Instant Pot Mexican Pulled Pork

Fork tender pork in a fraction of the time? Instant Pot Mexican Pulled Pork requires a few minutes of prep, and 60 minutes under pressure… The flavors of Yucatán in this fragrant, tender pork are perfect for tacos, sopes, and over rice!

Shredded Mexican pulled pork on a cast iron tray with tongs.

👩🏻‍🍳 Tamara Talks – About Mexican Pulled Pork

My Instant Pot Mexican Pulled Pork gets its unique flavors from both orange and lime juices, cinnamon stick, cumin, and chipotle. Garnished with fresh cilantro, it is so versatile. And delicious.

I initially did this recipe for a post entitled Mexican Sopes 2 Ways. Rather than clutter up the post with too many recipes, I limited the post to the Basic Sopes Recipe and a Vegetarian Black Bean Filling. You will see both this Mexican Pulled Pork filling and the Vegetarian Black Bean filling in the Sopes photos. They were both topped with a delicious, fresh Easy Mango Salsa, avocado, crumbled cotija, and cilantro. Fabuloso!

In 2021, I updated the sopes recipe to include an easy shredded chicken. However, this Mexican pulled pork is every bit as delicious, and just as easy to make.

I typically use a small pork loin (4-5 pounds), and we enjoy several meals. The Mexican Pulled Pork freezes beautifully. It’s so satisfying to thaw a zip bag of this amazingly flavorful and tender pork, and have a meal like these leftover pulled pork tacos on the table in minutes. Try it with Mexican Cilantro Rice. A simple green salad with Cilantro Jalapeño Ranch Dressing completes the meal.

❤️ What I Love About This Pulled Pork

  • It’s versatile! Serve it over rice, in tacos, stir into scrambled eggs, and roll into a soft flour tortilla for a burrito…
  • The pork is awesome for meal-prep. It freezes well. Make a big pork tenderloin, and freeze portions in zip bags for several meals.
  • It’s lean, healthy, high in protein, low in fats and carbs.

📋 Ingredients Notes

  • boneless pork – I use a boneless pork loin (about 7-8 pounds typically). I have also used boneless pork chops. Pork shoulder is delicious, but fattier. Lean tenderloin is substantially more expensive, and wasted on the Instant Pot.
  • aromatics – Garlic, onion, and ground cumin provide the flavor foundation for this pork.
  • cinnamon stick
  • citrus – You’ll need the zest and the juice. I use 1 lime and 1 orange.
  • chipotles in adobo – Chipotles provide the smoky heat. They are fairly hot. I use 3 plus a good amount of adobo sauce (they’re packed in it). Proceed cautiously if you’re not familiar with them. They are smoked jalapeños; they vary from 2,500 to 8,000 scoville units. Does that help?
  • chicken broth

🔪 Instructions for Instant Pot Mexican Pulled Pork

I always brown my meat first. The maillard reaction is an important step in achieving the most flavorful results! I brown the pork loin (takes about 5-10 minutes) with the onion and garlic. I add the remaining ingredients, and pressurize 60 minutes. After a slow-release, the pork is ready to shred and enjoy!

step 1

Prepare the pork – Cut off any large pieces of fat. Brown pork chunks in a drizzle of oil. You may need to work in batches to avoid crowding the pot. Add the onion, garlic, and cumin, and cook an addition 2 to 3 minutes.

step 2

Cook the pork – Add all remaining ingredients to the pressure cooker. Pressurize for 60 minutes. Do a “slow release” for 10 minutes (leave it with the valve closed), then release any remaining pressure.

step 3

Finish the pulled pork – Remove cinnamon stick, hunks of onion. Shred the pork. Helpful hint: A potato masher or a hand mixer make quick work of shredding the pork. Be sure you’ve gotten the cinnamon stick out first!

A bird's eye view of the shredded Mexican pulled pork on a tray with mango salsa, cotija, and tortillas.

💭 Tips

My Instant Pot has a “fill line,” and it is important to not overfill! The amount of pork and other ingredients will determine how much liquid can be in the pot.

You can adapt this recipe to a slow cooker. Brown the pork with the onion and garlic in a saute pan prior to adding all ingredients to the slow cooker. Cook 6-8 hours until falling apart tender.

If using a stove top pressure cooker, follow the same procedure. You may be able to reduce the cooking time slightly. 

I like to leave the pork in the liquid to keep it moist, and use tongs to serve it.

❓FAQ

Does the pulled pork freeze well?

YES! Like I said earlier in the post, 5 pounds of pork loin yields a lot of shredded pork. I usually plan on 4 additional packages of pork at about 1 pound each. I store them in the freezer for several months either vacuum-sealed or in freezer zip bags. When I thaw a package, we typically have enough for dinner one night, and breakfast or lunch the following day. Pulled pork is great for meal-prep.

What kinds of dishes can I use this Mexican pulled pork in?

Tacos and sopes are my 2 favorite ways to use it. We love it with borracho beans and/or cilantro rice or red rice.

What toppings would I recommend for pulled pork tacos?

My favorite tacos include Mexican pulled pork, salsa verde, shredded cabbage, avocado, and crumbled cotija. It also pairs well with mango salsa.

I don’t regularly do meal prep, but recipes like this Mexican pulled pork do lend themselves well to meal planning. Make an entire pork loin, and you’ll have pulled pork for several meals. Similarly, making a big batch of this chicken tinga can be a real time saver! Sure the initial work is more involved, but scale up the recipe, and the resulting chicken and potato mixture can be frozen for tostadas, tacos, over rice, etc.

If you have yet to purchase/try cooking with an Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker, what are you waiting for? The ability to brown in the pot makes for less cleanup, and yields more flavor. I prefer pressure cooking to slow cooking for that reason. If you’re already “on board,” what is your favorite way to use it?

Do you have a traditional cooking method dish you’d love me to adapt to the pressure cooker? Please leave feedback in the “comments” section at the bottom of this post!

Signature in red and green with chiles and limes. Healthyish Latin cuisine.

An overhead shot of Mexican pulled pork in an oval cast iron dish with tongs and lime wedges.

Instant Pot Mexican Pulled Pork

Fork tender pork in a fraction of the time? Instant Pot Mexican Pulled Pork requires a few minutes of prep, and 60 minutes under pressure… The flavors of Yucatan in this fragrant, tender pork are perfect for tacos, sopes, and over rice!
4.50 from 8 votes

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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 16 servings
Calories 125 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tbsp olive or canola oil
  • 4-5 pound pork loin - cut in chunks
  • 2 tsp garlic - minced
  • 1 large onion - quartered
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 long cinnamon stick - or 2 short
  • 1 medium orange - zest and juice
  • 1 lime - zest and juice
  • 1-3 chipotles with adobo - (to taste)
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 3 cups chicken broth - (see notes)

Instructions

  • Cut off any large pieces of fat. Brown pork chunks in a bit of oil on the sauté setting. Add the add the onion, the minced garlic, and ground cumin, and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.
  • Add all remaining ingredients to the pressure cooker. Cook under pressure for 60 minutes.
  • Do a "slow release" for 10 minutes (leave it with the valve closed), then release any remaining pressure. Remove cinnamon stick, hunks of onion. Shred the pork.

Notes

Macronutrients are an approximation only from MyFitnessPal.com, and include about 4 ounces of shredded pork.

Nutrition

Calories: 125kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 5g

NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and/or star rating! Email us with any questions: tamara@beyondmeresustenance.com
A red plate with 3 pulled pork tacos.
Serving suggestion: Use this pulled pork in these pulled pork tacos and spiced peach salsa. Delicioso!

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