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I am majorly {obsessed} with Cafe Rio. My Cafe Rio Recipe that I make tastes just like the real deal. Well this recipe that I found I think gives my other recipe a run for the money. It tasted just like Cafe Rio, but with reduced calories. Do you know what they say is the secret ingredient? Coca Cola. This recipe is made with Coke Zero. It makes the meat literally just melt in your mouth because it is so moist and tender. It is so easy to shred this and just falls apart. The flavor is out of this world with a little bit of sweet to it. I had my pork over a delicious salad tonight and the whole family loved it… well except for the picky one. He wouldn’t try it. He had a quesadilla. Totally missed out! This was amazing!

Slow cooker skinny pulled pork barbacoa over rice and beans on red plate

Rating: 5 stars  Difficulty of Recipe: 3 stars
Review:  I think my other recipe just got replaced. The flavor was still just as great and so close to Cafe Rio’s but with reduced calories. We loved it. We will definitely make this again and again!

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By: Alyssa Rivers
The flavor is out of this world with a little bit of sweet to it.  I had my pork over a delicious salad tonight and the whole family loved it... 
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Marinade the roast: 2 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 10 Servings


For the marinade:

  • 2.5 pounds pork loin roast fat trimmed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 ounce coke zero
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar unpacked
  • 1/4 cup water

Step two:


  • Mix together the salt, pepper, coke zero, and brown sugar.  You can place the roast with this marinade into the crockpot or gallon size bag and let it marinate overnight or for at least two hours.
  • Take the pork out of the fridge and add 1/4 cup water to the marinade.  Cook on low 4-6 hours or high 3-4.  The pork should be able to shred very easily with fork.
  • Drain all liquids and shred the pork with two forks.  Mix ingredients for step 2.  The coke zero, green chilies, tomato sauce, chipotle chili, garlic powder, cumin, chipotle chili powder, brown sugar, and salt and pepper to taste.  Mix with the shredded pork and continue cooking for an hour.
  • You can serve with black beans, cilantro lime rice, or whatever your heart desires.  🙂


Calories: 210kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 26gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 314mgPotassium: 516mgFiber: 1gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 181IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 19mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!

About Alyssa Rivers

Alyssa Rivers is the author of 'The Tried and True Cookbook', a professional food photographer and experienced recipe-developer. Having a passion for cooking, her tried and true recipes have been featured on Good Morning America, Today Food, Buzzfeed and more.

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  1. Mine came out way too sweet and way too spicy ( I like sweet and spice). I’m wondering: when you say add 1 chipotle chili and adobo sauce, are you saying add 1 pepper out of the can, or the whole can. I thought you meant the whole can, and I’m wondering if that was where I went wrong.

  2. This recipe looks awesome. I’d live to try it, I made a pork roast yesterday in the crock pot, but my son has food allergies so I have to cook stuff like that plain so I can give him a portion then I add bbq sauce or whatever to mine and my husband’s portion after. So it’s already shredded and in the fridge with nothing on it, would you recommend I just put it back in the crock pot with the ingredients from step 2 to simmer for an hour?

  3. I am so excited to try this recipe this weekend – my family loves pork and we were just talking about new ways to cook it! Thanks!