BBQ pulled pork tacos. Because even the most creative of us run out of new ideas for tacos some nights. Warm tortillas are piled high with sweet pulled pork, spicy chipotle coleslaw, and tangy barbecue sauce. We bet you can’t stop at one. We know we certainly didn’t.–Angie Zoobkoff

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PULLED AND SHREDDED PORK?

These tacos are made either with leftovers or pulled pork that you made specifically for this recipe. But what if you don’t have the forethought or time and just want to snarf down these little beauties? Pulled pork is made from a low and slow-cooked piece of pork that is so tender that it just falls apart when you touch it. It also has a distinctive taste and texture—juicy and melts in your mouth awesome—that comes from the cooking process. On the other hand, you can just cook up a small tenderloin and give a quick shred by pulling it apart with 2 forks. If you’re not a true pulled pork aficionado, you’ll probably enjoy it just as much—it is pork, after all.

Two BBQ pulled pork tacos in a cardboard dish with a bear and a dish of coleslaw on the side.

BBQ Pulled Pork Tacos

4.88 / 8 votes
BBQ pulled pork tacos! The deliciously tender and slightly sweet pulled pork is heaped in a warmed tortilla with creamy chipotle slaw.
David Leite
CourseMains
CuisineAmerican
Servings8 servings
Calories834 kcal
Prep Time25 minutes
Chill1 hour
Total Time1 hour 25 minutes

Ingredients 

For the chipotle slaw

  • 1/2 head (10 oz) red cabbage, cored and finely shredded
  • 1/2 head (10 oz) green cabbage, cored and finely shredded
  • 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 bunch scallions, finely chopped (6 to 8 scallions)
  • 1 cup (8 oz) matchstick carrots, from 2 or 3 medium carrots
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup chipotle salsa
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Sriracha chile sauce
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 lime, juiced (about 2 tablespoons)

For the tacos

  • 8 to 16 tablespoons (4 to 8 oz) unsalted butter
  • Sixteen (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • 3 pounds pulled pork, warmed
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups store-bought or homemade barbecue sauce

Instructions 

Make the slaw

  • Combine all the slaw ingredients in a large bowl. Using tongs or clean hands, thoroughly toss everything until well combined. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, anywhere from 1 to 6 hours. Toss gently to recombine before serving.

Assemble the BBQ pulled pork tacos

  • Melt 1 to 2 tablespoons of butter in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high until it foams, about 1 minute. Add the tortillas, a couple at a time, and cook until the bottoms are lightly charred, 15 to 45 seconds.
  • Turn and top each with 3 ounces (85 g) pork and cook for 30 seconds. Fold the tacos slightly, and move to a large platter. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, adding butter as needed to the skillet between batches.
  • Top each taco with about 1/4 cup slaw and 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce. Serve immediately and don’t forget to pass additional barbecue sauce on the side.
The South's Best Butts Cookbook

Adapted From

The South’s Best Butts

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Nutrition

Serving: 1 serving (2 tacos)Calories: 834 kcalCarbohydrates: 92 gProtein: 27 gFat: 42 gSaturated Fat: 14 gMonounsaturated Fat: 7 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 114 mgSodium: 2171 mgFiber: 7 gSugar: 53 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2017 Matt Moore. Photo © 2017 Time Inc. Books. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

I jumped at the chance to test this BBQ pulled pork tacos recipe so that we’d have a batch of pulled pork for the week to use in multiple recipes and a coleslaw to pull double-duty both in these tacos as well as a side for other meals such as the pulled pork grilled cheese. I used the slow cooker pulled pork to the delight of my family—it was so tender and everyone loved the cinnamon flavor. The combination of the tender pork, crunchy & spicy slaw with a dollop of vinegar barbecue sauce really hits the spot for a weeknight meal. I’d use less butter when charring the tortillas and do more of a dry heat on a hot skillet (still recommend medium-high).

I made these BBQ pulled pork tacos with a vinegar barbecue sauce and they were excellent. The chipotle slaw came together quickly and was delicious after being refrigerated for a few hours. I warmed the butter in my cast-iron pan, about 15 seconds, and then added the corn tortilla. It only took another 15 seconds the bottoms became charred and a little crisp. I flipped the tortillas over before filling them, cooking for another 15 seconds.

I folded the tortillas as they cooled. They were crispy but still chewy. And buttery. The tortillas were amazing this way—filled with the vinegar BBQ sauce and the crispy coleslaw, the whole thing was just delicious. This recipe served 6 (4 at dinner, 2 for leftovers) with 3 tacos each using 1/4 cup slaw and pork per taco. I had put the barbecue sauce in a squeeze bottle and let everyone sauce their own. There was exactly enough pork and there was a little more slaw than was needed but not by much.

This is a great taco. We couldn’t stop eating them. Tender and moist BBQ pulled pork with the most amazing spicy chipotle slaw. We finished off the slaw the next day alongside grilled steaks and it was a fabulous combination. Definitely recommend this recipe.

I really enjoyed this BBQ pulled pork tacos recipe! We make pulled pork all the time in our household and love tacos. I believe the chipotle slaw really made this dish. I liked the smoky flavor that came from the chipotle slaw. The Sriracha also added nice heat that I wouldn’t have thought to add myself. This slaw would be great in other recipes such as pulled pork sandwiches and fish tacos as well as really tasty on its own.

Charring the tortillas in cast iron was also a great idea. I liked the butter flavor with the char. I usually just toast corn tortillas over my gas burner so this was a nice change. I’ll definitely make this dish again. This was easy to put together and even doable on a weeknight if you put the pulled pork in the slow cooker the night before.




About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.


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8 Comments

  1. Well… I set about to make this recipe, but got way laid, with a super lean pork that was so dry that it wouldn’t shred. So I ended up dicing the pork, mixing it with broth and white wine, and making jasmine rice to go with it. Made a slaw with purple cabbage, and a homemade BBQ sauce.