Kalua Pork with Roasted Cabbage and Sweet Potatoes

by | May 22, 2019 | Entree, Gluten Free, Healthy, No Added Sugar, Recipe | 0 comments

Kalua Pork with Roasted Cabbage and Sweet Potatoes


This Kalua Pork with Roasted Cabbage and Sweet Potatoes recipe was inspired by a trip to Hawaii and is welcome at any time of year. On more than one occasion while visiting the Islands, we enjoyed Kalua Pork with Cabbage, a traditional Hawaiian dish oftentimes served at luaus. Instead of slow-roasting a whole pig, this recipe calls for pork shoulder seasoned very simply.

Sweet potatoes, an island staple, stand in for white rice, providing all sorts of vitamins and minerals. Roasting the cabbage and sweet potatoes brings out their sweetness, pairing nicely with the slow-cooked pork. Depending on your preference, the pork can be prepared in the oven or in a slow cooker.

Serve with a tropical fruit salad on the side and savor your Hawaiian experience!


Makes: 4 – 5 servings


For the Pork:
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 pounds pork shoulder
2 large cloves garlic, sliced into about 7 – 8 pieces
1/2 sweet onion, sliced ¼ inch thick
1/2 cup wine (white or plum), apple cider or juice (no added sugar) or pineapple juice

For the Cabbage and Sweet Potatoes:
1 small or 1/2 large head of green cabbage, washed and sliced ½ inch thick
1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes, washed and sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 teaspoons sea salt (divided 1 teaspoon + 1 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper (divided 1/2 teaspoon + 1/2 teaspoon)



Slow-Cook the Pork

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray a covered roasting pan or casserole large enough to hold the pork roast with cooking spray (recommend Chosen Foods Avocado Oil Spray).
  2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub on all sides of the pork roast.
  3. Make 7 – 8 slits all over the pork roast, each long enough to fit a slice of the garlic. Insert one garlic slice into each slit and press down until even with the top of the pork.
  4. Spread the onion slices on the bottom of the prepared roasting pan or casserole. Place the pork roast on top of the onions.  Add the wine or juice, pouring it off to the side of the roast, not over the top.  Cover tightly.
  5. Roast the pork for 2 1/2 – 3 hours, until it is pull-apart tender and still moist. Remove from the oven, and let rest for at least 15 minutes.  Shred the pork using two forks, and cover to keep warm.  (Reheat, if necessary, upon serving.)


  • To use a slow cooker – prepare the pork as instructed above through step 3. Spread the onion slices in the bottom of a slow cooker, place the roast on top and add the wine or juice (not pouring over the top).  Cover and slow cook on low for 8 – 10 hours, until the pork is fork tender.
  • The pork roast can be prepared ahead, shredded, cooled, and refrigerated for later use if desired. Reheat just prior to serving by placing shredded meat into a casserole, cover, and place in a preheated 400°F oven for 10 – 15 minutes.


Photo: Love + Craft Kitchen
Sliced garlic inserted into slits in a seasoned pork shoulder.


Prepare the Cabbage and Sweet Potatoes

  1. When pork is finished cooking, raise the oven temperature to 425°F. Use foil to line 2 baking pans.
  2. Spread the sliced cabbage in a single layer onto one of the baking pans, and the sweet potatoes on the other pan. Season each pan with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, adding a small amount more if needed.
  3. Place both pans into the oven and roast for approximately 15 – 20 minutes. They each should turn soft and light brown. Use tongs to turn the cabbage, and a spatula or fork to turn the sweet potatoes halfway through cooking.  If the sweet potatoes cook faster than the cabbage, simply remove them from the oven, place them in a serving bowl, and cover to keep warm.
  4. Serve with warm Kalua Pork.



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Main photo: Love + Craft Kitchen