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Cafe Rio Pork Recipe

4 Reviews

Cafe Rio Sweet Pork made with old el paso sauce, brown sugar and root beer. Your kids will be begging for more! ohsweetbasil.com_-2

Are you all gearing up for Cinco De Mayo?? Even if you don’t technically celebrate the holiday it’s a great excuse to grab some friends and have a ton of delicious food. Especially when you get to eat the cafe rio pork recipe.

If you live in Utah you probably eat at either Cafe Rio or Costa Vida for quick Mexican. Both have a delicious sweet pork that everyone and their mom tries to re-create. We have tried Coke and brown sugar, enchilada sauce and brown sugar, Dr Pepper and brown sugar, a combination of both, some from scratch with onions and peppers etc, but none have wowed us. Don’t get me wrong, they are ok, just nothing that we need to make again. This recipe is our FAVORITE way to make the pork. Hands down the best sweet pork. The recipe comes from our friends, Tabby and Jordan. A few months back the hubs was in a little bike accident and I just so happened to be working up in Salt Lake that week so they brought him and our little one dinner. We were instantly hooked on their version of Sweet Pork.

Not wanting to make sweet pork for cinco de mayo? No problem! Scroll to the bottom of the post to click on other Mexican favorites!


Don’t you love juicy pork???

Is Pork Lower In Fat Than Beef?

Pork is generally leaner than beef.

Many cuts of pork are as lean or leaner than chicken, and provide a greater amount of vitamins and minerals.

Can Pork Be Cooked In a Slow Cooker?

Pork can be safely cooked in a slow cooker or crock pot.

Season pork, cover with a lid and cook for 6-8 hours on low.

What Is A Good Substitute For Brown Sugar?

White sugar in an equal amount will work ok.

Or, you can add 2 tablespoons molasses to every cup of substituted white sugar and you will not be able to tell the difference.

Cafe Rio Pork Recipe

Raised in the Kitchen - Carrian Cheney

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Cafe Rio Pork Recipe

4.5 from 4 votes
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 2 minutes
Servings: 8
This recipe is our FAVORITE way to make the pork. Hands down the best sweet pork.


  • 2 1/5 pounds roast Pork sirloin tip, or Pork Shoulder.
  • 1 can Dr. Pepper
  • 1 bottle taco sauce red, We used Pace Mild, but do as you please
  • 1-2 cups brown sugar packed, We use 1 1/2 Cups usually, but do it by taste
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • cilantro fresh, chopped


  • Combine sauce in crock pot and then add pork.
  • Cook on low for 8 hours or if you are in a hurry do high for 5-6.
  • Shred pork two hours before the end and let it continue to cook in the sauce.
  • We like to cook up some tortillas, the whole wheat uncooked tortillas are wonderful or just the regular are good, but definitely buy the uncooked ones so they are more fresh.


If you're short on time you can cook on high for 4 hours, but it will not be quite as tender
Sweet pork can be frozen for up to 3 months
Nutrition Facts
Cafe Rio Pork Recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 275 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 71mg24%
Sodium 1893mg82%
Potassium 386mg11%
Carbohydrates 33g11%
Sugar 32g36%
Protein 27g54%
Vitamin C 56mg68%
Calcium 373mg37%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Place rice and pork in the tortilla (we did add black beans too). Scroll below if you need a good Spanish Rice recipe.

Top with lettuce and salsa of choice. We usually eat ours with a Creamy Tomatillo dressing too, but I didn’t make it this time. That recipe can be found under the Cafe Rio Chicken post. Enjoy!

Cinco De Mayo Recipe Ideas

Mango Salsa Chicken Burritos

Pork Tostadas

Red Chicken Enchiladas and Spanish Rice

Fiesta Chicken

Easy Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas-Guest Post by Jesica

Crisp Black Bean Tacos

Pineapple Fajitas-Guest post by Jennifer

Grilled Corn Salad-Guest Post by Jennifer

Carne Asada Street Tacos

Enchilada Soup

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

Cafe Rio Chicken, Cilantro Lime Rice, and Creamy Tomatillo Dressing

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About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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Recipe Rating


  • Could you give some measurements on some items…. how big is the bottle, of seen multiple sizes. How many lbs of meat and how much cilantro? I’m so excited to try this recipe but want to make it right since I’m making it for a family reunion. Thanks!

    • Reply
    • Also, what is taco sauce? Is it the same as hot sauce, like Tapatio?

      • Reply
      • Rachel, taco sauce is a red sauce found by the salsa. 🙂

  • I was planning a Cafe Rio taco salad post for Cinco De Mayo too. We love Cafe Rio. It's almost too good to call it fast food.

    • Reply
  • Poulsen family, I've only seen them at Macys and Albertsons so I don't know if that will help. I wish Costco would carry them!

    • Reply
  • We love Cafe Rio, but have been living out of UT for a while now. I'll have to try this version, we've also tried others. I'm wondering where you get your uncooked wheat tortillas. We can find the white ones at Costco, but haven't seen any wheat ones. Thanks!

    • Reply

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