October 22nd, 2015

Sweet Pork Salad {Crock Pot Recipe}

Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Salad 158


I know there are a lot of Cafe Rio Copycat recipes out there for this Sweet Pork Salad – I’ve tried many of them, and finally came up with the version I love the best!  This is one of my favorite meals – literally I could eat it all week (yes, sometimes I have…)

The salad begins with a warm tortilla, followed by black beans, then Cilantro Lime Rice, and next this amazing Sweet Pork you can make in your crock pot.


Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Salad 064


Next comes lettuce, tortilla chips, cheese, tomatoes, sour cream and guacamole. Just add any of your favorites.


Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Salad 101


Finally, top it all off with this creamy, homemade Cilantro Ranch.


Cilantro Ranch


YUM –  this salad is perfection!


sweet pork 051


The Sweet Pork freezes well so make lots!  It is also great as pork tacos or in a burrito.  The Cilantro-Lime Rice is  yummy with any of your Tex-Mex favorites.



Sweet Pork Salad {Cafe Rio Copycat}

For the Sweet Pork

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar (divided use)
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon salt
3 pounds pork loin roast
1 can Dr. Pepper
1 can chicken broth (15 oz)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped


Combine 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar with the cumin and salt to make a rub.  Cover the pork roast with the rub and place it in your crock pot. {No liquid added at this time}  Cook on low heat overnight.

In the morning, combine the Dr Pepper, chicken broth, garlic, and onion.  Pour over the meat and continue to cook on low the rest of the day or at least 5 hours.  When ready to serve, remove the pork and shred. Return the shredded pork to the liquid in the crock pot and add the remaining 1 cup brown sugar.  Heat about 5 minutes or until sugar is completely dissolved.  Stir and serve.


For the Cilantro Lime Rice

1 tablespoon butter
1 cup rice (long grain or jasmine)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15 oz) can chicken broth
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon lime zest
2 teaspoons sugar
1 fresh lime, juiced
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Dash of salt


Heat a skillet to medium-high and melt butter.  Add the rice and toast it for about five minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the garlic, broth, water, and lime zest.  Cover, reduce heat, and cook for 15-20 minutes – fluff.

Combine the sugar, lime juice, salt, and cilantro.  Pour over rice and stir to combine.


For the Cilantro Ranch

1 1/3 cup sour cream
3/4 cup mayo
1 package hidden valley dry ranch mix
1/3 cup green salsa verde
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 juice of one fresh lime
1/2 teaspoon green Tabasco sauce (or to taste)
fresh cilantro to taste


Place all ingredients in blender and mix until smooth.


To Assemble your Sweet Pork Salad

Layer the following:

hot flour tortilla
black beans
Cilantro Lime Rice
Sweet Pork
tomatoes, diced
cheddar cheese, shredded
tortilla strips or crushed tortilla chips
sour cream
Cilantro Ranch

Dig in and enjoy!!




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