Roasted Pork Loin with Easy Apple Cranberry Sauce

roasted-pork-loin-cranberry-sauce-2 Over the summer, I’d often find myself talking to people I didn’t know at the park or the pool, and eventually, I’d share that I was pregnant with my second.

They would invariably ask: How old will your son be when the baby’s born?

My answer: 20 months.

And then, I would get one of two responses. Every single time.
#1. Wow! (wincing) That’s so….close.
#2. That’s wonderful! My kids were 19 months apart, and I loved it! 

Today, despite the fact that our baby girl is still safely growing inside of me, was definitely more of a #1 kind of day.

Roasted Pork Loin AppleCranberry Sauce See, it started last week. My regular grocery store apparently stopped carrying pie pumpkins for the season (which totally makes sense in early November, right?) So today, before going to a friend’s house, Owen and I went to the other grocery store (that’s right across the street from our regular one) for the pie pumpkin and several other items to get us through the week.

We moved quickly despite my unfamiliarity with the other grocery store, but unfortunately were unable to find fig jam – an essential part of our menu this week. We had a few minutes to spare, so I thought we could pop across the street – back at our regular shop – to find the jam.

Figuring Owen had just been in the cart and that we only needed the one item, I thought I’d let him walk and push one of those miniature “customer-in-training” carts. As I anticipated, he loved it and was having the time of his life.


I stopped his Supermarket-Sweep-worthy rampage through the store when we got to the jam aisle. He however, wasn’t really ready to stop, and so I picked him up, verbally assuring him that he could keep walking in just a minute after I found the jam I was looking for.

He. would. not. have. it. He howled. And turned red. And I experienced what was probably the longest thirty seconds of my life, holding him tightly with my left arm, as he passionately kicked and screamed like one of those tranquilized tigers just waking up in a cage.

Meanwhile, Baby #2, was relentlessly kicking my somehow-full-again bladder. So there I was, in the jam aisle, willing myself not to pee (inwardly considering how embarassing it would be to cross my legs like a kindergartener), while also forcing myself to tune out my shrieking child so I could just find the freaking fig jam among the shelves of endless options.


People s-t-a-r-e-d. Oh how they stared.

After two full scans, with the screaming still going strong, I gave up and decided there was no fig jam to be found. I put him down, and the second his feet hit the ground, he was happily (and somehow silently) pushing the cart again like nothing had ever happened. I however, was red-faced, out of breath, and sort of limp-walking so as not to be that pregnant lady that wet herself at the grocery store.

So that all happened.  And one baby is still inside of me. Sometimes I wonder how people even leave the house with more than one kid. And as excited as I am for this baby girl to be joining our family, I’m more than a little nervous about how I’m going to do regular life with two littles at my side. But I know it can be done. People have been having multi-kid families for millenia, and I have some superheroes in my life showing me it can be done…and done well.

Roasted Pork Loin AppleCranberry Sauce

One such superhero is our friend Vicki from church. She has the most adorable two little girls, and is a great mom. She is the source of this delicious recipe, and can I tell you what I love about it? This recipe is feast-worthy, but so, so easy. Like 20-minutes-of-prep-time easy.

You basically roast a pork loin. I seared mine first, but you can totally skip this step if you also had an episode in the grocery store earlier in the day. About twenty minutes before it’s done roasting, you add water, apples, and cranberries to your favorite barbecue sauce (may I recommend a sweeter, honey variety?) and simmer away until the apple pieces and cranberries are softened.

And there it is. Roasted pork + a delicious sauce that tastes like everything fall should. Feeling extra energetic? Roast a squash and serve it on the side.

This dish makes a lot…but we also made an entire pork roast. What I like to do when pork loin is on sale is to immediately cut it in half and freeze it that way, so I have two smaller pieces of meat to work with.

We inhaled this dish, and I’m happy to add it to our list of regulars…it’s just easy enough that I might be able to make it with a toddler on the stool by my side and a newborn in the Ergo. Right?



Roasted Pork Loin with Easy Apple Cranberry Sauce

Roasted Pork Loin with Easy Apple Cranberry Sauce

(recipe by Carpé Season)

(yields app. 10 servings)

This easy pork loin recipe tastes like fall! The sauce of barbecue sauce, apples, and cranberries is so simple to put together and pairs perfectly with the pork.


4 to 5-lb. pork loin

salt & pepper

1 tbsp. vegetable oil (only needed if searing)


2 c. sweet barbecue sauce (We like Sweet Baby Ray's)

3/4-1c. water (based on your preference)

2 c. whole fresh cranberries (if using frozen, thaw first)

2 medium apples, peeled, cored, and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces


(Optional) Sear Pork Roast:

Generously salt & pepper all sides of pork loin. Heat 1 tbsp. vegetable oil in a large skillet over high heat until water sprinkled on oil sizzles. Place pork in the oil and sear until browned and golden, turning every few minutes to sear each side.

Roast the Pork:

Preheat oven to 325*. Lightly spray 9x13" pan and wire cooking rack with cooking spray. Even if you don't sear the pork roast, generously salt & peper the pork loin. Place pork, fat-side-up, on the rack. Cook about 22 minutes per pound until internal temperature reaches 165*. (My 4.3-lb pork loin took about 90 minutes).

Remove from oven; let rest (temperature will rise 5* during this time.)

Prepare the sauce:

About 20 minutes before your pork roast is done, mix barbecue sauce, water, cranberries, and apple pieces together in a medium sauce pan. Over a medium-low heat, bring mixture to a gentle simmer, and cook for about 15 minutes or until cranberries and apples are softened.


Serve roasted pork with the sauce. This dish goes amazingly well with roasted squash!


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11 thoughts on “Roasted Pork Loin with Easy Apple Cranberry Sauce

    • Right! (I just kept telling myself: “I am NOT the only person whose kid has lost it in the grocery store. I am NOT the only person whose kid has lost it in the grocery store!) :)

  1. This sounds lovely and I’m putting it on the menu for the weekend. I had one of those days last week too. My two and four year old fought over a book at the library and ripped it in half. I was MORTIFIED! The times they giggle together, comfort each other, and keep each other busy make up for it.

  2. I have two pieces of advice for you, having survived with at least of modicum of sanity after raising five children, all of whom were born in the span of 6 years and 3 months. #1 – Don’t let them push the little carts! If the little man hasn’t done so yet, he WILL eventually figure out that Mom can be reduced to a howling mass of pain if one rams said cart into the back of her heels, nearly severing the achilles tendon. Once they learn that, it happens Every. Single Time. #2 – If you don’t want to be that woman with the horde of wild children running rampant in the grocery store, figure out your routine for placement and stick to it. When I had all five, this was ours: Trevor & Karleigh (the oldest) walked on either side of my cart, with one hand ON the cart at all times. Evan (middle son) rode on the end, facing in. He could get down if we stopped, but again.. one hand on the cart. Dustin, youngest son, sat IN the cart, usually organizing the items for me along the way (no wonder he became an accountant!) And Tishie, the baby, sat in the front kid seat. This was slightly modified before she was big enough to do so, when Dustin occupied the front seat and Tishie was in a sling. I can’t tell you how many people would stop me and comment on how good they were. My response? “I can’t AFFORD to have five kids running wild!” You’ll figure out your own way, never fear! Just be strong! :)

    • Sunny! Your comment is awesome in so many ways. 5 kids in 6 years! Love it. Great, great advice, and so funny to picture you and your little troop marching through the store :)

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