Slow Cooker Turkey Tenderloin with Wild Rice and Butternut Squash

By Ann Fulton

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Out of the crock pot and onto the plate. Dinner tonight was as easy as it was delicious. It had everything in it–juicy, tender turkey for good protein, wild rice for high-quality carbs, colorful veggies loaded with vitamins, and a few other odds and ends to amp up the taste. This would be an easy recipe to make your own by adding mushrooms, substituting carrots or sweet potatoes for the squash, stirring in a bit of Dijon for zing and/or maple syrup for a touch of sweetness.

 

Slow Cooker Turkey Tenderloin with Wild Rice and Butternut Squash
For a hint of crunch, you can sprinkle each serving with toasted and chopped pecans or walnuts.
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup wild rice
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into large cubes
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into wedges or chopped
  • 1 1/2- 2 pounds turkey tenderloin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or a few fresh sprigs)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 3-4 cups chopped kale or other dark, leafy green
Instructions
  1. Place wild rice in slow cooker and top with squash, onion, and turkey. Sprinkle with seasonings and pour stock over top. Cover and cook on low heat for about six hours. Add the dried cranberries and kale during the final half hour of cooking.
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Comments

    1. Ann Post author

      Thank you, Fred! Depending on size of tenderloin, appetites, and what else you may be serving alongside, I’d plan on 4-6 servings.

      Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Luis, I have only made this with wild rice, but I’m guessing that you’d likely need about half the broth if using white rice. I’d start with that, checking and adding a little more broth if need be. Hope you enjoy!

      Reply
  1. Katherine

    In excited to try this for dinner this week. Could I use a different kind of rice, say a Jasmati that takes 15 mins on the stove usually? Trying to work with what I have in my cupboards during these social distancing times! Thanks in advance 🙂

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Katherine, You could definitely do that. The only thing is that that variety of rice would take about a third to half as long to cook compared to the wild rice. So the trick would be timing it right. If I were to try, I’d plan on 2 hours on low for rice that normally cooks in 15 minutes on the stove. You don’t want it to end up mushy, so the worst case scenario is that you’d have to remove the squash and turkey and give the rice a little longer. I hope that helps, and if you try, please report back!

      Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Arthur, I mention in the instructions that I cook it for about six hours on low, but you can check a little early and adjust up or down as needed as all slow cookers vary.

      Reply
  2. Sue

    Hi. I just found this recipe and want to try it, however I loathe squash :). Could white potatoes or whole red potatoes be subbed in instead? Same cook time or would I as them later? Thanks!!

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Sue, I think you could cook potatoes for the same amount of time, although I’d be inclined to use a small to medium size and keep them whole. Leaving the skins on will keep moisture out and prevent them from becoming soggy or cooking smaller pieces too much. Alternatively, you could cook larger potatoes whole, checking them midway and chopping if they’re still rather firm. I hope this helps, and if you try, feel free to report back!

      Reply
  3. Sheryn

    Tried this and found it very bland. Added lemon and a ton of poultry season to have some flavor. Hubby was not impressed unfortunately.

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Sheryn, Did you add the seasonings and use the broth? Those things tend to bring out the flavor nicely, but I am sorry it wasn’t a success for you.

      Reply
      1. Sheryn

        Hi Ann, I used chicken stock and a bunch of fresh thyme. Also used applewood smoke marinated tenderloins. The tenderloins were amazing, but the rest fell a little flat. Will try again and tweak a few things. Thank you and hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

        Reply
        1. Ann Post author

          Thanks for the follow up, Sheryn. Maybe just a bit more salt? And we did enjoy our Thanksgiving–hope you did, too!

          Reply
  4. Trish

    Any suggestions on how to use the leftovers? I am arming my college age daughter with healthy crockpot recipes with a weekly meal plan but this will be too much for one or two meals for her.

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      You’re such a good mom! Your daughter could wrap the leftovers and a sprinkle of cheese in a tortilla. For a crispy, healthier version of a chimichanga, she could then bake it in the oven. If she likes kale, I’d also recommend a hearty salad with chopped kale and a drizzle of a simple balsamic or apple cider vinaigrette…and perhaps some feta or goat cheese and almonds or nuts of choice for crunch.

      Reply
  5. Nancy

    I’m looking at what I’ve got in hand to use in this recipe. How would yellow squash and broccoli work in place of the butternut squash and kale?

    Reply
      1. Ann Post author

        I think sweet potato would be a wonderful substitution, Nancy. Yellow squash or broccoli would likely become rather mushy unless they were added later in the cooking process. For either of those I’d try an hour, give or take, depending on how tender you like them. Hope this helps and that you enjoy!

        Reply
  6. Becky

    I was looking for a turkey tenderloin crock pot recipe this morning. It sounded good and I had all the ingredients on hand except for the kale (I picked some up on the way home from work.) Very tasty and I felt good about what we were eating. I would probably use frozen cranberries when I make it again. I will have to check out more of your recipes!

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      I’m so happy this was a success, Becky, and like the idea of using frozen cranberries. Hope you find many more recipes to enjoy!

      Reply
  7. Tammy

    I put the lid on Sunday morning before getting ready for church. Came home from church just in time to stir in the leafy greens and cranberries. This dish was a hit at my house. My husband loved it. It is so filling! He ate it for lunch and dinner. I shared the recipe on Facebook including some of my pics of the meal. I had a couple shares and several friends saying they are going to try it.

    Yummy; 5 stars * * * * *

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Such great feedback, Tammy. Thanks for letting me know. I’m delighted this was a success and that you shared it with friends!

      Reply