Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin
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Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin — Tender and juicy boneless pork tenderloin is slow cooked with hearty vegetables for a complete and EASY meal! Reminiscent of a hearty and rustic recipe, yet fancy enough for a special dinner or holiday entertaining!
Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin Recipe
Whether you’re in need of an easy recipe to feed a crowd over the holidays, or are looking for a family dinner recipe that’ll provide you with planned leftovers, look no further than this slow cooker boneless pork tenderloin recipe.
Complete with earthy vegetables including carrots, potatoes, onion, and rutabaga, and seasoned to perfection with rosemary, thyme, and parsley, this pork roast with vegetables is a comfort food classic.
Best of all, it’s made in your slow cooker meaning active hands-on time for you is next to nothing! Plus, cleanup is a breeze, too.
A friend of mine who enjoyed this meal with me commented that it reminds her of an Irish farm meal. So aromatic, hearty, and despite it being simple food, there is beauty in the simplicity.
Comfort food never goes out of style, and this pork tenderloin is just that!
Ingredients in Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin Roast
To make this pork tenderloin in your slow cooker, you’ll need the following easy to find ingredients including:
- Rutabaga (see Substitutions below)
- Chicken broth
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Boneless pork tenderloin – this usually comes as two pieces and can be cooked separately, or you can tie them together to keep as one larger roast
- Rosemary – fresh or dried
- Thyme – fresh or dried
- Olive oil
- Lemon zest
- Lemon juice
- Fresh parsley
How to Make Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin
Even if you’ve never made a slow roast pork tenderloin, I can assure you that this recipe is easy to make! Simply follow these very straightforward steps:
Step 1: Add chunks of onion, potatoes, carrots, and rutabaga into the slow cooker.
Step 2: Pour the chicken broth over the top and cook on high for 1 hour.
Step 3: Combine the garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and rub all over the pork roast. If using dried rosemary and thyme, you can add to the dry rub at this time and rub it all over the pork.
Step 4: Add olive oil to a large skillet, and sear and brown the pork on the stove.
Step 5: After 1 hour of cooking the vegetables, add the seared meat on top of them. If using fresh herbs, lay sprigs of rosemary and thyme over the top.
Step 6: Evenly sprinkle lemon zest and drizzle lemon juice over the pork.
Step 7: Cover and slow cook on low for 3 hours or until done.
Step 8: Rest the pork for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
How Long to Slow Cook Pork Tenderloin?
The veggies will need to cook for 1 hour on high. Then, you’ll add the pork tenderloin to the slow cooker and cook everything together on low for 3 hours.
What Size Slow Cooker Should I Use?
Because you’re cooking a large cut of protein, as well as pounds worth of vegetables, I recommend at least a 7 to 8-quart slow cooker, or larger. Any smaller and I fear it will not cook evenly nor properly.
How to Keep Pork Tenderloin From Drying Out
Using a meat thermometer is highly recommended. Undercooked pork is a health hazard however overcooked pork is like eating shoe leather. Rather than guessing, use a thermometer. The internal temp should be 135F.
Remember, the internal temp of meat tends to rise, even after pulled from a slow cooker or the oven. For smaller cuts of meat, it’s about 5 degrees, but for larger cuts or roasts it’s 10 to 15 degrees.
So while you let your pork tenderloin rest before slicing into it, and that is another tip — don’t skip resting your meat — you can pull it out at 130F from the slow cooker to avoid overcooking, knowing that the temp will rise up to 135F before it then drops.
Do I Have to Cook Pork Tenderloin in a Slow Cooker?
No, you don’t but this recipe is specifically written for pork in a slow cooker.
You can however make this meal essentially as a sheet pan meal in the oven, cooked for about 1 hour at about 375F degrees, adding the vegetables halfway through the total cooking time.
As needed, you will need to tent the pork with foil so it doesn’t burn approximately halfway through when you add the vegetables.
It would be best to investigate another recipe that focuses specifically on oven-roasted pork tenderloin, but I wanted to give broad-based directions to set you on the right track for those without a slow cooker.
Are Fresh or Dried Herbs Better for Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin?
You can use either fresh or dried herbs for this boneless pork tenderloin in the slow cooker.
If you’re making this slow cooker pork tenderloin with vegetables around the holidays, you may have fresh rosemary and thyme on hand from other recipes. If so, go ahead and use fresh.
Although if you don’t have fresh herbs on hand, using dry herbs is fine.
If you’re using dry ground herbs, pat them directly onto the meat as a spice rub whereas fresh herbs should be placed or laid on top of the pork as the final step before putting the lid on your slow cooker.
The one exception is fresh parsley for garnishing or seasoning. I really don’t like dried parsley other than in soups so make sure to use fresh parsley to finish off the dish.
Should Pork Tenderloin Be Cooked on Low or High Heat in a Crock-Pot?
Take note that the vegetables cook by themselves for 1 hour on high before adding the pork.
Then, after you add the pork, cook for 3 hours on low.
While you probably could do this on high and save some time, I think the flavor and texture is better if you cook on low heat.
Vegetables Substitutions for Pork Tenderoin Roast
For my comforting slow cooker pork tenderloin with vegetables, I used onion, potatoes, carrots, and rutabaga.
For those not familiar with rutabaga, it’s a hearty root vegetable, with a fairly neutral flavor. It reminds me of something in between a white potato and jicama – if jicama could be cooked.
However, you can substitute turnips, wedges of green cabbage, or really any firm vegetable such as golden beets.
Mix and match your vegetables, too. Have two pounds of potatoes to use but no carrots? Totally fine. You get the point that you can be flexible with the vegetables.
I like to use a small bag of mixed baby potatoes, but any potato is great. Potatoes should be in bite-sized chunks so they cook evenly.
Serving Suggestions for Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin
After resting and slicing the meat, you can simply plate it and then add the vegetables. This is what’s shown in the photos.
Plus, I used some drippings from the pork, added cornstarch, and made gravy like I did in that recipe because my family loves their gravy, but this is optional.
However, an optional way to serve this is to separate the broth, pork, and root vegetables.
Mash the root vegetables together, make a bed of the mash on your plate, top with thinly sliced pork, and pour the broth over the top as if it were like a gravy.
This is a great way to serve the leftovers especially.
How to Store Leftover Pork Tenderloin
Being that this recipe for rosemary pork tenderloin does make a hefty quantity, you may find yourselves with some leftovers. If that’s the case, they will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months.
Tips for The Best Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin
If you’re taking this to an event like a family holiday meal or other get-together, this pork roast can go with you uncooked but in the slow cooker. Just plug it in when you get where you’re going and slow cook it there.
Or, make it at home, and keep it hot, and then it’s totally ready to eat when you get to your destination.
A slow cooker with a tightly sealing lid is best and then if you happen to have one, put it in a cardboard box to save your car floorboards or trunk from any accidental spills.
- 1 large white or yellow onion, quartered or diced into large chunks
- 1 pound potatoes (diced into 1-inch chunks)
- 5 medium carrots, peeled and diced into 1 to 2-inch segments
- 1 large rutabaga, diced into 1-inch chunks* (See Notes)
- 1 cup chicken broth (I use low-salt)
- 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary OR 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme OR 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 pounds boneless pork tenderloin** (See Notes)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Lemon zest, from 1 medium lemon
- Lemon juice, from the same 1 medium lemon
- Fresh parsley, as desired for garishing
- To at least an 8-quart slow cooker (or larger) add the onion, potatoes, carrots, rutabaga, cover with the broth, place the lid on top, and cook on high for 1 hour.
- While vegetables are cooking, to a small bowl, add the garlic, salt, pepper, dried rosemary (if using fresh, add it later), dried thyme (if using fresh, add it later), and stir to combine.
- Pat this rub mixture evenly all over the pork.
- To a large skillet, add the olive oil and sear the pork over medium-high heat, brown and sear the pork on all sides. Use tongs as necessary to flip and rotate it. This may take about 10 minutes total.
- After 1 hour, add the seared pork over the top of the vegetables.
- If using fresh herbs, lay the sprigs of rosemary and thyme over the top of the pork, cover with the lid, and cook on low for about 3 hours. Pork is done when the internal temp reaches 135F. Tip – Keep in mind, that the internal temp of meat rises 5 to 15 degrees F as it rests so don’t be afraid to pull it slightly early to avoid overcooking it and drying it out. Use a kitchen thermometer and do not guess.
- Allow the pork to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving with the vegetables. Drizzle the broth/gravy over the top if desired.***(See Notes)
- Extra will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months.
*You can substitute turnips, wedges of green cabbage, or really any firm vegetable such as golden beets. Omit or mix-and-match the vegetables based on your preferences.
**This usually comes as two pieces and can be cooked separately, or you can tie them together to keep as one larger roast.
***After resting and slicing the meat, you can simply plate it and then add the vegetables. This is what’s shown in the photos. Plus, I used some drippings from the pork, added cornstarch, and made gravy like I did in that recipe because my family loves their gravy, but this is optional.However, an optional way to serve this is to separate the broth, pork, and root vegetables. Mash the root vegetables together, make a bed of the mash on your plate, top with thinly sliced pork, and pour the broth over the top as if it were like a gravy. This is a great way to serve the leftovers especially.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 305Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 477mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 4gSugar: 6gProtein: 27g
More Holiday Dinner Ideas:
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Easy Turkey Pot Pie — Wondering what to do with that leftover turkey from the holidays? Make this easy turkey pot pie recipe! It’s hearty, creamy, comforting, perfect for chilly weather, and EASY to make!
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