Pumpkin Apple Spice Pulled Pork | Recipe Renovator | Gluten-free, paleo, Whole30® compliant

Easy pulled pork with the flavors of fall

Since going back to eating (humanely raised) meat last year, I’ve become a huge fan of the slow cooker and pulled pork. Pork was always my favorite meat as a kid. For this dish, I was playing around with the pumpkin spice trend but looking to create a more savory dish. I also wanted a sauce that was free of nightshades like tomatoes. So I thought about unsweetened applesauce as the base for the pulled pork sauce instead of tomato sauce or paste.

Buy the best quality pork you can afford, as it makes a huge difference in both the quality of flavors as well as in how those producers treat the planet.

I put this together more quickly by buying a package of pre-cut mirepoix (diced celery, carrots, and onions) at Trader Joe’s. If you are following the migraine diet, you’ll need to make your own using green onions; regular onions can be a migraine trigger. Thinly slice one bunch of green onions, then dice 2 stalks of celery and 2 carrots for your mirepoix and use as directed below.

Suitable for:

low-sodium, migraine, gluten-free, reduced-sugar, paleo, Whole30®, grain-free, nightshade-free diets

Not for:

vegan or vegetarian diets

You might also like:

Slow-roasted pulled pork from Cooking Light (contains sugar)
Pulled pork with bourbon-peach BBQ sauce
Slow cooker pulled pork from Civilized Caveman Cooking (dry-rub marinade)

Pumpkin Apple Spice Pulled Pork | Recipe Renovator | Gluten-free, paleo, Whole30® compliant

Pumpkin apple spice pulled pork with sweet potatoes

0 from 0 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 5 hrs
Total Time 5 hrs 20 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings


  • 3 pounds pork shoulder boneless, trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (extra virgin)
  • 2 cups mirepoix pre-cut (see notes for migraine diet options)
  • 1 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
  • 1 cup wine (white) or unsalted stock (use stock for migraine diet)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika (omit for nightshade-free diet)
  • 1 tsp cumin (dried)
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (check to make sure pumpkin pie spice does not contain lemon peel if on migraine diet)
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle pepper (omit for nightshade-free diet)


  • Take the pork out of the refrigerator to begin to warm up. Turn the slow cooker on to low to preheat.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick or cast iron pan, swirling to coat.
  • Sauté the mirepoix for 10 minutes until golden brown.
  • Add the cooked mirepoix to the slow cooker with all the other ingredients except the pork, stirring well.
  • Add the pork, turning to coat well.
  • Cook 4 hours on low.
  • If desired, dice 1 or 2 sweet potatoes or other root vegetables. Pour over the pork and close the lid. Cook one more hour, checking after 45 minutes, until the vegetables are fork-tender but not mushy.
  • Turn off the cooker. Remove the pork carefully with tongs or large spoons to a cutting board. Let rest 10 minutes, then shred with two forks.
  • Serve pork with the vegetables and a side salad.