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Slow Cooker Sunday:  Kalua Pork with Cabbage

Kalua pork is a traditional dish from Hawaii that upon first taste you would believe must be full of special ingredients due to its intense, smoky flavor. However it’s surprisingly simple when it comes to ingredients. Normally it is a pork shoulder (or a whole pig) seasoned with Hawaiian sea salt, wrapped in ti leaves, and then cooked underground until fall apart tender and delicious. So so good but since most of us don’t have the space or time for 16 hours underground, not so easy to make at home. So for the at home version, it’s best to use the slow cooker instead.

For this at home slow cooker version, we will use liquid smoke to mimic the smoky taste from the underground cooking, season a lean pork tenderloin with salt to reduce the calories and fat, and cook it low and slow until it’s fall apart tender. It’s incredibly easy, low carb and low calorie, and can be used in so many ways.

Slow Cooker Kalua Pork with Cabbage
Servings: 8
Serving Size: 1/2 cup or so
Nutritional Information: 167 calories, 5g of fat, 4.1g of carbohydrates, .7g of fiber, 22.9g of protein, .7g of sugar
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 4 *


  • 2.5 lbs. pork tenderloin or pork shoulder roast, lean with fat trimmed off
  • 1 tbsp. liquid smoke
  • 1.25 tbsp. Hawaiian salt or coarse salt or 1 tbsp. soy sauce (Trader Joe’s sells a great Hawaiian salt)
  • 1/2 cup water, chicken, or vegetable broth
  • Optional: 4-5 unpeeled whole garlic cloves
  • 3 cups cabbage, cut into 2 inch chunks


  1. Rub the pork all over with the salt and liquid smoke. Pour the broth in the slow cooker and place the pork on top.
  2. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Add the cabbage in the last 2 hours of cooking. Shred pork with two forks before serving.

* PointsPlus® calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

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I’m Kristen and I couldn’t be happier you are here. You will find a variety of healthy and delicious recipes that will not only taste great, but help you fit in your favorite jeans.

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6 Response to Slow Cooker Sunday: Kalua Pork with Cabbage

  1. Amy on April 6, 2014

    Does the cabbage go in with the meat for the entire time? Thanks!

    • justin on January 11, 2015

      No, when da meat is done you shred it. After you do that you boil some of da juice with shredded cabbage and toss it with da meat.

  2. Dareas on September 24, 2014

    Does the pork shoulder need to be thawed before cooking?

    • Kristen on September 25, 2014

      It should be thawed out.

  3. Shaunna on February 12, 2015

    What do you serve this with?

  4. Caffeine Clicks on April 26, 2015

    Pretty simple ingredients, making it today, hope it turns out good.


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