58 comments already!

Healthy Crock Pot Pulled Pork recipe made from scratch with tomato sauce, applesauce, spices, liquid smoke and simmers in slow cooker. | ifooodreal.com

And we are back in business. With some healthy pulled pork made in slow cooker in 4 hours. From scratch crock pot pulled pork. No bottles of BBQ sauce involved. It’s nice to be back. Sooooooo nice.

You probably thought I published my eBook, made a million and took off to Mexico. Although Mexico, particularly all-inclusive resort, is my preferred way to vacation since starting to live a dream a.k.a since having kids (hint-hint), I am no near sipping pina coladas & watching my kids peacefully building the sand castle.

By the way, I quit drinking. But that’s a separate post.

Right now, I feel like hiding in a corner and eating a bowl of this healthy crock pot pulled pork with some organic basmati brown rice…uninterrupted.

Healthy Crock Pot Pulled Pork recipe made from scratch with tomato sauce, applesauce, spices, liquid smoke and simmers in slow cooker. | ifooodreal.com

It’s been a tough month, particularly last week…with sick-kids, kids-no-school & no-making-sense-3-year-old-kid. Ugh.

This week was even worse. With my eBook launch, and finally daycare & school re-opening after 2 weeks of Holidays, I was really looking forward to this week…Really!

healthy crock pot pulled pork

And then…Adam came down with a flu. Reality shot…right in my face. 3rd time in a month he is sick.

If you are reading this now and you don’t have kids => planning to have some, drop me a line and ask for the details of your life for next 20 years. I completely qualify to be your fortune teller this time…

So, you know why it’s nice to be back. And right now there is no place in my life for some fancy PB chocolate drizzle protein shakes. There is room for crock pot weeknight dinner like this slow cooker pulled pork.

Healthy Crock Pot Pulled Pork recipe made from scratch with tomato sauce, applesauce, spices, liquid smoke and simmers in slow cooker. | ifooodreal.com

We do not eat a lot of pork. In fact, we didn’t eat meat for the last 3 days. Last night, Alex mentioned he is hungry all the time while devouring the 3rd bowl of vegetable ratatouille recipe. Gotcha!

I’ve been trying to live healthier, eat more vegetarian meals and save money. That might sound weird but we buy only organic meat and it gets pricey. And to find organic pork…well, good luck!

Last month, I found 2.5lb all natural pork loin roast at Trader Joe’s, hauled it to Canada and froze. So, pork loin roast is perfect for pulled pork. No extra fat like from shoulder or butt part.

Healthy Crock Pot Pulled Pork recipe made from scratch with tomato sauce, applesauce, spices, liquid smoke and simmers in slow cooker. | ifooodreal.com

S-a-u-c-e. I’ve been dreaming to skip BBQ bottles for the last few years. I couldn’t find any decent recipe online.

Made my own = great success = tomato sauce + applesauce, a few spices and liquid smoke. You can find liquid smoke anywhere these days. Look for a small bottle, like Worcestershire sauce, in spices/sauce/condiments aisle.

Healthy Crock Pot Pulled Pork recipe made from scratch with tomato sauce, applesauce, spices, liquid smoke and simmers in slow cooker. | ifooodreal.com

And then it’s easy. You mix the sauce in the crock pot, lay meat, scoop some sauce on top, close the lid, set for 3.5 – 4 hours and walk away. Come back, take meat out and shred with 2 forks, whisk some flour in the sauce, return pork to slow cooker, another 20 minutes and you have healthy crock pot pulled pork.

Healthy Crock Pot Pulled Pork recipe made from scratch with tomato sauce, applesauce, spices, liquid smoke and simmers in slow cooker. | ifooodreal.com

Now, I’m weird. I like my pulled pork over rice or quinoa. Buns? Not so much. It’s up to you.

For me, the best dinner is lean meat + whole grain + salad = I died. That’s it. See you later. Back to flu business. Stay safe and if you live in no sun => lots of rain place, like me, take vitamin D. Lesson learnt, O-l-e-n-a!

Looking for more meaty slow cooker mains recipes? Check out crock pot chicken marinara, slow cooker balsamic pot roast and slow cooker whole chicken and pasta.

P.S. 30 Clean Quick Dinner Recipes eBook 20% OFF sale ends tomorrow, January 10th, at midnight. healthy crock pot pulled pork

Healthy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Healthy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Ingredients

  • 14 oz can tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cup applesauce, unsweetened
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 3 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 2 - 2.5 lb pork loin roast

Directions

  1. In a large crockpot, add all ingredients except pork and flour, and whisk to combine.
  2. Place pork roast in a slow cooker and spoon sauce over it. Meat won't be covered completely and it's OK. Cover and cook on High for 3.5 - 4 hours or on Low for 5 - 6 hours.
  3. Remove meat from slow cooker and shred with 2 forks.
  4. Add flour to the slow cooker and whisk to combine. Return meat to slow cooker. Stir to combine. Cover and cook for another 15-20 minutes.
  5. Serve warm, on a bun with your favourite toppings or on a bed of brown rice/quinoa. For a low carb option serve with salad.
  6. Storage Instructions: Refrigerate for up to 3 days, covered.
http://ifoodreal.com/healthy-slow-cooker-pulled-pork/

Nutritional Info

Servings Per Recipe: 5

Amount Per Serving = 1 cup:
Calories: 489.9
Total Fat: 14.3 g
Cholesterol: 178.7 mg
Sodium: 725.8 mg
Total Carbs: 22.4 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.3 g
Protein: 63.3 g
WW Points+: 12

This post may contain affiliate links. When you buy a product I make a small commission without any extra cost to you. In return, you can enjoy free recipes as well as savings on your favourite products. I also shared Clean Eating Ingredients I Buy and Kitchen Appliances +Tools I Use. Please buy local, organic and fair trade whenever feasible.

58 Comments

    • Olena (iFOODreal)

      OMG, you been missing out on a lot of cheap, fast, easy, yummy and healthy food in the last many years.:) Buy the one with timer. They are so cheap now, like under $40 – London Drugs and Costco. Or Walmart always rocks.

      Reply
  1. Sarah Morris

    Even though I did in fact go to an all-inclusive resort with my family over the holidays for a much needed vacation, I will say that I too am happy to be back to a normal routine. =D This recipe seems perfect for these chilly winter nights but done CLEANLY which I SO appreciate after the holidays.

    Now part of my normal routine (unfortunately) is 9 hour work days. Often times I have to be into work at 8 and get back to the house around 6. Would it be at all possible to leave the slow cooker on low for all that time for this recipe?

    Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Olena (iFOODreal)

      Now you, Sarah, are living my dream. I’d rather come back from Mexico to a routine than from cleaning up runny noses, sleepless nights and fighting to feed anything besides bananas to my kids kind of days.
      Anyways, to answer your question, 9 hours might be too long for this recipe as the sauce will start burning on the walls and a lot of it might just cook down. So, I suggest using a timer. Do you have any timer like mechanical one, you know you plug it in the electric outlet directly and then plug-in your crock pot. I have very simple slow cooker too, no timer. That’s what I do.

      Reply
  2. Anastasia Safonov

    Awesome recipe!!! I am so glad I found the recipe for a clean BBQ sauce, I might make this with chicken breast instead, since I don’t eat pork (religious reason). Thanks Olena!

    Reply
  3. Marina | Let the Baking Begin!

    I hear ya on the flu… Our family has so far stayed away from the ugly, ugly flu that’s going around, but my younger medically fragile babe has been going through something for the past month… Not really sick, but not really well either… Yuk!

    The pulled pork looks wonderful!

    Reply
    • Olena (iFOODreal)

      Thank you, Shashi! Applesauce + tomato sauce = I died. Adds nice tartness and texture to the sauce. And liquid smoke = I died again.

      Reply
    • Olena (iFOODreal)

      Thank you, Laura. So far I wasn’t able to find any clean BBQ sauce and even when I did, not many people will have access to it. It’s much easier to make your own from scratch.

      Reply
    • Olena (iFOODreal)

      Haha, yeah, I’m definitely not much of a baker in heart. Thank you, girl!

      Reply
  4. Heather

    6 hours in and my meat is hard as rock. Going to leave it another hour or so. 2.5 pork loin roast…don’t know why it didn’t soften up. It’s like tough roast beef. Overcooked?!??

    Reply
    • Olena (iFOODreal)

      Do you mean hard as rock as one piece? Did you shred it? Pork loin is a lean cut of meat. It’s not supposed to soften after cooking like shoulder or butt. Shred it into small pieces and it should be perfectly fine.

      Reply
  5. Melissa

    I have food allergies that require me to pretty much not eat 🙁 I am allergic to soy, peanut and shrimp. On top of all that I don’t like cooked veggies. Did you know Soybean oil or lechitan is in EVERYTHING and if not, it usually has peanut oil. I like the crock pot because I don’t have a lot of time and I’d like us all to eat the same dinner if possible. (Many times they eat dinner and I eat my own special few items.)

    Reply
  6. Lori Delgado

    Hi Olena, I have been searching for a healthy homemade BBQ sauce & yours looks yummy. If I want to just make the sauce w/out the pork, I assume I can simmer in a pan? Thanks!

    Reply
  7. kathy

    I made this tonight and it was absolutely delicious. I love the sauce! My husband and my three year old son gobbled it up. It was amazing served with coleslaw in a light apple cider vinegar/dijon dressing.

    Reply
  8. Rebecca

    I have made this with both pork and chicken in the last few weeks. It was so delicious and a definite crowd pleaser!!!

    Reply
    • Olena

      You can skip it but the sauce won’t have that smoky flavour and smell like BBQ sauce has. Try to add some smoked paprika.

      Reply
  9. kate

    i loved how clean it tasted! – but it was quite mild tasting…how can i add more intensity to the flavor?

    Reply
    • Olena

      Hmmm, I honestly found it full of flavour and quite satisfying for me. I’m afraid I’m helpless here. Sorry but I really don’t have a suggestion other than trying a different recipe. To intensify the flavour would be to develop a new recipe. 🙂

      Reply
  10. Joyce Boender

    Made this – was very good. Did not have smoked paprika so added 1/2 tsp extra liquid smoke. Will make again.

    Reply
  11. Natalie

    Could I use organic ketchup instead of canned tomato sauce? I was going to make this tonight but realized I used my tomato sauce last night!

    Reply
    • Olena

      Unfortunately no. Ketchup is very sweet because it’s a condiment, highly concentrated in salt and sugar if compared to tomato sauce.

      Reply
  12. Jessica

    What is the flour for? Can it be left out? White flour is the biggest NO NO when eating “clean” Nothing white except veggies (which I can’t think of any) is the cardinal rule of true clean eating.

    Reply
    • Olena

      You can use whole wheat flour which is completely fine in the cleating eating world. White whole wheat flour is fine too. Cornstarch would work too, just use half the amount or so. It will thicken the sauce otherwise the sauce won’t be a sauce.

      Reply
  13. Elena

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! Btw you crack me up. I love how honest you are about your life. Been married for 4years now but no kids yet so fill me in! Lol

    Reply
    • Olena

      Well, seriously, buckle up! If you are under 30, don’t have kids yet. I had mine at 24 and that was too early. I love them to death but they are a load of work. Wine is a must! I mean they are awesome!!! But you will be going to the bathroom with open door for years, cleaning up blood because someone decided it’s fun to run with closed eyes and you will never believe you could clean up so much sh*t in your life. Been a mom for 9 years now and it just gets harder. But I love them to death! Hope this helps LMAO. Seriously, enjoy your life now if you are young. My life will begin maybe later idk.

      Reply
  14. Autumn

    I don’t eat wheat so I need a sub for the flour. Is it just used to thicken it? Could I use something else?

    Reply
  15. Shannon

    This looks great! I am so excited to try this, especially since there is no jarred BBQ sauce. I love that you gave th option of serving over rice, I never thought about that. I love your blog, you have a lot of great recipes. I would love if you could check mine out as well! http://shansthecollegecookbook.blogspot.com/ Can’t wait to try this =)

    Reply
    • Olena

      Last time I scanned the ingredients of a jarred BBQ sauce I almost had a heart attack. I remember one time we were invited for dinner and the whole jar of sauce went on the ribs. I skipped sauce completely and was shocked to learn how much I saved in health and calories. I will check out your blog!:) You can serve it even with quinoa.:)

      Reply
  16. Christin Shafer

    If I want to make this with seitan instead, which doesn’t need to be cooked for hours in the crockpot, how would you suggest making just the sauce. . .would I just mix all ingredients and add flour to thicken? It’s the sauce recipe I’m loving here!
    Thanks.

    Reply
  17. chelsea

    This recipe was AMAZING! I made this close to three months ago and stored multiple individual meal size leftovers in the freezer. I just had the the last portion for dinner last night and it was just as tasty. I needed to look up the recipe to make it again. Thanks!

    Reply
  18. Ashia

    This recipe sounds delicious! I’ll be making this for dinner tonight! Is this recipe based off 2.5 lbs of meat? My meat is close to 8lbs

    Reply
  19. Cla

    I wanted to like this more than I did. I also found it very bland, the only spice I could taste was the garlic powder. If I make it again I will double/triple all seasonings, especially the salt. Once it was on my plate I had to add A TON of salt. I had to negotiate with my (not picky) 6 year old to eat 1/2 of her helping. I cooked for the house tonight and I feel a little sheepish regarding my offering.

    Reply
    • Olena

      Hi Cla. Hmm, if you had to add A TON of salt my gut feeling is your tastebuds are overpowered by added sodium and sugars in processed foods. I have made this recipe many times and so did many other readers and found this recipe quite tasty. Of course, if you are used to bottled BBQ sauce then my sauce would be bland. Store-bought versions are extremely overloaded with chemicals, additives and like I mentioned sodium and sugar. I can’t even eat a tablespoon. Food does taste different when you eat whole foods only. All the best!:)

      Reply
  20. Frankie

    Thank you for posting this, i’s absolutely delicious. I’ve made this recipe a number of times now, and it’s become a firm favourite with everyone that’s tried it! My boyfriend and his friends now request it for the Superbowl every year. I’ve actually got it in my slow cooker right now!

    Reply
    • Olena

      Hi Frankie. Awesome! Nice to hear that guys and not only us gals like it. I mean women are generally easier to feed clean food LOL.

      Reply
  21. Jeff Cook

    Hi, I made this for dinner last night for my family. It’s hard to eat clean and have it also satisfy picky kids and adults too. It was good stuff, and I’ll definitely make it again. Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply
    • Olena

      Hi Jeff. Glad this healthy crock pot pulled pork worked for everyone. North American picky eaters are hard to please, I agree. I watch my kids’ friends and it is honestly a nightmare what these kids don’t eat. The only way to convert them is for parents to put their foot down, buckle up and survive a storm of screams for a bit, and then it will be all unicorns and rainbows for the rest of the life.:)

      Reply

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