Paleo Crock Pot Balsamic and Cranberry Pork Tenderloin

A beautiful view of the red tint the cranberries gave this Crock Pot Paleo pork tenderloin served with balsamic and cranberry au jus

A beautiful view of the red tint the cranberries gave this Crock Pot Paleo pork tenderloin served with balsamic and cranberry au jus

So who is looking for a new, easy and healthy crock pot meal? I am, I am! Well if you are as desperate as I am to find a new recipe that is good enough to keep serving it at your dinner table, then look no further. This recipe was inspried by one of Sarah Fragoso’s, Everyday Paleo, recipes. I recently met her in person (and she is the cutest person EVER) and I told her about my transformation of her recipe. Sarah’s response was, “Why didn’t I think of that? I am going to try that for sure.” That moement was honestly one of the happiest moments of my short blogging career. Anyhow, cooked all day in a tangy balsamic and cranberry sauce, this Paleo Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin is so tasty and rich that there were no left overs. And Ladies and Gentlemen that does not happen often in this house.

I served this succulent pork tenderloin with creamy and garlicky mashed cauliflower. For those of you who follow my blog religiously (and for those of you who don’t, what are you waiting for? You are missing out), know that when in doubt I serve ALL my main dishes with my no grain cauliflower rice. Well today I decided to switch it up and mash the cauliflower. I forgot how good cauliflower is mashed. I made it like you would mashed potatoes with a little garlic powder, olive oil and a splash of milk (in this case I used almond milk but you can use cow’s milk if you aren’t paleo-ish) and it was so good. Try it and see for yourself.

The other thing I could not get over about serving my cauliflower mashed was how much cauliflower my husband and I ate. I steamed 2 bags of frozen cauliflower and after it was all said and done, we probably had two servings left over of the garlic mashed potatoes. And no my kids didn’t touch the cauliflower (they missed out for sure). But when you think about it, Ben and I almost ate an entire bag of cauliflower to ourselves, EACH for dinner. How amazing is that? Look at all those vegetables I ate instead of a starchy and carb infested potato.


4.3 from 6 reviews

Paleo Crock Pot Balsamic and Cranberry Pork Tenderloin
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Cooked all day in a tangy balsamic and cranberry sauce, this Paleo Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin is so tasty and rich that there will never be left overs.
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Paleo
Serves: 6
  • For the Pork Tenderloin in the Crock Pot:
  • 1 pork tenderloin (about 1½ lbs)
  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup of dried cranberry, cranraisins, cherries, etc
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of dried rosemary
  • For the Garlic Mashed Cauliflower:
  • 2 heads of fresh cauliflower, chopped or 2 bags of frozen cauliflower
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of almond milk (or your choice of dairy creamer)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Add your olive oil to an already hot frying pan and brown your pork tenderloin on both sides. It should take a few minutes on each side. Don’t rush this step. Although I usually loathe recipes that ask me to brown meats first (which is due solely to pure laziness because I do not have a crock pot that browns inside the crock pot and I am forced to clean another pan when I have to brown), browning locks in a lot of the juices in the protein and the meats ALWAYS comes out so tender. So after the fact, I usually realize that the extra pan to clean is so worth it. But hey a girl can complain on the internet, right? If not what else are we good for? Kidding!
  2. Put the browned pork tenderloin in the bottom of the crock pot and pour all the remaining ingredients under the “For the Pork Tenderloin in the Crock Pot” list above.
  3. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. That’s it folks, it doesn’t get much simpler than that.
  4. For the accompaniment, about 15 -20 minutes before you are ready to serve dinner, steam your cauliflower for about 10 minutes until tender.
  5. Once cauliflower is soft throw it in your food processor with the garlic powder, olive oil, almond milk and salt and pepper and blend that baby up! Your result will be beautifully, whipped cauliflower that will stand any taste test and most people will think they are mashed potatoes! I tried using fresh garlic cloves in this recipe originally but I don’t know if it was because I didn’t roast the garlic first, but the fresh garlic was overpowering and somewhat bitter in the mashers. This is why I opted for garlic powder over fresh cloves.
  6. Serve pork with cranberry sauce over the mashed cauliflower and prepare to be wowed!
Special Kitchen Appliances: Vegetable Steamer and Food processor


Crock Pot Paleo Balsamic and Cranberry Pork Tenderloin Ingredients

Paleo Crock Pot Balsamic and Cranberry Pork Tenderloin Ingredients

Searing or browning the pork tenderloin first

Searing or browning the pork tenderloin first allows you to lock in the flavor and juices of your pork

Added the browned pork tenderloin with broth balsamic and cranberries

Added the browned pork tenderloin with broth, balsamic vinegar, rosemary and cranberries to the crock pot.

Steaming the cauliflower

Right before you are ready to serve, steam your cauliflower until soft.

Ready to puree the cauliflower garlic and almond milk to make no grain mashed cauliflower

Ready to puree the cauliflower with garlic, olive oil, and almond milk to make your creamy no grain mashed cauliflower

Pureed mashed cauliflower. Who needs mashed potatoes? Once you eat these creamy mashers, you will never go back!

Pureed mashed cauliflower. Who needs mashed potatoes? Once you eat these creamy mashers, you will never go back!

Mashed garlic no grain cauliflower

Final Product: Creamy Garlic Mashed No Grain Cauliflower

Crock Pot Paleo Balsamic and Cranberry Pork Tenderloin is ready to eat. Love the red tint from the cranberries  in the sauce.

Crock Pot Paleo Balsamic and Cranberry Pork Tenderloin is ready to eat. Love the red tint from the cranberries in the sauce

Crock Pot Paleo Balsamic and Cranberry Pork Tenderloin served with mashed cauilflower

Crock Pot Paleo Balsamic and Cranberry Pork Tenderloin served with creamy, garlic mashed cauliflower. Doesn’t that look AMAZING?

You can also serve this Crock Pot Paleo Pork Tenderloin with balsamic and cranberries with a parsnip and carrot puree. Yum!

You can also serve this Crock Pot Paleo Pork Tenderloin with balsamic and cranberries with my Paleo carrot and parsnip puree. How about that for another grain alternative?  Yum!


So what do you think? I don’t know about you but cranberries always gets me in the mood for Thanksgiving. Isn’t this a great Paleo alternative? How did it fare in your home? Please share :)


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23 Responses to “Paleo Crock Pot Balsamic and Cranberry Pork Tenderloin”

  1. RachelNovember 4, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

    How does the mashed cauliflower compare to the “rice” version? How about to mashed potatoes (which I’m a big fan :) )

    • LauraNovember 4, 2012 at 6:20 pm #

      Rachel, great question. And at the end of the day it boils down to 1. What you are used to and 2. Your willingness to add a few extra healthy spices or ingredients to kick it up a notch. I always tell people whether you cook your cauliflower riced or mashed, you should serve it with a protein that has some sauce to it so it blends well and gives the cauliflower an extra kick. I have been eating riced or mashed cauliflower exclusively now for about 9 months and I do not feel deprived. If you are trying this no grain substitution for the first time, I would try mashed cauliflower first and see what you think. The best advantage to mashed cauliflower is it is super easy to just puree in your food processor. The mashed cauliflower I made in this recipe, in my opinion, was so creamy that I could not tell the difference. Again I added a little fat (olive oil), garlic, and salt just like I would if I made mashed potatoes. Same goes with my cauliflower rice; serving it plain is boring and bland but when you add a few simple ingredients you will be surprised how good the cauliflower turns out. For my favorite cauliflower rices I add cilantro, lime, and garlic to give it a Mexican twist and other times I add a little coconut milk and shredded coconut to give it Asian flair to my curries. So to make a long story short, try it, add a few simple ingredients and be prepared to have your taste buds fooled. Let me know if you try it; I would love to hear what worked best for you.

  2. Sarah EcclestonNovember 5, 2012 at 6:13 am #

    Day 1 of “The Cross” week of cooking complete. the Balsamic chicken was amazing, the pork came out of the the crock pot, and just fell apart. This recipe reminds of a cold winter day, (sorry laura I know you are waiting for the cold there in TX). I would serve around christmas time. One fix is I would salt and pepper the pork a little before I put in the pot.
    Cauliflower mashers…Russ and I have done this one before. Its a big hit in the south beach diet cookbooks. Anywho, I just don’t ever get the mashers to look as creamy and good as yours Laura? The one ingredient I did forget was the Olive Oil. I will have to work on this one.

    Thanks, looking forward to #2.
    Sarah, Russ and Owen!

    • LauraNovember 5, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

      Sarah, you are absolutely right about the salt. I forgot to mention that I added salt to my meal. I am hesitant to add salt to my recipes in the ingredients list because I LOVE SALT. Ever since I got pregnant with Jackson, I can’t get enough salt. I am slowly trying to cut back for obvious reasons but I now air on the side of caution that it is easier to add salt at the end when the meal is prepared to adjust to everyone’s pallet rather than adding a specific amount to the recipe while it is cooking. I will update the post though tonight. Can’t wait to hear what other recipes you are trying. Love the feedback. P.S. About the creaminess of my mashed cauliflower, for sure add a little fat and that will help but maybe next time add more milk and it should get you the consistency you are looking for! Happy cooking! Love it. Can’t wait till Owen starts eating too. I will help you with baby food if you would like. I have a few pureed recipes in my bag of tricks.

  3. CarolNovember 6, 2012 at 4:47 pm #

    Making pork tenderloin tonight, but a slightly different recipe than yours(my boys don’t like fruit and meat. Go figure), but am very excited to try the cauliflower .. I’ll keep you posted!,,

    • LauraNovember 7, 2012 at 12:22 am #

      Carol, so exciting you are taking the leap and trying the mashed cauliflower. Let me know what the boys think too about the mashed cauliflower. I have another crock pot pork tenderloin recipes with apples in the works that the boys won’t like but perhaps is a win win for you because less you have to share. See there is a plus to their pickiness! Thanks for posting and sharing. Love to hear how it all pans out.

  4. MiriaDecember 29, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

    I made this tonight, and it was awesome. Very tender. I used bacon grease instead of olive oil for browning the meat. Thanks for posting this.

    • LauraDecember 30, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

      Thanks for the positive feedback, keep it coming. If you like this recipe, be sure to try the Pork Tenderloin Crock Pot recipe with Apples and Honey. It is also easy to make and divine! Happy cooking!

  5. CharlesJanuary 2, 2013 at 11:05 pm #

    How do you think using fresh cranberries in place of the dried ones would work?

    This sounds great!

    • LauraJanuary 2, 2013 at 11:11 pm #

      Charles, great question! I created this recipe because I was influenced from another recipe I saw that cooked pork tenderloin in a sauce pan with fresh cranberries. I just had dried cranberries on hand so that is why I used them in my recipe. So to answer your question, yes I think it will work. Try it and report back so I can let other readers now. Thanks for the question. Happy cooking!

      • CharlesJanuary 6, 2013 at 7:41 pm #

        Fresh cranberries worked well. I added about 2 cups because I didn’t want any leftover cranberries lingering in my fridge. The cranberries really added something to the pork, but weren’t all that great when eaten alone.

        I was surprised at how good the cauliflower “potatoes” turned out too!

  6. TiffanyJanuary 17, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was one of the best things I’ve had since going paleo. Super tender, lots of flavor. We actually didn’t even miss the salt! I browned my meat in coconut oil and that worked great.

    • LauraJanuary 17, 2013 at 10:25 pm #

      Thanks for the feedback Tiffany! I actually made this tonight too and instead of serving it over my mashed cauliflower, I served it with a mashed carrot and parsnip puree and it was divine! Recipe to follow. Let me know if you try anything else on the blog, I love hearing how my recipes favor in other homes or if you make any other modifications. Happy cooking.

  7. tmetz1226February 16, 2013 at 7:14 am #

    I tried this yesterday, my first crockpot experiement. When I got home 8 hrs later, it was burnt to a crisp / inedible. Friends are telling me there was not enough liquid, but I followed the recipe as written, and no one else here seems to have had an issue, so I’m perplexed. Not sure I’ll get over my crockpot trauma!

    • LauraFebruary 16, 2013 at 8:54 am #

      Oh no! Don’t get frustrated and swear off crock potting altogether. I swear crock potting is so easy and it is such a life savor that I don’t know if I could live without it. I am not sure what happened. The only thing I can think of was your crock pot set on high instead of low? One cup of broth and the balsamic vinegar is enough liquid to cook the pork tenderloin for 8 hours. Sometimes I just plop chicken in a crock pot without any broth and it cooks without burning. Perhaps you browned it too long as well. I am sorry but again don’t get beat down. Get back on that horse (or crock pot) and try another recipe before you swear off slow cooking. Try my apple and honey pork tenderloin. This is my most popular crock pot meal and there is no browning so it is super easy. Please let me know how it goes.

  8. BrookeMarch 28, 2013 at 9:49 pm #

    This was sooo good! I served it over mashed butternut squash. It was the perfect combination of tart and sweet and deliciousness! I will be making it again for sure–thanks for the great recipe!

  9. SusannaJune 1, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

    This looks delicious!! However I am trying to use what I have on hand. The only dried fruit I have is apricots and raisins. What do you think?
    Also, I’m interested in trying to mashed cauliflower, but don’t have a food processor. Will a hand blender or hand mixer/beater do the trick?

    • LauraJune 2, 2013 at 3:49 pm #


      Yes to all questions. Apricots, raisin or even both will definitely work. I have another recipe on the blog, my Moroccan Pork Stew, which uses both apricots and raisins and is delish. Whatever combination or substitution you make, I was just stick to the same amount of the dried cranberries, which is 1 cup. The recipe for the Pork Stew just in case you decide to try it is

      And as for the cauliflower mashers, yes a blender will definitely work. Beater should work but might be “clumpier” consistency instead of a smoother consistency. Good Luck!


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