Apple Cider Pulled Pork with Apple Coleslaw

Apple Cider Pulled Pork with Apple Coleslaw is the perfect fall meal. Pork cooks in the slow cooker or Instant Pot with apple cider before being served in a sandwich with a homemade cabbage apple slaw recipe. No matter what you serve it for, these apple pulled pork sandwiches make a lovely meal. Makes 6 servings.

Love pulled pork? Check out Pumpkin Pulled Pork Bowls, BBQ Pulled Pork Pizza and Pulled Pork Coleslaw Eggrolls!

Three Apple Cider Pulled Pork with Apple Cabbage Slaw are served on buns on a white platter

The older my girls get, the more I rely on the slow cooker and Instant Pot for dinner. (Because let’s be real: cooking during witching hour is a challenge.)

This Apple Cider Pulled Pork recipe with Apple Slaw is an old favorite of ours because it’s wonderfully simple.

The part that takes the longest is making the coleslaw for pulled pork, which can be partially done at naptime when I have free hands and no toddlers weaving through my legs.

Why I love this recipe

Slow cooker pulled pork and I have a long history together. (Hi, hello. Have you seen this Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork from the early days of TSP?)

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    For this recipe, I wanted the pork to taste like fall, which we achieve through the addition of apple cider and cinnamon, which the pork cooks low and slow with all day.

    In addition to this sweet-and-savory pulled pork, the apple coleslaw has a wonderful sweet-tartness, too, with a bit of heat. It’s a twist on a classic coleslaw and a classic side dish to pair with pulled pork.

    Now, I’m a Memphis girl through and through… and I will always, always, always require my pulled pork sandwich to come with slaw directly ON the sandwich. (Just like this Memphis-Style BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches.)

    I highly encourage you to do the same, though you can serve your apple slaw on the side.

    If you’re looking for dishes to serve alongside sandwiches like these, check out What to Serve with Pulled Pork Sandwiches.

    Other fall-flavored dinner recipes the whole family enjoys: Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice | Cinnamon Apple Pork Chops | Shiner Bock Beer Chili | Pear BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Pear Slaw

    Looking for dinner recipe inspiration? Don’t miss this Entrees Recipe Index.

    Collage showing ingredients for cider pork and apple slaw

    What you need to make this recipe:

    The Speckled Palate participates in affiliate programs. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases. Please refer to my disclosure page for more information about these affiliate programs.

    Let’s talk ingredients!

    In addition to the tools above, you’re going to need some ingredients to make this recipe, too! Chances are, you might already have some of them in your fridge or pantry. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full measurements and instructions.

    Here’s what you’ll need:

    • Pork butt—you can also use pork shoulder. Keep in mind that the larger the cut of meat, the longer your dish might need to cook.
    • Apple cider—please note that apple cider is different than apple cider vinegar, which is another ingredient we use in this recipe.
    • Ground cinnamon—trust me on this. It adds some great warmth and flavor, even if you wouldn’t expect it in a savory dish.
    • Apples—Granny Smith are my favorite because they’re super tart and crisp. That said, I’ve used honeycrisp apples in this recipe, too, and they are equally delicious.
    • Lemon juice—from a fresh lemon, if possible
    • Plain Greek yogurt—the fat content doesn’t matter here, though we normally use the full-fat kind because that’s what we have in our fridge.
    • Apple cider vinegar
    • Spicy brown mustard—it can be grainy or smooth
    • Honey—for a touch of sweetness to balance out the tang of the vinegar. Use your favorite brand or type!
    • Celery seed—this gives the slaw a little something extra. You’ll notice I put it in all of my coleslaws because I love its contribution!
    Collage showing how to make apple cider pork

    How to make Apple Cider Pulled Pork

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    You can make this Apple Cider Pulled Pork in the slow cooker or the Instant Pot.

    Personally, I like the slow cooker better for this recipe because it leads to a juicier end product, but I totally understand wanting to have this done a lot quicker, so I’ve done it in both several times.

    Place the pork butt into the bowl of the slow cooker.

    Add in the apple cider, cinnamon, salt and pepper, and cook on low for 7-8 hours.

    When it’s finished cooking, the pork should be falling apart.

    Remove the pork from the slow cooker, and let it cool for 10-15 minutes before removing the fat and shredding it with a fork, tongs or your fingers.

    Set aside until it’s time to eat or transfer back into the slow cooker to stay warm until dinnertime. You may do this up to an hour before serving.

    Collage showing how to make homemade apple coleslaw

    How to make Apple Cabbage Slaw

    Thinly slice the green cabbage using a sharp knife or a mandoline. You can also do this in your food processor. Transfer them to a large bowl.

    Slice apples into long, thin pieces like the cabbage using the sharp knife or mandoline. Toss them in lemon juice to prevent browning. Throw into the bowl with the shredded cabbage.

    The thinnner the cabbage and apples are sliced, the this coleslaw recipe will be to eat.

    Add in the diced pepper, if desired. We have added this in the past without issue, but I’ve noticed that our daughters have been more sensitive to heat recently, so we’ve been skipping it.

    In another bowl, combine the dressing ingredients: the yogurt, apple cider, apple cider vinegar, mustard, honey, salt, pepper and celery seed. Whisk together until combined.

    Pour the no mayo coleslaw dressing over the cabbage and apple mixture. Using tongs, toss until the slaw is well coated.

    Toast your buns, and serve the slaw over the apple cider pulled pork!

    Three apple cider pulled pork sandwiches with apple coleslaw on a white platter on a table with fall decorations

    Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips

    Slow cooker meals make for amazing entertaining dishes because they are hands off! (And quite honestly, when I’m entertaining, I want my food to be as hands off as possible.)

    • Have your apple coleslaw ingredients prepped… to an extent. This means shredding/slicing the cabbage, chopping the pepper, as well as mixing up the dressing. Keep them separate, and leave the apples out of it until you’re about ready to serve because they will brown.
    • Serve it with applicable sides… like Instant Pot Vegetarian Baked Beans, Brazilian Potato Salad and Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese!
    • Turn it into a fall BBQ bar, and let guests dress their sandwiches and plates with the items and dishes that call to them! Not only does this let your guests choose their own adventure, but it makes the set up easier on you. People can grab and prepare their plates in the kitchen before migrating to wherever you’re going to eat.
    Close up of an Apple Cider Pulled Pork Sandwich with slaw on a white plate on top of a blue striped towel

    Quick tips and tricks for the best Pulled Pork with Apple Coleslaw

    • Give the pork enough time to cook. When it’s done, it will fall apart and be incredibly easy to shred.
    • Don’t skip the apples! They’re integral to the coleslaw’s flavor, and they add a wonderful crunch.
    • Make this dish in the Instant Pot for a quicker dinner. Cook on Manual High Pressure for 30 minutes. (15 minutes per lb. for the pork butt, so make note of the weight of your piece of meat.) Manually release the pressure when done. Once pressure has been released, remove the lid and shred the pork.
    Three pulled pork sandwiches with apple slaw on a white platter with the text 'easy slow cooker apple cider pulled pork'

    Now who’s ready to make some fall-flavored pulled pork with a seasonal slaw?

    Here’s how I did it:

    Close up of an Apple Cider Pulled Pork Sandwich with slaw on a white plate on top of a blue striped towel
    Yield: 6 servings

    Apple Cider Pulled Pork with Apple Cabbage Slaw

    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 8 hours
    Total Time: 8 hours 15 minutes

    Pork and apples are an age-old combination... and this Apple Cider Pulled Pork with Apple Coleslaw is the perfect fall entree. Pork cooks in the slow cooker or Instant Pot with apple cider before being served over bread with a homemade apple coleslaw. No matter what you serve it for, these pulled pork sandwiches make a lovely meal.

    Ingredients

    Apple Cider Pulled Pork Sandwiches

    • 2 lb. pork butt
    • 2 cups apple cider
    • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
    • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
    • 6 sandwich buns

    Apple Cabbage Slaw

    • ½ head green cabbage, small (about 4 cups chopped)
    • 2 Granny Smith apples, small (about 1 ½ cups, sliced)
    • ½-1 jalapeño pepper, diced
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
    • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
    • ½ cup apple cider
    • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
    • 1 tablespoon honey
    • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
    • ½ teaspoon black pepper
    • ½ teaspoon celery seed

    Instructions

    Cook the Apple Cider Pork Butt

    1. Place the pork butt in the bowl of the slow cooker.
    2. Measure in the apple cider, cinnamon, salt and pepper.
    3. Cook on LOW for 7-8 hours.
    4. When finished cooking, remove the pork from the slow cooker. Let cool for 10-15 minutes.
    5. When the pork has cooled, remove the fat and shred using forks or your fingers.
    6. Set aside until time to eat.

    Prepare the Apple Cabbage Slaw

    1. Using a mandolin or a very sharp knife, shred the cabbage into fine, thin pieces. Place in a large bowl.
    2. Using a mandolin or a very sharp knife, slice the apples into long, thin pieces like the cabbage. Toss in the lemon juice. Add to the bowl with the cabbage.
    3. Add the diced jalapeño pepper to the bowl with the cabbage and apples.
    4. In another bowl, combine the yogurt dressing ingredients: the yogurt, apple cider, apple cider vinegar, mustard, honey, salt, pepper and celery seed. Whisk together until combined.
    5. Pour over the cabbage and apple mixture. Using tongs, toss until the slaw is well coated.

    Prepare the Sandwiches

    1. Toast and slice the sandwich buns.
    2. Place the shredded pork onto the bottom bun.
    3. Arrange coleslaw on top of the pork.
    4. Top with the top half of the bun, and enjoy immediately.

    Notes

    To make this recipe in the Instant Pot: Follow the instructions, but cook on Manual High Pressure for 30 minutes. (15 minutes per lb. for the pork butt.) Manually release the pressure when done. Once pressure has been released, remove the lid and shred the pork.

    Recommended Products

    As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

    Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    6 sandwiches

    Serving Size:

    1 sandwich

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 680Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 131mgSodium: 831mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 6gSugar: 21gProtein: 43g

    Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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    About the Author:

    Erin Parker is a Southern gal living in Texas with her husband and two daughters. She started The Speckled Palate to share what she was cooking as a newlywed… and over the years, it’s evolved to capture her love for hosting. Specifically, the EASIEST, lowest key entertaining because everyone deserves to see their people and connect over good food. Learn more about her

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    3 Comments

    1. I love making pulled pork for my fiance! This dish is going to go down a treat and definitely earn me some fiance points in the process. I love how you have infused the pork with so many great fall flavours. Now, I have to go and find my slow cooker 🙂

      1. Hi Debi!

        I wouldn’t make the slaw the day before, simply because the apple slices will brown. You can certainly prep the cabbage and make the sauce that goes on it, but keep them separate until you can combine everything the day of.

        I hope this helps and that you enjoy the recipe! If you’re celebrating, Happy Fourth, too!

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