Instant Pot Cafe Rio Sweet Pork—make your favorite restaurant’s sweet pork at home with just a handful of ingredients. This pulled pork is perfect over salad, rice, tacos, burritos, quesadillas or on a toasted bun.
Get the SLOW COOKER Cafe Rio Sweet Pork recipe here
Instant Pot Cafe Rio Sweet Pork
Are you a fan of the sweet pork at Cafe Rio or Costa Vida? If you don’t know what I’m talking about Cafe Rio is a restaurant that is sort of like Chipotle, only better. They are famous for their sweet pork salads which contain a fresh flour tortilla, cilantro lime rice, beans, romaine lettuce, sweet pork, cotija cheese, lime, guacamole, fried corn chips and their famous house dressing, a creamy tomatillo ranch. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!
Now you can easily make the sweet pork at home and it tastes almost identical to the real thing! You can make all the fixings for the Cafe Rio style salads or you can just serve this meat over a taco. That’s how I enjoyed it and it was the bomb! I loved the sweetness paired with a freshly baked tortilla (I find these in the refrigerated section of the grocery store), garden fresh tomatoes, chopped cilantro and a generous dollop of full fat sour cream.
This recipe is a bit unique because you pressure cook twice. The first time you pressure cook to get the pork shreddable. Then you pressure cook the second time to infuse all the flavors into the shredded pork. The second pressure cook time is only 5 minutes and luckily the pot comes to pressure really quickly. Since the pork is already shredded you can use a quick release the second time around.
This is a great recipe to feed a crowd! It would be a great addition to a nacho bar. If you want you can easily double this recipe. Just double all the ingredients and keep the cooking time the same. And don’t worry about all the shredding you’re going to have to do. I just used a hand mixer to shred the meat in about 5 seconds! It worked so well.
More Instant Pot Pork Recipes…
Instant Pot Garlic Pork Tenderloin with Mashed Potatoes
Instant Pot Pork Loin with Honey Butter Sauce
Instant Pot Mexican Pulled Pork
What Pressure Cooker Did You Use?
To make Instant Pot Cafe Rio Sweet Pork I used my 6 quart Instant Pot Duo 60 7 in 1*. I love this Instant Pot because it has the yogurt making function which I use almost weekly. It has two pressure settings (high and low), and there are also little slots in the handles so that you can rest the lid there instead of putting it down on your counter-top.
Instant Pot Cafe Rio Sweet Pork
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 65 minutes (plus natural pressure release)
- Total Time: 95 minutes
- Yield: 8–10 servings 1x
Make your favorite restaurant’s sweet pork at home with just a handful of ingredients. This pulled pork is perfect over salad, rice, tacos, burritos, quesadillas or on a toasted bun.
- 2 1/4 cups Coke, divided (not diet)
- 2 1/2 pounds pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat and cut into quarters
- 1 1/4 cup brown sugar, divided
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- 1 (4 oz) can green chilies
- 1 (10 oz can) red enchilada sauce
- Pour 1 ½ cups of Coke into Instant Pot. Add in the quartered pork, ¼ cup brown sugar and garlic salt.
- Cover and secure the lid. Make sure valve is set to sealing. Set the manual/pressure cook button to 60 minutes. When the time is up let the pot sit there for 15 minutes and then move the valve to venting.
- Discard the cooking liquid. Shred the meat. Keep the meat in the Instant Pot.
- Add ¾ cup Coke, 1 cup brown sugar, green chilies and enchilada sauce to a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into the Instant Pot.
- Cover the pot and secure the lid. Make sure valve is set to sealing. Set the manual/pressure cook button to 5 minutes. When the time is up you can use a quick release or a natural release. Remove the lid.
- Use tongs to serve the pork on top of salads, rice, burritos, tacos, quesadillas etc.
I like to buy the Pork Carnitas meat from Winco for this recipe. You can also use pork shoulder, butt, country style ribs, picnic roast.
After I discarded the liquid I shredded my meat in 2 seconds using my hand mixer. Basically I just pulsed it a couple of times.
- Category: Pork
- Method: Instant Pot
*Karen Petersen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
Emilie Mann says
Hii! Can I make this in a slow cooker instead with all the same ingredients thrown in?
Yes here is the slow cooker recipe: https://www.365daysofcrockpot.com/slow-cooker-cafe-rio-sweet-pork/
I don’t have a hand mixer. Can this meat be shredded with forks instead?
We moved to North Carolina and there’s no Cafe Rio here. 😭 Was craving it so much and tried this recipe. This is the closest I’ve ever gotten! This is sooooo good!
My only complaint is I WISH I could use something different instead of Coke. May try this with Zevia or Olipop next time.
Try it! I bet it will be great!
It was really good but when doing the 2X button the brown sugar and the coke didn’t get doubled in the directions it did on the list but not on directions so you will need to adjust for that
Thanks for the heads up!
Thx for sharing. Can’t wait to make this tomorrow.
Is cooking time different if i doubled the meat?
nope it would be the same!
Savannah Baldomero says
How would I adjust cooking times if I wanted to use beef instead? Thank you!
for chuck roast I’d just the same instructions!
Sue T says
Could you use green enchilada sauce instant of red? Have a craving for smothered green burritos.
Do you think it would be okay to freeze this? We have a small family and there’s no way we could finish all the meat.
Yes this one would freeze great!
Any tips for freezing??
Let pulled pork come to room temperature.
Place the pork in freezer safe zip-top bags or freezer safe airtight container. Make sure to remove as much air from the bag as you can.
Freeze for up to 3 months
LeeAnn Price says
Can you make this with chicken?
Hi LeeAnn, I’m sure you could. I’d throw the chicken in there for 18 minutes with a natural pressure release.
Emily Jeffery says
I just bought an instant pot and was excited to try this recipe! Delicious and easy! The pork was soooo tender and easy to shred with just a couple of forks!
Nom nom nom!!!
Thanks Emily! I’m glad you enjoyed it!
I do have the daily silly question here. I noticed the ingredients were doubled for the 2X, but the directions have the 1X amounts. Were they too to be doubled? Just wondering?
Yes, the 2x isn’t always accurate. It’s a feature in this particular recipe card but read them with a grain of salt.
High or low pressure for the pressure cook setting?
High, I always use high 🙂
This is my families favorite insta pot recipe, we make this at least twice a month.
So glad to hear it Shelby!
Yummy!!!!! Everything was great. Served it with nacho bar.
Yum! That’s a perfect idea.
Thanks for the recipe! How would you adjust cooking time if the meat is frozen?
Hi Katie, I would up the time to 80 minutes instead of 60.
Karen Miller says
My husband refuses to try any food he thinks is Mexican so I modified your recipe to make a sweet pulled pork. I eliminated the green chilies and enchilada sauce. For the pork, I used Coke, brown sugar, garlic salt, and about 1/4 cup of bourbon. When the pork was done, I discarded the cooking liquid. I mixed 3/4 cup Coke and 1 cup brown sugar in a small saucepan and served it as a sauce on the side. My husband went wild over this and my Alabaman neighbors said it was the best pulled pork they’ve ever had. Thank you for your website – it’s the best one out there and I happily refer everyone I know to it.
I like those ideas Karen! Sounds like you are a pro at adapting recipes for your husbands likes. How awesome!
Jolene Hoover says
I made this today, hubby thought it was too sweet. If I make it again, I will increase chilis to 2 cans, use medium or hot enchilada sauce, and reduce the sugar to 1/2 cup in the final step.
The pork was very tender and moist
Okay good tips. Everyone has different tastes!
Im making this with a pork loin roast because its what I happen to have available. Any tips on making sure its not too dry??
I’ve struggled with pork loin roast in the Instant Pot. I’d read through this recipe it might help you: https://www.365daysofcrockpot.com/instant-pot-pork-loin-with-honey-butter-garlic-sauce/
I had a pork butt roast in my freezer so I used that instead of a shoulder and it turned out wonderful. The only other change I made was using three cans of chilies instead of one. I don’t think you can ever have too many green chilies! This is a great recipe that I will use again and the first recipe that I have ever left a comment for!
Wow that is great! And I love green chilies too!
If I cut this to a quarter what about the liquid i know you need liquid to cook so how much thanks I cook for my wife and I we are not big eaters and I hate to waste
Mary Casperson says
Any other soda BUT regular coke… Just wondering a different brand.
Mary Casperson says
I have a hard time with Coke – stomach issues are better with Pepsi, and any other but Coke. Not ok with coke.
Leigh Sheppard says
I wouldn’t worry about your aversion to Coke vs Pepsi. The Coke is little more than a source of caramelized sugar, and flavor. Most of it is poured down the drain between the two pressure cooking steps. I’m also quite positive you could use Pepsi just fine as long as it is not Diet Pepsi.
I did coke the first time, and dr pepper after. It is way better w dr pepper!
Thanks for sharing!
Why not diet coke?
The reason for using these coke is the sugar which caramelizes. Low cal drinks that use aspartame as a sweetener.
Max in Mexico says
Karen, Regarding the Sweet Babacoa Pork, I have made this many times as it was my favorite meal at Cafe Rio. It turns out perfect. It is fantastic on rice, with salads and in tacos. I now am living in Mexico and have addicted others here on the taste and how easy it is to make in the Instant Pot. Don’t ruin the taste by worrying about a little sugar in regular coke. Some things are just worth the calories.