Wednesday, January 22, 2020

BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders with Vinegar Slaw

Quick & easy sliders made with slow cooker pulled pork, sweet & smoky BBQ sauce, and crunchy vinegar slaw. This is excellent for using up leftover shredded pork & it's a good excuse to make a big batch. Serve them as a budget-friendly party appetizer or a simple weeknight meal.

Quick & Easy BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders with Vinegar Slaw

When I want to stretch my food budget, I almost always fix one of my tried-and-true main dishes: slow cooker pork shoulder. I like to think of it as the pork equivalent of a chuck roast, but it typically costs much less per pound than its beef counterpart.

I can prep a huge pork shoulder (sometimes called pork butt or shoulder roast) in about 10 minutes and many hours later, I have TONS of juicy, shreddable meat that's easy to use for meals throughout the week or freeze for later.

Want to know the best part? The recipe is seasoned so it can work as carnitas in a variety of Mexican-inspired recipes like street-style tacos, baked nachos, burrito bowls, enchiladas, or tostadas. also tastes amazing mixed with barbecue sauce to make pulled pork style recipes like these sliders.

It's super versatile, which is a good thing so you don't get bored when you're trying to meal plan & still save money.

When I order pulled pork sandwiches from BBQ restaurants here in Texas or Kansas, my favorites are the ones topped with coleslaw, so that's how I like to make it at home.

Crunchy slaw + juicy, slightly fatty pork + flavor-packed barbecue sauce = heaven!

Even better if the meat is smoked, but hey...we're keeping it simple for the weeknight cook here. That's why I love crock-pot bbq pork ribs when I can't get the smoked version.

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Ingredients For BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders with Vinegar Slaw

Tips For Making Pulled Pork Sliders 

In my humble opinion, one of the best ways to create a good pulled pork sandwich (or in this case slider) at home is to make sure the coleslaw and barbecue sauce have contrasting elements.

So, if your preference is a sweet, thick & smoky (maybe even a bit spicy) Kansas City-style barbecue sauce like what I'm using today, you'll want to fix a vinegar-based slaw to help cut through the sweet sauce.

However, if you love tangy Carolina-style barbecue sauces (they're typically more vinegary and some even have mustard depending on the region) then you'll want to use a creamy slaw to help balance out the vinegar forward flavors.

Another tip: use a barbecue sauce you LOVE. Nothing that tastes meh. I can think of several brands in my head right now but they will remain unmentioned.

Some of my preferred Kansas City style sauces right now are Rufus Teague (I love to serve the spicy one with my smoked sausage & potato sheet pan dinner) and Night of the Living Bar-B-Que from Joe's Kansas City (my fav BBQ restaurant ever).

Last Tip: If you're using homemade pulled pork, save the cooking juices (a.k.a. drippings) and mix some into the shredded pork to help keep it moist and then a bit more into the barbecue sauce to add extra flavor. And if you want to make these sliders over-the-top good, smear the inside of the buns (top & bottom) with soft spreadable cheese or smoked cream cheese for extra richness & moisture.

Easy BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders

Bread Options For Sliders

Sliders are becoming way more popular, so it's fairly easy to find smaller sized rolls or buns in the bakery or bread aisle of most grocery stores.

The ones I used here were mini brioche rolls from my local Central Market, so if you have access to a good bakery you're probably in luck.

The most widely available option for slider bread is King's Hawaiian rolls (or any other comparable Hawaiian sweet roll), so you may want to try that first if your choices are limited.

The most important thing is to choose bread rolls or mini buns that are soft. You don't want something dense or chewy because the filling will spill everywhere when you take a bite.

If needed, you can use larger slices of bread & cut them into quarters. Potato bread, challah, and brioche loaves are good options since they're softer.

What To Serve with These Sliders

If you want to serve these sliders as a well-rounded meal instead of as an appetizer, pair them with simple sides like macaroni salad, mustard potato salad, brown sugar brussels sprouts, raw carrot saladbaked beans with ground beef, old-fashioned three bean salad, charro beans, instant pot great northern beansgreen bean salad

Or how about hot German potato salad, this traditional deli potato salad, healthy creamy pea salad, corn pudding, corn on the cob, brown sugar green beans, or slow cooker BBQ green beans with bacon. Lots of delicious ideas!

Easy Pulled Pork Sliders with BBQ Sauce & Vinegar Slaw

More Easy Appetizer Recipes: 

pulled pork sliders, slow cooker, bbq, easy, slaw, coleslaw
Yield: 12 sliders (6 servings as an appetizer; 4 as a main course)

BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders with Vinegar Slaw

BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders with Vinegar Slaw

prep time: 10 Mcook time: 5 Mtotal time: 15 M
Quick & easy sliders made with slow cooker pulled pork, sweet & smoky BBQ sauce, and crunchy vinegar slaw. This is excellent for using up leftover shredded pork & it's a good excuse to make a big batch. Serve them as a budget-friendly party appetizer or a simple weeknight meal.


  • 12 slider rolls
  • 1 cup of sweet & smoky Kansas City-style barbecue sauce + extra for topping
  • 1/2 cup of cooking juices from the pork (optional)*
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 4 1/2 cups of shredded slow cooker pulled pork**
  • 2 cups of red cabbage coleslaw (or your favorite vinegar slaw)


How to cook BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders with Vinegar Slaw

  1. Place the slider buns on the middle rack of your oven and set it to 375 degrees (no need to preheat). Set a timer for 3-5 minutes and remove the rolls when they're lightly toasted to your liking.
  2. Meanwhile, place the coleslaw on the counter to take the chill off, then melt the butter and set aside. Combine the barbecue sauce and cooking juices (optional) in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until warmed through.
  3. Measure the pulled pork into a mixing bowl, add the warmed barbecue sauce and stir until all the meat is coated.
  4. Assemble each slider as followers: Place a heaping 1/4 cup of the pulled pork onto the bottom of the roll. Top with extra barbecue sauce (I use 1 tablespoon per slider) then 2-3 tablespoons of coleslaw. Place the top slider roll over the slaw and brush with melted butter.
  5. If desired, stick a large toothpick into the middle of each slider so they're easier to hold (ideal for party appetizers). Serve immediately while warm and store any leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge. Eat the leftovers within 2-3 days so the bread doesn't get soggy or hard.


*If you cooked the pork with lots of spices, add a few tablespoons of the juices at a time and taste the barbecue sauce to make sure it's not overpowering the flavor of the sauce. **If you're using leftover pulled pork straight from the fridge, reheat it in a skillet on the stove over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes (do this while the barbecue sauce is warming to save time). Reheating Leftovers: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, place the assembled sliders in a casserole dish, cover with foil, and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the sliders are warm all the way through. Remove the foil and bake uncovered for another 2-3 minutes until the tops are slightly toasty again.

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Quick & easy sliders made with slow cooker pulled pork, sweet & smoky BBQ sauce, and crunchy vinegar slaw. This is excellent for using up leftover shredded pork & it's a good excuse to make a big batch. Serve them as a budget-friendly party appetizer or a simple weeknight meal.

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