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Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches

The tenderloin here gets cooked in apple cider and barbecue sauce for several hours until the meat is fall-apart tender. Then, shred the pork and coat it in some of the cooking liquid and more barbecue sauce. By swapping out the pork shoulder for pork tenderloin, you cut out about three quarters of the fat. Adding a generous helping of nutrient-packed cabbage slaw makes it even healthier and adds an appealing crunch.
Course Main Course
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 15 minutes
Servings 4 to 5 servings
Author Katie Morford


  • ½ cup apple cider or apple juice
  • 1 cup favorite barbecue sauce, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices, divided
  • 1 pork tenderloin (about 1 1/4 lbs)
  • 4 cups shredded green cabbage (about ¼ of a large cabbage)
  • 1 large apple, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 1 carrot, peeled and coarsely grated
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 4 to 5 soft sandwich buns (whole grain if you can find them!)


  1. Pour the apple cider and ½ cup of the barbecue sauce into the slow cooker and stir until combined. Add the garlic, half of the onion, and the pork to the slow cooker. Turn the slow cooker to low and cook until the meat is very tender and can easily be shredded with a fork, about 6 hours.
  2. Measure out ¼ cup of the cooking liquid and set aside. Transfer the pork and onions to a medium bowl until it is cool enough to handle.
  3. While the meat cools, make the slaw. Mix together the cabbage, apple, carrot, and remaining onion in a medium bowl.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the apple cider vinegar and sugar, stirring until the sugar is largely dissolved. Pour the vinegar over the cabbage, add a couple of turns from your pepper grinder, and toss well.
  5. Once the meat has cooled a bit, pull it apart with your hands until the whole tenderloin is shredded. Put the meat and onions in a medium bowl and add the remaining ½ cup of barbecue sauce and the ¼ cup of reserved cooking liquid. Stir until the meat is evenly coated with the sauce.
  6. Divide the meat over the bottom halves of the sandwich buns. Pile a generous portion of slaw on top of the meat and cover with remaining bun. Serve any extra slaw on the side.