The Complete Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Salad Recipe

4.72 from 7 votes
177 Comments

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The Complete Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Salad Recipe, right at your fingertips! So easy to make at home, and tastes exactly like the popular restaurant version.

A homemade cafe rio sweet pork salad in a metal tin

The Complete Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Salad Recipe

Thank you to all you die hard Cafe Rio and Costa Vida fans for making us the number one site for Cafe Rio copycat recipes! If you haven’t tried this easy recipe for the famous Sweet Pork Salad yet, you are in for a treat! We LOVE Cafe Rio and Costa Vida – and we’re very picky about our Cafe Rio sweet pork. This recipe tastes exactly like the restaurant version, but so easy because you can make it right at home! We also played around with the rice, the beans, and the house ranch dressing. Finally, we nailed it! This recipe tastes exactly like having Cafe Rio take-out. Try it for yourself and you will see what we mean! Be sure to check out all our other tasty Mexican Recipes! We have all kinds of yummy Mexican dishes to round out your meals and celebrations!

A homemade cafe rio sweet pork salad in a metal tin

What is the Difference Between the Cilantro Ranch Dressing and the Cilantro Lime Dressing?

We love both of these dressings so much – it is always hard to choose! They are both made with tomatillos, cilantro, and lime so the basic flavor is the same. The difference is that the Cilantro Ranch Dressing is thick and creamy like a traditional ranch dressing. The Cilantro Lime Dressing is more of a vinaigrette. It really just comes down to preference!

Don’t Be Intimidated!

This recipe has a lot of ingredients and a lot of separate recipes within the recipe. Don’t be intimidated! If you are wanting to simplify, you can just make the sweet pork and the dressing and get everything else store-bought. You can also make the beans, rice, pork, and dressing all a day or two before hand to make assembly quicker.

FAQ

Where can I find the metal tins for serving?

You can find the 9″ round disposable foil pans for your salads HERE (just like what Cafe Rio and Costa Vida use)

What if I don’t like cilantro?

Although both of the dressings have cilantro in the name, they don’t have a super strong cilantro taste, in my opinion. However, if you are wanting to use a different dressing I would recommend a chipotle ranch or a balsamic vinaigrette.

How many people can I feed with this recipe?

The recipe below is the proportions for one salad. However, if you make up all the recipes (rice, beans, pork, etc.) it can make 4-6 salads, depending on how hungry people are.

More Cafe Rio Recipes

A homemade cafe rio sweet pork salad in a metal tin

Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Salad Recipe

4.72 from 7 votes
The Complete Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Salad Recipe, right at your fingertips! So easy to make at home, and tastes exactly like the popular restaurant version.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Time to Cook Sweet Pork 8 hrs
Total Time 8 hrs 30 mins
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Mexican/Spanish
Servings 1 salad

Ingredients

  • 1 large flour tortilla <<click the link for our homemade recipe
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheese Mexican blend
  • 1/3 cup cilantro lime rice <<click the link for our homemade recipe
  • 1/3 cup black beans <<click the link for our homemade recipe
  • 1/2 cup Cafe Rio sweet pork <<click the link for our homemade recipe
  • 2 cups leafy green or Romaine lettuce NOT iceberg, use leafy green or Romaine
  • 1/4 cup pico de gallo <<click the link for our homemade recipe
  • 1/4 cup guacamole <<click the link for our homemade recipe
  • 1/4 cup tortilla strips <<click the link for our homemade recipe
  • 1 tablespoon Cotija cheese crumbled
  • 1/4 cup cilantro ranch dressing <<click the link for our homemade recipe
  • OR cilantro lime dressing <<click the link for our homemade recipe

Instructions

  • Lay a tortilla in the bottom of an aluminum tin, a bowl, or plate. Sprinkle cheese on it, and put in the oven at 375 for about 5 min or until the cheese is melted.
    A tortilla with melted cheese on top
  • Remove from oven and add rice, beans, and pork.
    A tortilla filled with cheese, rice, beans, and pork
  • Next add the lettuce. Top with pico de gallo, guacamole, tortilla strips, cilantro, and Cotija cheese.
    A homemade cafe rio sweet pork salad in a metal tin
  • Serve with the cilantro ranch or vinaigrette dressing and enjoy!
    Dressing being poured over a salad

Nutrition Information

Calories: 783kcalCarbohydrates: 87gProtein: 37gFat: 34gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 95mgSodium: 1771mgPotassium: 842mgFiber: 12gSugar: 27gVitamin A: 9050IUVitamin C: 15mgCalcium: 423mgIron: 5mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her beautiful three girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

More about Erica Walker

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    We don’t have cafe rio where I live so I’ve never tasted the restaurant version but we LOVE this salad nonetheless!

  2. 5 stars
    I LOVE this recipe!! I have made it several times and it is a huge hit, thank you so much!! It is delicious, I highly recommend it!
    You have made it so easy to complete the whole Cafe Rio Sweet Pulled Pork Salads, thank you thank you!

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