These pulled pork sliders combine Asian slaw with BBQ pulled pork and a touch of tangy pickled red onion for the ultimate backyard party or game day treat that will leave your guests asking for more!
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Whether it’s a summer backyard party or a high rivalry game day party, BBQ pulled pork sandwiches are a welcome addition to the menu. They are tasty, easy to make and offer great options for customizing.
And you know I’m all about creating something a bit unique so I added a bit of bourbon BBQ sauce and Asian slaw to these sandwiches, which are also perfect for a weeknight dinner and leave you with leftovers for lunch.
I normally focus on small batch recipes, usually two to four servings however since this is easy to make in a larger quantity you’ll get 8 -10 servings out of this recipe depending on how your serve the sandwiches and what size rolls you use.
What’s the best cut of Pork for Pulled Pork?
A quick trip to the meat counter or butcher shop and you’ll know there are many options when it comes to pork. Normally my go to is a nice pork tenderloin, however, when you are making pulled pork you want something with a little bit more fat. It gives you nice flavor and helps to keep the pork juicy and tender. My recommendation is pork shoulder. Look for a piece that is on the leaner side or ask the butcher to trim it for you. This keeps you from having big fat deposits when you are trying to shred the pork.
Making Pulled Pork Sandwiches
These sandwiches start with my Instant Pot Pulled Pork that keeps getting more flavorful as it sits in the fridge, making it perfect for make-ahead menus and weekly meal planning.
The beauty of using your Instant Pot to make the pulled pork is the majority of time for this recipe becomes hands-off, making is really easy and not very time-consuming. Though it takes about an hour, the Instant Pot is pretty much “set it and forget it” which means that is all time when can be doing other things like making the slaw or reading a great book!
To start the pork shoulder gets generously seasoned with a flavor-packed rub and cooked in your pressure cooker until tender and juicy. Then you add your favorite BBQ sauce – I recommend one with a touch of bourbon. You can either buy it or make it. If you’re in the mood to make your own I like this one from Epicurious.
Meal Prep Tips
You can easily make the pulled pork during your weekly meal prep or if you are doing this for a party, a day or two ahead of time.
You can always make the dressing for the slaw a couple of days in advance, however I recommend mixing with the slaw shortly before serving so it doesn’t get too soggy.
Let’s Talk about Pickled Red Onions
I just love pickled red onions. They are super easy to make and can be added to just about anything – salads, sandwiches and even tacos. When you are making them for this recipe I highly recommend whipping up a double batch so you have extras on hand for later. They will keep for a couple of weeks in your refrigerator. This makes them a great addition to your weekly meal prep plans!
Party Planning Tips
If you are making these for a party I recommend one of two methods for serving.
- These can be served warm or at room temperature, so either put the pulled pork on a serving platter or in your crock pot/Instant Pot. Add smaller bowls for the slaw and pickled onions. Slice and toast the buns then set them out separately. Lay it all out on the table and let your guests create their own sandwiches. This choice is great if you are having a larger party and don’t want to do much prep work.
- Preassemble the sandwiches and set them out. This works best if you are having a smaller party or if you are serving them more as a main dish and can set them out after some of the snacks and appetizers have been served.
Things you may Want for this Recipe
Instant Pot – I’ve mentioned before that I have become a big fan of the Instant Pot. You can use it for some many different things. I personally like the 3-quart size but if you often cook for more than two people the 6-quart works well too.
Dash, Pinch, Smidgen Measuring Spoons – I just love these little measuring spoons. Even though you can eyeball these measurements, they are actual measurements so it’s nice to have a set of spoons so you can be accurate. Plus, they are super cute!
Wide Mouth Mason Jars – These are a great size for making a double batch of pickled onions. I also use them for storing ingredients and leftovers. I think they are a kitchen must.
Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders
- For the pickled onions:
- ½ cup thinly sliced red onion
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- ½ tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup very warm water
For the sandwiches:
- 1 recipe pulled pork
- ½ cup BBQ sauce
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon agave
- ½ teaspoon soy sauce
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- pinch of ginger
- 2 ½ cups of cole slaw or Asian salad mix
- 8 - 10 mini rolls
- Pickle the onions. Add the red onions to a mason jar or other airtight container. Mix the vinegar, sugar, salt and water in a small bowl and stir until the sugar dissolves. Pour over the onions, seal the lid of the container and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
- Cook the pork. If you didn't do so ahead of time, prepare the pulled pork according to the recipe. Once it's ready, add the BBQ sauce and mix well. Keep warm or refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Make the slaw. While the pork is cooking mix the mayo, vinegar, agave, soy sauce, salt, pepper and ginger in a small bowl. Mix the dressing with the slaw and chill until ready to serve (see note).
- Assemble the sandwiches. If you like, toast the buns then top with pulled pork, slaw and some pickled onions.
- If you are making this ahead of time keep the dressing separate from the slaw mixture until an hour or so before you are ready to serve.
- The cook time listed includes time for pressure cooking the pork shoulder. You'll still need that time for the onions to pickle.