These Pulled Pork Burgers are packed with saucy slow cooker pulled pork, a simple homemade coleslaw and pickles all served in a bun (or lettuce wrap). These Pulled Pork Sliders are a crowd pleasing dish that are perfect for a family friendly meal, game day spread or backyard barbecue. Pulled Pork Burgers

I am a total sucker for pulled pork, especially when paired with creamy coleslaw and pickles all packed into a toasted brioche bun. It’s saucy, messy and so tasty. I have found that one of the biggest issues with pulled pork is that it is made using store bought barbecue sauce that is packed full of refined sugar. For this healthier version of pulled pork a tangy barbecue sauce is created by adding all of the ingredients in with the pork and then leaving it to cook until the pork is fall apart tender and smothered in the delicious sauce. This is such a great recipe to make for a barbecue or big group gathering or serve as part of a game day party spread. This pulled pork also freezes well and is great to have on hand to pull out for an easy meal.

Pulled Pork Burgers

Why You Will Love These Pulled Pork Burgers


  • Soft buns packed to the brim with saucy shredded pork smothered in homemade bbq sauce, tangy coleslaw and sweet pickles, this is the ultimate flavor packed pulled pork burger recipe
  • This recipe requires less than 20 minutes of prep and the slow cooker does all of the work. Simply add everything to the slow cooker and then leave it to cook until the pork is fork tender.
  • This isn’t just a slow cooker recipe, this pulled pork can also be made in an instant pot or in a large pot or dutch oven in the oven.
  • This recipe requires simple ingredients that are easy to find at any grocery store.
  • Whether you are looking for kid friendly recipes for easy family dinners, a make ahead dish to bring to a big gathering or a crowd pleaser to serve as part of a game day spread, these pulled pork burgers are a great option for just about any occasion.

 

Ingredients You Need To Make These Pulled Pork Burgers


  • Pork: Be sure to use a boneless cut of meat. I find that the best cut of meat to use is pork shoulder but pork butt roast can also be used in its place.
  • Onion: finely chopped yellow onions add flavor to the pulled pork. After slow cooking they break down and help to thicken the sauce.
  • Tomato paste: If you do not have tomato paste on hand, ketchup can be used in its place.
  • Vinegar: Apple Cider Vinegar helps to break down the fibers in the pork and creates a nice tang to balance out the sweetness from the honey. White wine vinegar can be used as a substitute.
  • Honey: I prefer using honey but any other type of sweetener such as maple syrup, brown sugar or coconut sugar all can be used. For a Whole30 option I recommend using 1/3 cup of apple juice or orange juice as a sweetener in place of honey.
  • Chopped Tomatoes: Canned tomatoes act as the base of the sauce. either chopped or whole tomatoes can be used (whole tomatoes are generally better quality tomatoes then chopped) but be sure to use scissors to cut them up before adding them to the pot.
  • Spices: I like to keep the spices simple with ground cumin, paprika, onion powder and garlic powder. Feel free to add in 1-2 teaspoons chili powder for a bit of heat. 
  • Cabbage: a combination of white and red cabbage slaw or bagged coleslaw mix can be used.
  • Carrots: Shredded carrots add a nice pop of color and crunch to the coleslaw,
  • Apples: I love the texture and pop of sweetness that apples add to the coleslaw. You can cut them into thin strips using a knife or shred them on a box grater.
  • Mayonnaise: Mayonnaise is the base of the dressing for the coleslaw. Feel free to use full fat or low fat mayonnaise, avocado mayonnaise or homemade mayonnaise.
  • Dijon Mustard: the mustard adds nice flavor to the dressing and can be substituted for grainy mustard, honey dijon or yellow mustard
  • Buns: I like using brioche buns but hawaiian buns, kaiser rolls or pretzel buns would all be delicious.
  • Pickles: I like to use sliced sweet pickles, but feel free to use any type of your favorite store bought pickle or homemade like these.

You can find a list of all of the ingredients in the recipe card below.

 

Pulled Pork Burgers

 

How To Make The Slow Cooker Pulled Pork


  1. Start by coating the boneless pork roast all over in the spice rub. Add all of the sauce ingredients to the bottom of the slow cooker and then place the boneless pork shoulder roast on top.
  2. Put the slow cooker on high heat and cook for 6 hours or low heat for 8-10 hours. Once the pork is done cooking it should be fall apart tender. Use a fork to shred it in the pot.
  3. To a large bowl add the cabbage, red onion, carrots and apple. In a small bowl stir together the mayonnaise, dijon, vinegar, sea salt and black pepper. Toss the cabbage in the dressing and set aside to rest for 20 minutes to give the cabbage time to soften.
  4. To assemble place a large spoonful of the slow cooker shredded pork in a toasted bun, add in the coleslaw and top with a few slices of pickle.

What Is The Best Cut Of Pork For These Pulled Pork 


Look for a boneless pork shoulder that has good marbling (for the best flavor). If the cut has any thick layer of fat on top of the meat, use a knife to trim the excess fat, I find that if left on during cooking the fat cap breaks down and creates fatty pieces that blend in with the meat. Pork butt (or Boston butt) is a term used to describe a similar cut of meat that comes from slightly higher up the foreleg. Both shoulder and butt are fatty and tough cuts of pork with a lot of connective tissue and benefit from a long cook time. I do not recommend using pork loin for these pulled pork burgers as it does not contain as much fat and is better suited for a shorter cook time.

 

Can I Make This Pulled Pork In The Oven?


You can! Preheat the oven to 300 degreed Fahrenheit. Coat the pork in spices and then place it in a dutch oven along with the other sauce ingredients. Transfer to the oven to cook for 3 hours. Once cooked, transfer the tender pork to a cutting board and shred the pork with 2 forks. Place the pot on the stove on medium-high heat and leave the sauce to reduce for 10-15 minutes before returning the shredded pork to the pot and stirring to ensure it’s well coated in the sauce.

 

Can I Make This Pulled Pork In An Instant Pot?


Absolutely! After coating the pork in spices, place it in the slow cooker along with all of the other sauce ingredients. Close the lid and set to sealing. Cook the pork on manual high pressure for 40 minutes. Once the cooking time is up, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then do a quick release. If there is too much liquid in the pot, remove the pork and turn the pressure cooker to saute, leave the sauce to boil down for 8-10 minutes until it has reduced by 1/2 and then return the shredded pork to the instant pot and stir to ensure it is all well coated.

 

How To Make The Coleslaw


This homemade coleslaw is incredibly easy to make. The recipe lists a combination of both red cabbage and white cabbage, but to save time feel free to swap it for 4 cups of bagged coleslaw. In a medium bowl add the cabbage, thinly sliced red apple, shredded carrots and red onion (you can make this up to 2 days in advance). For the dressing in a small bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar and honey (or maple syrup). I recommend tossing the salad in the dressing 15-20 minutes before serving to give the dressing time to soften the cabbage and help the flavors meld.

 

 

How To Make These Pulled Pork Burgers Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal


To make these Pulled Pork Burgers SCD Legal, be sure to use tomato paste that does not contain any additives or sugar (I recommend looking for an Italian brand of tomato paste which will always list every ingredient in the tomato paste). Use a homemade pickle (such as these) in place of store bought pickles which often contain a lot of sugar. In place of a bun, these can be turned into pulled pork bowls (my personal favorite) or all added to an iceberg lettuce leaf and enjoyed as a lettuce wrap.

 

Other Toppings You Can Add To These Pulled Pork Burgers


I absolutely love the combination of pickles with the creamy coleslaw and pulled pork. Some of my other favorite toppings include thinly sliced jalapenos (or pickled jalapenos), crisp bacon, crispy fried onions or a slice of cheese (american cheese or smoked gouda cheese both work well).

 

 

What To Serve With These Pulled Pork Burgers


One of my favorite side dishes to serve with these Pulled Pork Burgers is sweet potato fries which I like to cook in the oven or air fryer. If you are serving these Pulled Pork Burgers as part of a barbecue spread, I also like serving them with a broccoli salad, caesar salad or potato salad.

 

Pulled Pork Burgers

 

Can I Make These Pulled Pork Burgers In Advance?


You can! The slow cooker pulled pork can be made and shredded up to 4 days in advance and stored in the fridge, or made further in advance and frozen. If you are making the pulled pork and allowing everyone to assemble their own burgers, I like to keep the pulled pork warm in a crock pot. For the coleslaw I recommend making it no more then 3 hours in advance otherwise it may become liquidy. If you are assembling the pulled pork burgers in advance I recommend placing them on a serving tray and wrapping them in aluminum foil to keep warm (or keep them in a slightly warm oven).

 

 

What About Leftovers


Assembled Pulled Pork Burgers will last for up to a day in the fridge. Once tossed in dressing the  prepared coleslaw will last for up to 2 days stored in the fridge in an airtight container. The pulled pork will last for up to 5 days stored in the fridge, or 4 months stored in the freezer. I recommend reheating the pulled pork in the microwave, or in a pan on the stove until warmed through.  Any leftover slow cooker pulled pork can be enjoyed in a wide variety of ways. It’s delicious added to a bowl with rice and coleslaw, enjoy as pork tacos or even pulled pork nachos. The shredded meat is fantastic warm or at room temperature tossed into a salad too.

 

Pulled Pork Burgers

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If you make this recipe let me know in the comment section below, I would love to hear what you think or take a photo and tag me (@everylastbite_) on Instagram, I love seeing your photos!

Pulled Pork Burgers

Every Last Bite
These Pulled Pork Burgers are packed with saucy slow cooker pulled pork, a simple homemade coleslaw and pickles all served in a bun (or lettuce wrap). These Pulled Pork Sliders are a crowd pleasing dish that are perfect for a family friendly meal, game day spread or backyard barbecue.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 20 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

Pulled Pork

  • 3 lbs boneless pork shoulder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • cup honey
  • 7 oz can chopped tomatoes

Coleslaw

  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 3 cups shredded white cabbage
  • 1 red apple julienned
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • ½ red onion very thinly sliced (paper thin)
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp dijon
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey

Burgers

  • 6 Brioche Burger Buns
  • 1/2 cup Sliced sweet pickles

Instructions
 

  • In a bowl stir together the garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, cumin and paprika. Coat all sides of the pork in the spices pressing to make sure the spices stick well.
  • Place the pork shoulder in a slow cooker, add in all of the remaining pulled pork ingredients. Put the slow cooker on high heat and leave to cook for 6 hours. After 6 hours shred the pork with two forks and stir it in with the sauce in the slow cooker.
  • To make the coleslaw in a bowl combine the cabbage, apple, carrot and red onion. In a small bowl stir together the mayonnaise, dijon, vinegar. Pour the dressing over the cabbage, toss to combine and then set aside in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
  • Slice the buns in half, place a big spoonful of the pork on the bottom bun, top with coleslaw and a few slices of pickle.
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment below and let us know how it was!

This post was originally published on May 28, 2024.