Healthy Pulled Pork Sandwiches (Slow Cooker Recipe)

These slow cooker, healthy pulled pork sandwiches are filling, totally tasty, and will definitely leave you hoping for leftovers!

This was such an easy dinner! I was exhausted when I got home after running errands all day and this pulled pork was ready when I got there. How awesome is that?!

An up close view of one of these Pulled Pork Sandwiches.

If you love a good pulled pork sandwich, this recipe is sure to become a household favorite. I’ll give you serving ideas, portions, and more below.

How To Make Healthy Pulled Pork Sandwiches In A Slow Cooker

This is super simple! Make your sauce. Place the pork in your slow cooker, pour the sauce over it, put the lid on, set the slow cooker temperature, and let it do its thing. Once it’s done, you can shred the pork with forks or by using a hand-held electric mixer. But it should actually be tender enough to shred easily just by stirring it with a wooden spoon.

How Many Sandwiches Per Pound Of Pork?

If you are planning for multiple people, here is an easy cheat sheet for planning how much pork to make. You can scale the recipe by hovering your mouse over the yield number and using the sliding scale that pops up. Keep in mind that this is a loose outline. The final amount of sandwiches will depend on how much pork you use for each sandwich. And if you choose to use pork that has a bone in it, you’ll want to buy extra to accommodate for that so the poundage is the actual meat.

Pulled pork is usually even better the next day, so don’t be shy on portions. Make extra so you have some pulled pork leftover for the day after.

  • 12 lb. pork = 36 sandwiches
  • 10 lb. pork = 30 sandwiches
  • 8 lb. pork = 24 sandwiches
  • 6 lb. pork = 18 sandwiches
  • 4 lb. pork =  12 sandwiches
  • 2 lb. pork  = 6 sandwiches
Pulled Pork Sandwiches with one on a plate with sliced cucumbers on the side.

What To Serve With Healthy Pulled Pork Sandwiches

As with most sandwiches, many different side dishes will work. But if you’re wondering what goes good with pulled pork sandwiches, here are some suggestions that will go well with this pulled pork recipe:

  • Raw veggies
  • Steamed veggies
  • Grilled veggies
  • Fruit salad
  • Green salad
  • Potato salad
  • Fries
  • Macaroni salad
  • Chips
  • Quinoa salad
  • Couscous salad
  • While rice salad
  • Coleslaw
A single Pulled Pork Sandwich on a plate with the top bun offset.

Healthy Sauce For Healthy Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Typically, the sauce for pulled pork sandwiches are recipes filled with a bottle of this and a bottle of that. Lots of processed ingredients and plenty of sugar in various forms. This sauce is made from scratch with easy-to-find ingredients and only takes about 5 minutes to pull together.

How To Reheat Pulled Pork

While microwaves are quick and easy, they will completely dry out your pulled pork, making it rubbery. The best way to reheat pulled pork is in a skillet over medium heat. Stir it continuously as it warms. Don’t overheat the pulled pork. Get it just warm enough to be comfortably edible.

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Can You Freeze Pulled Pork?

Absolutely! It will keep well in the freezer for up to 6 months. Make sure you freeze with the sauce in a freezer-safe container or zipper-top bag. If using a bag, squeeze as much air out of the bag as you can while you close the zipper.

To thaw frozen pulled pork, set in the fridge for 24 hours for larger portions, or just overnight (about 8 hours) for smaller portions. Never thaw on a counter or anywhere outside of your fridge.

Instant Pot Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Can you make pulled pork in an Instant Pot? Absolutely! You’ll want to follow the recipe below exactly the same, only assemble everything in your Instant Pot insert. Secure the lid and close the vent. Make sure the pressure is set to high. Press the Manual button, and adjust the timer to 75 minutes for 4 pounds of pork. Do a quick release (watch out for the steam!), remove the lid, and then shred your pork.

What To Put On Your Sandwich

Hands down, the best topping on a pulled pork sandwich is a good coleslaw. It’s just the right amount of bite and texture for pulled pork.

Sliced, red onions are another great option, as are lettuce and tomato slices.

Other Ways To Use Pulled Pork

Sandwiches aren’t the only way to use pulled pork. If you make a big batch and find you have leftovers but don’t want more sandwiches, here are some ideas for more ways to serve pulled pork.

  • Pork tacos
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Burritos
  • Sliders
  • Pizza
  • Pasta

Recipe Supplies

You can use either of these two appliances to cook this recipe.

More Healthy Sandwich Recipes

Note: If you like more of a BBQ flavor, try this recipe for homemade barbecue sauce in place of this sauce instead.

Healthy Pulled Pork Sandwiches In A Slow Cooker

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An up close view of one of these Pulled Pork Sandwiches.

Healthy Pulled Pork Sandwiches (Slow Cooker)

These delicious clean eating slow cooker pulled pork sandwiches are sure to become a family favorite!
3.29 from 7 votes
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 7 hours
Total Time: 7 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 317kcal


  • Slow Cooker


  • 4 lbs. pork shoulder
  • 30 oz. canned tomato sauce (no sugar added)
  • 3 tbsp. onion powder
  • 2 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. cayenne
  • salt to taste after cooking


  • Place the pork in your slow cooker.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, blend the tomato sauce together with all the spices.
  • Pour the sauce over the pork.
  • Cook on low heat for 5-7 hours, or until the pork easily shreds with a fork when puled at. You should be able to shred it simply by stirring the pot.


Please note that the nutrition data below is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 317kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 121mg | Sodium: 111mg | Potassium: 810mg | Fiber: 2g | Vitamin A: 420IU | Vitamin C: 1.3mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 2.5mg

Recipe from the Gracious Pantry® archives, originally posted 6/10/12.

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  1. Just made these today and they were yummy. I used less cayenne and chili powder.
    Great recipe

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Sheryl – Glad you enjoyed it!

  2. ChristiP06 says:

    Making this today and topping sweet potatoes with it.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      ChristiP06 – That sounds wonderful!

  3. I’m not very well versed in cooking pork, so I’ve been trying to pick up a few recipes… I used this (with a little personal touches) and it was a huge hit with my husband and picky-eater daughter. I threw in a cubed apple and onion and added a few more ingredients to the sauce and it was delightful. And it made so much! It’s nice that I know I have half of it in the freezer for a quick dinner fix sometime soon! Thanks so much for expanding my recipe repertoire!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jess – My pleasure! So glad you all enjoyed it! 🙂

  4. Shawn Naticcchioni says:

    Can you freeze the leftovers? If so, what is the best way to freeze it?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Shawn – You can. I would portion it out into smaller, freezer-safe containers. Something airtight.

  5. I forgot to throw this in the crock pot this morning can I cook it on high? And if so how long would you suggest?

  6. Ashley Taylor says:

    I’ve got this in my crock pot right now!! So anxious to try it!!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Ashley – Let me know how you like it!

  7. I’m making this tonight with kale chips as a side! Can’t wait to try it! I’m doing it with a pork shoulder that’s a little over 4 pounds. Do you think it’s the same cooking time as with the ribs?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Alyssa – I didn’t have bones in my chops. I would cook it and then double check with a meat thermometer. That’s really the only way to be sure it’s safe to eat.

  8. We liked this recipe but we did not like the cinnamon… for those who think they might not like that flavor I HIGHLY recommend leaving it out. We are having a hard time using up the left overs and I think it is just because of that one ingredient.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Ashley – Sorry to hear you didn’t care for it! Maybe consider adding it to soup to thin out the taste?

  9. I agree with Ashley on this, the cinnamon is the dominant flavor and I would either leave it out or cut it waay back!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jenn – Sorry you didn’t care for it. 🙁

  10. I literally had 5 minutes to put together dinner this morning, so I threw the chops in the pot, poured some cider in there and put BBQ sauce (store bought) over the chops and between the layers. Fingers crossed!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Brandy – I hope it works out!!

  11. I wanna try making this & have boneless center cut pork chops will that work? I’m skeptical of that because I’m thinking it’ll be tough & dry. What cut of pork did you use?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jamie – I’m not very familiar with how the different parts cook up. I just know that I used regular, boneless pork chops. Pork shoulder works too. Sorry I can’t be more help. The dryness issue is most often due to using a slow cooker that is too large. Your crock should be filled at least 1/2 way if dryness is big concern. Hope that helps!

  12. I’m confused. Your recipe calls for pork shoulder but you say you used chops in the comments. I know pulled pork works with a variety of cuts but this is very unclear.

    1. Sue – I have used both. I find that pork shoulder works better, but I have also used chops and they did just fine. As long as you have the amount of pork called for, either should work.