Nom Nom Paleo + Whole30 by Michelle Tam

What’s the best way to perk up your spirits? Whole30 Kalua Pig!

Okay—you’re nearing the end of your first week on the Whole30, and you may feel like you’re running on fumes. Know why? ’Cause your tank’s running low on sugar—the fuel that powered you before. Now that you’ve removed grains and processed carbs from your diet, your body’s undergoing the process of fat adaptation—meaning it’s learning to tap into your fat stores for energy. This journey can take a few weeks, so the ride may be bumpy, but the destination will soon be in sight. You’re on your way to transforming your body into a fat-burning machine!

Time to bust out your Instant Pot or slow cooker and make one of my favorite emergency proteins: Kalua Pig!

Pressure Cooker Kalua Pig by Michelle Tam

I’ve said it before: Bite for bite, I don’t think I can come up with an easier and tastier recipe than this one. All you need is a big pork roast, a few slices of Whole30-compliant bacon, Hawaiian sea salt, and either a slow cooker or an Instant Pot. (Psst! Sometimes I even use Magic Mushroom Powder in place of the sea salt and it’s AMAZING!)

Kalua Pig by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo


With a slow cooker, the keys to this recipe are patience and ingredient quality. (Not surprisingly, quality matters when you’re using just four ingredients!) Making my Kalua Pig in a slow cooker will fill your kitchen for endless hours with the tantalizing smell of deliciously succulent pork, so you might need to handcuff yourself to a chair to keep from diving in before the dish is ready.

Click here for my Slow Cooker Kalua Pig recipe!

Slow Cooker Kalua Pig by Michelle Tam


The long wait for Kalua Pig to cook in a slow cooker is why I personally prefer to make this in an Instant Pot. After all, who has 16 hours to spare?

Pressure Cooker Kalua Pig by Michelle Tam

My recipe for Instant Pot Kalua Pig adds cabbage at the end—just like with traditional Hawaiian kalua pig plate lunches!—so you can enjoy some veggies with your mountain of pork. Plus, the cabbage soaks up all the porky cooking liquids, suffusing them with umami-packed, lip-smackin’ goodness.

Click here for my Instant Pot Kalua Pig recipe!


Oh, and if you’re too busy to make my Kalua Pig at all, pop into your local Whole Foods Market store and check out the hot bar. Throughout the month of January 2018, all Whole Foods Market locations in the U.S. and Canada are featuring a rotating menu of grab-and-go Nom Nom Paleo recipes from our latest cookbook, Ready or Not!—including my Kalua Pig, which they’ve jazzed up with pineapple and serrano peppers. (If your store isn’t currently featuring Kalua Pig, don’t worry; there’ll be other Whole30-friendly Nom Nom Paleo recipes to choose from!)

Pressure Cooker Kalua Pig by Michelle Tam

Either way, this Kalua Pig is on my regular rotation for many reasons: It’s super-easy, crazy-delicious, and never fails to make me nostalgic for Hawaii. If you’re feeling a little bonkers as you finish your first week on the Whole30, treat yourself to some Kalua Pig, and I guarantee you’ll feel a whole lot better.

Pressure Cooker Kalua Pig by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo

A note to my Nomsters: This is one of a series of daily blog posts I’m writing in the month of January 2018 to help those doing a Whole30 to kick off the New Year. Not sure what the Whole30 is, or want info on how to get started? Read my Whole30 prep post—and then come back to Nom Nom Paleo every single day for recipes to inspire, delight, and sustain you on your Whole30!

And remember: Throughout January 2018, I’m partnering with Whole Foods Market nationwide! In all Whole Foods Market stores, you’ll find my personally curated Nom Nom Paleo Picks on the shelves, a rotating menu of ready-to-eat Nom Nom Paleo dishes in the hot bar, and even my famous Magic Mushroom Powder available for sale!

Nom Nom Paleo X Whole Foods Market by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo

Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013) and Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017)!

Recipe IndexNom Nom Paleo CookbooksNom Nom Paleo App

About Michelle Tam

Hello! My name is Michelle Tam, and I love to eat. I think about food all the time. It borders on obsession. I’ve always loved the sights and smells of the kitchen. My mother was (and is) an excellent cook, and as a kid, I was her little shadow as she prepared supper each night. From her, I gained a deep, abiding love for magically transforming pantry items into mouth-watering family meals.

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  1. Hello, where do you get the Alaea Hawaiian sea salt? The recipe seems to have very little seasoning, just the salt. Would it be too bland to eat without any other condiments? How do you usually serve it other than with the cabbage? Thank you!

  2. When I reviewed the recipe I thought it seemed too simple to make any difference in flavor. I used my IP for this one rather than the slow cooker. I didn’t have Red salt but I did have black salt so I used that. Holy moly was this delicious. The pork comes out like butter. No need to any other flavoring.

    There’s only two of us so in a couple of days I’ll make pork sandwiches with plaintains out of the Yellow cookbook (which I adore) and freeze the rest.