The Ultimate Guide to Slow Cooker Turkey Tenderloin

If you’re looking for a hassle-free and delicious way to prepare turkey, the slow cooker turkey tenderloin is the answer. This lean and tender cut of meat is perfect for a cozy family dinner or a small holiday gathering. With minimal effort and a few simple ingredients, you can create a juicy, flavorful turkey dish that will impress your guests and satisfy your cravings.

What is Turkey Tenderloin?

Before we dive into the recipe, let’s first understand what turkey tenderloin is. The turkey tenderloin is a long, thin strip of meat located inside the breast, closest to the bone. It is the most tender part of the turkey breast, hence the name “tenderloin.” Unlike the entire turkey breast, the tenderloin is boneless and incredibly lean, making it a healthier alternative to other cuts of meat.

Why Use a Slow Cooker?

Slow cookers are a game-changer when it comes to preparing turkey tenderloin. The low and slow cooking method ensures that the meat remains incredibly moist and tender, while also allowing the flavors to develop and meld together beautifully. Additionally, slow cookers are a hands-off cooking method, which means you can prepare the dish in the morning and let it cook unattended throughout the day, freeing up your time for other tasks.

Ingredients You’ll Need

To make the perfect slow cooker turkey tenderloin, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 2 lbs turkey breast tenderloins
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

The combination of soy sauce, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, and apple cider vinegar creates a delicious and well-balanced sauce that perfectly complements the turkey tenderloin. The garlic and herbs add depth and complexity to the flavors.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Now that you have all the ingredients ready, let’s dive into the step-by-step instructions for preparing this delectable dish:

  1. Prepare the Sauce: In the slow cooker, combine the chicken broth, soy sauce, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, garlic, thyme, and black pepper. Mix well.

  2. Add the Turkey Tenderloins: Place the turkey tenderloins in the slow cooker and turn them to coat them evenly with the sauce mixture.

  3. Cook on Low: Cover the slow cooker with a lid and cook on low for 3-4 hours, or until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 160°F (71°C). It’s important not to overcook the turkey, as it can become dry and tough.

  4. Let it Rest: Once the turkey is cooked, remove it from the slow cooker and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring maximum tenderness and moisture.

  5. Sauce it Up: If desired, you can thicken the cooking liquid by making a cornstarch slurry (1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp cold water) and adding it to the slow cooker. Simmer for a minute or two until the sauce thickens to your desired consistency.

  6. Serve and Enjoy: Slice the turkey tenderloin and serve it with the delicious sauce drizzled over the top. Pair it with your favorite sides, such as mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, or a fresh salad, for a complete and satisfying meal.

Tips and Variations

  • Use a Meat Thermometer: Investing in a good meat thermometer is crucial for ensuring that your turkey tenderloin is cooked to perfection. Overcooked turkey can become dry and tough, so monitoring the internal temperature is key.

  • Adjust the Sauce to Your Taste: Feel free to adjust the sauce ingredients to suit your taste preferences. You can increase or decrease the amount of soy sauce, mustard, or maple syrup, or experiment with different herbs and spices.

  • Make it Ahead: This recipe is perfect for meal prep. You can cook the turkey tenderloin a day or two in advance and store it in the refrigerator. Reheat it in the slow cooker or oven with a little chicken broth to prevent it from drying out.

  • Try Different Flavors: If you’re looking for a more classic Thanksgiving flavor, you can swap out the sauce ingredients and go for a more traditional turkey gravy. Simply add quartered onions, carrots, celery, and chicken or turkey broth to the slow cooker, and season the tenderloin with your favorite poultry seasoning or spice blend.

Nutritional Benefits

Turkey tenderloin is an excellent source of lean protein, making it a healthy choice for those watching their calorie or fat intake. A 4-ounce serving of turkey tenderloin contains approximately 120 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, zero carbohydrates, and 28 grams of protein. It’s a nutrient-dense food that can be easily incorporated into a balanced diet.


The slow cooker turkey tenderloin is a versatile and delicious dish that’s perfect for any occasion. With its tender and juicy texture, and the rich and flavorful sauce, this recipe is sure to become a household favorite. Give it a try and impress your family and friends with your culinary skills. Enjoy!

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