Easy crock pot pork tenderloin takes less than 10 minutes to prepare and slow cooks to perfection in 4 hours. Made with wholesome ingredients and no onion soup mix packet, this comes with its own gravy.
- About Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin
- How to Make Crockpot Pork Tenderloin
- Recipe Tips
- About the Gravy
- Make Ahead Ideas
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Nutrition Benefits of Recipe
- What to serve with Pork Tenderloin in a Crockpot
About Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin
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 that practically melts in your melt, 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 when I made it for my niece and nephew recently, they were already planning the next time this would be on their weeknight menu.
Wine: Be sure you pick a really tasty red wine to use. You want to use a wine that you would actually drink because you will taste the wine in this dish. I have tested the recipe using Pinot Noir, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. All were tasty in my opinion.
Pork: I use a pork tenderloin that is between 1 and 2 pounds. You can cook 2 (one 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 1.25-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, there is an option to only use garlic powder: use ½ teaspoon in place of the tablespoon of minced fresh garlic.
Onion: There is a lot of onion flavor in this recipe thanks to the combo of onion flakes and onion powder. Cut the amount in half if you want less onion flavor. When shopping, note that dried onion flakes and dried minced onion are the same thing, and onion powder can also be used (and vice versa). Fresh onion can be substituted.
Spices: This recipe has lots of spices. Dried onion flakes, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and paprika. I think these are all mandatory. Occasionally, I'll add a dash of nutmeg and/or turmeric, but I took it out of the original recipe because I don't think it really has too much effect on the flavor of the pork.
Sugar: While the sugar is optional, I highly recommend it! I use granulated sugar (no need to get a fancy sugar for this recipe).
Cost of Recipe
- Pork 1 pound: $5.99
- Red wine ¾ cup: $2.88
- Worcestershire sauce 4 teaspoons: $0.40
- Fresh garlic 1 tablespoon: $0.18
- Dried minced onion 2 tablespoons: $1.38
- Cornstarch 2 teaspoons: $0.04
- Garlic powder ½ teaspoon: $0.04
- Salt ½ teaspoon: $0.01
- Sugar ½ teaspoon: $0.01
- Onion powder ¼ teaspoon: $0.08
- Paprika ¼ teaspoon: $0.06
- Black pepper ¼ teaspoon: $0.06
TOTAL COST: $11.13 (Based on San Diego Sprouts 2019) or $2.78/serving
Tips for buying pork tenderloin
- Make sure you buy the pork that has no added solutions or marinade.
- The marinade or solution won't add anything to your meal other than a lot of sodium and flavorings that might negatively affect this recipe. Not to mention that this pork totally beats any pre-marinated pork you'd buy at the store.
- This recipe is for pork tenderloin, but other people have had success with using pork loin. Pork loin is usually thicker, 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.
- 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.
How to Make Crockpot Pork Tenderloin
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!
What I love is that 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 easily slice it off using a knife.
Also, I like to flip the pork about an hour 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. The gravy will be a little thicker.
- 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 it slightly thickens. Then serve this over the pork tenderloin.
- Wine: Make sure you use a wine that you enjoy drinking because you will absolutely taste the wine.
- If you do not drink 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 note 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.
- Fresh Garlic: If you do not have fresh garlic, you can substitute it with additional garlic powder. Use ½ teaspoon 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 all the dried onion flakes and onion powder combo.
- another option is substituting onion powder in place of dried onion flakes, but use only 2 teaspoons of onion powder in place of the 2 tablespoons onion flakes.
- Spices: I like to add a dash of nutmeg and/or turmeric, but they are optional.
- 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) 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 added sugar per serving and that's if you used every bit of gravy in the slow cooker).
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.
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.
Alternative Prep & Cooking Methods
I have not tried this in the Instant Pot, but I assume it would work well. I would follow the directions except using a pressure cooker. Then cook on high pressure for 10 minutes, and let the pressure release naturally for about 10 minutes and serve.
What to do if you make 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: The only problem with cooking the pork for too long is that is will be even more tender (and harder to slice); plus it can get a little dry. If you cook it too long, make sure to serve it with ample gravy. I like to shred the overcooked pork over a bowl of mashed potatoes and cover in the gravy. Delicious mistake!
Make Ahead Ideas
There isn't much prep time. However, 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.
You can also 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
How do you double this 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, dried minced onion and onion powder
- Use only 1 cup water, 1 cup wine, 2 tablespoons onion flakes, ¼ teaspoon onion powder
For the amount of time when you double the recipe, add about 1 to 2 hours on LOW if you are using a 2+ pound pork tenderloin. For two (1 pound) pork tenderloins, I'd only add 30-60 minutes. Since slow cookers vary, I recommend using a meat thermometer to check to see if the internal temperature of 145°F.
Can you use pork loin in this recipe?
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.
How long to cook pork tenderloin in crock pot?
It takes about 4 hours on LOW to cook crock pot pork tenderloin or 2 hours on HIGH in a slow cooker.
What size slow cooker do you use for pork tenderloin?
My slow cooker is 6 quarts, and I think it is a good size. I've also tried it in an 8 quart slow cooker with good results. This doesn't fill up the slow cooker much, so I think you could go with a 4 quart slow cooker and be ok as well.
Nutrition Benefits of Recipe
This crock pot pork tenderloin is quite nutritious. Pork tenderloin is a great protein choice with many vitamins and minerals your body needs [see below].
Because you are not using an onion soup mix packet (which is an ingredient in similar recipes), you are able to control the amount of sodium and other ingredients that goes in this recipe. Compared to the recipe I based this off of, this has only 400mg sodium while the other has 918mg.
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 and lean and whatever. 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 a good source (meaning it has between 10% and 19% of the recommended daily value) of riboflavin, zinc and potassium.
What to serve with Pork Tenderloin in a Crockpot
In the pictures, you can see that I served it with these sautéed green beans and mashed potatoes. I've also served with roasted potatoes. To be honest, I've made this countless times and serve 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!
MORE MAIN COURSE SLOW COOKER RECIPES:
- Beef Carnitas Tacos
- Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
- Crockpot Vegetarian Lasagna
- Slow Cooker Maple Mustard Pork Chops and Onions
- Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Chowder
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 or dried chopped onion or onion flakes
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder or additional dried minced onion
- 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 slow cooker and cook on LOW for 4-5 hours (if possible, flip pork over halfway through cooking) or HIGH for 2-3 hours.
- Serve pork with the gravy in the slow cooker.
Use only 1 cup water, 1 cup wine, 2 tablespoons onion flakes, ¼ teaspoon onion powder. *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 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.
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This post was originally published January 15th, 2013. Text, recipe, video and photos have been updated.
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