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Slow Cooker Southwestern Pulled Pork

This easy CrockPot pulled pork — featuring the flavors of chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, cilantro and jalapeño — makes dinner simple on a busy day. 

easy crockpot pulled pork in large serving dish

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Easy CrockPot Pulled Pork

Southwestern pulled pork is so easy to cook in your slow cooker. There is very little prep time and it is one of the best kind of fix it and forget about it recipes. Perfect for crazy busy days. I love basic recipes like this to keep on hand in the freezer.

My Crock Pot Mexican Chicken, which has become a staple for any quick, easy Mexican night, inspired me to make a similar, but slightly different version featuring pork rather than chicken.

CrockPot Pulled Pork Ingredients

This easy CrockPot pulled pork truly is the BEST pulled pork recipe. Why? Because it’s so simple to make and is packed with flavor. Even better, it’s a 5-ingredient recipe!

Here’s what you’ll need to make southwestern CrockPot pulled pork:

What’s the Best Pork for Pulled Pork?

You’ll want to go to the butcher’s counter at your local grocery store and ask for a pork shoulder roast. For this easy CrockPot pulled pork recipe, you’ll need a pork shoulder roast that weighs about 4 pounds.

You want a cut of meat that has some fat in it (that adds lots of flavor), but be sure to trim any excess fat beforehand.

easy crockpot pulled pork in large serving dish

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How to Make Pulled Pork in a CrockPot

Slow Cooker Southwestern Pulled Pork uses the Homemade Southwestern Pork Rub that I posted the other day. I definitely recommend making a batch of the rub and keeping it on hand, rather than having to prepare it when you start this recipe. It’ll just make it easier in the long run if you have one less step to do at the time.

After rubbing the meat with the spice blend, you’ll sear it on all sides in hot oil to get a nice browned crust on the outside of the meat. Then, transfer the pork shoulder to your slow cooker and let it cook all day until it is super tender and falls apart on its on.

Once that happens, you’ll shred it the rest of the way, making sure to discard any hunks of fat that are left behind, return it to the slow cooker with all the delicious juices that are left behind.

For a boost of color and a little extra flavor, I like to add fresh jalapeño and cilantro to the meat at this point. You can add a little more of the rub at this point too, depending on your flavor preferences, and then you are good to go. Super easy and flavorful for a quick, no-fuss dinner.

If you want to take this Slow Cooker Southwestern Pulled Pork to the next level, for say a taco night, check out these 7 Ways to Up Your Taco Tuesday Game. Use one of those 7 ways is to vary your meat.

What to Make With This Easy CrockPot Pulled Pork

Slow cooker pulled pork is incredibly versatile. I recently used it as an addition to these Ultimate Easy Nachos to turn the recipe into more of a meal rather than a party appetizer. It was really good!

However, you could easily use this Slow Cooker Southwestern Pulled Pork as the base for other recipes, such as Spanish Rice Taco Salad Bowls or Shredded Pork Tacos. If you’re having a Cinco de Mayo celebration, this recipe will help make your planning really simple while still keeping it tasty.

What to Serve with Pulled Pork

Not sure which pulled pork sides to serve? Here are some of my favorite side dishes for pulled pork:

Tips for the Best CrockPot Pulled Pork

For a spicier slow cooker pulled pork, add the ribs and seeds of the jalapeño to the CrockPot. If you’re more sensitive to spicy foods, deseed the jalapeño before adding it in.

If you’ve never shredded your own pulled pork before, I recommend reading my post on How to Shred Chicken before doing so. The methods outlined in that post can also be used to shred pulled pork.

This easy CrockPot pulled pork recipe makes a hefty amount of pulled pork. I recommend freezing the pork (juices and all) in 1 to 2 cup servings so you can easily reheat individual servings later.

More Easy CrockPot Recipes:

This Game Day Crock-Pot Queso con Carne features gooey cheese combined with spicy meat, tomatoes, and plenty of tortilla chips for scooping. It is perfect for all your homegating parties.

Learn how to make a Slow Cooker Spiral Ham with this delicious recipe! The ham slow cooks during your busy day and comes out with great flavor thanks to the tasty honey mustard ham glaze.

Next time you’re craving Pork Carnitas, try this Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas Lettuce Wrap version. Top it off with some fruity Mango Salsa for a fresh burst of flavor.

This Slow Cooker Ham Soup with Potatoes and Kale is both easy to prepare and flavorful, thanks to the use of a slow cooker and the rich flavor that a leftover ham bone imparts.

This Slow Cooker Baked Bean Trio with Bacon and Peppers are loaded with flavor thanks to three types of beans, bell peppers, poblano peppers, and bacon.

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Slow Cooker Southwestern Pulled Pork

Slow Cooker Southwestern Pulled Pork

Yield: serves 10
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes

Slow Cooker Southwestern Pulled Pork,featuring the flavors of chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, cilantro and jalapeño, makes dinner easy on a busy day.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon Oil
  • 4 lb. boneless Pork Shoulder Roast, excess fat trimmed and discarded
  • 6 tablespoons Southwestern Pork Rub
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Cilantro
  • 1 diced jalapeño, deseeded (if desired)

Instructions

  1. In a cast iron skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Rub 5 tablespoons of the Southwestern Pork Rub on the outsides of the pork shoulder.
  3. Place the rubbed pork shoulder in the heated oil, searing for 1 - 2 minutes on each side, or until a golden brown crust has formed on all sides.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Transfer the pork should to a slow cooker.
  6. Cook on low for 6 - 8 hours  (or high for 3 - 4 hours), or until pork is tender and falling apart and cooked through.
  7. Once the pork is cooked through and falling apart, remove it from the slow cooker (keep the juices in the slow cooker) and transfer to a cutting board.
  8. Discard any excess fat chunks.
  9. Shred and return to the slow cooker pot with the reserved juices.
  10. Add the cilantro and jalapeño to the slow cooker. Stir to combine.
  11. Taste, and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of rub according to your taste preferences.
  12. Serve.

Notes

Use Slow Cooker Southwestern Pulled Pork in any Tex-Mex style recipe, such as tacos. It also works well on slider buns for a pulled pork sandwich. Freezes well in 1 - 2 cup portions once cooled.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 10 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 563Total Fat 41gSaturated Fat 15gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 23gCholesterol 171mgSodium 128mgCarbohydrates 0gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 44g

GoodLifeEats.com offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although GoodLifeEats.com makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

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Kate

Tuesday 3rd of May 2016

This looks awesome!! I have pork shoulder in the freezer so I think I'll make this this weekend!! Thanks! 

Katie Goodman

Tuesday 3rd of May 2016

Thanks for stopping by Kate! Enjoy :)