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Easy Instant Pot Pulled Pork Sandwiches

 June 8, 2024

These Easy Instant Pot Pulled Pork Sandwiches are perfect for feeding a crowd! The pork shoulder is tender, juicy, and pairs perfectly with the crunchy slaw. And, when it’s topped off with a dollop of barbecue sauce and sandwiched between two fluffy brioche buns? It’s the perfect, melt-in-your-mouth sandwich that everyone will enjoy!

An overhead view of a plate of pulled pork sandwiches with coleslaw and BBQ sauce in soft buns. The sandwiches are surrounded by plain potato chips. A green napkin and part of another plate are visible in the background on a green marbled surface.

I’ll be honest: I don’t make pork often. But when I do, I love to make these juicy pulled pork sandwiches. There’s something about tender pork shoulder that’s seasoned to perfection and smothered in barbecue sauce that is truly unbeatable. This is one of my favorite recipes to make for a crowd (think: backyard barbecues or game day) because it’s super easy to prepare and tastes like summertime with every bite!

I love pairing these sandwiches alongside recipes like my Crispy Sheet Pan Chili Mac n Cheese and my Crunchy Garlic Lemon Broccolini for the perfect crowd-pleasing meal! Plus, serve it alongside a tall glass of my Best Honey Ginger Lemonade and you’ve got all of the flavors of summertime in one.

What You Need to Make These Tender & Juicy Pork Sandwiches

  • 🐖 Boneless Pork Shoulder: The key to making these tender and juicy sandwiches is the right cut of pork. I recommend using a boneless pork shoulder for this recipe.
  • Seasoning Blend: To season this pork, you’ll need a combination of coconut sugar, kosher salt, garlic powder, dried oregano, paprika, cumin, and ground black pepper. Yum!
  • 🥑 Avocado Oil: I like using avocado oil, but any other healthy oil works just as well.
  • Rice Vinegar: Rice vinegar is tangy and adds just the right amount of sharpness to the pork and the slaw. This is truly the star of this dish, so don’t skip it!
  • Chicken Broth: Chicken broth adds a deliciously rich flavor to these pork sandwiches.
  • Red & Green Cabbage: The combination of both red and green shredded cabbage makes for the perfect crunchy slaw!
  • 🥕 Carrots: And of course, it wouldn’t be a slaw without the shredded carrots.
  • Sesame Oil: A little sesame oil adds a delicious flavor to this cabbage slaw.
  • Sesame Seeds: I love to finish off the slaw with a garnish of sesame seeds, for a little crunch and texture.
  • 🍔 Brioche Buns: Brioche buns are light, fluffy, and slightly sweet, making them perfect to pair with the salty pulled pork.
  • Barbecue Sauce: And, of course, it’s not a pulled pork sandwich without the barbecue sauce. Pick your favorite and use it in this recipe!

How to Make These Perfect Summertime Sandwiches

To make these sandwiches, start by preparing the pork. Cut the pork shoulder into pieces and add them to a large bowl. Next, add in the seasonings (the coconut sugar, kosher salt, garlic powder, oregano, paprika, cumin, and ground black pepper) and toss until the pork is coated in the seasoning blend. Then, prepare the Instant Pot. Turn it on to the sauté setting and add in the oil.

Once the pot is hot, add in the pork, 3 pieces at a time, and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side. Then flip, and cook the pork for another 3-4 minutes. Once the pork is done, remove it from the Instant Pot and transfer it to a plate. Then, add in more pork and repeat until all of the pork has been cooked.

Next, scrape down the sides of the pot and add in the rice vinegar and chicken broth, as well as the cooked pork. Then, switch the Instant Pot to the “manual” cook setting and turn it on for 40 minutes.

While the pork is cooking, prepare the slaw. Slice the carrot, shred the cabbage, and add them to a large bowl alongside the rest of the slaw ingredients. Toss to fully combine, then set aside. Once the pork is done, allow the pot to release steam and transfer the cooked pork back to a plate and use a fork to shred it.
Finally, assemble the sandwiches. Divide the pork equally amongst the brioche buns. Top with barbecue sauce, followed by the slaw, then close the sandwiches, serve, and enjoy!

An overhead view of a dish filled with shredded pulled pork, accompanied by two forks. Surrounding the dish are a jar of barbecue sauce, two sandwich buns, and a plate of sliced carrots and purple cabbages in a salad. The table has a green, marble-like surface.
Once the pork is done, allow the pot to release steam and transfer the cooked pork back to a plate and use a fork to shred it. Finally, assemble the sandwiches. Divide the pork equally amongst the brioche buns. Top with barbecue sauce, followed by the slaw, then close the sandwiches, serve, and enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a different cut of pork?

I recommend using pork shoulder because it has good marbling for tenderness. However, you could also substitute with a boneless pork loin, but note that it may not be as juicy. If you do decide to use a pork loin, I recommend reducing the cook time by 10-15 minutes.

What kind of buns can I use?

I recommend using brioche buns! The slightly sweet taste of the brioche pairs beautifully with the pork. However, Hawaiian rolls are also a good option, or you can also use traditional hamburger buns!

Can I make the cabbage slaw ahead of time?

Yes! I recommend making the cabbage slaw no more than 24 hours ahead of time, to ensure that the cabbage doesn’t get soggy.

Can I use this pulled pork for other dishes?

Yes! You can add this pulled pork to your favorite tacos, burritos, or even on top of a baked potato!

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a review and rating below! To see more recipes and behind the scenes, follow along on InstagramTikTok, and Youtube! I’m also now on Pinterest, so stop by and take a look at what’s new.

** Photography by Tanya Pilgrim
An overhead view of a plate of pulled pork sandwiches with coleslaw and BBQ sauce in soft buns. The sandwiches are surrounded by plain potato chips. A green napkin and part of another plate are visible in the background on a green marbled surface.
Dairy Free/Nut Free

Easy Instant Pot Pulled Pork Sandwiches

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Nicole Modic
SERVES 8 Servings
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These Easy Instant Pot Pulled Pork Sandwiches are perfect for feeding a crowd! The pork shoulder is tender, juicy, and pairs perfectly with the crunchy slaw. And, when it's topped off with a dollop of barbecue sauce and sandwiched between two fluffy brioche buns? It's the perfect, melt-in-your-mouth sandwich that everyone will enjoy!

Equipment

  • 1 Instant Pot

Ingredients

For the Pork:

  • 4 Pounds Boneless Pork Shoulder Chuck Roast cut into pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons Coconut Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Oregano
  • 2 Teaspoons Paprika
  • 2 Teaspoons Cumin
  • ½ Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Avocado Oil
  • 1 Cup Chicken Broth
  • 6 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar

For the Slaw:

  • 2 Cups Red Cabbage shredded
  • 2 Cups Green Cabbage shredded
  • 2 Carrots finely sliced
  • 3 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Sesame Seeds
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • Ground Black Pepper to taste

For Assembling:

  • 8 Brioche Buns
  • ¾ Cup Barbecue Sauce

Instructions

  • To make these sandwiches, start by preparing the pork. Cut the pork shoulder into pieces and add them to a large bowl.
  • Next, add in the seasonings (the coconut sugar, kosher salt, garlic powder, oregano, paprika, cumin, and ground black pepper) and toss until the pork is coated in the seasoning blend.
  • Then, prepare the Instant Pot. Turn it on to the sauté setting and add in the oil.
  • Once the pot is hot, add in the pork, 3 pieces at a time, and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side. Then flip, and cook the pork for another 3-4 minutes.
  • Once the pork is done, remove it from the Instant Pot and transfer it to a plate. Then, add in more pork and repeat until all of the pork has been cooked.
  • Next, scrape down the sides of the pot and add in the rice vinegar and chicken broth, as well as the cooked pork.
  • Then, switch the Instant Pot to the "manual" cook setting and turn it on for 40 minutes.
  • While the pork is cooking, prepare the slaw. Slice the carrot, shred the cabbage, and add them to a large bowl alongside the rest of the slaw ingredients. Toss to fully combine, then set aside.
  • Once the pork is done, allow the pot to release steam and transfer the cooked pork back to a plate and use a fork to shred it.
  • Finally, assemble the sandwiches. Divide the pork equally amongst the brioche buns. Top with barbecue sauce, followed by the slaw, then close the sandwiches, serve, and enjoy!

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love to see what you made – tag @kalejunkie
in your posts and I’ll re-share!

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