Seasoned with a smoky spicy rub plus barbecue sauce, and served up with fresh coleslaw, this easy recipe for Pulled Pork with Coleslaw is a crowd-pleasing favorite!
Easy Instant Pot Barbecue Pulled Pork with Coleslaw
Feeding a crowd? Meal prepping? Just love barbecue? I got you, friend! This easy recipe for pulled pork makes a ton of food, and it’s super tasty when eaten later in the week, or when frozen and reheated later!
With an earthy, barbecue-style seasoning rub and your Instant Pot, you’ll have smoky, spicy, tender shredded pork in a fraction of the time. We’re talking serious yum.
My favorite way to eat pulled pork is on a bun with a heaping helping of freshly-made coleslaw. And guess what? That recipe is here too, so you can make both easily. Coleslaw is crunchy, creamy, tangy, and light. Perfect for adding contrast to the richness of barbecued pork!
But, sandwiches aside, you can also serve pulled pork as a great main course with all of your favorite sides: macaroni, garlic bread, seasoned rice or pasta, green beans, you name it. In fact, some of my favorite side dishes are listed below!
What You’ll Need
This classic American pulled pork recipe uses all of the best seasonings for a hearty barbecue flavor. From brown sugar to ground mustard, all of the standbys are here. And the coleslaw recipe couldn’t be easier! Let’s get cooking!
For the Pulled Pork
- Pork Roast: This recipe makes one 3 pound pork loin roast, or pork shoulder roast.
- Garlic: You can mince two cloves of fresh garlic, or substitute about half a teaspoon of garlic powder.
- Broth: To build pressure in the Instant Pot, you’ll need some broth or other liquid. I used half a cup of chicken broth.
- Barbecue Sauce: Half a cup of barbecue sauce adds flavor and another liquid to help build pressure.
- Brown Sugar: ¼ cup of brown sugar adds classic sweetness to the dish. You can also use honey or maple syrup, if you prefer.
- Paprika: The foundation of the seasoning blend I use is paprika, which is made of dried, ground peppers. It’s not spicy, but it does add a depth of flavor and gorgeous color to the recipe.
- Salt and Pepper: You’ll need a teaspoon each of sea salt and black pepper.
- Chili Powder: Another mild yet flavorful seasoning, chili powder gives that classic barbecue taste to the meat.
- Cumin: You’ll need a teaspoon of ground cumin.
- Mustard: Ground mustard is a very underused seasoning! It packs a flavorful punch. If you don’t have any, you can use prepared mustard instead for a similar flavor.
- Cayenne: Spice things up with some cayenne pepper, or if you prefer a very mild dish, leave it out.
For the Coleslaw
- Mayonnaise: You’ll need half a cup of mayonnaise, or you can use “salad dressing” spread if you prefer a sweeter taste.
- Sugar: To add a sweetness to this tangy dressing, you’ll need a couple of tablespoons of sugar. Again, you can substitute honey or syrup.
- Lemon Juice and Vinegar: A tablespoon each of apple cider vinegar and fresh lemon juice makes this coleslaw sing!
- Salt and Pepper: You only need ¼ teaspoon of salt, but you need ½ tsp ground black pepper to cut the richness of the mayonnaise.
- Coleslaw Mix: For a super-easy prep, use four cups of fresh coleslaw mix; you can also use plain shredded cabbage.
Extras for Serving
- Extra Barbecue Sauce: To drizzle over the pulled pork.
- Buns: Hawaiian rolls, hamburger buns, pretzel buns, Kaiser rolls, pieces of focaccia… whatever you like!
How to Make Pulled Pork and Coleslaw
This dish has several components, but they’re all extremely simple. First, we’ll get the pork started by mixing up our rub and seasoning the pork with it. Then the pork cooks in the Instant Pot, while we make the coleslaw! It’s that easy!
Make the Pulled Pork
- Make the Seasoning Rub. In a small bowl, mix together all of the spices, the salt, and the pepper to make the dry rub seasoning mixture.
- Season the Pork. Place the pork roast on a baking sheet or large plate. Generously rub the roast with the entire batch of seasoning mixture, and set aside.
- Arrange the Ingredients in the Instant Pot. In a small bowl, mix together the chicken broth and barbecue sauce. Set aside. Place the pork roast into the Instant Pot (if the roast is very large, you may have to cut it into two or more pieces). Pour the broth mixture into the pot, and sprinkle the roast with minced garlic.
- Cook the Pork Roast. Close and lock the Instant Pot lid, and slide the valve to “sealed.” Press the “Manual” button and set the timer for 90 minutes on High. After the 90 minutes are up, slide the valve to Quick Release the pressure.
- Pull the Pork and Return It to the Pot. When the pressure is fully released and the safety indicator is down, unlock the lid. Remove the cooked roast to a cutting board or large plate. Shred the meat with two forks, and then return it to the pot to soak up the cooking liquid.
Make the Coleslaw
- Mix the Dressing Ingredients. Whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, sugar, vinegar, pepper, and salt until combined.
- Add the Coleslaw Mix or Cabbage. Pour the dressing over the coleslaw blend or shredded cabbage, and stir to combine.
- Enjoy! Serve your fresh coleslaw on top of a pulled pork sandwich, or on the side.
Tips for Success
Before you get started, take just a second to review these helpful tips for making pulled pork. They’ll help you create the perfect easy main course!
- Trim the Fat. Pork shoulders and roasts can be very fatty, which is great for flavor but not necessarily for plating. Feel free to trim away excess fat from the outside of the roast, and discard excess fat (and bone) when you shred the cooked pork.
- Use a Thermometer. An instant-read thermometer is a must when cooking large portions of meat like a pork shoulder or roast. Place the thermometer into the meat at the thickest portion, but don’t let it touch the bone (this will cause an inaccurate reading). The meat should reach between 195°F and 205°F for the best pulling consistency. If it’s not up to temperature, try pressure cooking it for ten-minute increments until it’s done.
- Sub the Broth. Aside from chicken broth, you could use just about any cooking liquid, from apple cider to beer to cola.
A pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw is a meal in itself! But if you’d like to add some extra tastes and textures, whip up one or more of these super-easy side dishes.
- Grilled Potato Wedges: These delightful Grilled Potato Wedges are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, with a mouthwatering seasoning blend! So good!
- Cowboy Caviar: Ultra-fresh Cowboy Caviar is filled with fresh chopped veggies, beans, blackeyed peas, and tons of Tex-Mex flair. It makes the perfect salsa, relish, or even side salad to go with pulled pork.
- Macaroni Salad: For those who don’t care for coleslaw, a simple Macaroni Salad is the perfect alternative! It’s got all of the cool freshness, but with picky-eater-friendly pasta in place of the cabbage.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- To store leftover pulled pork, place in airtight containers and refrigerate for up to four days.
- To store leftover coleslaw, place in airtight containers and refrigerate for up to three days. Stir before serving.
- To reheat the pork, place leftovers in a covered skillet or saucepan over low heat. Cook until just heated through.
Can I Freeze Pulled Pork?
- Yes, pulled pork freezes well! Place leftovers into freezer bags, and press out as much air as possible before sealing. The pork will keep frozen for up to six months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Pulled Pork with Coleslaw
For the Pork:
- 3 pounds pork loin roast, or pork shoulder roast
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- ½ cup chicken broth
- ½ cup barbecue sauce, plus more for serving
For the Dry Rub Seasoning Mix:
For the Coleslaw:
- BBQ sauce, for serving
- Buns, for serving
To Make the Pulled Pork:
- In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the dry rub seasoning mix.
- Place your pork roast on a baking sheet or large plate. Generously season the pork roast using all of the seasoning mixture, and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the chicken broth and barbecue sauce. Set aside.
- Place the pork roast in the bottom of the Instant Pot's inner pot. If the roast is very large, you may have to cut it into two or more pieces so it can fit. Pour the broth mixture in with the roast. Sprinkle the roast with the minced garlic.
- Close and lock the lid of the Instant Pot. Slide the valve to “sealed.” Press the Manual button, and set the timer for 90 minutes on High.
- After the 90 minutes are up, slide the valve to Quick Release the pressure.
- Remove the roast to a cutting board or large plate. Shred the meat with two forks.
- Return the meat to the Instant Pot and stir around to soak up the cooking liquid.
- Serve pulled pork on buns with coleslaw.
To Make the Coleslaw:
- In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sugar, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, pepper, and salt.
- Pour the mayonnaise mixture over the coleslaw or cabbage, and stir to combine.
Pulled Pork Serving Ideas:
- On a toasted bun, Memphis-style, with creamy coleslaw.
- On a bed of fresh greens for a barbecue-style salad.
- On a slice of Texas Toast or garlic toast with a dollop of barbecue sauce.
- In tortillas or taco shells for a barbecue-inspired taco.