These amazing Hawaiian Pulled Pork Sandwiches are a whole summer vibe! Meaty, juicy, tangy, and oh-so satisfying, you won't believe how easy they are to make! Perfect for a laid-back weekend gathering on a summer night.

Close up image of a pulled pork sandwich topped with a grilled pineapple ring and coleslaw.

Picture this: you're swaying in a hammock under palm trees, listening to the ocean waves, a fruity drink in your hand, a ukulele playing in the background…is this heaven?? Maybe not, but the Hawaiian islands sure come close in our opinion! Sadly, we can't magically transport everyone there, but we CAN bring a little bit of Hawaii to you with our Hawaiian Pulled Pork Sandwiches!

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We feel like this pulled pork sandwich captures our favorite summer vibes: easy, low-key, but super tasty and satisfying. If you're wanting a dinner that will work for both busy weeknights or for a fun weekend gathering with friends or family, this is just the thing. Read on to learn how to pull it all together!

Sandwich Ingredient Swaps

Overhead image of homemade cabbage coleslaw in a teal bowl to be used as a topping for pulled pork sandwiches.

Sometimes you go to make dinner and realize – uh oh! – you're missing an ingredient you thought you had! (Pro tip: Our downloadable kitchen inventory sheet will help you in this department!) Or, maybe some of the ingredients don't work for your dietary needs. No problem, friend! Here are some common swaps we suggest:

  • Pork – the recipe calls for a 3.5 lb pork shoulder or pork loin, but if pork isn't an option for you feel free to use chicken breasts instead.
  • Canned pineapple rings – we love that canned pineapple is inexpensive and shelf stable, but if you'd rather use a fresh pineapple we fully support that, too! Use this handy pineapple corer to make it easier to create rings.
  • Coleslaw – adding some crunchy, tangy coleslaw onto this sandwich really takes it over the top! Store-bought stuff is fine, but this easy homemade recipe is our favorite! If you're not into coleslaw some shredded lettuce works great, too!
  • Teriyaki sauce – Down to your last drop? No worries! Try this homemade teriyaki sauce: Combine 1 cup water, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 2 Tbsp honey, 1 tsp garlic, and 1/2 tsp ginger in a pan over medium heat. In a small bowl, combine 2 Tbsp cornstarch with 1/4 cup water and whisk until dissolved. Add the cornstarch mixture to the saucepan. Heat the sauce until it reaches your desired thickness. If too thick, add more water to thin it out.

How To Make Hawaiian Pulled Pork Sandwiches

These pulled pork sandwiches take only a few minutes of prep and will result in tender meat that cooked low and slow all day thanks to your trusty slow cooker! Prefer to use an Instant Pot? We've got you covered there, too! See below for instructions for using your pressure cooker instead.

Hawaiian Pulled Pork Sandwiches

These delicious sandwiches are easy to make and perfect for summer gatherings.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8


  • 16 oz teriyaki sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1 red or yellow onion, diced
  • 1 20 oz can pineapple rings in juice
  • lbs boneless pork shoulder or pork loin
  • 8 hamburger buns


  • In a large bowl, mix together the teriyaki sauce, brown sugar, onion, and the juice from the can of pineapple rings. Refrigerate the rings to use later.
  • Add the pork shoulder to your slow cooker and pour the sauce mixture over the top. Place the lid on the slow cooker, and cook on low for 7-8 hours, or until pork is tender and cooked through.
  • Transfer the pork to a separate plate and use two forks to shred it.
  • Discard half the liquid from the slow cooker, then transfer the shredded pork back into the slow cooker to soak in the remaining liquid.
  • Place a pan over medium-high heat. Add the reserved pineapple slices and cook on both sides until slightly browned (about 5-7 minutes).
  • Assemble the sandwiches by placing a generous scoop of pulled pork on each bun, topping with a slice of the "grilled" pineapple, and if desired top it all off with homemade coleslaw.
Keyword crockpot, pulled pork, sandwich

How To Make Instant Pot Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Image of a Hawaiian pulled pork sandwich with pineapple and coleslaw on top. There are two more sandwiches in the background. - Shelf Cooking

If using a pressure cooker is more your jam, we totally get it! We love our Instant Pot, and this is a perfect recipe for it. Follow these instructions to make the Hawaiian Pulled Pork Sandwiches in your Instant Pot:

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the teriyaki sauce, brown sugar, onion, and the juice from the can of pineapple rings. Refrigerate the rings to use later.
  2. Add the pork shoulder to your Instant Pot and pour the sauce mixture over the top. Lock the lid in place and cook on high pressure for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Allow pressure to naturally release for 20 minutes before setting valve to quick release and removing the lid.
  3. Transfer the pork to a separate plate and use two forks to shred it.
  4. Continue to follow the remainder of the steps 4, 5, and 6 in the recipe above. Don't forget the slaw!

Easy peasy!

Storing Leftovers And Prepping Ahead

If you've been around these parts for a while, you know that we are huge fans of preparing food in advance and storing/repurposing leftovers. Having food already prepared is a fantastic way to save money by not having to hit up the drive-thru every time life gets busy.

If you're wanting to make a double-batch so you can eat one meal today and save another for later, we recommend using two slow cookers or Instant Pots (or one of each!). Those pork shoulders take up a lot of space! Once prepared, allow the meat to cool completely, transfer to freezer bags, label and date, and then freeze for up to 3 months.

To reheat, thaw in the fridge overnight, then reheat in a pan over medium heat until heated through. Enjoy again as pulled pork sandwiches, or mix things up and use the meat to make quesadillas, Hawaiian tacos, or Hawaiian haystacks!

Have an event coming up that you want to prepare for? Follow the same process and you'll be ready to go! You can also store the meat in airtight containers in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

So, what do you say? Time for a luau? We think so! Let us know if you try these sandwiches and what you think in the comments. We hope you love them!

Close up image of a Hawaiian Pulled Pork Sandwich made into a graphic. At the bottom it says "Hawaiian BBQ Pork Sandwiches". - Shelf Cooking

We've got plenty more recipes and ideas to help you love cooking for your family! Check these out: