This simple recipe for Kahlua style Pulled Pork Sliders on Hawaiian Rolls comes together easily and feeds a crowd for the perfect party food!
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Years ago, my sister made this Kahlua pork for my daughter's luau birthday party. It was such a hit, we made it for many parties thereafter. If I can even remember right, she even made it for my wedding. Being that it was my second wedding, it was more casual (also luau style) in my parents' backyard. The food was the shining star, especially this Kahlua pork.
The original method was to cook it slowly in a crock pot for 9-10 hours. However, with the invention of the Instant Pot (affiliate link) it can now be ready to eat in less than two hours! Paired with my gluten free Hawaiian rolls, it’s the perfect food to feed a crowd, so bring on the summer parties!
what you'll need to make pulled pork sliders
- A 5-6 pound pork butt -- contrary to what you might think, a pork "butt" is not really the rear end of a pig. It's part of the shoulder. You may see it in the store labeled as a pork butt OR a pork shoulder, but they're the same.
- Apple cider -- please make sure to use apple cider and not apple cider vinegar. If you can't find apple cider in your area (it's harder to find outside of the fall/winter months), you can use apple juice (Simply Apple brand is my preferred choice because it's the closest to apple cider).
- Liquid Smoke -- the original "Kahlua pig" recipe that my sister found long ago used just apple cider and liquid smoke to flavor the pork. It's so simple, but incredibly tasty.
- Kim's gluten free bread flour blend -- there really is no substitute for my bread flour blend.
- Sugar -- an important ingredient in these rolls, not only does it provide sweetness, but it's most important role is to tenderize the dough to make these the most soft and tender rolls ever. Reducing it will change the texture of the rolls and is not recommended.
- Milk -- for dairy free, use a non-dairy milk alternative.
- Butter -- for dairy free, use a vegan or dairy-free butter alternative.
- Psyllium husks -- always optional in all of my recipes, psyllium husks offer a little bit more stretch and kneadability to the dough. However, there are instructions in the recipe card for how to make the rolls without it (it's simply a matter of reducing the amount of milk).
- Gluten free dough conditioner -- this is a new (to me) ingredient that helps keep the rolls fresh for longer. It's completely optional.
How To Make Kahlua Pork
- Cut pork into more manageable pieces, if desired, and place in an Instant Pot.
- Add apple cider, liquid smoke, and Hawaiian pink salt.
- Set to pressure cook on high for one hour, longer if your pork is bone-in. Allow pressure to release naturally.
- Pull pork with tongs or two forks.
- Serve on gluten free Hawaiian rolls with barbecue sauce and coleslaw, if desired.
how to make slider buns
While the rest of the world may be buying packages of Hawaiian rolls, we don't have that luxury (yet). But these rolls are so easy to make, the hardest part is waiting for the dough to chill.
- Pour all the wet ingredients (as well as the sugar, yeast, and psyllium husks) into the bowl of a stand mixer. Contrary to popular belief, there is no pineapple juice in Original Hawaiian Sweet Rolls.
- Add the dry ingredients on top and use the dough hook to knead it all together.
- Drop in the butter and crank up the mixer to medium speed. Knead for 5 minutes.
- Cover and let rise until doubled in size; refrigerate the dough overnight for easier shaping.
- Knead dough on a floured surface until smooth.
- Divide into even pieces (1.5-2 oz each) and roll into smooth dough balls.
- Place into a greased or buttered baking dish (square or rectangular is fine).
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap and proof until nearly doubled in size.
- Brush rolls with melted butter and bake for 22-25 minutes.
- When rolls are straight out of the oven, brush them again with any remaining melted butter.
pulled pork sliders frequently asked questions
Yes, the original recipe called for cooking the pork in a slow cooker for 9-10 hours on low.
If assembling the pulled pork sandwiches in advance, cover with aluminum foil and place them in a warm oven (160-170 degrees, or as low as your oven will go) and keep them warm until serving. Another option is to keep the pork warm in the pressure cooker or slow cooker and the rolls can be warm or at room temperature and let everyone serve themselves.
While they are traditional, you can serve this pork on any rolls or buns, gluten free or not.
While it is easier to use a stand mixer, this dough can be made with a handheld mixer with dough hook attachments.
I love to make nachos with leftover pulled pork, but you can also add it to tacos, enchiladas, burritos, and even on top of mac and cheese!
what to serve with these mini sandwiches
- Add a slice of cheese on top of the hot pork (pepper jack is my favorite, but sharp cheddar is another contender!)
- Dill pickles
- Thick and rich smoky sweet baked beans
- Potato chips
- French fries
- Homemade bbq sauce
- Gluten free Luxembourg salad
- Lemon basil potato salad
- The creamiest gluten free baked mac and cheese
- No fuss grilled corn on the cob
more crowd friendly party food recipes
- Cheddar Dill Tartlets
- Fresh Tomato Tart
- Fire Roasted Artichokes with Garlic Aioli
- Pineapple au Gratin
- Buffalo Chicken Bread
- Lumpia with Homemade Gluten Free Lumpia Wrappers
- Fluffy Marshmallow Fruit Dip
- Soft Pretzel Bites
- Sausage Balls
- Easy Cheesy Pizza Dip
- Veggie Pizza
Having a game day party or cookout? Make Kahlua pork on gluten free Hawaiian rolls and everyone will love you for it!
Pulled Pork Sliders on Hawaiian Rolls
- 1 5-6 lb (2.2-2.7kg) *pork butt (also called pork shoulder) (cut into large chunks if desired)
- 2 cups (480ml) **apple cider (NOT apple cider vinegar)
- ¼ cup (60ml) liquid smoke (or more depending on your preference)
- 1 recipe gluten free Hawaiian rolls (recipe follows)
- barbeque sauce (homemade or store bought)
- cole slaw (if desired)
- 3½ cups (490g) Kim's gluten free bread flour blend
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 1¾ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tbsp plus 1½ teaspoon (24g) instant yeast
- 2 tbsp (10g) ***whole psyllium husks (or 1½ tablespoon psyllium husk powder)
- 1 tablespoon gluten free dough conditioner (optional)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups (360ml) whole milk
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks or 169g) butter, very soft or melted
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- melted butter for brushing (1-2 tbsp)
- Put pork in an Instant Pot with apple cider and liquid smoke. Close lid and lock in place. Set to pressure cook for one hour on high*. Allow pressure to release naturally. FOR SLOW COOKER: Place all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on low for 9-10 hours or until fall-apart tender.
- Shred or pull pork with two forks and serve on Hawaiian rolls with barbecue sauce and coleslaw, if desired. Leftovers can be frozen.
Make Hawaiian Rolls
- Blend the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer**** using the paddle or dough hook attachment. With the mixer running on low, slowly add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Once completely combined, turn the mixer up to medium or medium high and beat for 5 minutes. The dough should be smooth and somewhat stretchy, but still pretty fluid and not at all like bread dough should be.
- Remove the dough hook or paddle attachment. Scrape the dough together into a rough ball or mound using a bowl scraper or spatula. Cover the bowl and place it in a warm, draft-free area for about 2 hours, or until at least doubled in volume. Turning your oven on to the warm function (about 160-170° F) for just a few minutes and then turning it off before placing the dough inside is a great area for dough proofing. It should be fluffy looking and almost look like buttercream frosting. Chill for at least 4-6 hours, preferably overnight.
- Remove dough from the refrigerator and knead briefly on a very well-floured surface into a smooth ball. At this point, either divide the dough in half and wrap the other half in plastic wrap for another use, or use the entire batch of dough to make two pans of rolls.
- Divide dough into small portions (each portion should weigh about 1.5-2 ounces each) and roll each into a smooth, tight ball. Place into a greased or buttered baking dish (9 by 13-inch or larger).
- Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size. This could take an hour or more, depending on the warmth of your proofing area. When the rolls are almost done proofing, preheat the oven to 350° F.
- When rolls have fully risen, brush them with melted butter and bake for 15-22 minutes or until rolls are golden brown and spring back when lightly touched. Brush again with the rest of the melted butter.