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Slow Cooked Sweet Barbacoa Pork

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Sweet and spicy slow cooked barbacao pork sweetened with brown sugar, cola, chipotle chilies, green chilies, cumin and spices. Delicious over cilantro lime rice and black beans.


Sweet and spicy slow cooked barbacao pork sweetened with brown sugar, cola, chipotle chilies, green chilies, cumin and spices. Delicious over cilantro lime rice and black beans.Slow Cooked Sweet Barbacoa Pork

I also have a Barbacoa Beef recipe.

This was a recipe request to make over Cafe Rio’s sweet pork recipe, only problem is I’ve never eaten at Cafe Rio. After reading dozens of copycat recipes, I came up with my own lightened up version, which was a huge hit in my home. This had enough for several meals and made a burrito bowl out of the leftovers. I used cilantro lime rice, black beans, pico de gallo, lettuce, avocado and a little low fat cheese. But this was also great served over rice.

Sweet and spicy slow cooked barbacao pork sweetened with brown sugar, cola, chipotle chilies, green chilies, cumin and spices. Delicious over cilantro lime rice and black beans.
Since the marinade gets tossed after it cooks, I wasn’t sure how to calculate, so I counted half the sugar and cola from the marinade just to be sure. Adjust the heat to your liking. This is medium heat but if you like it hot, add more chilies, if you prefer it mild, use less. Enjoy! The crock pot is parked on my counter lately, it’s so helpful on the days I have to go in to work. What can beat coming home from work and smelling dinner just about ready!

And since so many are asking, although I have and love my Instant Pot, I still love my slow cooker! I have the 6 Quart Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker (affil link). I love it because you can adjust the time you want it to cook, and it automatically turns to warm when it’s done. It also has a probe for meat that automatically shuts off when done. I hated my old crock pot, it burnt everything and my food had a weird taste. This slow cooker is so great, I actually own several!

Slow Cooked Sweet Barbacoa Pork

4.84 from 6 votes
Sweet and spicy slow cooked barbacao pork sweetened with brown sugar, cola, chipotle chilies, green chilies, cumin and spices. Delicious over cilantro lime rice and black beans.
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Sweet and spicy slow cooked barbacao pork sweetened with brown sugar, cola, chipotle chilies, green chilies, cumin and spices. Delicious over cilantro lime rice and black beans.
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 5 hrs
Marinate Time: 2 hrs
Total: 7 hrs 5 mins
Yield: 10
Serving Size: 3 oz


For the Marinade:

  • 2.5 lbs pork loin roast, all fat trimmed
  • salt and pepper
  • garlic powder
  • 6 oz Coke zero
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, unpacked
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Step 2
  • 8 oz Coke zero
  • 6 oz can sliced green chilies
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp chipotle chili powder, to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, unpacked


  • Season pork with salt, pepper and garlic powder and place in the crock pot.
  • Add 6 oz of coke and 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Marinate refrigerated for a few hours or overnight turning meat at least once while marinating.
  • Remove crock from refrigerator, add water, and cook on high for about 3-4 hours (or until it shreds easily).
  • Remove pork from crock pot and discard any liquid left in the pot. Shred pork with two forks.
  • STEP TWO: In the crock pot, combine 8 oz coke, green chilies, tomato sauce, chipotle chile, garlic powder, cumin, chipotle chili powder and remaining brown sugar.
  • Put shredded pork back in the crock pot and combine with sauce. Adjust salt and pepper to taste, cover and cook on high 1-1/2 hours more.

Last Step:

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Serving: 3 oz, Calories: 202.5 kcal, Carbohydrates: 11.5 g, Protein: 26 g, Fat: 6.5 g, Saturated Fat: 2 g, Cholesterol: 66 mg, Sodium: 11.5 mg, Fiber: 0.5 g, Sugar: 10 g


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216 comments on “Slow Cooked Sweet Barbacoa Pork”

  1. I don't usual comment on recipes, but for this one, I HAD to – I made this recipe yesterday (with brown rice and your corn salsa), and according to my hubby, this is the BEST THING I HAVE EVER MADE. I have cooked a LOT in our 5.5 years of marriage, and he is a VERY hard to please eater. The only changes I made were out of necessity – I only had 1/4 cup tomato sauce (oops!), so I used 3/4 cup ketchup in place of it (whatever point change it made was worth it…YUM), and I only had a 4 oz can green chiles, and no chile in adobo sauce. But still, I was DELICIOUS. Even my toddler gobbled up the pork (and corn salsa…corn only of course, little goober), and she NEVER eats meat when I give it to her.

    Gina, I thank you for posting this recipe….and I look forward to making it again and again! To hear my husband say it's the best thing I've ever made…let's just say you have made my day…or really, my month! 🙂

  2. Just had this for dinner, absolutely delicious!!!! My fiance LOVED it! Thank you so much for the amazing recipes.


  3. Tasty, but this is NOT barbacoa. Barbacoa is the head of a cow or goat meat wrapped in maguey or banana leaves and steamed in a pit.

  4. I'm going to make this one night in January. Can you tell me if I can leave out the green chiles? I can't stand them, but I'm not sure if they're in for extra heat?

  5. This pork was sooooo good! My husband said it tasted like he was eating at a restaurant. I LOVE your blog and your recipes are so AWESOME!!!

  6. I can't believe I am admitting this but I added the whole can of chipole peppers….I was breathing fire and my husband said he may have 3rd degree burns in his mouth…lol…I had never used these peppers before and thought it meant 1 can. Thanks for all the time and energy u put into posting these recipes. Amy

  7. Hi Gina, I don't have a scale, do you have a guess to about how much 3 oz would be as a measurement (1/2 cup etc.)?

    BTW i made this today and it is delicious– threw in a few extra chipotles to spice it up. Thanks for another great recipe!

  8. Is there something besides Coke I can use in the marinade and while it cooks in the crock pot. My house is a soda free zone for me. I haven't drank it in going on 7 years.

  9. Excellent! I used regular coke instead of coke zero. We like bold flavors so I pretty much doubled everything except for the tomato sauce, brown sugar and coke. We made "chipotle" style bowls with lettuce, cilantro lime rice, cuban style black beans, cheese, avacado, lime, sour cream and hot sauce. This recipe has made pinterest worthwhile and I'm going to follow this blog. 3 recipes for 3 were all excellent!

  10. Very good. Made a version using Adobo I had picked up in Belize earlier this year which was deep deep red. Also added some cilantro and cut up a lime to toss in the crock pot. Very good and popular with everyone here. Keep up the excellent work!

  11. I've cooked this about 5 times now, a few times with 5lb roasts (in just a few months). It is my new FAVORITE pulled pork recipe. The thing is I've never gotten past Step 1. When the marinated pork loin comes out of the crock pot, it tastes so awesome as is, that I never get to make the final sauce. We gobble it up with just some of the pan juices. I save a small container of the cooking liquid to flavor the leftovers, and that's it.

    Someday I hope to get around to making the sauce (Step 2). I'm sure that is also delicious. Thank you very much for publishing this wonderful recipe. I've tried quite a few pulled pork recipes, and for my taste nothing comes close to this one – and it's so easy to throw together. I LOVE it!

  12. Hi! What is the 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce and where do you get it? I would like to make this recipe. Thank you.

    1. Chipotle chiles in adobo sauce are available (canned) in most grocery stores. Not sure which aisle. Check Mexican/Spanish section or ask grocer. They usually come in a small can, several chiles per can.

      To see what it looks like (so you will know what to look for), use google images to search for 'chipotle chiles in adobo sauce'. Hope this helps.

  13. Love this recipe Gina! We are going to OBX with three other couples in a few weeks and this is going to be my meal when its our night to cook. We are feeding 8 adults and 10 children. I'm going to at least double the recipe. Question – will the cooking time be the same if I get a 6 or 7 lb piece of pork? Or would you suggest putting 2 or 3 tenderloins in the crock pot? Any suggestions would be great!

  14. Avatar photo

    I accidentally put this in on low for 2 hours and then tried to turn up the heat but it never turned out right (didn't shred well and was overcooked) 🙁 I did find the sauce a little sweet, but it was DELICIOUS over cilantro lime brown rice–helped temper the tart with some sweet. Have to read directions next time! LOL Thanks Gina.

  15. Avatar photo
    Granny Enchanted

    So Yummy I just highlighted it in one of my directories. Thank you.

  16. Like Bethany, so so glad I found you. Just made the sweet barbacoa for the family. I put in one chipotle pepper then took it out after half hour in the slow cooker. My kids cant handle too much heat. What a hit! My picky 7-year old asked for seconds. My husband was surprised it was WW friendly. In his words, "This is too freakin' delicious."

    Your website is gorgeous and well laid out. Can't wait to try other recipes. Thank you for all your hard work. It shows.

  17. I made this tonight with a pork tenderloin, PERFECTION!
    Thank you. You are turning me into a cook.
    You make everything so easy and tasty.
    So so glad I found you.

  18. Love this recipe. Almost like the one at Cafe Rio. I used diet Pepsi instead of coke, just like Pepsi's taste better.
    Thanks for posting this one!!!