Slow Cooker Garlic Cuban Pork

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Slow Cooker Cuban Pork made with garlic, citrus, and spices is an easy dinner that can be used in so many ways. Serve it with rice and beans, as sandwiches, over greens, and more.

237 CAL 10g CARBS 9g FAT 29g PROTEIN
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Crockpot Garlic Cuban Pork comes out packed with flavor and perfectly tender. This easy Cuban pork dish is made with a combination of orange and lime juice, cumin, and garlic. The ingredients are simple but the flavors are amazing. 

It's no secret that pork is one of my favorite lean meats and then put it in the slow cooker? So good. This way of cooking it guarantees fork-tender, delicious pork every time and also means hardly any work. Just throw a few things in the slow cooker in the morning and by dinner time everything is ready.

Serve it in a traditional manner with steamed rice and black beans, it's an easy dinner everyone will love. You can also turn this into really tasty pork tacos with black beans and slaw.

While I've shared a recipe for just plain slow cooker pork before, I decided to jazz this one up a bit with the garlic and Cuban flavors. What does that mean, exactly? Well, when you add some citrus juice, lots of garlic, and Cuban spices, your taste buds get whisked away. 

Crockpot shredded Cuban pork with cilantro, fresh limes, white rice, and black beans on a plate.

What Makes Cuban Food Cuban?

Cuban food is actually a blend of several different regional foods, like Spanish, African, and that of several Caribbean islands. Cuban cooking often features the use of bay leaves, oregano, cumin, garlic, and oregano and often some time of acid like vinegar or citrus juices.

Popular Cuban dishes you may have heard of include Arroz con Pollo (rice with chicken), Ropa Vieja (shredded beef and tomatoes served over rice), and Picadillo (ground beef with olives, potatoes, and green beans).

How to Serve This Dish?

Some great ways to serve this Slow Cooker Garlic Cuban Pork include:

  • Over rice with some lovely black beans on the side.
  • With baked plantains.
  • Stuffed in a slider bun and topped with some shredded cabbage, and some spicy hot sauce.
  • Served inside a spaghetti squash.
  • Served plain with a side of mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower potatoes.
  • Pressed into a panini with some thin panini bread or you could even use naan. Add pickles, swiss cheese, and thinly sliced deli ham to make it Cuban style.
  • Put on top of or next to roasted cauliflower.
  • Mixed into mac and cheese.
  • Stuffed into grilled cheese or quesadillas with some low-fat cheese.

What Can I Use for Shredded Pork?

I almost always use a pork shoulder when I slow cook pork. I find that it shreds easily and is super tasty and moist. Other kinds of pork cuts you could use in the slow cooker include:

  • Shoulder roast
  • Blade roast
  • Picnic roast
  • Pork butt
  • Pork steaks
  • Blade roast
  • Pork tenderloin

Is It Possible to Overcook Pork in a Slow Cooker?

You only have to cook this pork shoulder on low for 8 hours. It's hard to overcook anything in the slow cooker on "low" (unless you forget about it for a day or something). That being said, if you put the setting on "high," you might find you end up overcooking the meat as the crock will be too hot and there won't be enough moisture to get that nice, soft, juicy shred you want.

Cuban pork with orange juice and lime juice shredded on a plate with black beans and white rice.

Side Dishes to Serve with Slow Cooker Garlic Cuban Pork

I've mentioned lots of ways to serve this Cuban shredded pork, but what about sides? I'm all about the sides. I always serve at least one vegetable as a side, usually two. Here are some of my favorite side dishes that go with this pork, are easy to make, filling, and nutritious.

  • Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice is low-carb, nutritious, counts as both a veggie and a "grain" (sort of) and pairs nicely with the flavors in the Cuban Pork.
  • Salads are always a great choice with any meal I think. I always throw together a simple side with any greens I have to use up and all my favorite veggie toppings. Add a low-calorie dressing to top it all off.
  • I've been known to microwave a bag of frozen veggies (make sure they are in the kind of bag that's meant to be microwaved) to serve on the side of lots of dishes. There's zero shame in using frozen veggies, and many are already flavored or sauced which makes it even easier!
  • Roasted veggies are also another favorite side dish of mine. These Roasted Green Beans would complement the pork and are easy to roast up in a hurry.
  • Mashed potatoes are always a great accompaniment to just about any meat as well. One of my favorite recipes is for these Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes. Just be sure to brush your teeth after this garlic-heavy meal.
  • Take inspiration from this Slow Cooker Chorizo Pork and serve this with a tasty cabbage slaw.
The Recipe
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Slow Cooker Garlic Cuban Pork

237 CAL 10g CARBS 9g FAT 29g PROTEIN
COOK TIME: 8 Hours
TOTAL TIME: 8 Hours, 5 Min
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  • 2 lbs boneless lean pork shoulder, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 oranges, juice (1/3 cup)
  • 1 lime, juice (3-4 tbsp)
  • 1.5 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 bay leaf

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Cut the pork into pieces, about 1.5-2 inches each. Add the pork to the slow cooker with the garlic, orange juice, lime juice, oregano, cumin, salt, pepper, and bay leaf.

Pork shoulder in a slow cooker with orange juice, lime juice, garlic, spices, and a bay leaf in a crockpot.

Cook on low for 8 hours. Shred with two fork

Cooked cuban pokr in a slow cooker with spices and a bay leaf.

For a traditional Cuban meal, serve with white rice, black beans, fresh cilantro, and fresh limes.

Shredded cuban pork with white rice, black beans, and fresh cilantro.
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1/2-2/3 cup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 237
Calories from Fat 80
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g
Saturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 91mg
Sodium 885mg
Total Carbohydrate 10g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 6g
Protein 29g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
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