Slow Cooker Root Beer Pulled Pork is dressed in a homemade barbecue sauce before being piled on slider buns and topped with crunchy, Creamy Broccoli Slaw. It's an easy, make-ahead recipe that's perfect for watching the big game!
Are y'all as excited about the Super Bowl as I am? I'm a football girl through and through, and I'm already mourning the imminent end of football season. Although my heart is invested in college football a bit more than NFL, I do love the NFL playoffs and, of course, the Super Bowl! Whether you watch the Super Bowl for the game itself or you only tune in for the commercials, I bet many of you will agree with me that the very best part of Super Bowl Sunday is the food. And if you're also a fan of the food, I encourage you to put these Slow Cooker Root Beer Pulled Pork Sliders on your menu this year!
Y'all...this root beer pulled pork is so good. And I love that it's a great make-ahead recipe, meaning that you can make the day (or days) before, and then simply reheat at party time. I don't know about you, but getting as much cooking out of the way ahead of time helps make party day less stressful and more enjoyable for this easily frazzled hostess.
And now to tell you a little bit more about these sliders. Good gracious do I love them! The pork itself is so easy to make that I'm almost embarrassed to call it a recipe. All you do is toss your hunk of pork roast into the slow cooker with a can of root beer and a whopping two other ingredients. That's it. And then, since your whole day has been freed up by the wonder that is a crock pot, you go ahead and invest a tad bit of time into making a batch of homemade barbecue sauce and some creamy, crunchy coleslaw to go on top of your heavenly little sandwiches. I'm telling you, a cumulative 30 minutes of work is so worth the final, delectable results.
How to Make Root Beer Pulled Pork in the Slow Cooker
Here's the typical method to the madness.
- Measure out your Best Ever BBQ Sauce ingredients into a pot and let that start bubbling away on the stove. (If you want to use your favorite bottled sauce instead, you can just skip this step.)
- Place the pork and root beer in the slow cooker, season with minced garlic and pepper, slap on the lid, and set the crock pot to LOW.
- Next it's time to whip up the dressing for the slaw (which takes a whole two minutes) and stir in the shredded broccoli mix, which you can find sold in a bag in the produce section of many grocery stores.
- By the time the pork is starting to cook and the slaw is in the refrigerator, your barbecue sauce will have just about simmered long enough. Allow it to cool a bit before transferring it into a container and popping it in the fridge to keep the broccoli slaw company.
- Then at the end of the day, when the pork is done cooking, simply drain off the root beer, remove any fat, shred the pork, put it back into the slow cooker, stir in the barbecue sauce, and allow it all to cook a bit longer until heated through.
- Finally...finally(!!!)...it's time to pile some of your sweet, tangy pork onto tender little Hawaiian rolls (or you can use your favorite slider buns) and top with a generous mound of slaw. Yum, yum, YUM.
A Few Notes on the Broccoli Slaw
The Creamy Broccoli Slaw is not required for these sliders but it's definitely recommended. I will tell you now that I don't actually care for raw broccoli, but I adore this broccoli slaw on these sliders! Besides, if my persnickety 4-year-old happily eats it, you know it's good.
You could use shredded cabbage instead, which of course you could even chop up yourself, but I really like the slightly crunchier texture that the shredded broccoli lends to these sliders. Not to mention the fact that I can buy it ready-to-go and that ends up being one less thing I have to do... 😉
I do think that it's important to make your slaw in morning (or at least several hours ahead of time) so that the broccoli has time to hang out in the dressing all day. This allows the flavors to meld together, and it also softens up the raw veggies just a bit. By the time you're ready to eat and the flavors of the slaw are all blended, nobody will ever even guess that they're eating broccoli unless you tell them. Or, in my husband's case, unless they spy the empty bag on the counter that says BROCCOLI SLAW. Oops.
Folks, I implore you to try these tasty little sandwiches! I think you will be especially pleased with the results if you take the time to make the easy, homemade barbecue sauce and whip up the yummy slaw to top your sandwiches. We regularly enjoy these sliders for ordinary weeknight dinners, after which I either freeze the leftover pulled pork for a later meal or use it to whip up something like quesadillas, nachos, or Cheesy Biscuit Cups on a subsequent night. But these sliders really shine at a party, where a crock pot full of pork goes a long way and everyone can assemble their sandwiches to their liking.
Finally, if you scroll below the recipe, I also hope that the printable football position drink tags are a hit (and help avoid mixed-up beverages) when you watch the Super Bowl in a couple of weeks.
Have a great week, friends! And one last thing that I just have to know...Broncos or Seahawks? 😉
Slow Cooker Root Beer Pulled Pork Recipe
Slow Cooker Root Beer Pulled Pork Sliders
- 4 pound boneless pork butt (shoulder roast)
- 12 ounces root beer, preferably made with real sugar
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 cups Best Ever Barbecue Sauce, OR 1 (16-ounce) bottle of your favorite store-bought brand
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 to 3 packages Hawaiian rolls OR other small slider buns
- Trim fat from pork and pierce all over surface with a knife. Place pork in slow cooker, pour root beer over top, and scatter garlic over surface, pressing into meat. Sprinkle liberally with pepper. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours.
- While pork is cooking, prepare the homemade barbecue sauce (if using) and the Broccoli Slaw
- Remove the pork from the slow cooker and place on a cutting board. Discard fat, cut meat into chunks with a knife, and then shred the chunks with two forks. Drain the liquid from the slow cooker and add the shredded meat back to the crock. Stir in 2 cups barbecue sauce (or more, if desired). You may also add a splash of water if the sauce seems too thick. Heat on low for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until heated through.
- Serve pulled pork on Hawaiian rolls topped with Broccoli Slaw.
- Although it's leaner and more expensive, I sometimes use pork loin instead of pork shoulder if that's what I have on hand.
- I prefer using natural root beer made with cane sugar (as opposed to high fructose corn syrup).
- For slow cooker recipes, I usually use the type of fresh minced garlic that you buy in a big jar and store in the refrigerator. It's quick to toss into crock pot recipes and since it ends up cooking for so long, I don't notice the end result being any different than if I took the time to mince fresh garlic cloves myself. I also tend to add more garlic than called for when it comes to crock pot recipes.
- Cooking on low is recommended for the most tender meat, but if you don't have 9 to 10 hours to cook this recipe on low, you may cook it in half the time on high. However, be sure to heat in barbecue sauce at the end on low heat.
- Depending on how much meat you put on each bun, this recipe should make between 2 and 3 dozen sliders.
Creamy Broccoli Slaw Recipe
Creamy Broccoli Slaw
- 20 ounces broccoli slaw
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt (OR sour cream)
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon celery salt
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, yogurt, Dijon, vinegar, sugar, and celery salt. Stir in the broccoli slaw until well coated. Taste and add salt and pepper, as desired. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.
- Broccoli slaw is a mixture of shredded broccoli stalks, carrots, and red cabbage that can be found in a bag in the produce section of your grocery store. Alternatively, you may use shredded cabbage or regular coleslaw mix instead.
- This quantity is enough to serve as a sandwich topping with 4 pounds of pulled pork. When I make this recipe for my family of five to eat, I cut it in half.
More Sandwiches for Supper
- Slow Cooker Honey Balsamic Shredded Beef Sandwiches
- Bacon & Blue Cheese Egg Salad Sandwiches
- The ULTIMATE Stuffed Cheeseburger Sliders
- Caprese Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Bonus Super Bowl Party Drink Tags!
For a football-watching party, I thought it would be fun to create drink tags listing out some of the various football positions. When setting up your drink station, simply supply a pile of these cut-out tags, some cute string or twine, and a few Sharpie markers. That way, party-goers can write their names on their desired tags and then tie them onto their drinks, and voilà! Nobody is going to lose their drink at your party!
Click HERE >>> for the DRINK TAGS PRINTABLEThis Super Bowl Party Drink Tags printable is a high-resolution PDF.
You may print these tags on cardstock, cut them out with scissors, and use
a hole punch to punch a hole in the top and tie them onto drinks with twine or string.
For personal use only, please. Enjoy!