Knock-Your-Socks-Off Pulled Pork Tacos

These slow cooker pulled pork tacos are packed with irresistible flavor! Served with a zesty cilantro lime rice and a creamy, bright cilantro ranch sauce!

I love the combination of tender pork with creamy and herby ranch dress, not to mention a big helping of cilantro lime rice on the side! This easy dinner idea doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to throw together.

close up of tacos nestled in a dish, ready to serve to a crowd

My Family’s Favorite Pork Tacos

This is such a fun pork taco recipe and it’s one of my family’s favorite dishes ever! The pork is cooked in the slow cooker with taco seasoning for smoky, flavorful shredded meat. You can throw that in the Crock-Pot in the morning and then in the evening, make your cilantro lime rice, a one-pot, zesty and bright side! As that cooks, make the creamy, cilantro ranch dressing to go on top of everything by blending the ingredients together. While it seems like a lot of components, it really is simple and quick to throw together!

I love these flavors together, too. The lime juice in the rice plus the sharp taste of cilantro, mixed with the rich warmth of the pulled pork is seriously gold! Pile up the ingredients in your favorite tortillas, or top them over some lettuce for a decadent taco salad. Make sure to make plenty of the ranch dressing, too, because it is addicting and keeps in the fridge for up to 10 days! I know you’ll love this fun taco recipe!

pork from the crockpot on a plater after being pulled and spiced, ready for tacos

What’s In These Pulled Pork Tacos?

Pork tenderloin: I love to use a pork tenderloin because it’s a leaner cut of meat and really cheap, but it still gets nice and tender from cooking low and slow all day.

Taco seasoning: You can use store-bought taco seasoning or make my famous easy homemade mix with chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, and black pepper.

Salt: A little extra salt helps develop the flavors of the pork.

Water or broth: Water or broth keeps the pork moist as it cooks all day.

Cilantro lime rice: The recipe follows below, and this rice is citrusy, herby, and oh-so good!

Cilantro ranch dressing: This recipe also follows below. The creaminess mixed with the freshness of cilantro is a great addition to the rich meat and rice.

Tortillas, shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, chopped tomato: These ingredients complete the tacos!

Optional additions: You can also add hot sauce, salsa, or guacamole if you’d like.

What Kind of Pork is Best for Tacos?

You can use really and kind of pork for pork tacos, but I like pork tenderloin for this recipe because it’s lean and yet tender after cooking in the slow cooker. It stays moist and is easy to shred after cooking all day!

How to Season Pork for Mexican Tacos:

Season pork with a little salt and taco seasoning (homemade or store-bought) to get rich, smoky, and warm flavors for tacos.

Flavorful Cilantro Lime Rice made in the Instant Pot with loads of bright lime and cilantro flavor and done in less than 30 minutes.

How to Make Pork Tacos:

For the Pork:
  1. Combine the salt and the taco seasoning.
  2. Rub your spice mixture all over tenderloin; place in the bottom of slow cooker.
  3. Add the water or chicken stock to the bottom of slow cooker..
  4. Add the lid, and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours.
  5. Cut pork into 4 equal parts; shred with two forks.
  6. Return it to the slow cooker, and mix with any liquid.
  7. Serve hot in your favorite tacos.

For the Rice:

  1. Add rice, water, garlic, lime zest, and bullion to sauce pan over medium-high heat.
  2. When the water boils, reduce heat to low, and cover pan with lid.
  3. Cook until the rice is cooked through, about 20 minutes.
  4. Combine the lime juice, sugar, and cilantro.
  5. Fluff rice with fork; pour lime juice mixture over hot cooked rice.
  6. Stir to combine, and serve hot.

For the Cilantro Ranch Sauce:

  1. Throw everything in blender, and blend until smooth.
  2. Taste the dressing on a piece of lettuce; adjust seasonings as needed.
  3. It keeps covered in the fridge for up to 10 days.

To serve:

  1. Serve pork in tortillas with rice, sauce, and your choice of toppings.

Pork tacos in a dish ready to eat

Tips for the Best Pork Tacos:

  • Cut pork tenderloin before shredding: Cutting the tenderloin into 4 pieces helps make shredding way easier, and add the shredded meat back to the slow cooker so it can absorb the juices.
  • Use your own taco seasoning: Store-bought is fine but there’s something so good about homemade taco seasoning! Plus it’s so easy and you can adjust flavors to your liking.
  • Don’t skip the rice or ranch: The pork is good but the rice and cilantro ranch complete these tacos! The creaminess of the ranch plus the citrusy tartness of the rice is a delicious balance.

Variation Ideas:

You can also use these ingredients in: taco salads, quesadillas, taquitos, burritos, or any of your favorite Mexican dishes. Sometimes I’ll also use leftover pulled pork from this recipe to make sandwiches with melted cheese on top. Or, you can serve this pork in a hot dog bun topped with diced avocado and tomatoes.

Topping Ideas:

  • Shredded cheese
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Lime juice
  • Hot sauce
  • Salsa
  • Guacamole
  • Chopped or pickled jalapenos
  • Green onion

This Creamy Cilantro Ranch Dressing recipe is a flavorful and fun twist on the original version. It’s perfect on taco salads, as a dip, or doused on a plate of nachos.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I Make Pork Tacos Ahead of Time?

You will have good luck making the pork and ranch dressing ahead of time, but I recommend making the rice right before you’d like to serve it!

Can I Freeze the Pork Taco Filling?

Yes! Pulled pork freezes wonderfully. Store in an airtight container and freeze for up to 4 months.

What Goes with Pork Tacos?

So many delicious sides could be paired with pork tacos. The obvious is chips and salsa, but you can also serve the cilantro lime rice on the side or corn salad, black or pinto beans, a simple side salad, black bean soup, or any or your other favorite Mexican dish sides.

 

 

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Knock-Your-Socks-Off Pulled Pork Tacos


  • Author: Melissa
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 5 hours
  • Yield: Serves 8-10 1x

Description

These slow cooker pulled pork tacos are packed with irresistible flavor! Served with a zesty cilantro lime rice and a creamy, bright cilantro ranch sauce!


Scale

Ingredients

For the Pork in the Slow Cooker:

For the Stove-top Cilantro Lime Rice:

  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons lime zest (I do at least 2 and sometimes a little more… I love zest)
  • 1 cube chicken bullion (or Better than Bullion)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

For the Cilantro Ranch Sauce:

  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 or 3 large tomatillos, husk removed
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, outer skin removed
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, about a cup
  • 1/2 a lime’s juice
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • More salt and pepper, to taste

To serve:


Instructions

For the Pork:

  1. Remove the pork tenderloin from the package, and place it on a cutting board.
    In a small bowl, combine the salt and the taco seasoning.
  2. Rub your spice mixture all over the tenderloin, and then place it in the bottom of your slow cooker.
  3. Add the water or chicken stock to the bottom of the slow cooker (don’t pour it over the pork, though, so that you don’t wash off your spice rub).
  4. Add the lid, and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours, or until the tenderloin is easy to shred with a fork.
  5. Remove the pork from the Crock-Pot, and place it on a cutting board. Cut into 4 equal parts, and then shred with two forks.
  6. Return it to the slow cooker, and mix it with any liquid that might have remained in the bottom of the slow cooker. Adjust salt to taste.
  7. Serve hot in your favorite tacos, burritos, or on a salad or nachos.

For the Rice:

  1. Add the rice, water, garlic, lime zest, and bullion to a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat.
  2. When the water starts to boil, reduce the heat to low, and cover the pan with a lid.
  3. Cook until the rice is cooked through and all the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, sugar, and cilantro.
  5. When the rice is done, fluff it with a fork, and then pour the lime juice mixture over hot cooked rice.
  6. Stir to combine, and serve hot.

For the Cilantro Ranch Sauce:

  1. Throw everything into a blender, and blend until smooth, about one minute.
  2. Taste the dressing on a piece of lettuce, and adjust the seasonings as needed.
  3. It keeps covered in the fridge for up to 10 days.

To serve:

Serve the pork in tortillas with rice and the sauce and your choice of toppings. These are also awesome toppings for pork taco salad!


Notes

  • This is one of our all-time favorite recipe combinations! It’s not as much as it looks either. Get the pork going in the morning and then for dinner you’ll need to make the rice. While the rice is cooking blend up the sauce (or make it in the morning when you get the pork going), and then just chop your tomato and lettuce and shred your cheese. It’s worth the effort!
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: slow cooker, stove top
  • Cuisine: American
Nutrition Information: YIELD: 8
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 260.2 Fat: 15.3g Cholesterol: 11.2mg Sodium: 1,019.5mg Carbohydrates: 28.1g Sugars: 7g Protein: 3.9g Vitamin A: 21.4µg Vitamin C: 23.2mg

Keywords: pulled pork tacos, pork taco recipe, easy pork tacos, cafe rio pork tacos, shredded pork tacos, mexican pork tacos

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easy pork tacos in blue and white casserole dish

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Marie

This meal recipe was amazing!!!! We really enjoyed every component! The sauce was DELICIOUS!!!

Bless This Mess - About Me

I’m Melissa, and I want to help you feed your family wholesome food.

As a hobby farmer and mom of five, I’m all about keeping it simple in the kitchen. I want healthy meals that feed my family well, and then I want to get back to my (messy) life. Let’s work together to find something yummy for your dinner table.