This Santa Maria seasoned pork roast is cooked to savory, tender, spicy perfection in the Instant Pot. It’s served inside lettuce wraps, with tangy homemade quick pickled cabbage and creamy avocado.
This recipe was created in partnership with AdapTable Meals. All opinions are my own!
About the Recipe
The weather is finally starting to turn here in Virginia, and we’re seeing signs of Spring! Birds are chirping, tulips are popping up, and I’m suddenly in the mood for bright, exciting flavors.
This Santa Maria pork totally fits the bill! It’s super savory and lightly spicy, and it’s cooked in the Instant Pot until it’s ultra tender, then shredded into bite sized pieces.
To serve the pork, I wrap it up inside a crisp piece of butter lettuce with tangy pickled cabbage to add brightness and texture, then top it all with creamy avocado and cilantro to balance it all out.
But the thing I love most is that this meal is incredibly easy to make. You already know how much I love my Instant Pot for easy, quick meals (like my Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potatoes), but this is almost next-level easy. I promise, it’s almost as easy as ordering take out, except way, way better (and better for you!).
And since this pork roast is from AdapTable Meals, it’s already pre-seasoned and marinated, so all I need to do it put it in the Instant Pot and turn it on! While it cooks, I make quick pickled cabbage, and the whole dinner is pretty much done!
Get your grocery lists ready, because here’s what you’ll need to pick up to make this Instant Pot Santa Maria Pork recipe at home.
Pork Lettuce Wrap Ingredients
- Santa Maria Pork Roast. This roast from AdapTable is seasoned with chili pepper, garlic, and onion. Use their store locator to find it near you!
- Butter Lettuce or Bibb Lettuce
- Pickled Red Cabbage (keep reading!)
- Purple Cabbage. It’s also called red cabbage, and it’s a very cruciferous vegetable. Pickling the cabbage takes a bit of the harshness out of the vegetable and gives it a nice acidic punch. For best results, use a very sharp knife or mandolin to thinly shred the cabbage.
- Apple cider vinegar
- Lime juice, preferably freshly squeezed.
- Salt and pepper
Step by Step Instructions
Cook the Pork: Set the pork roast in the Instant Pot with 1 cup of liquid, either water or broth. Close the lid and turn to High Pressure for 55 minutes. While it’s cooking, move on to the next steps.
Allow for a natural pressure release (NPR), which basically means to do nothing and simply allow the pressure to dissipate on its own. This process takes 10-20 minutes, depending on your Instant Pot.
Shred the Pork: Remove the pork and use two forks to shred into bite-sized pieces. Spoon a little bit of the liquid over the pork to keep it moist.
Make the Pickled Cabbage: While the pork is cooking, make the sugar-free pickled cabbage. Very thinly slice the red cabbage and transfer to a large wide mouth mason jar, pressing the cabbage into the jar to leave as little space as possible.
In a small sauce pan, mix together the apple cider vinegar and lime juice, and bring to a simmer. Stir in the seasonings and garlic.
Carefully pour the mixture over the cabbage in the mason jar, using a funnel if necessary. Give it a quick stir and set it on the countertop for 30 minutes to an hour, until cool.
Prep the Toppings: Slice the limes and avocado, and mince the cilantro. Wash the lettuce. Serve everything together so your family or guests can assemble their lettuce wraps exactly the way they like them.
What is Santa Maria Seasoning?
Before this recipe, I had never even heard of Santa Maria style seasoning! To be fair, I’ve never been to California, so maybe that’s why.
But Santa Maria seasoning is packed full of spicy flavor, made with chili pepper, garlic, and onion.
Here’s what I learned from my pals at AdapTable: The seasoning blend originated in the Santa Maria Valley of California way back in the 1800’s, and since then, the area has became widely known for the unique style of bbq that’s heavily influenced by Spanish flavors.
Slow Cooker Adaptation
Add the pork roast and liquid to your slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or High heat for 4-5 hours.
Leftover pork: To store leftover cooked pork, transfer to an airtight container or zip top bag. Set in the refrigerator and use within 3-4 days.
Alternately, you can freeze leftover pork. For best results, use within 2-3 months.
Leftover pickled cabbage: Store the leftover pickled cabbage in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use within 2 weeks.
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And if you make it, I’d love to hear about it! Snap a photo and tag me on Instagram @cookathomemom.
Instant Pot Santa Maria Pork Lettuce Wraps
- 1 pork shoulder roast, AdapTable Santa Maria Style Boneless Pork Roast
- 1 head bibb or butter lettuce
- 2 avocados
- 1 Tablespoon minced cilantro
- 2 cups purple cabbage thinly sliced or shredded
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Cook the Pork Roast
- Add the pork roast and 1 cup of water or broth to your Instant Pot. Cover and turn to High Pressure (or Meat/Stew) and set to cook for 55 minutes. Alternately, to cook the pork directly from frozen, set the Instant Pot to High Pressure for 75 minutes.
- Once the pork is cooked, allow for a Natural Pressure Release (simply wait for the pressure to release, which takes about 15 minutes). Open the lid and remove the roast. Use two forks to shred the pork into bite sized pieces. Spoon a bit of the liquid over the shredded pork.
Make the Pickled Cabbage
- While the pork is cooking, make the pickled cabbage. Thinly slice the cabbage. Set it in a bowl or mason jar. Bring the apple cider, garlic, lime juice and seasonings to a simmer. Pour the mixture over the cabbage and stir it to coat. Set it on the counter and allow it to come to room temperature.
Prep the Ingredients
- Mince the cilantro and slice the limes. Wash the lettuce leaves. Wait until just before serving to dice the avocado to prevent it from browning.
Assemble and Serve
- Serve the pork, pickled cabbage, avocado, and cilantro, with slices of lime, and assemble in individual lettuce cups.