Healthy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork is the perfect summer cookout recipe. It's bold, full of flavor and won't heat up your house! Gluten Free almond flour biscuits and a tangy dairy-free coleslaw complete the meal.
Summer cookout season is HERE!
But what if you're not comfortable using the grill? Or what if it's 1000 degrees where you live like here in Texas and you don't feel like standing out in the heat to smoke meat?
No worries, I've got you covered!
While I love grilling, I have to say this slow cooker pulled pork is every bit as tasty as traditional bbq smoked pork. The meat itself is incredibly tender and please don't skip the sauce! While I admit there are some tasty bottled bbq sauces, they're generally pretty sugar-packed. My version is healthy, tangy, lightly sweet and, well, pretty much perfect if I do say so myself.
Almond flour biscuits and my dairy-free coleslaw make the perfect accompaniments. The best part? My biscuit recipe has only 5 ingredients and they turn out light and flaky, which isn't always easy for gluten free baking!
I hope you love this recipe as much as I do and that your summer is off to a great start!
Healthy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork w/ Almond Flour Biscuits & Slaw
For the Pulled Pork:
- ~ 7 1/2 oz strained or pureed tomatoes
- 1 1/2 T chili powder*
- 2 T apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 red onion
- 2 # boneless pork roast (or sub with beef roast)
For the Biscuits:
- 2 eggs (omega-3)
- 2 1/2 cups almond flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
For the Coleslaw:
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 T apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 bag coleslaw mix (or sub w/ chopped cabbage)
For the Pulled Pork:
- For Honey BBQ sauce, whisk together (can also use a blender): 7 ½ oz strained (or pureed) tomatoes, 1-1½ T chili powder, 2 T apple cider vinegar, ¼ c honey, S&P (~1/8tsp salt)
- Thinly slice ½ red onion.
- In a slow cooker, place sliced red onion. Top with 2# boneless pork roast and cover with BBQ sauce (reserve ¼-½ cup for dipping).
- Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 4-6 hours.
- Shred or “pull” pork with 2 forks. Serve w/ extra BBQ sauce.
For the Biscuits:
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- In a large bowl, whisk 2 room temp eggs. Stir in 2 ½ cups almond flour, 1 tsp baking soda and ½ tsp salt.
- Stir in ¼ cup coconut oil until well combined (oil should be liquid, if it’s not liquid, melt and cool as it shouldn’t be “hot”).
- Drop by 1 T onto baking sheet brushed with oil. Bake for 13-15 minutes. Yields ~20 biscuits.
For the Coleslaw:
- Whisk together ½ cup olive oil, 2 T apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp honey and S&P.
- Toss together with 1 bag of coleslaw mix or chopped cabbage.
What makes this a healthy pulled pork recipe?
So what exactly about this makes it a “healthy” pulled pork recipe?
The main thing that sets this recipe apart nutritionally is the healthy homemade bbq sauce. I find that the tomatoes themselves, plus a bit of honey, provide plenty of sweetness. As with all recipes though, you should absolutely taste as you go and adapt to your own preferences! Feel free to make it more or less sweet as you prefer.
The tanginess in the recipe comes from apple cider vinegar, which offers tons of nutritional benefits. The chili powder gives a healthy antioxidant boost as well as a flavor kick!
Almond flour biscuits and a simple dairy-free coleslaw make quite nutritious sides as well.
Here are the details on the recipe's nutritional benefits:
Pork (Protein, B Vitamins, Selenium, Zinc, Iron, Beta-Alanine)
An excellent source of protein, consuming pork can help you maintain muscle mass. Pork's high levels of beta-alanine may also support improved athletic performance.
Tomatoes (Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Potassium, Lycopene, Antioxidants)
Due to their high antioxidant content, tomatoes may help reduce the risk of several kinds of cancer. Combining tomatoes with a source of fat, like the pork in this recipe, boosts the absorption of tomatoes' phytochemicals!
Apple Cider Vinegar (Acetic Acid, Potassium)
Apple cider vinegar is anecdotally believed to have all sorts of benefits. Two of those benefits best supported by science are its ability to help stabilize blood sugar and to aid in weight loss. Apple cider vinegar also has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
Honey (Antioxidants, Phytonutrients)
Honey has antibacterial and antioxidant properties, which are strongest in darker honey. Buy raw local honey when possible as filtering the honey can diminish its nutrients. Honey also has strong prebiotic properties, meaning it helps supports the good bacteria in your gut.
Red Onion (Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Folate, Potassium, Antioxidants)
Did you know that the humble onion is actually packed with antioxidants? Yellow and red onions, like the ones used in this recipe, offer the highest antioxidant content. Eating onions may support blood sugar regulation, increased bone density and reduced cancer risk.
Almond Flour (Magnesium, Vitamin E, Potassium)
Almonds are good for your heart and also help lower LDL cholesterol. Furthermore, one serving of almonds also has as much calcium as 1/4 cup of milk! Thus they're a particularly good choice if you're dairy-free.
Olive Oil (Monounsaturated Fats – Oleic Acid, Antioxidants, Vitamin E, Vitamin K)
Due to the type of fat it contains, olive oil may reduce inflammation. It also reduces the risk of Alzheimer's, stroke and heart disease. Make sure to get high quality extra virgin olive oil, as it retains more antioxidants and nutrients.
Cabbage (Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Folate, Manganese, Vitamin B6, Fiber, Antioxidants)
Like other cruciferous vegetables, cabbage is good for reducing inflammation. Its high fiber content also supports healthy digestion.
Can I make this pulled pork in the Instant Pot?
Yes! Pulled pork lends itself well to the Instant Pot. As with all Instant Pot recipes, the key difference is you'll need to include more liquid to make sure the pork doesn't burn.
Add 1 cup of water or broth to the Instant Pot. Then add the bbq sauce and stir. Finally, add the sliced onion and meat.
Lock the lid and make sure the pressure valve is sealed. Cook on high pressure for 60 minutes. Do a quick release of the pressure, remove the pork and shred.
You may want to use the sauté function to thicken the sauce after you remove the pork. Alternatively, reserve some of the sauce before you cook the pork to serve alongside the meat.
Does this work for Gluten Free / Paleo Meal Prep?
My pulled pork recipe is both gluten free and paleo. It works well for meal prep for two reasons:
- The meat is delicious leftover, soaking up all of that deep flavor from the sauce.
- Pulled pork is so versatile! You can easily serve it twice, without it feeling like leftovers. Serve the pork with biscuits and coleslaw as in the recipe the first night. A couple of days later, serve pulled pork over sweet potatoes. It will feel like a completely different meal, but you only have to prep/cook the meat once!
If you want to use this as a meal prep recipe, simply slice the onion and make the homemade bbq sauce ahead of time and store in the fridge. On the day you want to serve, place everything in the slow cooker in the morning and you're good to go! Make sure to save a little bbq sauce for serving.
What are some other side dishes that go well with this healthy slow cooker pulled pork?
Gluten Free Corn Muffins – If you don't feel like making biscuits, cornbread muffins are another classic accompaniment to pulled pork. These are great to make ahead and stick in the freezer.
Grilled Zucchini – Similar to roasting, grilling veggies adds so much flavor. But this way, you don't have to heat up your house!
Tomato and Cucumber Salad – This salad is so bright and refreshing, perfect for summer. If you have a kid who won't eat salad, lettuce-less salads like this one are a great place to start!
Dairy-Free Mashed Potatoes – Mashed potatoes are a great choice if you're enjoying pulled pork in the colder months. There's nothing cozier than a plate piled with mashed potatoes and bbq!