaspoon: $0.01
- Sugar ½ teaspoon: $0.01
- Paprika ¼ teaspoon: $0.06
- Black pepper ¼ teaspoon: $0.06
TOTAL COST: $11.17 or $2.80/serving (Based on San Diego grocery stores 2023)
Note that this is not the recipe; it's simply to show the cost breakdown of ingredients. Scroll down to the full recipe to see the specific ingredients and directions.
How to Make Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin
Time needed: 2 hours and 40 minutes.
Making this recipe is quite simple. Here's how to make Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin:
- Cut off the silver skin.
- Place the pork in your slow cooker.
- Add in liquid.
- Top the pork with garlic.
- Stir together the spices, and sprinkle them over the pork.
- Cook and enjoy!
*Cooking on High for a shorter time usually results in juicier pork tenderloin. However, it will still work if cook on LOW for 4-5 hours (if possible, flip pork over halfway through cooking).
*You do not have to sear the meat before cooking. Plus, you don't have to cut off fat from the pork tenderloin.
*I highly recommend slicing off the silver skin which is a tough, shiny membrane of connective tissue.
When you don't remove it, you'll have a few slightly unpleasant bites of tough, chewy meat because silver skin does not break down. I like to use kitchen scissors to remove the silver skin because I find it easier than using a knife. But you can also slice it off using a knife.
*Also, I like to flip the pork 30-60 minutes before it is done cooking. I think this helps the spice mixture distribute more evenly throughout the pork and infuses the gravy with extra flavor.
About the Gravy
Because the sauce is made up of wine and water with only a little cornstarch sprinkled over the pork, you will find that makes a rather thin gravy. I personally like this.
However, if you'd like a thicker gravy, when the pork is done, whisk together 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and ¼ cup cold water until no lumps remain.
- For a slightly thicker gravy:
- Stir the mixture into the slow cooker and cover.
- Let sit for 10-15 minutes until the gravy thickens.
- For a very thick gravy:
- Remove the pork from the slow cooker and pour the gravy into a small-medium saucepan.
- Heat over medium-low and stir the cornstarch mixture into the hot liquid.
- Whisk until combined and thickened. Then serve this over the pork tenderloin.
Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin Variations
Fresh Garlic: If you do not have fresh garlic, you can substitute it with additional garlic powder. Use ½ teaspoon of garlic powder in place of the garlic cloves.
Dried onion or onion flakes: You can use fresh onion in place of the onion flakes + onion powder. Use ½ cup minced fresh onion in place of the dried onion flakes.
Additionally, you can substitute onion powder in place of dried onion flakes, but use only 2 teaspoons of onion powder in place of the 2 tablespoons of onion flakes.
Spices: I like to add a dash of nutmeg and/or turmeric, but they are optional. Also, for more spice, you can add ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
Cornstarch: I have not tried it, but a commenter mentioned using arrowroot powder in place of the cornstarch with good results. I imagine you could also use (twice the amount of) all-purpose flour in place of cornstarch. The cornstarch is only used as a thickener, not as flavoring.
Sugar: You can technically skip the sugar. However, I like the small amount of sugar; it helps bring out the sweetness of the wine that balances the intense onion and garlic flavors. In a side-by-side taste test, the one with sugar tastes better. Plus, you only get ⅛ teaspoon of added sugar per serving and that's if you used every bit of gravy in the slow cooker).
About the Wine
Wine: Make sure you use a wine that you enjoy drinking because you will absolutely taste the wine.
If you do not want to use red wine: skip the wine and use an equal amount of unsalted broth. Chicken, beef, mushroom, and vegetable broth would all work. Try adding a splash of red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar after cooking for more flavor.
- Note that I tested this recipe using chicken broth and found it to be not nearly as flavorful as the pork made with wine. Therefore, I highly suggest adding a little extra salt and seasoning when cooking the pork if you are not using wine.
- Something else to consider is that when I tested with chicken broth, I had to strain the gravy to remove the fat rendered from slow cooking. For whatever reason, when I cook this in wine, it doesn't need to be strained.
For less onion flavor, use 1 to 2 teaspoons of minced dried onion.
Alternative Prep & Cooking
I have not tried this in the Instant Pot, but I assume it would work well. I would follow the directions except use a pressure cooker instead of a slow cooker. Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes, let the pressure release naturally for about 10 minutes, and serve.
How to Make Allergy-Friendly
This recipe is dairy-free, egg-free, and nut free. If you use a gluten-free Worcestershire sauce, it is gluten-free. And if you use a soy-free Worcestershire sauce, it is soy free.
To Double the Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin Recipe
If you want to double this recipe, you can double all the ingredients except the liquid and onions. I found that it was too much onion when I doubled all the ingredients.
To double the recipe:
- Double all the ingredients except the wine, water, and dried minced onion.
- Use only 1 cup water, 1 cup wine, and 2 tablespoons of onion flakes.
Add about 30-60 minutes and cook on HIGH if you are using 2 (1-pound) pork tenderloins.
Since slow cookers vary, I recommend using a meat thermometer to check to see if the internal temperature of each tenderloin is at least 145°F.
How to Fix a Mistake
Used too much wine or water: If you use more liquid than the recipe calls for, your gravy will be a little thinner. You can follow the instructions for thickening the gravy using the suggestions above (and watch the video in the recipe below to see how).
Not removing the silver skin: You can easily cut the silver skin off after cooking. You can also eat it; it will just be a little chewy and have a different texture than the meat.
Cooked too long: If you cook the pork for too long (longer than 5 hours), it can get a little dry and harder to slice. If you overcook it, make sure to serve it with ample gravy. I like to shred the overcooked pork over a bowl of mashed potatoes and cover it in gravy.
Forgot sugar: That's ok! It's not mandatory.
Forgot cornstarch: You can add this if you remember while it's cooking. Simply sprinkle it over the pork and flip the pork so the cornstarch gets in the liquid.
Or you can omit it entirely, but your gravy with be very thin. Or follow the directions above for thickening the gravy.
There isn't much prep time. Yet, if you want to prepare ahead of time, you can stir together the spices and chop the garlic (keep covered in the fridge) up to 24 hours in advance.
Also, you can put everything into the slow cooker and refrigerate until ready to cook.
However, be sure that you take the slow cooker out of the refrigerator at least 60 minutes before cooking, so the slow cooker doesn't go from cold to hold too soon. This could cause the slow cooker to crack.
After cooking, transfer to an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze this in an airtight container for up to one month. I like the freeze it sliced in single-sized containers, so I can defrost only what I need.
- To reheat from frozen: add to a microwave-safe bowl and heat at 50% power in 90-second intervals until defrosted and warmed through.
- To reheat from the fridge: add to a microwave-safe bowl and heat at 75% power at 60-second intervals until warmed through.
Frequently Asked Questions
No need to sear the meat. It's equally as delicious without the extra step.
After testing both options, there is very little distinction between the seared pork and the one that was added to the crock pot completely raw.
Technically, you can make this slow cooker pork tenderloin recipe using pork loin, but I have only tested it using pork tenderloin. A pork loin is usually larger and it's an entirely different cut of meat, so be sure to look for a 1-2 pound pork loin if you use it in this recipe.
It takes about 2 hours on HIGH to cook crock pot pork tenderloin or 4 hours on LOW in a slow cooker.
The recipe was tested using both 6-quart and 8-quart slow cookers. I think you could use a 4-quart slow cooker and be ok as well.
The photos and video in this recipe post are with a 6-quart slow cooker. If you use an 8-quart slow cooker, the ingredients will not fill up the slow cooker as much.
This crock pot pork tenderloin recipe is quite nutritious. Pork tenderloin is a great protein choice with many vitamins and minerals your body needs.
Because you are not using an onion soup mix packet (which is an ingredient in similar recipes), the sodium content is a lot lower.
Compared to the original recipe with 918 mg of sodium per serving, this recipe has only 400mg of sodium.
Paired with carbohydrates (like mashed potatoes) and a veggie, you get a hearty, satisfying, and healthy meal your family will love. And it's one that you will love feeding to them!
Is Pork Tenderloin Healthy
Pork tenderloin is a lean cut of pork and typically has very little visible fat. This makes it an easy choice when you're preparing this meal since you don't have to bother cutting off any fat.
Plus, pork tenderloin is a great change from your typical chicken dish. I feel like people always eat chicken because it's familiar. But pork is so underrated, and it's nutritious.
According to the Pork Checkoff website, pork is an excellent source (more than 20% of the recommended daily value) of thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, phosphorus, and protein.
It's also a good source (meaning it has between 10% and 19% of the recommended daily value) of riboflavin, zinc, and potassium.
What to Serve with Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin
In the pictures, you can see that I served it with these sautéed green beans and mashed potatoes. I've also served it with roasted potatoes. To be honest, I've made this countless times and served it with a multitude of sides.
Simply add a veggie and a carbohydrate — preferably one that can soak up the gravy — with this crockpot pork tenderloin, and you're all set for a delicious, filling meal.
This is the most popular recipe on my blog for good reason. It is simple and delicious. 10/10 would recommend it!
Bonus: if you have leftovers, you can always make BBQ Pork and Beans or Pork Fried Rice. Yay for saving money on tasty and nourishing food!
MORE MAIN COURSE SLOW COOKER RECIPES:
Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin
- 1 pound pork tenderloin
- ¾ cup water
- ¾ cup red wine or broth (see notes)
- 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic about 3 cloves
- 2 tablespoons dried minced onion
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Put the pork tenderloin in the bottom of a slow cooker.
- Pour water, wine, and Worcestershire sauce into the slow cooker.
- Top the pork with minced garlic.
- In a small bowl, stir together remaining ingredients. Sprinkle mixture over pork.
- Cover the slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 2-3 hours.
- Serve pork with the gravy in the slow cooker.
Use only 1 cup water, 1 cup wine, and 2 tablespoons onion flakes. *Be sure to use a wine you enjoy drinking! *You can use less wine if you want or skip the wine altogether. Unsalted chicken or beef broth is ok, but you will likely need to add more spices. Make sure the liquid totals 1 ½ cups. *To make a slightly thicker gravy, whisk together 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and ¼ cup cold water. Stir the mixture into the slow cooker and cover. Let sit for 10-15 minutes. The gravy will be a little thicker.
What to Use in This Recipe
Based on the Amazing Pork Tenderloin in the Slow Cooker recipe from AllRecipes.
This post was originally published on January 15th, 2013. Text, recipe, photos, and video have been updated and added.
Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin Nutrition Facts
(based on 1.2 pounds of pork tenderloin and consuming all of the gravy)
Sherri Murdoch says
Definitely a do over!!! Very easy, quick, yummy, and flavorful!!!
HOORAY!! So happy you enjoyed it! Thanks for coming back to share 🙂
penny lowden says
Delicious!!! My entire family loved it! Adding this to our list of repeats. Thank you for such an amazing recipe!
WOOHOOO!!! Thank you so much for coming back to share! Glad y'all enjoyed it!!
My whole family of 6 loves this meal! Definitely keeping this in our meal plan! I had a 5lb. tenderloin so I used the feature on this website that automatically ups the ingredients for larger servings. It seemed like a lot but I try to stick to the recipe the first time I make it to avoid kitchen disasters, so I quadrupled the recipe. The cook time was still perfect, but I did have A LOT of left over liquid/sauce and extra spice mixture that I ended up not using. Next time, I will only double the other ingredients, even if my tenderloin is that large. That said, the flavor was amazing and I got praise from my older 3 and the 4th (a picky 6 year old) ate it all…which is no small miracle)!
YESSSSSSS!!! This is so very exciting!! Thanks for coming back to share! 🙂
I am anxious to try this recipe for company. I always replace the garlic with onions. So in this case I will just use the 1/2 cup of minced fresh onion. Should I still use the 2 tsp. Of onion powder? I plan to serve it with mashed potatoes and green beans as you did.
Hi! I would skip adding extra onion powder because it does have a lot of onions already. If you have a shallot, you could use it to replace the fresh garlic, but I don't think it's necessary.
This was a spicy, delicious wonder! You have to try it!
WOOHOO!! So glad you liked it! Thanks for coming back to share 🙂