Healthy Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork is the perfect tender meat for a filling dinner that’s gluten-free, Whole30 friendly, and low in saturated fat. Use this shredded pork as the ultimate filling for tacos or pork sandwiches!
Just like Healthier Beef Ragu, this slow cooker Main Dish is a great recipe for busy weeknight meals. Prep the pork recipe in minutes and put in the crockpot in the morning. When you get home from your busy day, simply shred the pork, place it on hamburger buns, and you’ll have family-friendly dinner ready to go!
HEALTHY SLOW COOKER BBQ PULLED PORK
Your whole family will love this pulled pork crock pot dinner. It’s so easy, but bursting with tangy and sweet flavors from the pork tenderloin and BBQ sauce. And it’s so versatile it’s sure to become your new go-to pork recipe.
Once it’s done in the crock pot there are so many options for how to serve your shredded barbecue pork roast. You can put it in buns to make easy pork sandwiches. This is especially great with some low-fat coleslaw on the side, or even put a little slaw on the sandwich.
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork can also make amazing tacos. Just put out tortillas and whatever topping ingredients you’d like for the perfect BBQ pork carnitas. And if you want to keep this slow cooker recipe gluten-free, there are gluten-free tortillas and bread available at most grocery stores.
For the sauce, you can either find a store-bought healthy BBQ sauce, or use this easy Homemade BBQ Sauce recipe that comes together in minutes. This recipe is made with a little bit of brown sugar, garlic, vinegar, and tomatoes. It’s lower in sodium and carbohydrates than other BBQ sauces. And it has less processed, artificial sweetener than store-bought BBQ sauces.
MORE HEALTHY HEALTHY MAIN DISHES
WHAT CUT OF PORK?
Pulled pork is a long standing BBQ tradition. Just because we’re making this one in the slow cooker doesn’t mean you’ll lose the classic BBQ flavors.
Most pulled pork recipe call for a fatty pork roast. The most traditional recipes use the pork shoulder. Boston butt, or pork butt is the usual cut (this is still from the pork shoulder). If you choose to go with this Southern classic cut of meat, be sure to trim the excess fat off the roast before putting it in the slow cooker.
For this healthier version of pulled pork, the recipe calls for pork tenderloin, rather than pork shoulder. It’s a leaner part of the meat with less calories and fat. But after it has cooked and tenderized for hours in the slow cooker with the BBQ sauce and other ingredients, it will be just as fork tender and delicious!
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VARIATIONS ON HEALTHY SLOW COOKER BBQ PULLED PORK
- Cooking Liquid: If you don’t have beef broth, or would just like to experiment with the flavor, there are lots of other cooking liquids you can try to mix with your barbecue sauce. Some great options are apple juice, chicken broth, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, white vinegar, or even root beer.
- Add-Ins: There are plenty of ingredients you can add to this slow-cooked pork recipe the next time you make it. Try chopped onion, and garlic powder. You can brown the onion along with the garlic in a skillet before adding it to the slow cooker. You can also add seasoning like paprika, or red pepper flakes to the marinate.
- Liquid Smoke: For a more smoky taste add a tablespoon or two of liquid smoke to the BBQ sauce. Liquid smoke will add a wonderful wood fire taste to your meat, even though it’s made in the slow cooker.
- Keto: To keep this recipe Keto-friendly eat the pork roast as a main without tortillas or a hamburger bun. You can serve it with a side of vegetables or other Keto-friendly dishes. And although this pork recipe is already very low in carbs, you can decrease the amount of brown sugar in the BBQ sauce a little, if you’re worried about it.
- Chicken: Use this same recipe to make Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken. You’ll want 3 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Prepare the barbecue sauce, and add it and the chicken to your crock pot. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-7.
HEALTHY SIDE DISHES
INSTANT POT INSTRUCITONS
If you’d like a quicker cooking time you can make the pork loin in the instant pot, instead of a slow cooker.
- Place your pork in the instant pot.
- Prepare the BBQ sauce and other ingredients as you would for the crock pot. Pour them over your pork loin.
- Set to the instant pot to pressure cook for 45 minutes.
- Release for 10 minutes, then turn the valve to the vent position.
- Once the float valve has dropped, remove lid, and shred the pork.
- Serve as usual.
HOW TO STORE HEALTHY SLOW COOKER BBQ PULLED PORK
- Serve: You shouldn’t leave cooked meat at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
- Store: Once it’s cooled, store this pork in an airtight container, and it will last in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Freeze: Properly stored pork can stay good in the freezer for 6 months, which makes this a great recipe for meal prep. To reheat the meat let it defrost in the fridge overnight. Reheat it in the crockpot on low heat until warmed through.
- 3 pound pork loin
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 2 cups low sodium beef broth
- 1 cup Healthy BBQ sauce
- Place the pork loin in the slow cooker, then cover with the BBQ sauce, salt, and pepper.
- Pour the beef broth into the slow cooker.
- Cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for four hours.
- Shred the pork with two forks.