Kicking Up Pulled Pork

Kicking Up Pulled Pork

I love pulled pork as much as anyone. I don’t care if we’re talking Kansas City, Texas, Carolina … I love ’em all. But then I stumbled upon a Louisiana version and I found a whole new happy place!

Okay, so technically, I don’t know if this is authentic Louisiana cuisine but the recipe had the word “Cajun” in it and that was enough to get the attention of this Iowa girl.

Cajun Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Cajun Pork Sandwiches

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings 10112 servings


  • 1 3-4 pound pork roast or boneless pork ribs
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons Black Pepper
  • 1 white onion chopped
  • 1-2 jalapenos quartered
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning or other hot spice blend
  • 1 15 ounce can diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 2-3 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
  • pickle slices
  • pepper-jack cheese
  • buns or bread


  • Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper (this can be done several hours before cooking for better flavor).
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Place meat in a large dutch oven and add onions; cover and place in oven for 30 minutes.
  • Add jalapenos. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake another 30 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes, Cajun seasoning, and Tabasco sauce; turn pork over and move around to combine all the ingredients. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees and bake for 60 minutes.
  • Remove from oven. Using two forks, try to pull the pork apart. If the pork shreds easily, it is ready. If it resists pulling, return to the oven for another 30 minutes. Repeat as necessary.
  • Shred the pork and combine with remaining "sauce".
  • Serve with pepper-jack cheese and/or pickles on buns or bread of your choice. Coleslaw is one of our favorite toppings/sides for these sandwiches. Find my recipe here.


1. Cooking times will vary based on the size of the roast or number of ribs used. If using a whole roast, cutting it into four equally sized pieces will reduce overall cooking time.
2. Boneless turkey breast fillets can also be used. Again, cooking times will vary.
3. You can simplify this recipe by using a crock pot or slow cooker. Simply combine all the ingredients (except cheese, pickles and buns, of course) in the crock pot and set it on low for 6-8 hours or warm for 8-10 hours. There will be a lot more broth produced this way. Remove about half of the broth before shredding and set it aside. If after shredding, the meat needs more moisture, add broth back in a quarter of a cup at a time. The remaining broth is perfect for reheating the meat another day or to add to soups.
4. Coleslaw is one of our favorite toppings/sides for these sandwiches ... find the recipe HERE.
5. Cornbread is an excellent accompaniment for this dish. For this post, I spread the cornbread batter (with diced jalapenos added) in a thin layer (3/4-1" deep) in a rectangular glass baking dish, coated with cooking spray, and baked it according to the recipe but for a shorter amount of time since it is thin. After it cooled, I cut it into large squares to act as the top and bottom "bun" for the sandwich.

I have made this recipe several ways over the years: slow cooker/oven; pork/turkey; adding/omitting vegetables. One thing is certain … it always turns out delicious. The texture is different if it’s made in the slow cooker instead of the oven but it tastes great. The flavor changes with the choice of meat or vegetables but it tastes great. Whether I make a single or double (or triple) recipe, it tastes great! The only disappointment is when I don’t have leftovers to use in soups or salads.

This is the salad I made with the leftover pork. One of my favorite shortcuts is the Dole Chopped Salad Kits: a crunchy combination of cabbage, romaine, kale, carrots, and green onions. The Chipotle and Cheddar version also includes some tortilla strips, shredded cheddar cheese and a chipotle-ranch dressing. I add a few kernels of corn, some red onion, and fresh cilantro along with the leftover pork and … voilà!

I mean … BAM!

Couldn’t post a Cajun recipe without a tribute to Emeril, now could I?

Take an inexpensive cut of pork, add a little heat, top it with coleslaw and pile it on cornbread … or a bun, it’s your choice!

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