This Cranberry Pork Tenderloin recipe with canned cranberries is perfect for the holidays or can be a quick and easy year-round favorite.
Keep reading to learn my favorite tip for making the perfect pork tenderloin!
Pork Tenderloin in Cranberry Sauce
If I had to choose any cut of pork on the pig as my favorite, it has to be pork tenderloin. It’s easy to cook, serves up tender and juicy, and can be ready in minutes.
Plus, pork tenderloin is a great value. Since there’s no bone involved, you can eat the entire piece of pork.
There are lots of methods for cooking pork tenderloin, as well. My favorite “fast way” for making pork tenderloin is in my Instant Pot with a side of cranberry applesauce. And if you enjoy cast iron cooking, skillet pork tenderloin is delicious, too. And pork tenderloin as a sheet pan meal means you only have one pan to clean up!
What to love
- Pork tenderloin recipes with cranberries are my favorite, and this cranberry sauce is so easy.
- This skillet meal can be on the table in 30 minutes or less.
- The secret to tender and juicy pork is not overcooking. Keep reading for more on that!
Ingredients for cranberry pork tenderloin recipe
- Pork tenderloins: Pork tenderloin usually comes packaged with two pork tenderloins inside. Each pork tenderloin weighs around one pound.
- Canned whole-berry cranberry sauce: I was thrilled to develop this recipe using canned whole-berry cranberry sauce, which works perfectly.
- Red onion: You may substitute a sweet yellow onion if you don’t have a red onion, but this recipe’s color and mild flavor are perfect. Use what you have on hand!
- Cornstarch: Add the cornstarch to the white wine until well blended before whisking the wine into the sauce to thicken.
- Seasonings: Better Than Bullion Chicken base paste or chicken bullion, orange zest, cinnamon, white wine, olive oil.
Searing the pork tenderloins in hot oil before you roast them is essential. This browning creates the caramelization that elevates the flavor of the pork to a whole new level.
Cook the pork tenderloins until they reach 140 degrees F. at the center, then let them rest while covered with foil to raise to 145 degrees F. as a final internal temperature.
Remember that pink pork is perfect! The USDA says that pork no longer has to be cooked to 160 degrees at the center as previously.
The new internal temperature of 145 degrees at the center means you will have medium rare, juicy pork with a tinge of pink to the meat.
Always use an instant-read meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat – don’t guess! Remember – if you overcook pork tenderloin, it will be dry and tasteless.
How to cook pork tenderloin with cranberry sauce
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Remove the pork tenderloins from refrigeration and unpackaged.
Pat dry with paper towels.
Season to taste with salt and pepper, letting the tenderloins rest on the counter, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
In a 12-inch heavy-bottomed skillet (I like my Lodge cast iron skillet for this recipe), add a good swish of olive oil over medium-high heat.
When the oil is hot, add the pork tenderloins to the skillet, searing them on all sides until golden brown and caramelized.
Add the red onions to the skillet, scattering them around the tenderloins.
Move the skillet to the center rack of the preheated oven. Roast the tenderloins, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes.
Cook until they reach an internal temperature of 140 degrees when temped with an instant-read meat thermometer.
Remove the tenderloins from the skillet to a platter.
Cover the tenderloins with foil to allow them to rest while you prepare the cranberry sauce.
In the same skillet, over medium heat, add the cranberry sauce, chicken base paste, orange zest, and cinnamon.
This recipe formerly called for fresh cranberries but is only available during the holiday season (at least here in the Midwest anyway).
Using canned whole cranberries means this dish can be made year-round.
If you prefer, you can use canned jellied cranberry sauce that doesn’t have the whole berries.
Combine the cornstarch with the white wine, stirring this into the other ingredients in the skillet.
Bring the cranberry mixture to a boil then reduce the heat. Simmer the cranberry sauce until it is nicely thickened.
Return the pork tenderloins to the skillet, nestling them into the sauce. Keep warm.
To serve, slice the tenderloins into fat medallions, then drizzle with warm cranberry sauce, as desired.
How do you cook pork tenderloin so it’s not dry?
The secret to cooking succulent pork tenderloin is not overcooking.
If you cook pork tenderloin that turns out dry and tasteless, I can tell you with all certainty it’s because you have overcooked it.
Pork tenderloin is one of the most tender and succulent cuts of pork on the entire pig.
If pork tenderloin is not delicious and juicy when you eat it, it’s because you’ve cooked it past the perfect finished internal temperature of 145 degrees F. at the center.
What meats go well with cranberry sauce?
I prefer cranberry sauce with pork….any kind of pork!
Ham is delicious with cranberry sauce, just as pork tenderloin and pork chops are delicious with cranberry sauce.
I also enjoy cranberry sauce with roast chicken and roast turkey.
How long should I cook pork tenderloin at 350 degrees?
Never cook pork at 350 degrees if you want tenderloin and juicy pork.
Pork tenderloin should be roasted at a high heat (400 – 425 degrees F.) for just a few minutes until it reaches 145 degrees at the center as a final internal temperature.
Cooking pork tenderloin at a temperature of 350 degrees F. will make it dry and tough.
Should you rinse a pork tenderloin before marinating?
You should rinse your pork tenderloins under cool, running water when unpackaging with cool water that is flowing gently from the tap.
You do not want to splatter meat bacteria all over the sink area and kitchen.
Also, always pat rinsed meat dry before adding any seasoning or searing the meat in hot oil.
What to serve with pork tenderloin
My family enjoys garlic-roasted potatoes with pork tenderloin and baked yum yum potato wedges, too.
Crispy smashed potatoes go well with this pork tenderloin recipe because they are so delicious dipped in the sauce.
More favorite pork recipes to enjoy
Follow these easy steps for making Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin with Potatoes that is tender, juicy, and flavorful, all in under 30 minutes.
Saucy cubed pork made from pork loin in minutes on your stovetop is an easy weeknight meal.
Looking for a way to use up that big pork loin roast you just bought on sale? Make Instant pot sweet and sour pork over rice.
For another hearty weeknight meal idea, check out pepper jelly glazed pork or this Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin with Apple Cranberry Sauce. It’s easy and economical.
Glazed Cranberry Pork Tenderloin
- 2 lbs. pork tenderloin (there are 2 one-pound tenderloins in a package, typically)
- Olive oil for sautéing
- 1 large red onion peeled and sliced into wedges
- 16 oz. can cranberries
- 1 tsp. Better Than Bouillon chicken base paste optional
- 1 tsp. fresh orange zest optional, but delicious
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 Tbs. cornstarch
- fresh orange slices for garnish, if desired
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Remove the pork tenderloins from refrigeration and unpackage; pat dry with paper towels.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper, letting the tenderloins rest on the counter, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
- In a 12-inch heavy-bottomed skillet (I like my Lodge cast iron skillet for this recipe), over medium high heat, add a good swish of olive oil.
- When the oil is nicely hot, add the pork tenderloins to the skillet, searing them on all sides until golden brown and caramelized. Add the red onions to the skillet, scattering them around the tenderloins.
- Move the skillet to the center rack of the preheated oven. Roast the tenderloins, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes, just until they reach an internal temperature of 140 degrees when temped with an instant-read meat thermometer.
- Remove the tenderloins from the skillet to a platter. Cover the tenderloins with foil to allow them to rest while you prepare the cranberry sauce.
- In the same skillet, over medium heat, add the cranberry sauce, chicken base paste, orange zest, and cinnamon. Combine the cornstarch with the white wine, stirring this into the other ingredients in the skillet.
- Bring the cranberry mixture to a boil then reduce the heat; simmer the cranberry sauce until it is nicely thickened.
- Return the pork tenderloins to the skillet, nestling them down into the sauce; keep warm.
- To serve, slice the tenderloins into fat medallions, then drizzle with warm cranberry sauce, as desired.