These slow-cooker pork tacos are sweet, savory and beyond flavorful. The pork is rubbed with spices, slow-cooked, and shredded. Wrap the pork in tortillas and top with pickled onions and jalapenos!

pork taco on white plate topped with pickled onions and cilantro

Year after year, this is one of my family’s all-time favorite recipes. It is based on my favorite slow-cooker pork tenderloin recipe, but made in taco form. For another favorite pork recipe try these Pork Tenderloin Medallions with Apples.

It doesn’t get much better than flavorful shredded pork topped with pickled onions and wrapped up in a warm tortilla. Try making a batch of homemade gluten-free tortillas to serve with this!

Ingredients for the Slow-Cooker Pork

ingredients to make slow cooker pork on white background
  • Pork tenderloin: Pork tenderloin usually comes in packs of 2. You’ll need both for this recipe.
  • Brown sugar: Gives the pork a delicious sweet-smoky taste. The sugar balances perfectly with the garlic and hot sauce.
  • Garlic: This recipe calls for a full 2 tablespoons of garlic. But just trust it! It doesn’t overpower the dish and rather lends a delicious savory flavor.
  • Hot sauce: This pork doesn’t taste spicy. The hot sauce simply rounds out the other flavors. My kids eat this dish all the time and don’t notice any spice. If you’d like it spicier feel free to add more hot sauce!
  • Spices: Cinnamon, cumin and chili powder make the best combination. You use the spices to form a crust on the pork.

How to Make the Pork

step by step photos of how to make slow cooker pork tenderloin

This recipe requires a few extra steps to get into the slow-cooker, but it’s 100% worth the effort. Browning the meat makes a huge difference in the flavor of these tacos.

  • On a large plate, combine the salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, and cinnamon.
  • Rub the spice mixture evenly over the pork tenderloins.
  • Heat the oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Add the pork and brown on all sides, 4-5 minutes per side. Transfer the pork to the slow cooker.
  • Add 1/2 cup of water to the pan and scrape any browned bits to deglaze. Pour the liquid into the slow-cooker.
all ingredients to make pork tacos in slow cooker before cooking
  • Add the brown sugar, garlic, and hot sauce. Combine and cook on low for 4-6 hours.
shredded pork tenderloin in slow cooker after cooking
  • Shred the meat before serving and mix with the sauce. Season it with more salt, hot sauce and sugar if needed. I almost always add a little more salt.

How to Make Pickled Onions

I absolutely love the flavor this is pork with pickled onions and jalapenos. I make a jar of them around the time I get the pork into the slow-cooker. The longer they sit the better!

step by step photos of how to make pickled onions
  • Thinly slice the jalapenos and onions.
  • Whisk together the vinegar, sugar, salt, and water. Stir until dissolved.
  • Layer the onions and jalapenos in a jar. You can also simply place them in a bowl.
  • Pour over the vinegar mixture and let everything sit for least 30 minutes.

The pickled onions will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator. They’re delicious in wraps, salads and so much more!

pickled onions in mason jar with fork on marble background

How to Serve the Slow-Cooker Pork Tacos

To assemble the pork tacos, lightly cook corn tortillas in a thin layer of oil if desired. Layer the tortilla with the pork, pickled onions/jalapenos, queso fresco or feta cheese (or any cheese you like!) and more hot sauce.

Storage/Make-Ahead

Store any leftover pork in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to 4 days. The pickled onions will keep for up to a week.

For another delicious dish, make tacos out of this instant pot shredded beef!

shredded pork tenderloin in white bowl topped with cilantro on marble background

I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you try it be sure to leave me a comment/rating below. I’d love to hear from you!

5 from 4 votes

Slow-Cooker Sweet Pork Tacos

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 7 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 7 hrs 45 mins
Servings 6 servings
These slow-cooker pork tacos are sweet, savory and beyond flavorful. The pork is rubbed with spices, slow-cooked, and shredded. Wrap the pork in tortillas and top with pickled onions and jalapenos!

Ingredients

For the Pork:

  • 2 pounds of pork tenderloin
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce

For the Pickled Onions (optional):

  • 1/2 a red onion very thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeno very thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup water

For the Tacos:

  • Warm corn tortillas
  • Optional toppings: Avocado, feta or queso fresco cheese, hot sauce

Instructions 

For the Pork:

  • On a large plate, combine the salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, and cinnamon. Rub the spice mixture evenly over the pork tenderloins.
  • Heat the oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Add the pork and brown on all sides, 4-5 minutes per side. Remove the heat from the pan. Transfer the pork to the slow cooker.
  • Add 1/2 cup of water to the hot, now-empty pan and scrape any browned bits to deglaze. Pour the liquid into the slow-cooker. Add the brown sugar, garlic, and hot sauce. Combine and cook on low for 4-6 hours. (Now is a good time to make the pickled onions so they can sit!)
  • Shred the meat before serving and mix with the sauce. Season it with more salt, hot sauce and sugar if needed. I almost always add a little more salt.

For the Pickled Onions:

  • Thinly slice the jalapeños and onions. Whisk together the vinegar, sugar, salt, and water. Stir until dissolved.
  • Layer the onions and jalapeños in a jar. You can also simply place them in a bowl. Pour over the vinegar mixture and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, preferably a few hours.

For the Tacos:

  • Lightly cook some corn tortillas if desired. Do this by heating a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1-2 teaspoons of oil and once heated add 2-3 tortillas. Cook on each side for 1-2 minutes. Place the cooked tortillas on a paper-towel lined plate to drain.
  • Top with some of the pork, pickled onions, feta (or cheese of choice), avocado and hot sauce. Enjoy!

Notes

Ingredient Notes:
  • Pork tenderloin: Pork tenderloin usually comes in packs of 2. You’ll need both for this recipe.
  • Brown sugar: Gives the pork a delicious sweet-smoky taste. The sugar balances perfectly with the garlic and hot sauce.
  • Garlic: This recipe calls for a full 2 tablespoons of garlic. But just trust it! It doesn’t overpower the dish and rather lends a delicious savory flavor.
  • Hot sauce: This pork doesn’t taste spicy. The hot sauce simply rounds out the other flavors. My kids eat this dish all the time and don’t notice any spice. If you’d like it spicier feel free to add more hot sauce!
  • Spices: Cinnamon, cumin and chili powder make the best combination. You use the spices to form a crust on the pork.
Storage/Make-Ahead
Store any leftover pork in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to 4 days. The pickled onions will keep for up to a week.

Nutrition

Calories: 383kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 1512mg | Potassium: 680mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 99IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 2mg

This recipe was originally published in May 2014. It was republished with new photos and step-by-step instructions in January 2021.

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Hi, I’m Erin!

BS Food Science,

MS Nutrition

I believe you can make amazing, gluten-free food with everyday ingredients that everyone will enjoy. I’m here to share my tried-and-true recipes with you!

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Comments

  1. For the pickled onions, it mentions jalapenos but I don’t see that listed as an ingredient. Do you use jalapenos and if so, how many?

  2. 5 stars
    Yum, these made the most delicious dinner that the WHOLE family enjoyed! That’s a big deal in our family. Thanks 🙂

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