If you want a healthy BBQ pulled pork sandwich, you’ve got a lot of hurdles to get over. They’re often served on an enriched flour bun, covered in sugary BBQ sauce, and topped with sugary coleslaw. Of course, at home you can opt for a 100% whole wheat bun, and there are a few options for healthier BBQ sauces out there (such as Primal Kitchen), but you still have the coleslaw to overcome. So, I decided it was time to put together the ultimate Low Carb BBQ Pork Sandwich.
Now, if you’ve been a fan of this site for a while, you know that we are not big promoters of keto as a long-term lifestyle. You may also know that we typically don’t do super long recipe posts with tons of pictures, stories, and explanations. So, what gives with this one?
Well, to be clear, although this isn’t a keto website and I don’t promote the use of hardcore keto, I’m perfectly fine with low carb recipes. If it’s real food, I’m all about it. Low carb recipes can be full of real food that tastes great, just like this one is. That doesn’t mean I think you need to keep your carbs below 50g.
Also, since this recipe post is longer than normal, I provided a “jump to recipe” button at the top for you in case you don’t want to read about each individual part.
Each part of this tasty, low carb BBQ pork sandwich is available in separate recipe cards as well as one long recipe card (at the bottom of this post)! So, if you want to use these for other purposes, you can just click to those recipes from each section below.
Making a Low Carb BBQ Pork Sandwich
Condiments are so difficult sometimes. Just about every dressing and sauce in the condiment aisle at the store is loaded with added sugar and preservatives. Over the years, we’ve found a few brands that meet the 90/10 guidelines, but they are few and far between. As mentioned in the intro, Primal Kitchen has a sauce (and it’s actually low carb), but this is a very recent development as of this writing. We’ve also used Organicville bbq sauce in the past.
This is part of what inspired this low carb BBQ pork sandwich recipe. I set out to find a way to make a tasty BBQ sauce without the added sugar and with only a few ingredients. I ended up being inspired by this recipe on wholesomeyum.com and set out to make my own. Since we don’t use erythritol or other sugar alcohols, I had to make some changes. The result of my experiments yielded a tasty sauce with minimal ingredients that I just love.
One thing I really love about making my own sauce (besides controlling the ingredients) is that I can control the consistency. I like a thinner BBQ sauce and it’s really easy to adjust that when you make your own.
Honestly, you can make the pork for this low carb BBQ pork sandwich just about any way you want. You can smoke it, slow roast it in the oven, use your slow cooker, or even your Instant Pot. The goal is to get tender pork that you can pull apart easily. If you already have a way of doing that, go for it.
I’ve added Instant Pot and slow cooker instructions on this recipe because those are easy and come out really good. The key to it all is broiling it at the end to caramelize the tips of the pork with sauce. Yum! You can make the buns in the oven first and then turn it up for broiling the meat right before you’re ready to assemble.
The separate recipe linked below just has the pork and the BBQ sauce recipe in it in case you want to make the pork but use it some other way.
Personally, I like a really light and crisp slaw on a BBQ pork sandwich. So, for these low carb BBQ pork sandwiches, I just threw together a super simple slaw with a small amount of sauce. If you like it saucier, you can use larger amounts of the sauce ingredients.
This recipe just uses a little mayo, some apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, and stevia drops for a little sweetness.
On the full recipe card for this sandwich (at the bottom of this post), I put a half recipe of coleslaw. The individual recipe version is portioned more for using it as a side.
We’ve actually had this low carb hamburger bun recipe for a while. It’s not a new creation just for this low carb BBQ pork sandwich, but there was no need to create something new. This bun recipe is awesome. I suggest making these before you turn your oven up to broil the meat.
Now, if you aren’t concerned with keeping your carbs super low (like me), you can opt to just use a 100% whole wheat bun. You’ll still have a great sandwich with reduced sugar and real food ingredients.
The Low Carb BBQ Pork Sandwich Recipe
Keto BBQ Sauce
- 1 can tomato paste 6 oz
- 1/3 cup white vinegar
- 1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce see NOTE 1
- 1 1/2 Tbsp spicy brown mustard
- 1 cups water more or less for desired thickness
- 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper adjust as needed for desired heat
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 5 drops stevia drops such as sweet leaf brand
- 1 1/2 lb pork sirloin tip roast 1.5-2 lbs is fine
- 2 cups Chicken broth or vegetable broth or water
- 2 Tbsp spice mixture see NOTE 2
- 2 Tbsp bottled minced garlic
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cups coleslaw mix about half of a package
- 3 Tbsp mayonnaise green tier version (see notes)
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar raw, unfiltered
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- stevia drops 3-5 drops, such as sweet leaf brand
- 1 cup blanched almond flour
- 4 egg
- 4 Tbsp coconut oil melted
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- spices optional
Pork: Instant Pot
- Start by seasoning the pork roast with your chosen spice mix. Rub the whole roast with spices and garlic. Now, set your Instant Pot to "saute", add the olive oil, and brown the roast on all sides. 1-2 minutes per side.
- Add chicken broth to the Instant Pot, close the lid, set steam release knob to "sealing", and set for manual high for 90 minutes.
- When time is up, allow the pressure to release naturally for at least 10 minutes and then you can use quick release if you wish. Meanwhile, set your oven to broil.
- Remove the roast from the Instant Pot and shred it with two forks. Place the shredded pork on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush the shredded pork with the barbecue sauce and place in the oven to broil for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are browning and caramelized.
Pork: Slow Cooker
- Start by seasoning the pork roast with your chosen spice mix. Rub the whole roast with spices and garlic. Now, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet and brown the roast on all sides. 1-2 minutes per side.
- Add roast and chicken broth to the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours.
- Set your oven to broil. Remove the roast from the slow cooker and shred it with two forks. Place the shredded pork on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush the shredded pork with the barbecue sauce and place in the oven to broil for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are browning and caramelized.
Keto BBQ Sauce
- Add all ingredients to a medium sauce pan and stir well, adding the water last. I used somewhere around 1 cup of water because I like my sauce on the thinner side. You can vary the thickness to your liking. It will thicken a bit as it cooks so make it a little thinner than you would normally like it to start with.
- Bring to a slight boil and then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.
- Adjust heat level or sweetness level by adding more stevia drops or more cayenne pepper.
- Add coleslaw mix to a large bowl. In a medium bow, whisk together mayo, vinegar, stevia, salt, and pepper. Pour dressing over coleslaw and mix well. Refrigerate for at least one hour to allow flavors to combine.
- Preheat the oven to 425 deg. Add all the ingredients in a blender and pulse until just mixed and smooth. Make sure the coconut oil is liquid (melted) before adding it.
- Pour the batter into 4 small pot pie pans (see note 3 below) or large muffin tins. We used the small pot pie pans. Silicone bakeware would be ideal for these.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until cooked through.
- Cut the buns in half, add pork to the bottom half, top with coleslaw, add the top part of the bun and enjoy!