This Sweet and Spicy Maple and Tomato Pulled Pork is the new and improved version of my old favorite. It’s bursting with warm tomato, hot cayenne pepper, and chili powder flavors, which is complimented by a delicate maple sweetness. It’s juicy, it’s tender, and it’s so dang delicious! I’m not sure I need another pulled pork recipe after this one. 🙂

Sweet and Spicy Maple and Tomato Pulled Pork (paleo, GF) | Perchance to Cook,

My old favorite, much like this Sweet and Spicy Maple and Tomato Pulled Pork, had strained tomato sauce and maple syrup in it. Tomato sauce and maple syrup is a magical combination when it comes to pulled pork or pulled chicken. It’s seriously my fail-proof flavoring of choice.

Sweet and Spicy Maple and Tomato Pulled Pork (paleo, GF) | Perchance to Cook,

However, in my old favorite, I used dried apricots and freeze dried pineapple, which I found didn’t really make a difference in the end. And I only used a dry rub for seasoning, which was great, but no where near as flavorful as when I put my own concoction of salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, crushed red pepper, cayenne pepper, chili powder, and paprika in there.

I mean, this pulled pork sings with flavor! I could just eat the sauce all day… hence why I love putting the sauce all over it.


The only thing I think I should note, and which I’d love to get some advice on, is using pork loin for pulled pork rather than pork tenderloin.

I used pork loin here. I bought it by mistake, woops! And I didn’t want to waste 4 pounds of it or figure out another option for it because I had a plan in mind. I’ve read and heard that pork tenderloin is best for pulled pork, however I very much enjoyed the pork loin here.

It wasn’t as easy to shred, but it tasted really delicious. It was also lean and moist.


Based on that, I think you could use either pork loin or pork tenderloin here. But I’d love to know what you think is better and why.

Either way, the winning element here is the sauce. It’s simple and delicious, in the magical way that tomato, maple, and hot spices on meat can be. Plus, it’s fannnntastic on mashed cauliflower. I can’t even express how good they are together. Y-U-M!!

To quickly make mashed cauliflower, boil a head of cauliflower in some water, put it into a blender, and add coconut milk, garlic powder, salt and pepper. It’s a must. 🙂 If you want to try another pork recipe try my jam and herb pork loin.

Sweet and Spicy Maple and Tomato Pulled Pork (paleo, GF) | Perchance to Cook,

Sweet and Spicy Maple and Tomato Pulled Pork

5 from 1 vote
Cook Time 8 hrs
Total Time 8 hrs


  • 4 pounds natural pork loin or pork tenderloin
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1.5 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1.5 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1 Tbs tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup strained tomatoes (Pomi is my all time favorite brand)
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup


  • Coat the pork tenderloin in the spices and place at the bottom of the slow cooker. (I like the Crockpot brand).
  • Put 3/4 cup of strained tomatoes, 1 Tbs tomato paste, and 3/4 cup of maple syrup on top of the pork.
  • Move the pork around to make sure the tomato and maple syrup are mixed around in the slow cooker.
  • Cook on low heat for 8 hours or on high heat for 6 hours. ( If you can, flip it over half way through)
  • Shred with two forks and put back into the slow cooker to mix into the sauce. Enjoy
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
pulled pork 4