Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry Sauce

It’s just eight days before Christmas.

 The halls are decked (well the best they are going to be this year); travel plans to see family are in place; wrestling season is in full-swing, frantic, last-minute shoppers are descending upon Macy’s (pushing me into week number two of overtime), we’ve had our visit with Santa, and I’m finalizing our menu for a lovely Sunday afternoon Christmas with special friends.

Yes, my teenagers still visit Santa Claus each year.

Yes, my teenagers still visit Santa Claus each year.

‘Tis the season, right?

My absolute favorite part of celebrating the holiday season is sharing this special time of year with friends, especially those who live a good distance from family as we do.   Each year since moving to South Carolina we host a cookie baking and decorating party.  This year it happens to fall on a Sunday which does shorten our day, but will not deter us from having a fabulous time!  As we are planning for Sunday I wanted something super flavorful and easy for lunch since we will be working around regular worship Sunday morning and a special Christmas service that night.

My choice?  Grilled pork tenderloin  (with an option to make into sandwiches using Kings Hawaiian Sweet rolls) topped with homemade cranberry sauce.  Seasonal, flavorful and easy to make a head of time, this will be a perfect treat for Sunday lunch.  I love this for two reasons: one, hubby can man the grill which takes care of the tenderloin, and two, it really is easy.

Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry


Pork tenderloin, pan seared and grilled  (season with pink salt and black pepper)
1 (12 oz) bag fresh cranberries
1  cup Splenda Brown Sugar blend (to keep it lower in sugar)
2 Tbsp orange zest (from 1 large orange)

1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup fresh ginger, minced
Juice of one large orange
1 1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp fresh chopped rosemary


1. For the tenderloin:  heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil (I use California Olive brand) a large pan or dutch oven on medium-high heat.  Season your tenderloin with black pepper and pink Himalayan salt and place in the pan, searing each side five minutes to lock in your juices.

pork tenderloin

pork tenderloin 2

2. Preheat your grill to 400°.  Take the seared tenderloin and place on the grill.  Grill, turning once, until internal temperature reaches 160°.  Place on a platter or large cutting board to rest for a few minutes before slicing.  Use an electric knife to aid in slicing the tenderloin thinly, especially if you will serve rolls with it for sandwiches.

3. Making the cranberry sauce is as easy as it gets!


Peel and chop your fresh ginger

orange juice

Squeeze the juice from your large orange.


Chop your walnuts.

Take all of your ingredients and combine in a medium saucepan.

cranberry sauce

cranberry sauce 3

All the ingredients added and ready to simmer.

Bring to a boil on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to keep from sticking.  I prefer tart over sweet, so taste for sweetness.  If you feel you want it sweeter, add  Splenda brown sugar blend 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired sweet flavor you want.  Reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes (stirring occasionally) until the sauce has thickened up.

If you hear a little pooping, don’t worry, it’s just the cranberries!

4. Remove the cranberry sauce from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

Cranberry Sauce 5

You can serve the cranberry sauce over the pork tenderloin or on the side to use as a condiment on little sandwiches (which is my plan for Sunday).

cranberry sauce 6

Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry 2

The sliced tenderloin glazed with the cranberry sauce makes such a pretty main course for any holiday buffet, and the homemade cranberry sauce will be a hit with all of your guests!


What holiday celebration (outside of family Christmas) do you enjoy most?  I would love to hear your traditions!

Have a fabulous weekend!

Linking up with Rattlebridge Farm for Foodie Friday this week!  Check out all of the fabulousness!


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