Sweet Pork Barbacoa in the Slow Cooker

Sweet Pork Barbacoa makes a great burrito or taco filling. You can also use it to top nachos or in quesadillas.

Sweet Pork Barbacoa

This is a recipe I have made for years. I found the original recipe at Real Mom Kitchen not long after I started blogging, so it has been eight years.

Of course I have tweaked the recipe a bit because the original is a little too sweet. I know it is sweet pork barbacoa but the original version was dessert sweet. Feel free to increase the amount of sugar if you like this sweeter.

Like the cilantro lime rice this is another Cafe Rio copycat recipe. I have never actually eaten there so I can’t say if this tastes exactly like the original. However, my family loves it.


This is a super simple recipe to make but it does require a bit of planning since you marinate the pork roast or ribs in soda overnight. After that you toss the meat and soda in your slow cooker and cook on low for about eight hours. Remove the meat, drain off the soda, shred the pork and add it and the rest of the ingredients back in the slow cooker until it is all warmed through

It makes quite a bit of meat but the leftovers freeze wonderfully. Just place meal sized portions in labeled freezer bags and freeze. Then when you’re ready to use it, just thaw in the refrigerator overnight, and heat on the stove top or microwave until hot.

The finished sweet pork barbacoa is great in taco salads, enchiladas, or pretty much any Mexican recipe. I’ll be sharing some of our favorites soon.

Sweet Pork Barbacoa 

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 20 minutes
Author Micha @ Cookin' Mimi


  • 2 to 4 pounds Boston butt roast or pork country style ribs
  • 12 ounces non diet dark soda. I used Dr Pepper but Coke works as well
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 10 to 14 ounces red enchilada sauce
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 4 ounce can diced green chiles
  • To taste salt and pepper


  1. Place the meat in a bowl with a lid
  2. Pour soda over it all
  3. Cover and refrigerate overnight
  4. Place in a 4 quart or larger slow cooker
  5. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or until tender
  6. Remove from the slow cooker and carefully drain off the soda. I strain through a colendar into a bowl so I can discard the fat
  7. Shred the meat and return to the slow cooker
  8. Add the sugar, enchilada sauce, garlic, green chiles, and salt and pepper and stir well
  9. Cover and cook on low for another 30 to 60 minutes or until heated through

Sweet Pork Barbacoa is a delicious and easy slow cooker recipe. Use in tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and so much more.

31dayscookingathome475 This post is part of 31 Days of Cooking at Home 
This post may be linked at these fabulous blogs as well as Weekend Potluck., Whatcha Crockin’ Wednesday, and meal plan Monday


  1. This looks really good, will pin it and try soon! Thank for sharing.

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