Main Dishes
Cafe Rio’s Copycat Sweet Pork Barbacoa

Cafe Rio’s Copycat Sweet Pork Barbacoa

Cafe Rio’s COPYCAT Sweet Pork Barbacoa

When Cafe Rio opened its restaurant here in my town, we had to go check it out! We were super impressed with their menu and of course KIDS EAT FREE! Woohoo! With that said, eating out often is not something we do. We have really cut back to only going out 1 to 2 times a month.

So when we find a meal that we really like, I try to recreate it. Now since Sweet Pork Barbacoa is sweetened with sugar at Cafe Rio, and I don’t eat sugar, I decided to invent my own using dates and honey. My husband said it tastes just like the restaurant sweet pork, so I’m thrilled!

Cafe Rio's Copycat Sweet Pork Barbacoa

Homemaker On A Budget
Cuisine Main Dishes, Recipes
Servings 10 servings, or more



  • 4 pounds picnic pork roast shredded chicken or beef works too

Enchilada Sauce

  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. cumin powder
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • salt and pepper

Added Sweetener

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 cup chopped dates
  • 1/2 cup honey


  • First, cook your pork roast. This can be done however you'd like. I typically put it in the slow cooker for 6-8 hours on low with 1 cup of water. You don't need to do anything fancy.
  • In a large saucepan, whisk all enchilada sauce ingredients together over medium heat.
  • When sauce comes to a simmer, reduce heat to low and cook an additional 3-5 minutes, then set aside.
  • Take the warm water and add it to a bowl with the chopped dates. Let them sit for 5 minutes, then blend them in a blender.
  • Add the date paste and honey to the enchilada sauce and stir to combine.
  • Once the pork roast is done cooking, shred the meat and add it all to the sauce. Stir to combine and you're done!


If you liked this recipe, you might also like:

Instant Pot Shredded Pork Taco Soup - click link here
Best Baked Oatmeal - click link here
Warm Rice Cereal - click link here

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