Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin
See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.
This Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin is an easy, comforting dinner idea. The pork is seasoned with a simple mix of spices and then cooked in the crock pot with onions until it’s tender and juicy.
Crock pot recipes are some of my favorites because you can’t beat the convenience of a make ahead dinner. In this easy crock pot pork tenderloin recipe, pork tenderloin is seasoned and then browned on the stove for maximum flavor. Then it finishes cooking in the slow cooker so that it’s ready to serve at dinner time. The ingredients are simple and the result is an easy, delicious meal that’s perfect for any night of the week.
Pork tenderloin is one of our favorite cuts of meat because it’s lean, tender and flavorful. Our Baked Pork Tenderloin Recipe is always a hit with the whole family, and we’re happy to add this slow cooker pork tenderloin to our recipe rotation!
Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin Recipe Ingredients
You’ll need just a few ingredients to make the best crock pot pork tenderloin.
- Seasonings: For the seasoning rub, you’ll need brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, dried thyme, salt and pepper. This seasoning blend is a variation of our favorite Pork Rub and adds so much flavor to the pork tenderloin.
- Pork Tenderloin: Often pork tenderloins come in a package with two tenderloins, which is perfect for this recipe. If you only want to cook one tenderloin, you can.
- Onion: For additional flavor.
- Olive Oil: You’ll need olive oil to brown the pork tenderloin and soften the onions in a skillet before adding them to the slow cooker.
Pork Loin vs. Tenderloin
This recipe calls for pork tenderloin, which is different than a pork loin (sometimes called a pork roast). A pork tenderloin is long and thin, while a pork loin is larger and wider. Pork tenderloin is a favorite of ours because, as the name suggests, it is very tender after cooking.
How to Cook Pork Tenderloin in a Crock Pot
You will love how quick and easy this recipe is to prepare!
- Combine the seasonings in a small bowl.
- Pat the pork tenderloin dry and trim off any silver skin. Then rub the seasonings onto all sides of the meat.
- Cook the sliced onions in a skillet on the stove for about 5 minutes, until softened and lightly browned. This step is important for developing flavor. Then transfer the onions to the slow cooker.
- Add the pork to the skillet and sear on all sides until browned. Place the pork on top of the onions in the slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on low until the pork is cooked through. Then let the meat rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
How Long to Cook Pork Tenderloin in a Crock Pot
One pound pork tenderloins will take about 2-3 hours to cook on low in the slow cooker. Since pork tenderloins cook quickly, I recommend cooking on low, not high, so that there is less risk of the meat drying out. This recipe calls for cooking two (one pound each) pork tenderloins. If you are only cooking one tenderloin, it may cook a bit faster. The pork is done when the center registers 145° F on an instant read thermometer.
Do You Need to Add Liquid?
You do not need to add any liquid to the crock pot for this recipe. The pork will release moisture as it cooks. As you can see in the photos, there is some liquid in the crock pot after the pork cooks through. I like to serve these juices over the pork. You can also thicken them to make gravy, if desired.
What to Serve with Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin
After cooking the pork tenderloin in the crock pot, serve it with the juices and onions from the crock pot, along with a few simple side dishes for an easy, tasty meal.
- Potatoes: We love this pork tenderloin recipe with Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes or Garlic Mashed Potatoes.
- Sweet Potatoes: A Baked Sweet Potato or Roasted Sweet Potatoes make a perfect side for pork.
- Green Beans: Try Roasted Green Beans or Sautéed Green Beans.
- Salad: This Arugula Salad would complement the meal.
Recipe Tips & Variations
- Try not to overcook the pork tenderloin, so that it stays tender and juicy. Mine took 2-2.5 hours on low.
- This recipe can be halved to cook just one pork tenderloin.
- This recipe is delicious with apples added to it. Sauté them in the pan with the onions so that they start to soften before adding them to the slow cooker. Use a firm variety of apple, such as Granny Smith or Honeycrisp. You can peel the apples or leave the skins on.
- Leftover pork tenderloin can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat it and serve with side dishes, or add BBQ sauce and serve on a burger bun for a delicious pork sandwich.
More Pork Tenderloin Recipes
- Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin – If you prefer cooking your tenderloin in the Instant Pot, this is a fantastic recipe. You’ll love the honey garlic sauce!
- Grilled Pork Tenderloin – A delicious Pork Tenderloin Marinade infuses the meat with flavor before it’s cooked on a hot grill.
- Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin – One of our favorite easy, healthy weeknight meals.
- Honey Hoisin Pork Tenderloin – Pork tenderloin with an irresistible honey hoisin sauce is seared in a skillet and then baked in the oven.
Love slow cooker meals? Try this Slow Cooker Pulled Pork next!
Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 pork tenderloins, about 1 pound each
- 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- 1 yellow onion, sliced
- Combine the brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, dried thyme, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk or stir to combine.
- Place the pork tenderloins on a plate or cutting board and pat dry with paper towels. Trim off any silver skin. Sprinkle the seasonings over all sides of the pork and gently rub into the meat.
- Heat 2 teaspoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion to the pan and cook until softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer onion to the slow cooker.
- Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil to the pan. Add the seasoned pork tenderloins to the pan. Brown on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Then transfer the pork to the slow cooker on top of the onions.
- Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours, or until pork registers at least 145° F in the center when measured with an instant read thermometer.
- Let pork rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
- Recipe can be halved to cook one pork tenderloin instead of two.
Can you double the recipe?
Yes, as long as you can fit 4 pork tenderloins in your crockpot. You may have to cook slightly longer since the crockpot will be more full.
Can I make a lot of this (like 6-7 lbs) the day before serving? How would I do that to prevent drying out, and what’s the best way to reheat at serving time the next day?
Since each pork tenderloin is typically only about 1 pound, that would be a lot of pork tenderloins to fit in a slow cooker. If you have a large slow cooker, you could probably fit 4 tenderloins (about 4 pounds). You don’t want to overfill the slow cooker or it won’t cook evenly. I usually reheat pork tenderloin in the oven at 350 degrees F. I slice it, add some of the cooking liquid, and then cover the dish to trap the moisture in.
Can I do the prep work with the cooking of the onions and pork and start the crock pot later?
I don’t recommend browning the pork and then cooking it in the slow cooker later (it could be a food safety issue). You can rub the seasoning on the meat ahead of time and slice the onions, then store both in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook.
Doesn’t this need any liquid to keep the onions or meat from burning? Also? I have one 2 lb pork loin rather than 2 smaller ones. Same cook time?
No liquid is needed. The meat releases some liquid as it cooks, which is plenty. 🙂 If you have a 2 pound pork loin it will take longer to cook through, probably about 3-4 hours total on low. I hope you enjoy the recipe!
Should slow cooker be on Low or High setting?
Cook it on the low setting for 2-3 hours (see step 5 of the recipe). Enjoy!
Love this recipe! Due to serious food allergies I have trouble finding recipes that are easy and everyone can eat. Thrilled to have an easy pork rub recipe and a new way to get a big meal ready without working so hard on it! Thank you!
Kristine, thank you for such a great recipe. This is one of the few times I’ve cooked something that smelled so delicious while cooking, then tasted even better! I cooked it exactly as the recipe called for. My tenderloin was 2.32 lb. I cooked it for 4 hours on low, and it was very moist. My husband says to keep this recipe in our meal rotation.
My family loved it! So simple, yet moist, tender and tasty! Thanks!
What can I use instead of sliced onions? If I sauted dehydrated onions (the only kind of “onion” my husband will eat), could that work? Thanks!
You do not have to eat the onions; they are mainly there to add flavor and moisture, so you can cook the tenderloins on top of the onions but not eat them if you wish. I haven’t used dehydrated onions, but I think that would also work.
Made this tonight and boy was it fabulous. Everyone loved it. Will definitely make it again.
Can I put some potatoes in there too
Potatoes won’t cook through by the time the pork is done. I recommend cooking them separately – this Roasted Potatoes recipe is a good one.
What seasoning can I use instead of thyme?
You can use Italian seasoning, dried rosemary or dried oregano. Or you can just leave out the thyme without a substitute and the pork will still be flavorful.
Instead of using my crock pot I baked in a slow oven in a heavy lidded pot. Very delicious.