Cafe Rio Copycat Sweet Pulled Pork

Sweet Pulled Pork Recipe from Craft Quickies

If you haven’t been to a Cafe Rio you are missing out, my friends.  For real.  It is a chain that is all over Utah and has started to spread throughout the western United States.  The first time that I went to a Cafe Rio I wasn’t all that impressed.  Sorry, but it’s true.  I thought it was good, but not worth the crazy wait.  And then I tried the sweet pulled pork, and everything changed.  Mmmm…..sweet pulled pork.

There are a million copycat recipes out there for Cafe Rio’s sweet pulled pork.  I am aware of that.  Some use Coke, some use enchilada sauce, some are quite elaborate.  But this one is my family’s version and I want to share it with you because it is the easiest one that I can imagine, which I why I use it.  I am  lazy like that.  I’m not gonna lie: it’s not as amazing as the real deal.  But neither are any of those other recipes.  I have tried many of them.  But it IS delicious and as close as I’m gonna get outside of the restaurant.

Sweet Pulled Pork

On Friday I shared our version of Cafe Rio’s Cilantro Lime Ranch Salad Dressing.  You can use this pork and that dressing to create a taco salad using tortillas, black beans, rice, lettuce, chips, and pico de gallo.  I like to order the salad in the restaurant, but at home I always go for a simple burrito with meat, lettuce, tomato, cilantro lime ranch dressing, and a bit of sour cream.  Really, the possibilities are endless.  Enjoy!

Sweet Pulled Pork

Sweet Pulled Pork


  • 2 lbs pork tenderloin
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 cup brown sugar


  1. Place the tenderloin in a crock pot.
  2. Dump a cup of salsa and a cup of brown sugar on top of the meat.
  3. Let it cook for 4-5 hours on high. You can cook it longer on low.
  4. When about 1 hour remains, shred the pork with a fork--during the final hour, it will soak up all the juices.
  5. Now eat up! Yum.

If you enjoyed this recipe then you may also like:

This copycat Cafe Rio cilantro-lime dressing comes together in minutes and is great on meat and salads!

Cilantro Lime Ranch Salad Dressing

Magic Cookie Bars are the simplest but most delicious cookie recipe! A family favorite!

Christopher Robin Magic Cookie Bars

Spinach Tomato Tortellini

Creamy Spinach Tomato Tortellini

Sarah Westover McKenna
Sarah is the scattered creative mind behind Bombshell Bling. A former elementary school teacher and a current stay-at-home mom, she loves developing her creativity through her blog and her jewelry design business, Bombshell Bling Jewelry. Sarah is a lover of all things vintage, colorful, and BLING. She is also a sweets addict with a major obsession with s'mores.
Sarah Westover McKenna
Sarah Westover McKenna
Sarah Westover McKenna

Latest posts by Sarah Westover McKenna (see all)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>