Slow Cooker Honey Lime Salsa Verde Pork

Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Pork is wonderfully easy,  juicy, tangy and bursting with flavor! 

 My Honey Lime Salsa Verde Chicken has been one of my most popular recipes since I posted it so by popular request, I’m bringing you this equally tantalizing, and even more juicy pulled pork version – and I am obsessed.  This Slow Cooker Honey Lime Salsa Verde Pork is dripping with tenderness and tangy fiesta flavors.  It is super versatile and the perfect make-ahead meat for busy nights or for tacos, salads, burritos, fajitas, enchiladas, etc.   It also makes a ton so its fabulous for crowds or to freeze for later.  Of course, you can always half the recipe as well.  Let’s fiesta!

I love making Mexican meats in my crock pot from my Chipotle Sweet Pulled Pork and  Mexican Chicken, to my Beef Barbacoa, Carnitas and Chicken Fajitas, and now it is time to add another easy favorite to the list – Honey Lime Salsa Verde Pork!   It simmers low and slow all day, filling your home with its sensational aroma, but more importantly, come dinner time, you have endless, hassle free possibilities to serve its juicy deliciousness.

Salsa Verde is a flavor bomb all in itself with its bight, fresh, tangy, zesty, flavors so it is only right to use it as bath for slowly cooking pork.  For the ultimate salsa verde pork, I’ve also included a dynamic rub otherwise the salsa verde flavor gets dramatically diluted in the slow cooker.  With the rub and splashes of honey and lime, this salsa verde pork is delectable, easy, versatile, perfection.

This Slow Cooker Honey Lime Salsa Verde Pork is delicious in every form, but I have to say, my favorite way to serve it is as fajitas (recipe coming soon).  Simply saute some bell peppers and onions in Mexican seasonings, pile them on tortillas with your salsa verde pork, top with hot sauce and sour cream, and you have a texture, flavor dream.   But any way you serve this salsa verde pork, it will be blissfully delicious!

Tips to Make Salsa Verde Pork 

Here are a few tips and tricks to make your Honey Lime Salsa Verde Pork a guaranteed success:

  • Spice Rub.  Make sure you rinse and pat your meat dry before adding your dry rub and use all of the rub.  It might seem like a lot of seasonings but it not too little, not to much, but just right.
  • Sear Meat:   When searing, the pork will naturally release from the pan once it is properly seared. If it is sticking to the bottom of the pan, it is most likely needs more time. It will take 2-5 minutes per side and longer if using a nonstick pan.
  • Do I have to sear the meat?  As Gordon Ramsey says, “color  = flavor.”  Searing the meat creates the Maillard reaction resulting in rich, deep, complex flavor which cannot be achieved in any other way.  It also helps the inside of the meat from drying out.  You can skip this step, and your pork will still be good – just not as good.
  • Cook until tender but not fall apart tender.  When your pork is tender enough shred into chunks but not fall apart tender, shred it into larger sections in the crock pot and continue to cook on LOW for 30 minutes until it is practically fall apart fork tender.  This allows the flavorful slow cooker contents to seep into every pork crevice without it becoming overcooked.  THIS TECHNIQUE WILL CHANGE YOUR PORK (and chicken and beef) and they will emerge juicier and more flavorful than ever before.
  • Drain pork.  You will have some leftover juices after your salsa verde pork is cooked.  You can either use tongs to grab your meat, or I find it easier to strain the pork.  To do this,  I place my strainer on top of a large bowl to catch the slow cooker contents so the fat doesn’t go directly in my sink, then refrigerate the bowl and skim the fat later and ditch the rest of the juices in the sink sans fat.
  • Spice it up.  This Honey Lime Salsa Verde Pork is flavorful but not spicy when you use ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder.  If you know you like a kick then use 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder.  Even with that, I find hot sauce completely awakens the pork for my spicy palate.

HOW TO MAKE PULLED PORK AHEAD OF TIME

You can make this pork mostly the day before if that’s easier and then you don’t have to worry about cooking times and it turns out just as good – or better.  I use this method often and is my preferred method for meats that take particularly long like my Beef Brisket. 

If making ahead, make the Honey Lime Salsa Verde Pork recipe until it is tender enough to shred then shred the pork into large sections.  After you do this, let your slow cooker sit at room temperature for a bit so the crockpot ceramic insert can cool down and then cover and place ceramic insert into fridge (PORK AND ALL THE LIQUID).  The next day, skim off the hardened fat from the top and heat on LOW for about 1- 1 ½ hours to heat through, then continue with the rest of the recipe as written.

 

What to Make with Salsa Verde Pork 

There are soooo many options when it comes to this Slow Salsa Verde Pork.  I’ve already shared my love of pork fajitas, but here are some more fabulous options:

  • Salsa Verde Pork Fajitas: I just posted this recipe HERE with full instructions including Salsa Verde Ranch Crema!
  • Salsa Verde Pork Tacos:  Layer a tortillas or hard taco shells (like this recipe) with cheese and melt.  Top with black or pinto beans, salsa verde pork and chopped lettuce.  Top with pico de gallo, fresh guacamole, salsa, cotija cheese, sour cream and hot sauce.
  • Salsa Verde Pork Burrito Bowls: Layer cilantro lime rice with cheese, beans, salsa verde pork, chopped lettuce,  and your favorites of  pico de gallo/tomatoes, guacamole, crushed tortilla chips, cilantro, hot sauce and Tomatillo Avocado Ranch or Cilantro ime Dressing.
  • Salsa Verde Pork Burritos:  Layer a burrito size tortilla with cilantro lime rice or Mexican Rice, black or pinto beans, cheese, salsa verde pork, guacamole, sour cream and lettuce.  Serve with additional sour cream and either  pico de gallo, or  homemade salsaj.
  • Salsa Verde Pork Wet Burritos:  Fill as above except for the lettuce then follow my instructions for Wet Burritos.
  • Salsa Verde Pork Enchiladas:  Fill tortillas with layers of cheese and salsa verde pork and top with red or green enchilada sauce and cheese and bake OR even better, use my creamy green chili sauce found n these enchiladas. 
  • Salsa Verde Pork Quesadillas:   Layer a burrito size tortilla  with Mexican cheese and sweet pork (and even your favorite veggies) and grill until golden, cheesy perfection.  Serve with your favs of pico de gallo, romaine lettuce, guacamole, sour cream. etc.
  • Salsa Verde Pork Nachos:  Pile thick restaurant style tortilla chips with cheese and beans and bake.  Top with warmed  pork and desired toppings such as pico de gallo, sour cream, and fresh guacamole.

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two tongs picking up some slow cooker salsa verde pork

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two tongs picking up some slow cooker pork for pork fajitas recipe

Slow Cooker Honey Lime Salsa Verde Pork

Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Pork is wonderfully easy,  juicy, tangy and bursting with flavor! It is super versatile and the perfect make-ahead meat for busy nights or for tacos, salads, burritos, tostadas enchiladas, etc.   It also makes a ton so its fabulous for crowds or to freeze for later.  Of course, you can always half the recipe as well.  Let’s fiesta!
Servings: 8 -10 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours

Ingredients

  • 4-5 lbs pork shoulder/pork butt trimmed of excess fat
  • 3/4 cup mild salsa verde
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon Vegetable oil

Rub

  • 1 tablespoon EACH chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tsp EACH dried oregano, smoked paprika, ground cumin
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder

Instructions

  • Add the salsa verde, honey and lime juice to your slow cooker and whisk to combine.
  • Rinse pork and pat dry. Mix all of the rub ingredients together in a small bowl then evenly rub all over pork.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a large cast iron skillet. Using tongs or 2 forks, sear pork on all sides until lightly browned. Transfer pork to slow cooker then spoon some of the surrounding salsa verde sauce over the pork.
  • Cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 5-6 hours OR until pork is fall apart tender and easily shreds with a fork (see notes for the JUCIEST pork).
  • Remove pork from slow cooker to cutting board, shred, and add back to slow cooker and toss with juices. Cook on low for 20-30 minutes. Taste and add additional honey or lime juice to taste.
  • Serve warm as tacos, burritos, fajitas, etc. with hot sauce to taste.

Notes

  • Cook until tender but not fall apart tender.  When your pork is tender enough shred into chunks but not fall apart tender, shred it into larger sections in the crock pot and continue to cook on LOW for 30 minutes until it is practically fall apart fork tender.  This allows the flavorful slow cooker contents to seep into every pork crevice without it becoming overcooked.  THIS TECHNIQUE WILL CHANGE YOUR PORK (and chicken and beef) and they will emerge juicier and more flavorful than ever before.
  • Spice it up.  This Honey Lime Salsa Verde Pork is flavorful but not spicy when you use ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder.  If you know you like a kick then use 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder.  Even with that, I find hot sauce completely awakens the pork for my spicy palate.

What to Make with Salsa Verde Pork 

  • Salsa Verde Pork Fajitas:  Saute some bell peppers and onions in Mexican seasonings, pile them on tortillas with your salsa verde pork, top with hot sauce and sour cream. Garnish with lime juice.
  • Salsa Verde Pork Tacos:  Layer a tortillas or hard taco shells (like this recipe) with cheese and melt.  Top with black or pinto beans, salsa verde pork and chopped lettuce.  Top with pico de gallo, fresh guacamole, salsa, cotija cheese, sour cream and hot sauce.
  • Salsa Verde Pork Burrito Bowls: Layer cilantro lime rice with cheese, beans, salsa verde pork, chopped lettuce,  and your favorites of  pico de gallo/tomatoes, guacamole, crushed tortilla chips, cilantro, hot sauce and Tomatillo Avocado Ranch or Cilantro ime Dressing.
  • Salsa Verde Pork Burritos:  Layer a burrito size tortilla with cilantro lime rice or Mexican Rice, black or pinto beans, cheese, salsa verde pork, guacamole, sour cream and lettuce.  Serve with additional sour cream and either  pico de gallo, or  homemade salsaj.
  • Salsa Verde Pork Wet Burritos:  Fill as above except for the lettuce then follow my instructions for Wet Burritos.
  • Salsa Verde Pork Enchiladas:  Fill tortillas with layers of cheese and salsa verde pork and top with red or green enchilada sauce and cheese and bake OR even better, use my creamy green chili sauce found n these enchiladas. 
  • Salsa Verde Pork Quesadillas:   Layer a burrito size tortilla  with Mexican cheese and sweet pork (and even your favorite veggies) and grill until golden, cheesy perfection.  Serve with your favs of pico de gallo, romaine lettuce, guacamole, sour cream. etc.
  • Salsa Verde Pork Nachos:  Pile thick restaurant style tortilla chips with cheese and beans and bake.  Top with warmed  pork and desired toppings such as pico de gallo, sour cream, and fresh guacamole.

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12 Comments

  1. Henry says

    Recipe calls for 1/4 tablespoons honey. Not much, did you mean 1 to 4 tablespoons?

    • Jen says

      Sorry, I meant to change it to a cup instead of tablespoons – all fixed now. Thanks Henry!

  2. Joy says

    Do you make recipes for Instant Pot ?

    • Jen says

      Not yet Joy but hopefully soon!

      • Jessica says

        Have you attempted in the instant pot yet?

        • Jen says

          Hi Jessica, sorry I haven’t.

          • Jessica says

            Another question.. my roast is only 3.3 pounds should I cook it for only 6-8 hours on low?

          • Jen says

            Hi Jessica, I would definitely check it earlier but it could still take just as long depending on your crockpot.

  3. Rose Malloy says

    Is it ok to substitue pork tenderloin for this recipe?

    • Jen says

      Hi Rose, pork tenderloin doesn’t have as much fat so it won’t be nearly as tender – so just as long as you’re aware of that 🙂

  4. Samantha says

    Do you use fresh lime juice or concentrate?

    • Jen says

      You can use either bottled or fresh – enjoy!