Indulge in the tangy, citrus-infused flavors of Cuban mojo pork. This traditional dish features succulent, marinated pork, slow-cooked to tender perfection with a vibrant blend of garlic, citrus juices, and spices, creating a mouthwatering balance of zesty and savory flavors.

a plate full of mojo pork and side dishes


If it has been a while since you have pulled out your slow cooker because you always make the same things and they have gotten boring, this crock pot Cuban mojo pork is about to spice things up and change the way you feel about slow cooker meals! Our recipe uses fresh citrus, herbs, and spices for the most authentic taste!

Pulled pork is such an amazing dish and can be made in so many ways. Some of our other favorites are Sweet & Spicy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork, Slow Cooker Asian Pulled Pork Sliders, and Crispy Mexican Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas!

Slow Roasted Cuban Mojo Pork that has been shredded with two forks makes the best cubanos.

What is Mojo Pork?

So, if you are wondering about this funny name and why this is called "mojo" pork, it's all because of the sauce that the pork marinates in while cooking in the slow cooker. Cuban mojo sauce (pronounced MOH-hoh, not MOH-joe) comes from Cuba but is also used in Spanish and Portuguese cuisines, with some small variations.

It's typically made with sour oranges, which grow wild in parts of Florida and the Bahamas. Fortunately, it's easy to mimic the flavor of sour or bitter oranges using fresh squeezed orange and lime juices, since most of us don't have access to actual sour oranges.

The other main ingredients in cuban mojo sauce are lots of garlic, cumin, oregano, cilantro, mint, and olive oil. There is not a lot of mint and it isn't in all mojo sauce recipes, but I love it and think it adds a wonderful, subtle flavor quality with everything else.

Not only does this Cuban mojo sauce act as a fantastic marinade, but it can also be used as a dip or sauce. I like to reserve a little of the mojo sauce to drizzle over the finished pork along with some of the pork juices that cook off, just to boost the flavor of the finished meat.

An image of the ingredients for a Cuban mojo sauce recipe in a food processor ready to be pulsed.

Mojo Pork Ingredients

  • Pork Shoulder Roast - We like a boneless pork shoulder or pork butt which cooks and shreds beautifully.
  • Garlic Cloves
  • Oranges & Limes - You’ll need both zest and juice from the fresh citrus.
  • Olive Oil
  • Cilantro - You might need two bunches of cilantro to have enough.
  • Mint Leaves - Fresh mint leaves add an unexpected and really delightful flavor to this dish.
  • Spices - Dried oregano, ground cumin, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper round out the flavor profile of this Cuban mojo pork.
An image of a crock pot filled with a pork butt covered in Cuban mojo sauce for slow cooker Cuban mojo pork.

How to make a Cuban Pork Roast

This really is such an easy recipe to make in the morning and have dinner pretty much ready when you want it in the evening.

  1. Just pulse all the mojo sauce ingredients together in a blender or food processor (affiliate link) and pour it over the pork shoulder in the slow cooker, cover it, and walk away. Pork butt works just as well.
  2. You can brown the pork shoulder first on all sides if you want to, but it's not necessary. Although like with my Mexican pork carnitas, I like to finish this slow cooker Cuban mojo pork in the oven just to get a little bit of crust on the top, which is pretty much impossible to do in the slow cooker.
  3. Just carefully transfer the finished pork roast to a baking sheet and pop it in a 400 degree F oven for 15-20 minutes at the end of cooking in order to crisp up the top a bit.
  4. Afterwards, use two forks to pull the roast apart into chunks for Cuban pulled pork.
An image of a place of rice, beans, fried plantains, and Cuban pulled pork.

Mojo Pork Recipe Tips

  • Set aside a little bit of the Cuban mojo sauce before pouring the rest of it over the pork shoulder in the slow cooker. I like to keep about ⅓ cup separate, which I then mix with an equal amount of the pork drippings at the end to drizzle over the shredded pork for an extra boost of flavor.
  • You can thicken the drippings in the slow cooker, if you like, by making a slurry of 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water. Then stir the slurry into the slow cooker in the last 30 minutes of cooking.
  • Don't open the lid while the pork shoulder is cooking, even though it will be tempting because of the amazing smell. This can result in the loss of moisture and heat. Try your best to just leave it alone until the end of the cooking time.
  • You can marinate the pork in the mojo sauce for 12 hours ahead of time if you want. Sometimes it's easier to make the mojo sauce the night before and just have everything ready to go in the fridge. That way you aren't pulling out the food processor (affiliate link) or blender in the morning. I don't feel like it adds a ton of extra flavor since really the pork is marinating the whole time it cooks in the mojo sauce, but it certainly doesn't hurt either.
  • Go full Cuban/Florida for this meal and have pastelitos de guayaba (guava cream cheese Cuban pastries) for dessert!

I always do my best to research recipes from other cultures thoroughly to represent them as best I can. If this recipe is from your country or culture and you have suggestions for how I can improve its authenticity, please let me know in the comments below! It's important to us to share beloved foods of other cultures with as much accuracy as possible, while also considering things like accessibility of ingredients and ease of preparation for most home cooks.

An image of pulled pork on a baking sheet being pulled apart with two forks.

What to serve with Cuban Pork

  • Black Beans and Rice (Moros y Cristianos): This classic Cuban dish complements the mojo pork perfectly.
  • Tostones: Fried plantains that are smashed and fried again, they add a delightful crunch and sweetness.
  • Yuca con Mojo: Boiled yuca served with a garlic-citrus sauce, a traditional Cuban side that complements the flavors of the pork.
  • Cuban-style Slaw: A fresh, tangy salad made with cabbage, onions, and a citrus-based vinaigrette can balance the richness of the pork.
  • Sweet Plantains (Maduros): Ripe plantains fried until caramelized, they add a sweet contrast to the savory pork.
  • Avocado Salad: A simple salad of avocado, tomatoes, onions, and lime juice can provide a refreshing contrast.
  • Cuban Bread or Dinner Rolls: Great for soaking up the delicious juices from the pork.
  • Grilled Vegetables: Charred veggies like bell peppers, zucchini, or onions bring a smoky, slightly sweet flavor to the meal.

How to store leftover Mojo Pork

Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can also freeze leftover mojo pork for up to 2 months. Let it thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.

How to reheat Cuban Pork Roast

  • Oven: Preheat your oven to a low temperature (around 275°F). Place the mojo pork in an oven-safe dish, cover it with foil to prevent drying out, and reheat for about 20-30 minutes until it is heated through. You might want to add a splash of broth or citrus juice to keep it moist.
  • Stovetop: Use a skillet or pan over low to medium heat. Add a bit of olive oil or citrus juice to the pan, then add the pork. Cover it with a lid to trap moisture and heat it gently, stirring occasionally until warmed through.
  • Microwave: This method is faster but can sometimes result in uneven heating. To avoid drying it out, place the pork in a microwave-safe dish, cover it with a damp paper towel to retain moisture, and heat it in short intervals, stirring in between until it's thoroughly heated.

Cuban Pork Recipe FAQs

What pork makes the best roast?

Several cuts of pork work well for roasting, depending on your preferences for tenderness, flavor, and fat content. Pork shoulder (aka pork butt) is great for slow-roasting and it’s our top pick. It's well-marbled with fat, resulting in a tender, juicy roast. It's often used for pulled pork and can handle longer cooking times at lower temperatures. Another option you sometimes see is pork loin, which is leaner compared to the shoulder, with a mild flavor and tenderness. It's often roasted whole or cut into chops. Be cautious not to overcook it to maintain its tenderness.

Why is my pork roast tough?

A pork roast might turn out tough due to a few common reasons. Overcooking is a primary factor—cooking lean cuts like pork loin or tenderloin beyond the recommended internal temperature can result in dryness and toughness. Undercooking is another culprit; ensure the roast reaches the suggested temperature of around 145°F (63°C) to avoid chewiness. Choosing the wrong cut also matters; some cuts have more connective tissues and are naturally tougher. Finally, insufficient moisture during cooking can lead to toughness, especially in lean cuts, so using liquids or basting can help maintain tenderness. Addressing these factors—proper cooking temperature, resting, and choice of cut—can greatly influence the tenderness of your pork roast.

An image of a plate of Slow Cooker Cuban Mojo Pork with rice and beans on the side.

More like this Mojo Pork Recipe

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.

Stay in the know

Mojo Pork Recipe (Crockpot)

4.77 from 30 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 10 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 8 people
Tender, Slow Cooker Cuban Mojo Pork is full of garlic and citrus flavors.  It's a simple dump-and-go recipe that marinates in a Cuban mojo sauce in the crock pot.  And the leftovers make the best Cuban sandwiches ever!

Ingredients
  

  • 3-4 pound boneless pork shoulder or pork butt
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup lightly packed mint leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
 

  • In a food processor (affiliate link) or blender, combine all of the ingredients except for the pork shoulder and pulse until everything is finely chopped. If you do not have a food processor (affiliate link) or blender, just finely chop the herbs and mince the garlic, then combine everything in a bowl and whisk together. Set aside about ⅓ cup of the mojo sauce for later and keep it in the fridge while the pork cooks.
  • Place the pork shoulder in the slow cooker and pour the mojo sauce over it. Cover and cook on HIGH for 5-6 hours or on LOW for 8-10 hours. 
  • When the pork is fully cooked and tender, carefully transfer it to a baking sheet and bake in a 400 degree F oven for 15-20 minutes until browned on top. While doing this, you can thicken the cooking juices remaining in the slow cooked using a slurry made from 1 tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon of water, if desired. Just stir it in, cover, and cook on HIGH for 20-30 minutes while browning the pork and shredded it.  
  • Pull the Cuban mojo pork apart using two fork or just by chopping with a large knife a few times to break it up into tender chunks. Drizzle with reserved mojo sauce, if desired, and serve with the remaining juices from the slow cooker.

Notes

Recipe adapted slightly and inspired by posts from Serious Eats and Recipe Tin Eats.

Nutrition

Calories: 305kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 550mg | Potassium: 674mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 250IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

More States I Have Visited in my American Eats Series

Alabama • Alaska • Arizona • Arkansas • California • Colorado • Connecticut • Delaware • Florida • Georgia • Hawaii • IdahoIllinoisIndianaIowa • KansasKentuckyLouisiana • MaineMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNew JerseyNew YorkOregonPuerto RicoSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTexasUtahWisconsin

Share This With the World

PinYummly

Related Recipes

About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How many stars would you give this recipe?




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Reader questions and reviews

  1. Kelsea says:

    Do you have any recommendations for how long this should be cooked in an instant pot?

    1. Amy says:

      I would do it on HIGH pressure for 80 minutes, followed by a natural release. I haven't tried this particular roast in the instant pot myself yet, but that's where I would start. If I do it, I will update the post with Instant Pot instructions as well!

  2. Deb A says:

    Wow! I left out the mint since I didn't have any. This came out awesome! My son's new favorite meal. We made it into cubans tonight... but there was quite a bit dipped into the reserved marinade (and it was great with some broth added onto the rice) and eaten before we were able to make our cubans! Thanks for a great recipe.

  3. Kris Hoiland says:

    I have my roast in the crock pot! Can’t wait for dinner.  Have you made this in a cast iron dutch oven? I was
    gifted one and wanted to know how I would cook it in the dutch oven.  Any suggestions? Thank you!

    1. Amy says:

      I haven't tried this in a dutch oven, but I'm sure you could do it! Just cook it low and slow in the oven until the meat is done!

  4. Benjamin Phillip Albers says:

    I have a bunch of spare ribs I want to use for this. How many pounds of spare ribs would I substititute for this recipe?

    1. Amy says:

      That's a tricky one because it depends on how meaty the spare ribs are. But the finished recipe is enough to serve about 8, so I would look at your spare ribs and go from there. If you have enough spare ribs to feed 8, then you should be able to use all of the other ingredients as written without modification.

  5. Stan Nelson says:

    Do you use fresh cilantro and mint, or dried?

    1. Amy says:

      I use fresh whenever I can. Dried works in a pinch, but I think that the flavor is so much better with fresh.

  6. Stu Nichols says:

    I love this recipe and making this for the third time. I shared the recipe with my daughter and she loved it too.

  7. Sarah says:

    I don’t have any fresh mint, but I have some mint extract. Would that work? If so, any suggestion on how much?

    1. Amy says:

      I wouldn't use mint extract as I think it would be too strong for this dish. I would just leave it out entirely if you don't have fresh mint available. Or you could also substitute with basil. While not the same flavor, basil and mint are in the same family so I think it would work as a decent substitute.

  8. Megan says:

    Can use bone in? Or use boneless pork loin?

    1. Amy says:

      Either, although I usually use boneless.

  9. Cubana says:

    Mint leaves and cilantro? I am Cuban and those ingredients are never used when making authentic Cuban lechon. 

  10. Scott says:

    2 stars
    Hello,
    I followed your directions to the letter and I’m not sure what happened but the meat was extremely dry. I cooked on high for 5 hours per the directions and did the browning for 15 minutes. We had to have it soak in the sauce for another 30 min just to be able to eat it. The flavors were great, unfortunately the meat was way to tough. I would love some feedback or any tips you might have. Thanks. 

    1. Amy says:

      Did you by any chance use a pork loin instead of pork butt or pork shoulder? Because that could definitely be the cause.

    2. John says:

      I have read a ton of similar pork shoulder crock pot recipes. It seems most problems with dryness come from cooking it on high heat. Always go with low and slow.

  11. Jennifer Shamblin says:

    Any suggestions for substituting boneless pork loin roast instead.of pork butt or shoulder?

    1. Amy says:

      It will work, but because boneless pork loin has much less fat, there is a bigger risk of the meat turning out dry.

  12. Niki Hupman says:

    5 stars
    Soooooo good. Flavor city! Absolutely will make again!

  13. Kayti says:

    4 stars
    Ok so this is not a review as the recipe is written! I want to clarify. I just it may be helpful because I used an instant pot and a pork loin roast (which you are specifically not recommended tondo) and it turned out tasty!

    I made the marinade as instructed. Poured a little extra oil to add some missing fat and because instant pot. Salted the pork, put it in instant pot and poured marinade over top. I used just under a 4lb roast, poured marinade minus 1/3 cup reserved in fridge. Pressure cooked 33 minutes in instant pot. Did natural release. Put in oven for 25 minutes at 400.
    I tried putting the IP on slow cooked high for 20 minutes with the cornstarch but it really didn't do much, Soni put it on saute, added a little extra cornstarch and whisked for 5 or so minutes. Sauce thickened!

    Roast turned out tender and juicy but not shreddable. Very delicious!

    Unsure what to do with this reserved marinade though?

    🙂

  14. Carlos says:

    5 stars
    AWESOME!!!!

  15. Emily says:

    5 stars
    We made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious! Thanks Amy for another awesome recipe!

    1. Amy says:

      So glad you made this one! Thanks for leaving a review!

  16. Shawna jones says:

    Hi I make this all the time but I am trying to triple the recipe for tomorrow why doesn’t the zest of the orange and lime increase ?

    1. Amy says:

      Hi! Yes it is a little frustrating but the reason it doesn't change is because there is no measurement attached to the zest amount. The amount of zest from one orange can be anywhere from 1-2 tbsp so it's hard to put an exact measurement on it. But I will definitely take a look at it and see if I can change it so it will change the zest amount if the recipe is doubled or tripled. Thank you!