Instant Pot Garlicky Cuban Pork

Tender shredded pork, marinated in garlic, cumin, grapefruit and lime and cooked in the pressure cooker is perfect to serve over a bed of rice, cauliflower rice or with tortillas and salsa and avocados for taco night. #instantpot #pressurecooker #shreddedpork #shreddedporkrecipe #easyporktaco

This Cuban pulled pork is made with tender shredded pork, marinated in garlic, cumin and citrus and cooked in the pressure cooker or Instant Pot.

Tender shredded pork, marinated in garlic, cumin, grapefruit and lime and cooked in the pressure cooker is perfect to serve over a bed of rice or with tortillas and salsa and avocados for taco night.Instant Pot Garlicky Cuban Pork

I love Cuban food, and this garlicky pork dish, made in the Instant Pot doesn’t disappoint. It’s perfect to serve over a bed of rice with rice and beans, or with tortillas and salsa and avocados for taco night. Leftovers are great in cuban sandwiches! More pulled pork recipes I love are Italian Pulled Pork Ragu, Filipino Adobo Pulled Pork and Mexican Pulled Pork Carnita Tacos.

Tender shredded pork, marinated in garlic, cumin, grapefruit and lime and cooked in the pressure cooker is perfect to serve over a bed of rice or with tortillas and salsa and avocados for taco night.

I got my hands on Melissa Clark’s new book Dinner in an Instant (affiliate link) which features 75 recipes for pressure cooker and slow cookers.  Recipes like Duck Confit, Polenta, Risotto, etc. The recipes are decadent for sure, so I chose one I knew I could tweak to keep the calories down.

This is very similar to my Slow Cooker Pernil, in fact if you don’t have an Instant Pot (btw you should!) and wish to make this in the slow cooker, you can do so for 8 hours on low.  It makes enough for several meals, it’s gluten free and kid-friendly.

Cubans don’t typically eat their pork with tortillas, instead they eat it with rice and beans like this easy Congri. Or try these quick and easy Cuban style black beans. Of course, there’s no rules when it comes to cooking. I have family in so many Latin countries, we wind up eating a fusion and making it our own.

Tender shredded pork, marinated in garlic, cumin, grapefruit and lime and cooked in the pressure cooker is perfect to serve over a bed of rice or with tortillas and salsa and avocados for taco night.

Tender shredded pork, marinated in garlic, cumin, grapefruit and lime and cooked in the pressure cooker is perfect to serve over a bed of rice or with tortillas and salsa and avocados for taco night.

More Cuban Recipes You Will Love

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4.83 from 28 votes
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Instant Pot Garlicky Cuban Pork

5
5
5
SP
213 Cals 26.5 Protein 2.5 Carbs 9.5 Fats
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 20 mins
Marinate Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 2 hrs 40 mins
Yield: 10 servings
COURSE: Dinner
CUISINE: Cuban
This Cuban pulled pork is made with tender shredded pork, marinated in garlic, cumin and citrus and cooked in the pressure cooker or Instant Pot.

Ingredients

  • 3 lb boneless pork shoulder blade roast, lean, all fat removed
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • juice of 1 grapefruit, about 2/3 cup
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh oregano
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • lime wedges, for serving
  • chopped cilantro, for serving
  • hot sauce, for serving
  • tortillas, optional for serving
  • salsa, optional for serving

Instructions

  • PRESSURE COOKER: Cut the pork in 4 pieces and place in a bowl.
  • In a small blender or mini food processor, combine garlic, grapefruit juice, lime juice, oregano, cumin and salt and blend until smooth.
  • Pour the marinade over the pork and let it sit room temperature 1 hour or refrigerated as long as overnight.
  • Transfer to the pressure cooker, add the bay leaf, cover and cook high pressure 80 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally.
  • Remove pork and shred using two forks.
  • Remove liquid from pressure cooker, reserving then place the pork back into pressure cooker. Add about 1 cup of the liquid (jus) back, adjust the salt as needed and keep warm until you're ready to eat.
  • SLOW COOKER: Cut the pork in 4 pieces and place in a bowl.
  • In a small blender or mini food processor, combine garlic, grapefruit juice, lime juice, oregano, cumin and salt and blend until smooth.
  • Pour the marinade over the pork and let it sit room temperature 1 hour or refrigerated as long as overnight.
  • Transfer to the slow cooker, add the bay leaf, cover and cook low 8 hours.
  • Remove pork and shred using two forks.
  • Remove liquid from slow cooker, reserving then place the pork back into slow cooker. Add about 1 cup of the liquid (jus) back, adjust the salt as needed and keep warm until you're ready to eat.

Video

Notes

Modified from Dinner in an Instant (affil link)

Nutrition

Serving: 3.3oz, Calories: 213kcal, Carbohydrates: 2.5g, Protein: 26.5g, Fat: 9.5g, Cholesterol: 91mg, Sodium: 440.5mg, Fiber: 0.5g, Sugar: 1.5g
Blue Smart Points: 5
Green Smart Points: 5
Purple Smart Points: 5
Points +: 5
Keywords: Garlicky cuban pork, instant pot garlick pork, instant pot pork, pressure cooker pulled pork, pulled pork recipes

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139 comments

  1. Would a boneless pork loin work for this recipe?

  2. I wasn’t paying attention and accidentally bought beef instead of pork 🤦🏻‍♀️. Since I have everything can I still make it with beef? We are expecting another snow storm so I don’t want to head back out to the grocery store. 

  3. Excellent recipe! I cooked it yesterday (after marinating overnight) in my slow cooker on low for 8 hours. Followed recipe as written except I did have to substitute dried oregano for the fresh as it was unavailable. Served it with black beans and white rice. Leftovers for lunch today were just as delicious.
    .

  4. Excellent. So flavorful

  5. This was delicious! I didn’t even marinate it– just threw everything right into the Instant Pot. It had so much flavor!  Served it with rice and black beans and it was the easiest meal ever.  You just have to remember to give yourself enough time– it took an hour and a half to cook, from coming to pressure to actually cooking.  Will definitely make this again!!

  6. This is phenomenal. I added some red pepper flakes. 

  7. An absolutely lovely recipe, perfect for a summer night sat out in the evening sun. Very easy to make and a delight to eat! Thank you so much for all the wonderful recipes.

  8. This recipe was very good! I only had a pork butt roast on hand, so I used that and it was still great. Super easy. I followed the recipe verbatim other than the type of roast. 

  9. I tried this recipe this week.  It is outstanding, very delicious.  I was not able to find the shoulder blade pork roast, instead I use butt pork roast which it was extremely fatty. We don’t care for spicy food so I skipped the hot sauce.  When serving I added some lime drops to the pork, topped with pico de gallo, avocado and feta cheese.

  10. This recipe is a game changer for YUM! Using the leftovers tonight to make your enchiladas and can’t wait!

  11. My pressure cooker is auto adjusting to 10 minutes (I selected the “meat” setting). I’m not great with the PC but it looked soooo good I wanted to try. Did this happen to anyone else? Do I really leave it for 80 minutes (the pressure cooker scares me a bit lol)

  12. Going to try this weekend! Quick question, my meet will be closer to 2 to 2.5lbs (not 3 to start with and I have to trim some fat as well). Still 80 minutes or should I adjust the time? Thank you! So excited!

  13. My family loves this recipe! I usually make it with chicken and everyone is happy. Tender meat full of flavor goes on a tortilla or in a sandwich. 

  14. Most excellent pork!  I stuck to the recipe, and it’s perfection!  It’s officially in my rotation of favorites. Thank you!

  15. I actually used strawberry lemonade instead of the grapefruit juice, cooked the pork from frozen in a solid block, and it STILL came out fabulous!

  16. What does Cuban pork have to do with tacos? Tacos are found exactly nowhere in any Cuban food. It’s like making polish keilbasa for taco night mmmmmm! 🙂 Having said that, grapefruit and lime is a great way to make sour orange juice since sour oranges aren’t typically found in most of the US. Looking forward to making this for a pan con lechon!

    • Excellent recipe! I cooked it yesterday (after marinating overnight) in my slow cooker on low for 8 hours. Followed recipe as written except I did have to substitute dried oregano for the fresh as it was unavailable. Served it with black beans and white rice. Leftovers for lunch today were just as delicious.
      .

  17. Phenomenal!  I’ve made this recipe multiple recipe times in a slow cooker and tonight for the first time in my IP – all were great!  I recommend using the grapefruit since I’ve made it both with orange and grapefruit; it’s good but the grapefruit is more authentic. I also use a vacuum packing system to rapidly marinate the pork (speeds the infusion of flavor) so it’s ready to go into the pot in an hour.  All the marinade goes from the vacuum pack into the IP and it was perfect after 80 minutes (I was worried it was too long too but it melted in my mouth).  FRESH oregano makes a major difference so keep that in mind if you can get some. Lastly I use HALF the salt it calls for, so I can add more later if needed (can’t undo over salty which I did in a previous batch).  I have served this on Cuban sandwiches using freshly baked rolls, ham, cheese, mustard and pickles but I’ve also served it with rice and black beans so it’s very versatile. It’s a great great recipe!!  Lots of leftovers or great for a party!

  18. Made this for dinner last week and couldn’t wait to eat the left overs for lunch the next day! 

  19. This is a favorite of mine. I’ve made it for my husband, friends, and the consensus is the same across the board.

    Tip: With the leftovers, I like to drain the liquid and pan fry the pork (no need to add any extra fat/oil…maybe a little Pam if using a non non-stick pan). It reminds me of carnitas and is soooo good in tortillas, over eggs, with rice, etc.

  20. This was delicious. I would like to lower the point value. Could I get a good flavor using the marinate but with chicken breast? What would the cook time be?

  21. Best recipe I’ve found!

  22. I just made this in my IP tonight, amazing!  A few points:
    -marinade does go in IP, I didn’t use a rack
    -I salted the pork before marinating
    -I used dry oregano instead of fresh, I’ve been told not to use fresh herbs when cooking longer than 15 minutes
    -the pork cut wasn’t in the meat display, but butcher cut one for me

  23. Not sure what happened here!!! Used orange juice instead and the marinade came out really bitter for some reason. Will still use the meat for something but won’t be using this recipe again:-(

    • Your 1 star review is very misleading. For future reference please don’t leave a review if you butchered the recipe using other additions then say there is something wrong with the recipe. What you made was NOT the recipe listed here as OJ is not listed. Thanks 🙂

    • This is a head scratcher. You didn’t follow the recipe and then gave it one star? 

  24. Excellent as written 

  25. So, probably a dumb question…but I’m thinking about buying and Instant Pot and I”m looking at your recipes to see what I’ll start with. This has instructions for a pressure cooker and slow cooker, but isn’t the Instant pot supposed to be both? How would I make it using that? Again, clearly I’m not savy with the gadgets!

    • Personally, I think the IP is a lousy slow cooker. BUT I still love having it. I use it 20 times for every 1 time I use my slow cooker now.

  26. When you transfer to slow cooker, do you transfer with the marinade too? Or take it completely out of the marinade?

  27. Yes Whitney I cannot see the recipe either

  28. Has anyone ever tried doubling the recipe?

  29. This was the first time I used my Instant Pot.  If I say so myself, not only was it easy…but very, very good. Instead of the grapefruit juice, I used orange juice. Worked out perfect!!  Just had to add a little more salt at the end..but better to have not enough, than too much right??  

  30. Great Recipe! Instead of tortillas I serve the pork over roasted spaghetti squash. It compliments the meat well.

  31. I couldn’t find a lean package at my grocery store but found a 3 lbs boneless butt roast and I asked for the fat to be removed. Would you happen to know how the nutrition facts will differ? The staff also ensured me that the Boston butt roast was the same as the shoulder blade,is this also true?

  32. I made this last night and it was AMAZING. It was very moist and delicious and easy to make. My first recipe in my new Instant Pot. I will definitely be making it again. Thanks Gina.

  33. How grapefruity does this taste?  I have nightmares of my mom trying to force us to eat grapefruit as kids.  Love the scent…but a little scared…

  34. if i want to double the recipe, how long should it cook for?

  35. This was my first time cooking pork. I normally stick to chicken or beef. Holy moly this was the most delicious recipe I’ve tried from Skinny Taste. I’m was so happy I stepped out of my comfort zone with my cooking skills. I served it with brown rice and a salsa I made with lime, red onion, tomato, and cilantro. Talk about foodgasms. Thanks Gina ❤️

  36. So easy, flavorful, and versatile! I made this on a Sunday and ate it 3 different ways throughout the week- in tacos, in a quinoa bowl, and over a baked sweet potato.  Will definitely be making again! 

  37. is it really 80 minutes on high pressure in the instant pot…sound really long

  38. I made this today in my slow cooker. I did not have a cup of liquid left. I had very little and the meat was a bit dry. What could I do to moisten the meat when I serve it the next day? Should I make more marinade and reheat the pork in it? I’m open to any suggestions

  39. Another SkinnyTaste/IP winner!  My family absolutely devoured this. 
    Marinated overnight and threw it all (including marinade) into my IP.  Awesome! 
    Served with cilantro, avocado and corn tortillas.  

  40. I’ve made this recipe about three times so far and I absolutely love love love it! I marinate the pork and leave it in the fridge over night, then toss in the crockpot on low before running out the door to work. When I get home around 6pm it is ready to eat! Perfect for a busy lady! I serve it over sautéed cabbage and top it with some homemade pico de gallo. 

  41. Do I use the little trivet thing under meat? I’m new to instant pot. Thank you 

  42. I made this for dinner tonight in my slow cooker.  It was tender and delicious and I would definitely make it again!!  We served it over toasted corn tortillas with a side of corn on the cob and brown rice.  

  43. Loved it and did sub fresh orange juice as I was out of grapefruit, which is pretty much like your pork pernil, which we love. I too have this cookbook ” Dinner in an Instant” as I love my pressure cooker and can’t get enough ideas. I have liked everything I have tried in her book. I try to “Skinny Taste” the recipes when needed, to more match what you might do. Will do your Cuban Style beans to go with this as well.
    Thank you for giving so many good ideas that work well each and every time.

  44. If I am making the recipe with a 1.5 lb pork roast, would I adjust the time?

  45. Do we still need to add the cup or two of water to this recipe for the Instant Pot to come to pressure? Newbie to IP here. Thank you!

    • No you can just follow the recipe as written.

    • The marinade acts as the juice, marinade goes in the IP

      • We made this tonight and it was phenomenal! We shortened the cooking time to 60 minutes, and then 10 minutes natural release, and it was perfect! So moist, fell apart when we went to shred it. To save some WW points, we used cauliflower Mexican rice and created taco bowls. My whole family loved it. Thanks for the great recipe, Gina!

  46. PLEASE STOP PUTTING MEXICAN THINGS IN MY CUBAN FOOD! This recipe should be served with white rice, black beans, fried plantains and a simple salad of diced avocado and tomato with thinly sliced red onion, dressed with olive oil, red wine or balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper. That’s it. No tortillas, no salsa. Just rice, beans, plantains and a simple salad.

    • Feel free to cook your way, as mentioned above this was a cookbook review.

    • Ty Juana! I thought the same thing! Lol At least those are optional add ins and not in the main dish itself. But yes, if anyone wants to try it authentically, use the sides that Juana suggested. And it’s not Gina’s fault since she only followed the recipe in the book. We just hate when other chefs say “Cuban” and you see hot sauce or chili peppers in the recipe. 😛 Can’t wait to make this and thanks for the slow cooker version!

    • That salad sounds yummy! Thanks for the tip!

    • LOL! I thought the same thing. Next week I’m gonna make yummy german sausage tacos! mmmmm

  47. In answer to those asking about including the marinade: the rule of thumb for InstantPot recipes is you need at least 1 cup of liquid for the pot to come up to presssure ( i.e. Make steam). In this case, the marinade is also used for the cooking, otherwise there would be no liquid to bring the pot to pressure. Make sense? 🙂

  48. Why are there so dang many ads?  I love this recipe, but having to scroll down 7 to 10 times because of ad’s makes me just want to say…..forget it, it’s just not worth it.

  49. Any way I could use boneless pork chops since the shoulder gets cut up?

  50. The best pork dish I have ever tasted.

  51. Hi, is the amount of salt in the recipe right? Just wondering, because a whole tablespoon seems a lot.

  52. Hi Gina, if I wanted to half this recipe, should I adjust the cooking time in the IP? Thanks!

  53. Hi Gina, does the marinade go with the meat into the slow cooker or is it discarded? Thanks! I’m excited to make this!

  54. This was DELICIOUS! Great flavor and so easy. I will make this again and again. My butcher didn’t have a boneless pork shoulder so I cooked one with the bone in. When done, I just removed any fat and the bone. The meat was extremely tender and yummy to eat all by itself. I weighed the meat by itself following to adjust my macros. Is there a site that converts raw meat macros for cooked?? Thanks, Gina.

  55. ohhh! I just so happen to have a grapefruit layin around! I will make this tonight! 🙂

  56. You convinced me! Just got an IP and this was the first recipe I made. Thank God for you tube videos, we could not figure out where that condensation cup went (was not clear that it sits outside the machine, at least to us)..
    Thank you to the posters above with the info about grapefruit and statins, that’s great to know. I made this with orange juice anyways since I had those on hand. Served this as ‘street tacos’ for a Halloween gathering and the pork was so tender and juicy, Thanks for making my first attempt with an IP a hit!

  57. This was phenomenal — especially a couple of days later. Definitely a keeper!

  58. Made the slow-cooker version of this tonight for dinner and it was a hit! So tender & full of flavor. We served them with Siete Foods grain-free tortillas and mango salsa, pico de gallo, avocado, lime & cilantro. Thank you for a great recipe that we’re adding into our regular rotation of favorite recipes!

  59. This was my very first recipe in my new Instant Pot and it was delicious! It was moist and just fell apart. The flavor was outstanding. Will definitely be making this again. Thank you!!

  60. Made it exactly as written for Instant Pot. Fantastic!!!

  61. I just bought her book too and this was the one I was going to start with! Now on this week’s meal plan for Sunday night. 🙂

  62. Any suggestions for substitute for grapefruit? My husband can’t have grapefruit.

  63. Hi Gina! Do you think this recipe will work if I substitute chicken breast or chicken thigh meat instead of pork? Any adjustments suggested?

  64. Could I use pork tenderloin for this?

  65. Looks delicious! Would this work with chicken as my hubby doesn’t eat pork? Any adjustments? Thank you. Love your recipes and reading your posts!

  66. 80 minutes in the pressure cooker? Is that right? seems very long for a pressure cooker recipe. I’ve done pork before in 20 or 30 minutes (including your carnitas recipe, which my family loves). This sounds fabulous, though!

  67. Hi Gina,

    I have a standard pressure cooker.. Usually when I cook beef stew in it with roughly one pound of meat I turn the stove to high, wait until it gets pressure, then give it about 15 to 20 minutes. How long would you suggest for these 3 lbs of pork? I wouldn’t want to overcook it. With chicken breast I do less time, like 10-15 tops. Thx!

  68. I bought my instant pot about 2 months ago and it is still in the box. To be completely honest, it scares the S**t out of me 🙂
    Is this a good recipe to try my first run with the Instant Pot?

    • This made me laugh!  I got one for Christmas last year.  I haven’t used it yet for the same reason.    Glad I’m not alone.  🙂 🙂

    • Use it, start small, you won’t regret it. I had bought one several months ago, and returned it because I was scared of it. I bought it again in December and LOVE it. Just read/follow directions and you will be fine.

    • Don’t be scared….it’s pretty hard to mess it up. We are doing just one recipe a week and that seems to be a good way to get used to it. So far, we’ve done chili, rice pudding, soft boiled eggs, curry, and now this recipe. Give it a try….it’s really a great kitchen tool and we have friends who use it a LOT.

    • I received my Instant Pot last Monday. I was scared to death to use it the first time. I was planning on a beef roast and veggies for Easter dinner. I must have read the directions a dozen times and finally decided I just had to do one thing at a time. The roast turned out great and the veggies were delicious (you cooked the meat for a time, turned it off, let it vent and quickly add the veggies then cook for more time). I have this garlicky pork cooking right now. I can tell this will be an appliance I will use a lot and it will become second nature to use it. It won out over purchasing an air fryer.

  69. Do you add the marinade to the slow cooker with the meat or discard it?

  70. What size of an Instant Pot is best to use for recipes? I’m thinking about purchasing one, but didn’t know if there is a most “common” size that is used with recipes. Thank you for your help!

  71. Hi, Gina—this looks amazing. I saw Melissa’s recipe in the NYT and thought it would be a great ST takeoff! What about using center cut pork loin? I have that in the freezer, but worry it’d be too dry. 

  72. Thanks for posting slow cooker instructions! I can’t wait to try this, it looks delicious!!!

  73. Hi Gina!
    Do you think I could use Pork Tenderloin in place of the shoulder blade roast?
    Thanks!!

  74. Can you make this recipe with chicken?  If so, what would the instant pot cook time be adjusted to?  Thanks!

  75. Gina, I have a Pressure Cooker XL that I got before I ever heard of an Instant Pot. The settings are different. How would I make this in the PxL?

  76. What could we substitute for the grapefruit  juice?  My husband and I are both on statins and not supposed to have grapefruit.  Thank you.

    • Most of what causes problems with grapefruit and medication is located in the skin of the grapefruit. Thus, you are not supposed to have processed grapefruit juice because they use the whole fruit. If you take a grapefruit and cut it and squeeze the juice, you will be just fine. It is easier for doctors and pharmacists to simply so no to grapefruit than explain all the science. You could also use orange like suggested before if you don’t want to chance it. By the way, I am a biochemist that works in the pharmaceutical industry studying what CYPs are responsible for drug metabolism (exactly the science that figured out grapefruit juice interacted with some drugs).

    • Orange juice would be a great substitute! It’s used in traditional Mojo Criollo recipes of which you can find online anywhere. ????

    • I would check with a Dietitian, it may be a minimal amount that you can have. Also since it will be cooked I would research to see how that would change the effects it would have on your meds. My husband is on meds as well, I would make this no problem. I don’t think he would eat enough to hurt anything. JMO.

      • https://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm292276.htm is a good link. I would ask a pharmacist not the dietitian I recommended above.

    • The pharmacist in the room agrees!  The interaction is mainly due to whole processed grapefruit. And the quantity you’d need to consume even of that is high.  But it’s true. Most patients want a yes or no to something. So we all just say no. Make this as is and enjoy. ????

    • I am making today. We have a pomelo tree in the yard so I used that in place of grapefruit. I’m sure hubby will love it as it will probably make it a tad bit sweeter!

  77. How can I make this recipe without either a pressure cooker or a slow cooker? I have neither and won’t be getting either soon: I live in a small apartment with severely limited kitchen space. Can slow cooker recipes be adapted to, say, a Dutch oven? I do have a great standard & convection oven… Thanks for your help!

    • Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Don’t cut the pork, instead leave it whole. Cook uncovered for 1 hour. Turn oven temperature down to 225 degrees F, tent pork loosely with aluminum foil, and cook until tender, anywhere from 5 to 8 hours depending on the size.

    • I have a tiny kitchen and just bought the new 3 quart instant pot duo. It takes up very little room and is very popular with the RV crowd. Perfect for family of 1 or 2. Really small footprint…. love it….

  78. As usual this looks so tasty Gina!! Thanks for sharing. I can’t wait to try it this week!! 😉

  79. Can’t wait to make this – what do you think about substituting any other ciitrus for the grapefruit? I can’t have grapefruit unfortunately.