One of the easiest make-ahead Whole30-friendly dishes is a pork shoulder stew pressure-cooked in an Instant Pot. With minimal hands-on prep, you’ll be rewarded with a big pile of succulent pork!
When I visit the butcher, pork shoulder (a.k.a. Boston butt or pork butt) is one of the cuts that I always buy. Yes, it’s a tougher cut, but it’s budget-friendly, collagen-rich, and transforms into fork-tender meat after it’s been cooked low and slow—or quickly under high pressure. This versatile emergency protein can be stashed in the freezer until you pull it out on a busy weeknight to feed your hungry mob!
Why use an Instant Pot?
Cooking pork in an oven or slow cooker is great, but I prefer using an Instant Pot to cook pork shoulder because it can cut the cooking time in half or more. Besides, you don’t need to babysit the pork, and it becomes meltingly tender without turning dry and stringy from a prolonged cooking time. Any of the recipes below can be thrown into the Instant Pot and left for the rest of the day. Once you get home, the pork’ll be done and piping hot.
My Favorite Whole30 Instant Pot Pork Recipes
Instant Pot Kalua Pig: This Nom Nom Paleo classic is one of the simplest Instant Pot pork shoulder recipes on my blog. If you haven’t tried it yet, what are you waiting for?
Instant Pot Carnitas: I’ve perfected a Whole30-friendly Instant Pot Carnitas recipe that rivals what you’d order at your favorite taqueria!
Instant Pot Spicy Pineapple Pork: This Whole30-friendly pork stew is savory, pineapple-y, a tad spicy, and ridiculously easy to make in a pressure cooker.
Instant Pot Vietnamese Pork Stew: This Whole30-friendly Instant Pot Vietnamese Pork Stew is a streamlined version of the classic Vietnamese braised pork dish, thit ko tàu. The combination of succulent pork, coconut water, fish sauce, and aromatics is truly magical!
Can you freeze these dishes?
Yes! You can freeze the cooked pork in sealed containers for up to 3 months. The great thing about these Instant Pot pork dishes is that you can reheat them right in the Instant Pot! Even if you forget to first thaw the frozen pork in the fridge, you can just plop it into the Instant Pot and cook it under high pressure for 3 to 5 minutes.
How do I use leftover Instant Pot pork?
If you don’t want to eat the same dish again, you can transform the leftover pork into new dishes!
For example, you can pick out the pork from the jelled sauce and fry it up in a skillet. Crisped-up pork is amazing in lettuce-wrapped tacos, omelets, and scrambles. Or just add it to a bowl of Simple Egg Drop Soup!
You can also make a fantastic fried cauliflower “rice” with leftover Instant Pot pork by sautéing the meat with some cauliflower rice, chopped up veggies, and a splash of my All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce. You can also toss it in this Asian Cauliflower Fried “Rice” recipe.
Want soup? Stretch a leftover Instant Pot pork stew (including the liquid) by diluting it with broth and adding extra vegetables to make a hearty soup. (Pro tip: You can cook the soup in the Instant Pot, too! It takes about 3-5 minutes under high pressure if you add some cubed potatoes and carrots.)
What if you don’t eat pork?
For all of these recipes, you can substitute cubed beef chuck roast and the dishes will turn out delicious! If you want to find other pressure cooker recipes with non-pork ingredients, you can check out my ever-growing list of Instant Pot recipes here.
A note to my Nomsters: This is one of a series of daily blog posts I’m writing in the month of January 2019 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!
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)!