Slow Cooker Balsamic Brown Sugar Pork Tenderloin takes five minutes to put together and makes a healthy, tender, sweet, and savory pork dish. Jump to Recipe keyboard_arrow_down
Slow Cooker Balsamic Brown Sugar Pork Tenderloin couldn't be easier to make and is a dish you will want to eat over and over again. It's sweet, savory, and good enough to serve to company on a special occasion. Serve it with some Crispy Balsamic Brussels Sprouts or Mashed Cauliflower.
In case you haven’t noticed, I am obsessed with balsamic glaze these days. I am putting it on everything. Salads, sandwiches, pizzas, and now pork. Usually I make my own by simply reducing some balsamic vinegar but you can also buy it on Amazon or Trader Joe’s has a great one. So predictably, I made this delicious slow cooker balsamic brown sugar pork tenderloin last week and had to trash it up with some glaze. With or without the added glaze, the pork comes out deliciously tender.
It is a bit sweet and tangy from the combination of vinegar and brown sugar. Honey would work great as well. I decided to hold back on the herbs this time around but thyme, rosemary, or sage would all be delicious. My family isn't always super into fresh herbs in dishes like this so I usually I add some to my dish after so I can get the flavors I love but everyone else is happy. We also love a touch of spice in everything, so I add just a hint of chili powder. You can leave it out or kick it up a notch depending on what your family likes.
Here are some things to keep in mind when preparing this Slow Cooker Balsamic Brown Sugar Pork Tenderloin:
- Although I love the taste of pork in this recipe, if you don't eat pork it will definitely work with chicken as well. Boneless skinless thighs will ensure you end up with a tender, moist chicken dish. Chicken breasts will also work as would bone in chicken with the skin removed. Recently a few people have asked about a lean pork roast, that would work as well.
- For a thicker glaze for the pork, make sure to take the time to reduce the sauce after the pork is finished cooking. This step is absolutely worth it and you will want to lick up every last drop of the thick, sweet balsamic glaze. If you won't have time for this, consider buying some balsamic glaze to drizzle on top when serving.
- Fresh herbs make a lovely addition to the dish and you could include rosemary, thyme, oregano, or marjoram. You can also decide how much spice to include - adding more chili powder or leaving it out completely. Red pepper flakes also work well.
Side Dish Ideas for Crockpot Balsamic Pork
This tender pork is such a comforting meal, that it is best served with other warm and comforting dishes in my opinion. Here are a few of our favorites.
- Anything mashed: This dish goes well with almost any mashed vegetable. You could make classic mashed potatoes, a lightened up potato and cauliflower combination, or make mashed butternut squash or celery root.
- Roasted veggies: Another great option is roasted vegetables. From carrots to brussels sprouts to broccoli, roasted veggies pair really well with this meal. I like to toss them with olive oil, salt, and pepper and then drizzle some balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze over the top before serving.
- Peppery salad: If you want something lighter, making a salad with a peppery green like arugula is a great option. Use arugula, roasted beets, red onion, and apple slices with a balsamic dressing to make the perfect light side dish.
Can I make this in the Instant Pot?
This recipe will definitely work in the Instant Pot but you will need to make a few adjustments. First, you will want to add the trivet to the slow cooker. Pour the chicken broth, soy sauce, and balsamic vinegar into the bottom of the Instant Pot. Rub the pork with the spice mixture and place on the trivet inside the Instant Pot. Close the top and set to Manual mode for 7 minutes. Let the pressure naturally release. Remove the pork and set aside to rest. Meanwhile turn the Instant Pot to Saute and bring the sauce to a boil for 3-5 minutes until it thickens. Serve over the sliced pork.
Looking for more healthy slow cooker pork recipes?
- Simple Slow Cooker Pork
- Slow Cooker Pork Lo Mein
- Slow Cooker Spicy Pulled Pork
- Slow Cooker Kalua Pork with Cabbage
- Slow Cooker Maple Pork Tenderloin
- More healthy slow cooker pork recipes
Here are some of the products I used when making this recipe.
- Slow Cooker: There are so many different slow cookers on the market but I personally use this one that allows me to brown, sear, or saute in the same pan. Plus I find the cooking temperature to be really even and consistent.
This recipe was originally published in 2014 with the photo below. It has been updated with new photos, video, and information.
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- 2 lbs lean pork tenderloin
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 tbsp brown sugar (or honey/maple syrup or Stevia for low carb)
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp chili powder (or more to taste)
- salt and pepper
Combine the vinegar, chicken broth, and soy sauce.
Combine the sugar, cumin, garlic powder, chile powder if using, salt, and pepper. Be careful with the salt since the soy sauce is salty. You can always add more after cooking.
Rub the pork with the brown sugar mixture and place in the slow cooker. Pour vinegar mixture over top.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours until very tender.
If desired top with balsamic glaze or reduce the cooking liquid to create your own glaze.
For a crisp exterior, place under a hot broiler for 4-5 minutes.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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