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Student Recipes

Cheap and healthy pulled pork recipe

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Struggling to find a use for your slow cooker? Here's how to make a very tasty meal with minimal effort.

pulled pork

Credit: Slawomir Fajer - Shutterstock

Originating from Southern USA, pulled pork can be enjoyed pretty much any way you'd like. Team it with BBQ sauce and fries for a truly American treat, add it to a burger on 'cheat day', or as we suggest below team it with boiled veg for a healthier alternative.

Our mouth-watering pulled pork recipe serves four, costs around £1.50 per head and is mostly cooked in a slow cooker (one of our top kitchen gadgets for students). This means you'll be eating well, saving money, and able to spend much more time binging Netflix... studying, we mean studying.

Plus, who needs scented candles when you can have the mouth-watering smell of pulled pork cooking away in the kitchen instead?

Instead of pork, why not try making this recipe with jackfruit instead? It's healthier, more sustainable and just as delicious.

Easy pulled pork recipe


Serves: 4 | Costs: £6.17* (£1.54 per serving) | Time taken: 6 hours 15 mins

  • 1kg of pork shoulder (£4.70)
  • 250g of passata (£0.28)
  • 3 tablespoons of Worcester sauce (£0.30)
  • 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar (£0.14)
  • 1 tablespoon of mustard powder (£0.25)
  • 2 crushed cloves of garlic (£0.04)
  • 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar (£0.03)
  • 500g of mixed frozen veg (£0.43)
  • Optional: BBQ sauce and seasoning to finish.
This recipe is part of our student meal plan which covers your three meals a day plus snacks for a month (and can be used all year round, of course!).


  1. Sear the pork shoulder in a hot pan. To sear your meat, use a drizzle of vegetable oil in a hot pan, let your meat effectively 'stick' to the bottom of the pan until it is seared through, then flip and repeat on the other side. Top tip: pat the raw meat dry with a paper towel before searing, as this improves the contact with the pan (and creates less steam when cooking).
  2. Transfer the seared meat to your slow cooker (you can leave it turned off for now).
  3. Add your passata, Worcester sauce, balsamic vinegar, mustard powder, crushed garlic and sugar to the same pan that you seared your pork in (for added flavour). Cook for 5–10 minutes.
  4. Pour the cooked mix over your pork shoulder in the slow cooker and set it up to cook for 6 hours on the low setting.
  5. After 6 hours, you can take your meat out of the slow cooker.
  6. Use two forks to 'shred' the pork. Top tip: pull the forks in opposite directions to get long, thin shreds.
  7. Boil your mixed frozen veg for 3–6 minutes until hot.
  8. Serve together and enjoy your mouth-wateringly tasty pulled pork dinner. You might want to top it with some BBQ sauce too, but we'll leave that up to you.

Not only is this a super simple (yet super tasty) meal to make, but as you're only using a minimal amount of equipment, it's easy on the washing up too. Unless you're lucky enough to have a dishwasher, of course.

Your days of dull student meals are a thing of the past. Our pulled pork recipe is effortless, budget-friendly and, above all – brilliantly flavoursome. Plus, it makes for a great sandwich filling the next day. What are you waiting for? Dig that dusty slow cooker out and get cooking (but maybe wipe it first).

If you're feeling inspired to whip up some more great meals, then take a look at our student recipes page for more brilliant (and budget-friendly) ideas. 

* Prices are correct at the time of writing (using and prices as guidelines).

Jessica Pardoe

WRITTEN BY Jessica Pardoe

Jessica Pardoe's excellent and cost-effective recipes help university students eat healthy meals on a budget.
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