Slow Cooker Apricot Pork Tenderloin

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Slow Cooker Apricot Glazed Pork Tenderloin — Pork tenderloin is coated in a sweet and savory apricot glaze then slow cooked until juicy and tender! This is an EASY slow cooker dinner that’s perfect for busy weeknights. Leftover pork tenderloin is delicious in sandwiches, sliders, and wraps and reheats well the next day! 

Sliced roasted pork tenderloin with glaze on a wooden cutting board, garnished with parsley.

Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin with Apricot Glaze 

In this easy slow cooker recipe, pork tenderloin is coated in a sweet and savory apricot glaze to create a super moist and juicy finished dish.

There’s just 10 minutes of active prep work involved in this recipe, and then your slow cooker does the rest of the work for you which makes it ideal as a weeknight meal. But it tastes ‘fancier’ than it really is, so if you want to serve it to guests, everyone will love it and want the recipe!

Sliced grilled pork tenderloin with glaze and herbs.

The glaze is made using pantry staples like soy sauce, mustard, vegetable broth, and of course apricot preserves. The salty soy sauce and mustard balance out the sweetness of the apricot preserves without overwhelming the fruity flavor.

If you’re someone who grew up eating pork chops with applesauce, you’re going to love this more refined (but easier!) apricot glazed pork tenderloin recipe. 

Serve the pork tenderloin and apricot sauce with mashed potatoes, steamed rice, roasted broccoli, roasted Brussels sprouts with balsamic vinegar, or a side salad for a hearty dinner your whole family will love.

Any leftover pork tenderloin can be sliced and used in sandwiches the next day for lunch. Win-win! I have a great Pulled Pork Sliders recipe that you can pop this pork tenderloin right into that recipe and it’ll be great.

Sliced grilled steak topped with sauce on a wooden board, garnished with herbs, with a side of sauce and parsley.

Ingredients for Apricot Pork Tenderloin 

You’ll need just a handful of ingredients to make the slow cooker pork tenderloin with apricot glaze. Gather the following:  

  • Pork tenderloin 
  • Olive oil
  • Apricot preserves 
  • Reduced sodium chicken broth (vegetable broth works too) 
  • Lite soy sauce 
  • Garlic 
  • Stone ground mustard (Dijon mustard is a good substitution)
  • Minced dried onion
  • Salt
  • Pepper 
  • Fresh parsley (or fresh thyme), optional for garnishing
Ingredients for a beef recipe laid out on a marble countertop, including a cut of beef, various seasonings, and sauces.

Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.

No Apricot Preserves?

If you don’t have apricot preserves on hand, peach preserves or even sweet orange marmalade will work nicely.

Sliced roasted pork tenderloin with a glaze on a wooden cutting board.

Buying Pork Tenderloin vs. Pork Loin

This recipe is for apricot glazed pork tenderloin — don’t confuse it with pork loin! Pork tenderloin is smaller and narrower in size, and it’s usually sold in packs of two. It cooks very quickly in the slow cooker. 

Pork loin is wider and thicker in shape, with a layer of fat on top. I’ve slow cooked pork loin in the past, but this particular recipe uses tenderloin so it’s important that you buy the correct cut of pork. 

Two seasoned pork tenderloins cooking in a black slow cooker.

How to Make Apricot Glazed Pork Tenderloin in a Slow Cooker 

Making pork tenderloin with an apricot preserve glaze is very straightforward. Here’s an overview of the recipe steps:  

  1. Heat a little olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Season the pork tenderloin with salt and pepper, then sear for 2 to 3 minutes per side. 
  2. Transfer the pork to the slow cooker insert.
  1. In a small bowl, tir together the the apricot preserves, mustard (or tablespoon dijon mustard), spices, broth, soy sauce, and garlic and then pour over the pork. 
  2. Cook on LOW for 4 to 6 hours or HIGH for 2 to 3 hours. Total time will of course vary on the heat intensity of your slow cooker and the size of your tenderloins.
  3. Rest the meat, slice, garnish, and serve!

How Can You Tell When Pork Tenderloin Is Done? 

The only way to know for sure whether pork tenderloin is done is to use a meat thermometer or instant read thermometer.

If you overcook the pork, it’ll turn out tough and dry; if you undercook it, it could make you sick. 

To make your life easier, invest in a meat thermometer. Pork tenderloin is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 135ºF. I recommend removing the pork from the slow cooker when it reaches 130ºF, then letting it rest on your counter for 5 to 10 minutes so the carry-over heat can finish bringing the temperature up to 135ºF

Sliced roasted pork tenderloin with glaze and herbs.

Recipe Tips 

Sear pork tenderloin before slow cooking. Searing the pork locks in moisture and adds both color and flavor. It’s not technically necessary for cooking the pork, but it’s recommended for the flavor and juiciness later on.

Use low sodium soy sauce and broth. You can always add more salt to the recipe to suit your personal taste, but I often find full-sodium broth and regular soy sauce too salty. The other consideration is that the overall liquid volume will diminish and concentrate during the cooking process, so the liquid that remains will taste even saltier which is why I always start with low/reduced sodium products, and add salt at the end if necessary.

Be careful not to overcook the pork tenderloin. Pork tenderloin is incredibly lean and cooks quickly in the slow cooker – around 2-3 hours on high, and 4-6 hours on low. This is where a meat thermometer comes in handy so you know exactly when to take the pork out of the Crockpot. 

Sliced pork tenderloin served over mashed potatoes with gravy.

Flavor Variations

Use peach preserves if you can’t find apricot. Both work equally well in the pork tenderloin glaze, but of course the resulting flavor will be slightly different.

A bowl of apricot preserves with visible spices and a spoon.

Pineapple preserves, cherry preserves, mango preserves (not as common in the US but if you happen to be in Mexico it’s very common),or really any fruit preserves you enjoy will work well in this Crockpot pork recipe.

Sliced pork topped with a glaze, garnished with parsley, served on a wooden board.

Recipe FAQs

What does searing pork tenderloin before slow cooking do? 

Searing pork tenderloin before cooking in a slow cooker seals in the moisture and browns the exterior of the meat, which adds tons of flavor. Searing pork tenderloin is technically optional, but it actually does make a big difference in the final flavor and juiciness of the dish! 

what size slow cooker should I use?

I recommend an oval shaped 6-quart slow cooker (or 7 quart) if you have it. Because of the shape of pork tenderloin, it’s nicely suited for an oval rather than round slow cooker.

HOW LONG SHOULD PORK TENDERLOIN COOK IN A SLOW COOKER? 

I prefer cooking apricot glazed pork tenderloin on low for 4 to 6 hours (the exact cook time will depend on the size of your tenderloins). Pork tenderloin is very lean, and cooking it on low allows the meat to fully tenderize. However, if you’re in a rush you can cook the pork tenderloin on high for 2 ½ to 3 hours without issue. 

What internal temperature should you cook pork tenderloin to? 

Pork tenderloin must be cooked to 135ºF. I prefer removing the pork from the slow cooker once it reaches 130ºF and letting it rest on my counter for about 5 minutes so the carry-over heat can finish bringing it up to 135ºF. This is my trick for achieving super juicy apricot pork tenderloin without accidentally overcooking it! You won’t know these temperatures without a meat thermometer though!

Is pork tenderloin the same as pork loin? 

Nope! Pork tenderloin is smaller and leaner, and is typically sold in packs of two. Pork loin is thicker and larger, with a fat cap on top. Both are delicious, but they’re two distinct cuts of pork! 

Does it matter if I use apricot preserves or jam? 

I recommend using apricot preserves in the pork tenderloin glaze. Apricot preserves are thicker than apricot jam, which is why it works better in this recipe. However, if you only have apricot jam on hand you can definitely still use it. However, at the end of the cooker time you might want to transfer the juices from the slow cooker to a saucepan, add 1 tablespoon of water and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, and then simmer over medium-high heat to thicken the glaze. 

Can I add vegetables to the slow cooker? 

Yes! I suggest following the instructions in my Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin and Vegetables recipe, but pair it with the apricot glaze from this recipe. The key thing to know is that the veggies (such as potatoes unless they’re cubed quite small)may need a headstart in the slow cooker before adding the pork tenderloin, otherwise the pork will be seriously overcooked by the time certain vegetables are finished.  

can i make this pork tenderloin in the oven?

I haven’t tested it, but after you’ve seared the meat, provided you’re using an oven-safe pan such as a cast iron skillet or stainless steel, you can just add the marinade mixture over the top of the pork, cover, and cook in a lower-temp oven such as 300F, for about 60-90 minutes is my guess, but I haven’t tested this exact recipe using by oven roasting.

Sliced roast pork tenderloin drizzled with sauce on a wooden cutting board.

Storage and Reheating Instructions 

Fridge: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. 

Freezer: Seal leftovers in a zip-top freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. 

To reheat: Individual portions can be reheated in the microwave for 30-second intervals.

What to Serve with Apricot Pork Tenderloin 

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5 from 2 votes

Slow Cooker Apricot Pork Tenderloin

Pork tenderloin is coated in a sweet and savory apricot glaze then slow cooked until juicy and tender! This is an EASY slow cooker dinner that’s perfect for busy weeknights. Leftover pork tenderloin is delicious in sandwiches, sliders, and wraps and reheats well the next day! 
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Servings: 6
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Ingredients  

  • 2 boneless pork tenderloins, about 3 to 3.5 pounds total
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • one 14-ounce jar apricot preserves*, See Notes
  • cup reduced sodium chicken broth, reduced sodium vegetable broth may be substituted
  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce, coconut aminos may be substituted to keep gluten-free
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon stone ground mustard or Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons minced dried onion
  • Fresh parsley, or other fresh herbs such as thyme, optional for garnishing

Instructions 

  • Trim excess fat from pork tenderloins. Evenly season with salt and pepper.
  • To a large skillet (preferably stainless steel or cast iron), add the olive oil, pork, and sear over medium-high heat for about 2-3 minutes per side. Tip – The intention is to sear the pork to both add flavor and lock in the juices, you're not cooking it through fully here. That comes next. Just get a sear on it and transfer it.
  • Add the pork to a 6-quart slow cooker or similar size; set aside momentarily.
  • To a medium bowl, add all the remaining ingredients (except the optional herbs for garnishing), and whisk to combine.
  • Evenly pour the mixture over the pork and cover the slow cooker with a lid.
  • Cook on LOW for about 4 to 6 hours, OR on HIGH for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Cooking time will range dramatically due to if you're cooking on low vs. high, the energy and heat output of your particular slow cooker, the thickness of your pork, climate, and so forth. Always cook until done! Cooking Tips – The only way to know without a doubt is to use a thermometer to check the internal temperature of the pork at the thickest point. Pork is done when it reaches 145F. However, I will pull it out at about 140F, and then let it rest on a cutting board for about 10 minutes, or until the internal temp has a chance to rise to 145F (safe zone). Allow the meat to rest also helps prevent the natural juices from running out if you were to slice it right away.
  • Optionally, if you’d like to thicken the cooking juices from the slow cooker to use as a glaze/dip for your pork, you can transfer the juices into a medium to large saucepan and place it on the stove. Then whisk together 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water, and add that to the juices. Simmer over medium-high to high for 20-30 minutes, uncovered, or until the liquid has reduced in volume and thickened. Remember liquids will always tighten up some off the heat as they cool and will always seem looser/thinner than they are when they're simmering.
  • Optionally garnish with the glaze, fresh herbs, slice, and serve.

Storage

  • Pork will keep airight in the fridge for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Reheat gently in the microwave for about 30 seconds, or as desired. Leftover pork is great in sandwiches, wraps, sliders, or as-is.

Notes

Apricot Preserves – If you cannot find apricot preserves (I use Smuckers which is readily available in most US grocery stores or Walmart), you can use peach preserves or sweet orange marmalade as fairly close approximations.
You can also get more creative and use pineapple, cherry, mango, or whatever type of preserves or jam sounds good to you.
I recommend preserves or jam (with chunks of fruit) vs. jelly (fruit chunks strained out) for best results. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 766kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 127g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 393mg, Sodium: 1117mg, Potassium: 2471mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 18IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 52mg, Iron: 6mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

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