Cafe Rio Pork

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Café Rio Sweet Pork – just like you’d get in the restaurant. Now you can make it at home in your slow cooker! Use for Salads, tacos, burritos, and more!

Cafe Rio is a quick service Mexican chain restaurant that is the Southwest part of the country.  They have salads, burritos, tacos and more that you kind of “build your own” as you go through the line.  They are especially known for their their sweet pork. 

Cafe Rio Sweet Pork is super tender, juicy, and yes it has a sweet flavor.  I personally get it on my taco salad, topped with the house Cafe Rio Dressing when I go, and it is one of my favorite lunches! 

A close up of food on a table, with Pork and Slow cooker


The Café Rio pork recipe is a highly sought after recipe, there are a lot of different versions out there to try to get the same exactly flavor.  I am sure this is not exactly how they do it, but the end result tastes almost exactly the same.  The best part is all the work is done in the crock pot, so you just spend a few minutes getting it ready in the morning and then you have this delicious Cafe Rio sweet pork recipe waiting for you at night. 

What You’ll Need

  • Boneless Pork Loin
  • 2 liter of Coke
  • Brown Sugar
  • Garlic Salt
  • Onion Salt
  • Chili Powder
  • Ground Cumin
  • Diced Green Chiles
  • Enchilada Sauce
Cafe Rio Pork {Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts}

How to Make Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Recipe

Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the post for the FULL PRINTABLE recipe card.

  1. This does take time, and you need to start the night before.  Combine everything for the marinade and let it sit in the fridge overnight.  
  2. The next morning everything goes in the crock pot. Remove the pork from the marinade and discard anything is left.  Then sprinkle the pork evenly with all the seasonings and place in the crock pot with the cola and let it cook all day.  
  3. After the pork is tender and cooked, remove it from the crock pot and use 2 forks to shred it.  
  4. Take all the liquid that is in the base of the crock pot and blend it with the ingredients for the sauce until it is smooth.  You can use a stick blender, a traditional blender or even a food processor.  Once the sauce is smooth add it and the pork back to the crock pot and let it cook for an additional 20-30 minutes to get everything nice and hot.  

I absolutely love using the slow cooker to make dinner. Especially when it takes all day, and I don’t have to worry about it. I just come home to an amazing smelling house and put the final touches together and dinner is ready.

How To Serve Cafe Rio Pork

You can use the pork to top a salad, put in quesadillas, tacos, burritos, top nachos and so much more.  It makes a ton, so you can mix up the leftovers all week long! 

And don’t forget your Cilantro Lime Rice and Cafe Rio Dressing to complete any meal!

Food on the cutting board, with Dinner and Pork

Can I Use The Instant Pot

Yes, you can and it will make delicious pork!

  1. After the pork has marinated and it would be put in the crockpot, cut it into about 3 inch cubes.
  2. Place it in the Instant Pot, as well as everything else called for in the recipe. Put the lid on, lock, set to high pressure for 45 minutes. Let it naturally release for 10 minutes, and then quick release to finish.
  3. You should be able to shred pork at this point. Add it back to the Instant Pot with the remaining ingredients, turn the IP on Saute, and let it cook for 15-20 more minutes to make the sauce.
close up shredded pork on a cutting board

More Copycat Recipes to Try

Yield: 10

Cafe Rio Pork

Cafe Rio Pork {Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts}

Café Rio pork just like you'd get in the restaurant. Now you can make it at home in your slow cooker!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 9 hours
Total Time 9 hours 15 minutes



  • 3 pound boneless pork loin
  • 12 oz Coke
  • ¼ cup brown sugar


  • 12 oz Coke
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground Cumin


  • 12 oz Coke
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies
  • 1 (10 oz) can red enchilada sauce


    1. Mix together Coke and brown sugar for the marinade.  Place in a large sealable plastic bag.  Add pork loin, and massage to coat.  Place in the fridge for 8 hours, to overnight. 
    2. Remove pork from marinade and place in slow cooker.  Sprinkle pork evenly with garlic salt, onion salt, chili powder and cumin. 
    3. Pour coke over pork.  Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours until tender and you can shred.
    4. After the pork is tender, remove from slow cooker and use 2 forks to shred. Pour out the liquid in the slow cooker.  Add pork back to slow cooker.
    5. In a blender or food processor combine all of the ingredients for the sauce. 
    6. Pour over pork, stirring to coat.  Cook for an additional 20-30 minutes until heated through. 


See notes in post for Instant Pot directions

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 384Total Fat 12gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 109mgSodium 473mgCarbohydrates 31gFiber 0gSugar 29gProtein 36g

Nutrition Disclaimer: All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on should only be used as a general guideline.

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About Erin S

Welcome to Dinners, Dishes, & Desserts where my love of food meets my busy life. My name is Erin and I’m a casual home cook who loves to feed people. On this blog, you’ll find hundreds of quick and easy recipes made mostly from scratch. My days are spent in the kitchen, creating new recipes to share with family and friends.

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  1. Oh my word! This is to die for! Definitely going to be a part of our regular rotation. Even though it takes a while to make, it is not very hands-on and is easy!!! So glad I stumbled across this.

  2. I adore this recipe. Makes the absolute best tacos! The instant pot makes this so easy to whip up. Thanks for a yummy recipe! 🙂