Slow Cooker Pork Loin with Honey Dijon + Vinegar is an easy weeknight dinner that is a little sweet, a little tangy, and totally satisfying. Crisp up the tender pork under the broiler, or have it as is for a dinner you will want to make again and again.
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How do you decide what you will eat for dinner? How do you shop? Do you go with a list and a plan, or do you just get a bunch of ingredients and hope there will be some sort of inspiration when it’s time to cook?
Normally I plan out our meals for the week on a Saturday, and then I shop for everything, or at least half, at one time. That way I always know what I’m going to make and how long it is going to take. I’ve been doing this for so long that it is second nature (and the inspiration for my new Personal Chef Service!) and, most of the time, I enjoy the process.
5 Tips for Stress Free Weekly Meal Planning
- Take a half hour and do it all at one time. DO NOT try to spread it out! It will feel like it’s taking over your whole weekend and you’ll stop doing it.
- Always include at least two meatless meals. Cooking meatless cuts down on food costs AND cooking time. Plus, it’s better for you!
- Plan to use your leftovers. For example: Make slow cooker carnitas tacos on Tuesday night, but make double shredded pork and then use it in a mexican inspired rice casserole on Thursday night.
- Pick one or two nights a week that are repeats – we do tacos on Tuesday and pasta on Friday. It means you need to come up with less meals every week, and if you have kids they really look forward to it!
- Pinterest is your friend! There are MILLIONS of recipes on Pinterest, you guys. For every taste and every diet. I am a food blogger and I always browse Pinterest when making my weekly meal plan. You’ll find boards that have food you like, and then you can follow those boards so the recipes will just show up on your pin feed when you log in.
Sometimes, though, I’m just tired of making decisions, or nothing sounds good, or I’m stuck in a recipe rut and don’t know where to go from there.
When that happens, I stand blankly in front of the fridge until a recipes comes to me out of nowhere. I know, it’s a very impressive process.
They say necessity is the mother of invention. Well, that is certainly true when it comes to this Slow Cooker Pork Loin with Honey Dijon and Vinegar! It was created during one of those deer in headlights moments in front of the fridge. I had a boneless pork loin that was calling for the slow cooker, and I have a bunch of other flavors around that I love. BAM. One of my favorite slow cooker recipes to date.
I have a recipe for Braised Garlic Chicken Adobo which has an inordinate amount of vinegar in the sauce. One cup of it! It sounds like too much vinegar, but in that recipe the chicken cooks in the sauce for a long time. That long cooking time mellows out the sharpness of the vinegar, and what you get is an incredibly unique and flavorful sauce that I really love. I didn’t know I could love vinegar so much, and it inspired me to try it in other recipes and in other ways.
So, I thought I would make a vinegar heavy sauce for the pork loin I had and let it cook for a while in the slow cooker. There is not nearly the same amount of vinegar as in the Chicken Adobo recipe, but it’s still enough to give the resulting gravy a delicious tang.
Don’t be afraid of vinegar!! Vinegar highlights other flavors, so if you want to brighten up a dish, if the flavors are just too bland, if you don’t love the flavor profile of your dish and don’t know what to do about it – add a little vinegar. Start with one tablespoon for an entire pot of something, and then let the flavors lead you. Use apple cider vinegar for a bit of sweetness, rice vinegar for Asian flavored dishes, and white vinegar for sharp brightness in anything you’re making from sauces to soups.
When the Slow Cooker Pork Loin and veggies were done cooking, I took the meal a step further by shredding the pork loin into large chunks, drizzling it with olive oil, and broiling so that the edges were crispy. After that, I strained the cooking liquid into a roux which is butter or olive oil whisked together with equal amounts of flour and cooked for a couple minutes at least. Then I let it simmer while whisking for a few minutes until I had a nice, smooth gravy to go over the top of the pork.
If you don’t want to take the extra 10 minutes to do this part, you can just serve the honey mustard pork loin right out of the slow cooker and spoon some of the cooking liquid over the top. It’s just as delicious like that! But I really enjoy the crispy burnt ends the pork gets when it’s broiled, and I’m a sauce person, so I will always take that extra step if it means I get a special sauce with my dinner. Give me all the sauces!
Cooking boneless pork loin in a slow cooker is a wonderful way to use it up because it is not dried out very easily, and it really turns just fall apart tender.
Plus, a boneless pork loin is a sponge for whatever flavors you’re using.
We had this slow cooker pork loin twice in three days the first week I made it, and my family went crazy over it.
Since then I have added it to my menus for my Personal Chef service and have prepared it for many clients. Everyone raves over these delicious flavors!
What are the slow cooker dinners your family loves? Share with me in the comments!
Want more delicious slow cooker recipes? Try these: