Whether you need to entertain the masses, organise a tasty Bonfire Night or just want an easy midweek meal for the family, pulled pork recipes are a fantastic option: tasty, versatile and great value for money. With one affordable cut of pork, you can feed the family and have leftovers for convenient meals that kids love. It’s also a fun and popular option for gatherings and parties. And it’s easy to make in your slow cooker, Instant Pot or oven. We especially love it for Halloween or Bonfire Night when you need something handheld and warming!
Read on about what cut you use to make pulled pork, how to prepare it and delicious ways to eat it. This post is sponsored by Love Pork. Mix up your family’s usual favourites by adding pulled pork. Here are some of our favourites.
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What is the best cut for pulled pork and how do you cook it?
The classic cut for pulled pork is boneless pork shoulder. You cook pulled pork low and slow: using low heat over time. This breaks down the meat and makes it wonderfully tender. Once it’s cooked, simply use two forks to pull it apart so it gets its distinctive long pieces.
You can cook pulled pork in a slow cooker, crock-pot, Instant Pot or casserole dish in the oven the oven. For parents, this method fits perfectly with family life. You put it on then leave it, and return a few hours later to a meltingly delicious meat that you can be eaten in a huge range of ways.
As for seasonings, these can range from simple onions, garlic, salt, pepper, soy sauce to cinnamon, cumin, oregano, paprika, pomegranate molasses. You can make it the same way time and again or mix it up according to how you feel and what you have to hand.
What do you eat with pulled pork?
We love cooking and serving pulled pork to our family and friends because it is so versatile. You can enjoy it in all kinds of sandwiches and wraps, as bowl food or in family-style build-your-own manner – it’s a great way to feed a crowd! They can be shared around the table, the bonfire or in the garden while watching fireworks. Plus, they’re great for leftovers too.
We’ve pulled together (see what we did there?) some of the most delicious, kid-friendly and easy pulled pork recipes to try, from BBQ, Mexican, Asian and other influences. Plus we have ideas for gluten-free pulled pork recipes and pulled pork without bread.
Pulled pork ideas perfect for get-togethers
These pulled pork dishes are great for Bonfire Night or Halloween – they’re delicious, versatile, easy to assemble and can feed a crowd. Choose your favourite pulled pork base recipe and serve it on top of jacket potatoes, in wraps, flatbreads or even bao buns – the options are endless. Check out some ideas below and on the Love Pork website.
- Classic pulled pork baps – This simple pulled pork meal is a classic for good reason. You can prepare it make it your usual way or cook it with a BBQ marinade. We love to eat these with gherkins and mayo as well as dress them up with slaw, fresh coriander, brioche buns…and whatever else takes our fancy.
- Pulled pork tortillas / wraps – We like wraps because with the tortilla tucked under at the end, none of the yummy filling spills out. The trick, we’ve found, is to avoid overfilling. After all, you can always make a second one. Keep it simple for the kids with pulled pork, a bit of fresh lettuce and perhaps some cheese. Add in something with a bit of tang for the adults like pickled jalapenos to really compliment the meat.
- Pulled pork jacket potatoes – Jacket potatoes are a Bonfire Night classic. Pair them with pulled pork for a hearty warming meal. Sprinkle on your favourite topping such as cheese, spring onions and sour cream/crème fraiche.
Low-carb / gluten-free pulled pork recipes
Don’t fancy a pulled pork sandwich or want to enjoy it without bread? Try these versions that make ample use of greens that even kids will love.
- Pulled pork taco salad – Layer up your taco salad using fresh greens – romaine or little gem for crisp leaves, rocket or watercress for spiciness – pulled pork, cheddar, chopped tomatoes, sour cream, salsa, coriander, jalapenos, sliced avocado, and a squeeze of lime over the top. Add extra crunch with some salted corn tortilla chips.
- Pulled pork lettuce wraps – Make a twist on the usual Asian lettuce wraps by spicing them up with pulled pork. Get a large lettuce leaf and spoon in the prepared pulled pork. Kids may like them just like this, or you can add in a tad of fresh grated ginger (a little goes a long way), thinly sliced radishes, even a dash of soy sauce and squeeze of lime. Love spice? Try some siracha, sweet chilli sauce or Korean chili paste for extra kick.
- Pulled pork bowl – Eating bowl food is comforting and makes it easy to mix ingredients together. One of our favourite combinations is to add the pulled pork in first, then spinach, beetroot, sweetcorn and red onion. You can add just about anything – such as spiralised courgette, cauliflower rice or coleslaw.
- Pulled pork soup – This soup couldn’t be easier to assemble. Add your prepared pulled pork to vegetable or chicken stock, with sweetcorn, tomatoes, rice or strips of tortilla or any vegetables you might like. The great thing about this dish is you can use whatever you have in the fridge to make it different and delicious each time. Season with chili powder or smoked paprika.
- Easy Asian pulled pork noodle soup – We love combining a warming soup with ginger, pak choy, spring onions and oyster sauce. Use rice noodles for a really low-carb meal. Get the full recipe here.
Easy ideas for hearty pulled pork recipes
Mix up your family’s usual favourites by replacing other proteins or simply adding pulled pork. Here are some of our favourites.
- Loaded sweet potato fries – The benefits of sweet potatoes with vitamin A, vitamin C and fibre go perfectly with pulled pork. Sometimes we pile the pulled pork on top, sometimes we eat them side by side. Sweet potato wedges can even be used to spoon up the delicious meat. Top with cheese, sour cream and spring onions.
- Pulled pork shepherd’s pie – Make your pulled pork the regular way but add a little more liquid (stock or some gravy)’ then spread on the base of a casserole dish and top with mashed potatoes. We pair this with carrots and braised red cabbage. Make a big tray, slice into portions and freeze some to have delicious leftovers for warming lunches or quick microwavable midweek meals.
- Pulled pork pizza – Adventuresome types can make their own base, but a store-bought crust works just a well, especially for a quick supper. The addition of pulled pork makes pizza night a little more exciting. Instead of marinara or passata, use a barbecue sauce (spice it up with chipotle or chili powder if you like) then arrange the pork over the pizza and season with salt and pepper if needed. Other toppings we love as a combo include sliced sweet peppers, caramelised onions, fresh sliced shallots, mozzarella, blue cheese.
- Pulled pork lasagne – Have you ever made so much pulled pork you’re just wondering *what* to do differently with it? Make a regular bechamel or white sauce and layer the lasagna sheets, sauce and pork just like you would with other lasagnas. We like to scatter a mild cheese like mozzarella on top along with some sage leaves tossed with olive oil. You can also toss in a bay leaf or two, crushed or chopped garlic or thyme leaves in among the layers for extra flavours. It will look like regular lasagne on the table but they’ll be pleasantly surprised by the taste!
- Pulled pork, cornbread and beans – Get inspired by the American South and eat your pulled pork with cornbread, beans and slaw. You can buy a ready-made cornbread mix online or in some specialty stores. On the plate, use it to mop up the delicious juices – it’s the ultimate comfort food.
Recipes with international flair
- Bahn mi – Bahn mi is a Vietnamese baguette. Fill it with pulled pork, then add in pickled vegetables, you can easily make a homemade version and store in an airtight container in the fridge. (For some extra crunch, top with matchstick carrots, cucumber or bean sprouts…then drizzle on some hot chilli sauce or sweet chilli mayo and toss on a few sprigs of fresh coriander leaves.
- Pulled pork with hoisin noodles – These noodles are perfect for midweek meals and great as a leftovers dish. While warming your pulled pork in a pan on the hob or in the oven, season it with a bit of hoisin sauce and Chinese five spice (use a bit of stock to loosen it up if it gets dry). Cook the noodles then ladle the pulled pork on top, followed by cucumber, coriander and fresh sliced chillies.
- Middle Eastern pulled pork on flatbread – Switch up your wrap or bap with flatbread. Heat the flatbread on a dry hot griddle, then pile on the pork, topping with avocado, red onions, yoghurt and mint. (Get a Middle Eastern pulled pork full recipe here.) Garnish with ground paprika and a squeeze of lemon. We’d also love this with:
- slivers of pickled beetroot
- caramelised carrots
- parsley and lemon
- pomegranate seeds
- Pulled pork with fruity couscous – With your pulled pork made ahead of time, all you need for this tasty recipe seasoned with Moroccan spices is to cover the couscous with stock until the liquid is absorbed, fluff it with a fork and stir in preserved lemons, dried apricots, pomegranate seeds, mint and almonds. (Get the recipe here.)