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Between mouthfuls of sweet, tender pork, crispy apples, and soft corn tortilla, these pulled pork tacos are extremely satisfying. Be prepared for a little drippy sweet and spicy chipotle pork sauce to run down your fingers and to have your stomach saying “another one”!
Once you've made these pulled pork tacos, you'll have a new weeknight staple on your hands! This is the perfect mid-week meal – whether it's Taco Tuesday or not. While the pork cooks during the day, all you'll need is 15 minutes of prep time in the evening to pull together a super tasty meal that everyone will enjoy!
Why using your slow cooker to make taco meat is the best
If you haven't started using your slow cooker for taco night, here's why you should dust off the ol' slow cooker for this type of meal:
- Set it and forget it: Maybe not entirely forget, but using a slow cooker allows you to put the piece of pork in the cooker and leave it to do its thing for 8-10 hours while you go about your day.
- Super tender meat: By cooking pork “low and slow” you break down the collagen into gelatin, and it melts the fat. That's why you end up with supremely tender and flavorful meat.
- You can feed (and please) a hungry crowd: You can cook a larger piece of meat in your slow cooker and comfortably feed your family and then some! This pulled pork taco recipe serves 4, but you'll likely have leftover meat if you follow the instructions for using a 1 ½ lb cut.
For these pulled pork tacos you will need the following ingredients plus about 8 small white corn tortillas. Homemade of store-bought tortillas will work. Here's the rest of your grocery list for this tasty pork taco recipe:
- Pork butt/pork shoulder: you'll want a 1 ½ lb cut of pork butt/shoulder for this recipe. You can always ask your local butcher to help you pick out the cut if you aren't sure.
- Beer: Crack a can of beer and add 1 cup to the pulled pork recipe.
- Brown sugar: ¼ cup of brown sugar will add some caramel-y sweetness to your pulled pork.
- Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce: Mince the peppers and add 1 tablespoon to the slow cooker. You can find these in a can usually near other Mexican foods in the grocery store.
- Spices: Use ½ teaspoon each of cumin and sea salt to add some warmth from the cumin and a little bit of salty flavor for the pork.
- Garlic: Finely mince 2 cloves of fresh garlic for a bit of zest.
And as a topping for the tacos, you'll make a simple coleslaw with cabbage, apple, and cilantro in a creamy sauce.
Pulled pork tacos toppings ideas
There are so many ways to dress a pulled pork taco, and usually your heart (or stomach) knows best. Outside of the coleslaw included in this pulled pork recipe, here's some other ideas for ways to top a pulled pork taco:
- Cheese: Some traditional Mexican cotija cheese will taste great! If you can't find any, you can try feta cheese instead.
- Saucy dollops: These include sour cream, salsa, guacamole, or simply more lime juice will all be great toppings on your taco!
- Make it a bowl: You can also turn your pulled pork taco into a taco bowl, by adding some rice, black beans, and some tortilla chips.
How to make pulled pork tacos
Just 6 simple steps until you have a beautiful, Mexican-inspired pulled pork taco dinner on the table:
- Slow cook the meat
Add all the ingredients for the pulled pork into the slow cooker and cook for 8-10 hours. Make sure to keep the liquid at the end!
- Shred/pull the pork
Once the meat is cooked, you can easily pull it into lean strips using two forks.
- Make the sauce
Using the leftover liquid from the slow cooker. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer long enough so that it thickens up. Then, mix it in with the pulled pork – yum!
- Make the dressing for the coleslaw
Combine the yogurt, mayo, lime juice, garlic, and salt.
- Make the coleslaw
Add the cabbage, apple, onion, and cilantro and then pour the coleslaw dressing over top.
Warm up your tortillas and then assemble your tacos as desired! Enjoy!
What to serve with pulled pork tacos
What to do with leftover pulled pork
This recipe for pulled pork tacos will give you more than enough meat for taco night. Here's 3 ideas you should absolutely try since you have leftover pulled pork:
- Pulled pork sandwiches: Grab a bun and use your leftover pulled pork and even a spoonful or two of the coleslaw for a delicious lunch.
- Salad: Use some leftover pulled pork as a protein-rich and flavorful salad topping.
- Make a new dinner: Create something new from your leftovers! Add the pork to this pulled pork chili or this pulled pork shepherd's pie!
Does pulled pork need to be covered in liquid in the slow cooker?
It's important that there is some liquid in the crockpot so that the pork braises properly and becomes super tender. But the meat doesn't need to be fully covered in liquid. There's 1 cup of liquid used in this pulled pork taco recipe, which is enough to make tender pulled pork!
What's the difference between pulled pork and carnitas?
Both refer to slow-cooked pork, however, carnitas is finished by broiling it in the oven or searing it on the stovetop to crisp up the meat. You can also try this pork carnitas recipe.
How long does pulled pork last?
You can store leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the fridge, or freeze it for up to a couple of months.
- 1 ½ lb pork butt
- 1 cup beer
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- ½ teaspoon EACH: cumin and sea salt
- 2 cloves garlic (finely minced)
- ¼ cup plain yogurt
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 small garlic clove (minced)
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 2 cups finely shredded red cabbage
- 1 medium crisp apple (diced small)
- ¼ cup finely sliced red onion
- 2 tablespoons cilantro (chopped)
- 8 small white corn tortillas
- Sour cream, guacamole, and salsa (to serve)
- Put the pulled pork ingredients into your slow cooker and cook on low heat for 8-10 hours.1 ½ lb pork butt, 1 cup beer, ¼ cup brown sugar, 1 tablespoon minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, ½ teaspoon EACH: cumin and sea salt, 2 cloves garlic
- When the pork has finished cooking, transfer it to a bowl and shred it using two forks.
- Pour the liquid from the slow cooker into a small pot and bring it to a boil over high heat. Boil until the sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon and then mix it into the pulled pork.
- To make the dressing, mix the yogurt, mayonnaise, lime juice, garlic, and salt in a small bowl.¼ cup plain yogurt, ¼ cup mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1 small garlic clove, 1 pinch sea salt
- In a large bowl, add the cabbage, apple, onion, and cilantro. Pour the dressing over the top and toss to coat.2 cups finely shredded red cabbage, 1 medium crisp apple, ¼ cup finely sliced red onion, 2 tablespoons cilantro
- Warm the tortillas wrapped in a cloth and microwave for about 20 seconds.8 small white corn tortillas
- Top the warm tortillas with pulled pork, slaw, and any or all of the toppings.Sour cream, guacamole, and salsa
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.