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. Kimberly Wright

    Could you use spinach instead of kale in this recipe? I want to try this but got a negative when I mentioned the kale, lol. Thanks

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Spinach should work well, Kimberly. I’d still give it a rough chop–long pieces can seem stringy. You could also stir it in at the end since the heat from the other ingredients will wilt it immediately. If you try, I’d love to hear how you make out!

      Reply
  2. Cheryl Ortega

    Hello Ann,

    I made your recipe yesterday and it was fabulous! Everyone loved the flavor and aroma. I loved the simplicity and healthy aspects too! I’m going to share this and make it again and again and again! Thank you for sharing your talents through your wonderful recipes. I’m going to look for more of your dishes to make.

    Regards,
    Cheryl Ortega

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Thank you for such a thoughtful comment, Cheryl. I’m thrilled this was a hit and hope you find many more recipes that are equally enjoyed!

      Reply
  3. Deb

    Discovered you when I searched for a turkey tenderloin crock pot recipe. Delicious and easy, thank you! I’m on Weight Watchers and calculated the points – only 3 Smart Points per serving (1 slightly heaping cup) and it was SO filling! We will definitely make this one again.

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Glad you found me, Deb, and so happy this is a keeper. Thank you for the comment and the helpful point information!

      Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      You could, Melissa, although the cooking time for white rice will be a little shorter. Ideally, you would want to add it 2 hours, give or take, into the cooking time. Otherwise, it will still taste good but be rather soft.

      Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      The rice does thicken the dish, but if you prefer to omit it, I would use half the amount of stock. If you try, I’d love to know how you make out!

      Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      It wouldn’t hurt to try, Nicole. It might get rather soft, so you could add it midway through the cooking time…although it could cook down and become quite delicious if left in for a longer period of time. How about add half at the beginning and the rest after a few hours as a comparison? If you try, please report back!

      Reply
      1. Nicole

        Hello Ann,

        Thank you for your quick reply! I unfortunately did not see your response prior to making your recipe. Therefore, I added the slices of a medium sized eggplant to the top of the other ingredients, but below the turkey tenderloins, in substitute for the kale. Everything cooked up beautifully and tasted great; however, the eggplant was slightly overcooked. Next time, I will take your advice and will add the eggplant after a few hours! Lesson learned.

        Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Zack,
      I tend to cook this on low, but it should take about half the time when cooked on high.

      Reply
    1. Ann

      Hi Erin,
      A whole turkey breast would be wonderful, and pork tenderloin would be a great option with this recipe, too…even chicken thighs for that matter. Hope that helps and that you enjoy!

      Reply
    1. Ann

      I think that would be fine although both the tips and the brown rice require slightly less cooking time, so just check a little earlier. If you try, I’d love to know how you make out!

      Reply
  4. Lisa

    I made this for a church dinner. I used swiss chard from my garden in place of the kale and an herb seasoned tenderloin. It was extremely easy and very well received! This is a great, easy, tasty fall crock pot dinner!

    Reply
  5. Lisa

    This was a hit, and so easy!!! My husband loved it and so did I. I WILL make this again, the cranberries really made this perfection. Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

    Reply
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    1. Ann

      You could definitely use fresh cranberries for a slightly tarter option. I think I would add them in the last hour or so of cooking if you want to retain some of the texture. If you try, I would love to know what you think!

      Reply
  8. Susan

    I made this today. Let me tell you that it was a big hit. My boys (husband and 21 yr old) had two bowls. Very easy to make. Really enjoyed it!

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Thanks so much for the great feedback, Susan. I am thrilled your family enjoyed and truly appreciate your taking the time to let me know!

      Reply