Moist, saucy, tender, and loaded with smoky BBQ taste, these Southern Pulled Pork Bowls are one of these ridiculously easy recipes that produces an extremely satisfying meal! You’ll love the addition of southern slaw and bread and butter pickles for extra crunch and flavor.
We’re approaching the end of summer, which means I am trying to find that perfect balance between comfort food (hellllloooo fall), summer flair, and ultimate ease. We definitely hit the nail on the head with these Southern Pulled Pork Bowls!
So pull out the bibs, get your napkins ready, and grab your favorite BBQ sauce. We’re making the ultimate easy dinner to say good-bye to summer and hello to fall!!
This recipe is quite basic, and easy. Easy and basic can be quite delicious too. Did I mention slow cooker, healthy, kid friendly, freezer friendly, and what you need for dinner this week?!?! As a nutritionist, I love to get the combination of all of these qualities when feeding my family and sharing with you!
How to make Pulled Pork Southern Bowls:
You’ll love that this dinner only requires a few simple ingredients that you might already have on hand! Start with just the simple pulled pork.
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Ingredients:
- Pork tenderloin
- BBQ sauce (use Primal Kitchen for a Paleo/Whole30 option that has no sugar)
- Buffalo hot sauce (I use Frank’s Red Hot Original sauce that has only a few ingredients)
We start by tossing our pork tenderloin into the slow cooker with the BBQ sauce and hot sauce. You can even add a splash of apple cider vinegar if you like things extra tangy. Set on low for about 8 hours. Shred with a fork!
Super easy, right? You can stop right here and serve several different ways:
- In a bun (my kids’ favorite)
- in a tortilla for a wrap
- on top of chips for pulled pork nachos
- on top of a bed of greens for a BBQ salad
OR….. Continue on and make the slaw!
Southern Slaw Ingredients:
- apple cider vinegar
- avocado oil or olive oil
- package of shredded cabbage or slaw mix
- chopped fresh cilantro
- pure maple syrup
- garlic clove
- salt and pepper
I hit the easy button by buying a package of pre chopped slaw at Trader Joe’s complete with carrots. You can do the same, or chop up purple and green cabbage. Toss in cilantro. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, maple syrup, garlic, and salt and pepper. Toss it altogether!
Top bowls with additional items like chopped red onion and bread and butter pickles. Stir and enjoy!
When storing this recipe, we are only discussing the pulled pork. The slaw does not hold up well after 1 day.
Store: In the fridge in an air tight container for up to 5 days
Reheat: on the stovetop in a dutch oven over medium low heat or in the microwave
Freeze: Store in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.
Instant Pot Variation:
I know some of you will want to try this in your instant pot! Here is how you can make that happen. Be aware that the sauce will be more watery and not as thick. Water is needed in order to prevent the burn function.
- Cut the pork tenderloin in half (you may be using 2 longer pork tenderloins and will have 4 halves). Place in the bottom of the instant pot.
- Pour in 1 cup of water, then the bbq sauce and buffalo sauce.
- Secure the lid, and set to high pressure. Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes. Use a natural release for 15 minutes, then release any remaining steam.
- Shred the pork using a fork.
Southern Pulled Pork Bowls
Southern Pulled Pork Bowls come together so easily with less than 20 minutes of prep time! Let the slow cooker or Instant Pot do the work for you in this tasty dinner.
For the Pulled Pork:
- 3 lbs Pork tenderloin
- 1.5 cups BBQ Sauce*
- 1/3 cup Buffalo hot sauce**
For the Slaw:
- 6 cups shredded cabbage***
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/3 cup olive oil or avocado oil
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 clove crushed garlic
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- pinch of black pepper
- 1/2 cup sliced bread and butter pickles (or pickled jalapenos for extra kick!)
- 1/3 cup diced red onion
For the Pulled Pork:
Trim the visible collagen layer off the pork tenderloin, and any visible fat. Place inside the slow cooker.
Pour the BBQ sauce and buffalo sauce on top of the pork. Secure the lid, and slow cook for 7-8 hours on low heat. After cook time is complete, stir the sauce and shred the pork with a fork.
For the slaw:
Cut the cabbage into thin strips, or use a pre-packaged bag of cabbage slaw. Toss in the chopped fresh cilantro.
In a small container with a lid, mix the oil, vinegar, syrup, garlic, salt, and pepper. Shake until completey combined. Pour on top of the cabbage/cilantro. Toss to combine
For the bowls:
Serve by layering with the prepared slaw, then the pork. Top with additional items like pickles or jalapenos, red onion, or more cilantro.
*You can opt for unsweetened BBQ Sauce which is Gluten-Free, Paleo, and Whole30 approved
**If you enjoy things a little spicier, you can add an additional 1/4 cup.
***I use a prepackaged slaw mix that includes shredded carrots. If slicing your own cabbage, you can use about 1/2 of a head of purple cabbage, and 1/2 head of green cabbage.