Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Recipe in a bowl with chopped cilantro sprinkled on top
Crock Pot, Dinner, Mexican Recipes

Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Recipe

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This copycat Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Recipe is perfect for family dinner any night of the week. It’s full of delicious sweet flavor, and can be served in burritos, tacos, enchiladas, or on a salad. If your a Cafe Rio fan, you will find this sweet pork recipe tastes just like the real thing!

Over the years I have made many different versions of the famous Cafe Rio pork recipe. I have experimented with many different flavor combinations, but I just couldn’t fully nail down the flavor, until today!! This Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Recipe tastes just like your favorite restaurant. Tender, juicy pork smothered in a sweet, slightly spicy sauce. It’s perfect in burritos, tacos, and salads and tastes great. Top it with your favorite creamy tomatillo dressing or homemade guacamole.

Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Recipe rolled into a burrito with black beans, rice, and cilantro lime dressing

Ingredients for Sweet Pork

  • Pork Butt/Shoulder: Is a classic cut for pulled pork. When it is cooked long and slow the meat becomes tender and the fat melts which gives the pork its meaty flavor and texture as well as a sweet taste when cooked with adequate moisture.
  • Dr. Pepper: You can substitute Coke for Dr. Pepper, but NO NOT use diet!!
  • Water: Is needed for the pork to cook in the crock pot.
  • Garlic Powder: I prefer garlic powder over minced garlic in this recipe.
  • Salt: You can add more or less to taste.
  • Pepper: You can add more or less to taste.
  • Diced Green Chili’s: Use diced green chili’s in a can for this recipe.
  • Red Enchilada Sauce: Any red enchilada sauce will work. I used Las Palmas.
  • Brown Sugar: Adds the sweet flavor to this sweet pork recipe. You can use light or dark brown sugar.

How to make Cafe Rio Sweet Pork

You will want to cook this Cafe Rio pork recipe long and slow. I like to add it to my slow cooker first thing in the morning, and it’s ready to go by dinner time.

  • Start by spraying the inside of the crock pot with non stick cooking spray. Add pork shoulder/butt to your crock pot, and pour 1 cup of Dr. Pepper and water around pork. It does not need to cover the roast.
  • Sprinkle garlic powder, salt, and pepper evenly over pork roast.
  • Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours.
  • Remove cooked pork from the crock pot and transfer to a cutting board. Drain the liquid from the crock pot. Shred pork and remove any fat. Place shredded pork back into crock pot.
  • In a blender or food processor, blend remaining 1 cup of Dr. Pepper, diced green chili’s, enchilada sauce, and brown sugar until smooth.
  • Pour sauce over shredded pork and stir to coat pork well. Cover and cook and additional 2 hours on low.
  • Serve Cafe Rio Sweet Pork in burritos, tacos, or on a salad. Enjoy!
Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Recipe served on a flour tortilla with rice, black beans, shredded lettuce and Pico de Gallo.

What kind of pork roast is best?

I prefer to use pork butt/shoulder when making pulled pork recipes. It’s a classic cut and when it is cooked long and slow the meat becomes tender and the fat melts which gives the pork its meaty flavor and texture as well as a sweet taste when cooked with adequate moisture.

How to serve sweet pork?

Sweet pork can be served in many different ways. Here are a few of our favorites.

  • Salad: Flour tortilla warmed on a skillet, layered with black or pinto beans, cilantro lime rice, sweet pork, chopped lettuce, Pico de Gallo, cotija cheese, and guacamole. Serve with a side of creamy tomatillo ranch.
  • Burrito: Flour tortilla warmed on a skillet, black or pinto beans, cilantro lime rice, sweet pork. If you like it smothered add green enchilada sauce and shredded cheese. Place it in the oven at 350F for 5 minutes or until cheese has melted and is warm throughout. Serve with a side of lettuce and Pico de Galo.
  • Quesadilla: Place a flour tortilla on a warm skillet, add sweet pork, and sprinkle shredded cheese on top of sweet pork. Fold tortilla in half and flip half way through cooking until tortilla becomes slightly crispy, Serve with a side of cilantro lime rice and beans.
  • Enchiladas: Fresh corn or flour tortillas, stuffed with green enchilada sauce, cheese, and sweet pork. Rolled up, and topped with more enchilada sauce and shredded cheese. Place in the oven at 350F for 5 minutes or until cheese has melted and filling is warm throughout. Serve with a side of lettuce, and Pico de Gallo.
Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Recipe served on a flour tortilla with rice, black beans, shredded lettuce and Pico de Gallo.

Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Recipe

This copycat Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Recipe is perfect for family dinner any night of the week. It's full of delicious sweet flavor, and can be served in burritos, tacos, enchiladas, or on a salad. If your a Cafe Rio fan, you will find this sweet pork recipe tastes just like the real thing!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 438kcal
Author: April

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. boneless pork shoulder/butt
  • 16 oz. Dr. Pepper, not diet
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 4 oz. can diced green chili's
  • 8 oz. red enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup brown sugar

Instructions

  • Spray inside of the crock pot with non stick cooking spray. Add pork shoulder/butt to your crock pot, and pour 1 cup of Dr. Pepper and water around pork. It does not need to cover the roast.
  • Sprinkle garlic powder, salt, and pepper evenly over pork roast.
  • Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours.
  • Remove cooked pork from the crock pot and transfer to a cutting board. Drain the liquid from the crock pot. Shred pork and remove any fat. Place shredded pork back into crock pot.
  • In a blender or food processor, blend remaining 1 cup of Dr. Pepper, diced green chili's, enchilada sauce, and brown sugar until smooth.
  • Pour sauce over shredded pork and stir to coat pork well. Cover and cook and additional 2 hours on low.
  • Serve in in burritos, tacos, or on a salad. Enjoy!

Notes

*Nutrition Disclaimer: All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on Modernmealmakeover.com should only be used as a general guideline.

Nutrition

Calories: 438kcal | Carbohydrates: 34.8g | Protein: 42.1g | Fat: 12.3g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 130mg | Sodium: 379mg | Potassium: 42.1mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 32.6g | Vitamin A: 3.1IU | Calcium: 21.8mg | Iron: 17.2mg

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