Pulled Pork on a Gluten Free Hawaiian Roll

Pulled Pork on a Gluten Free Hawaiian Roll

It’s not nice to tease you with gluten free bread that you can’t have until November when Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread comes out. Not nice. So, instead (well, really, in addition), I am going to show you how to use a gluten free bread recipe you already have and jury-rig it so that it acts like gluten free Hawaiian rolls. (buns. rolls.). And we’re going to pile up all manner of this easy pulled pork, covered in the best homemade barbecue sauce, inside those rolls (buns). And I promise not to talk too, too much about the new bread you’re going to have in November. But I want you to know how hard it is for me, as my whole entire life has been leading up to this book. I’m that excited about it.[pinit]Pulled Pork on a Gluten Free Hawaiian Roll

To turn my yeast-free gluten free hamburger buns (a version of which is in Quick & Easy) into more of a Hawaiian-style roll, skip the vinegar in the ingredient list and replace the 1/2 cup milk with 1/2 cup pineapple juice. What you see pictured here are the actual gluten free Hawaiian rolls from the new gluten free bread book, and I have been making them every single week for months since my family just cannot get enough of them. They’re lightly sweet, deliciously fragrant, and perfectly soft, plus the dough itself is a true pleasure to shape. Like most of the recipes in the new book, the dough for these rolls is best when it is set to rise slowly, even for a few days, in the refrigerator. Then, on baking day, you shape the dough while it’s still cold, set it to rise after shaping (less than an hour), and then bake and indulge.

Pulled Pork on a Gluten Free Hawaiian Roll

This pulled pork is made with pork loin, which is a leaner cut than pork shoulder. The reason? You have to cook pork shoulder for a whole lot longer than you do pork loin, to bring it to 145°F (safe cooking temperature for pork). A shorter cooking time plus the fact that you cook this at only 300°F means that your kitchen really won’t get overheated. Just do your best not to overcook the pork or it will end up dry, but it’s not so fussy that cooking it to 10°F over the recommended 145°F internal temperature is a real problem. You’re going to be smothering it in homemade barbecue sauce anyway.

Pulled Pork on a Gluten Free Hawaiian Roll

You also want to be sure that you shred or “pull” the pork when it’s still warm, or it is more likely to come apart in clumps. Not that that is a huge problem, either.

Pulled Pork on a Gluten Free Hawaiian Roll

This simple, smoky spice rub is worth doubling and having on hand for using on, say, skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs before grilling them. And have we ever talked about how much I never, ever buy bottles of dressing or sauce? It’s just too easy to make your own, and then you don’t have to hear all those half-empty bottles rattling around every time you open and close your refrigerator. Remember the roasted shallot vinaigrette dressing that we served with that gluten free pasta salad? For a vinaigrette, you only have to know one single ratio. Three:one, oil:acid (like vinegar, lemon juice or a blend). That’s all. So if you want 1 full cup of dressing, it’s 3/4 cup oil + 1/4 cup vinegar = 1 cup vinaigrette. Then, add a dash of kosher salt, maybe a teaspoon of honey for a honey vinaigrette? Or not. Your call. Barbecue sauce is something else that shouldn’t be bought. It should be made. I do generally start with a bottled tomato ketchup, though. Let’s not go overboard.

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 5 servings


For the pork (dry rub)
3 pounds pork loin

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground chili powder

1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar

2 teaspoons dry mustard powder

2 teaspoons kosher salt

For the barbecue sauce

3/4 cup (6 fluid ounces) tomato ketchup

2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

For serving
5 Gluten-Free Burger Buns (replace the milk with an equal volume of pineapple juice for Hawaiian rolls, and omit the vinegar)

1 recipe Perfect Cole Slaw


  • Pat the pork loin dry and place it in a roasting pan or Dutch oven. In a small bowl, combine all of the remaining ingredients of the dry rub, and whisk to combine well. Scatter all of the dry rub on the pork, and gently rub it into the meat on all sides. Allow the meat to rest, fat side up, for about 45 minutes at room temperature. While the meat is resting, preheat your oven to 300°F. Place the roast in the preheated oven and cook for about 1 hour 45 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of the meat reads 145°F.

  • Remove the meat from the oven and allow it to cool until you are able to handle it (it should still be very warm, as it is easier to shred than when it is cold or at room temperature). Peel off and discard the fat from the top of the roast, and pull apart and shred the meat with your hands or with two forks.

  • Make the barbecue sauce by combining all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk to combine well. Place the shredded pork in the sauce, and toss to coat the meat thoroughly. Serve the pork on the buns, with the cole slaw on the side.

  • The barbecue sauce is adapted from Gluten-Free on a Shoestring: 125 Easy Recipes for Eating Well on the Cheap. The pork is adapted from Melissa Clark in the New York Times Dining Section.



P.S. If you haven’t yet, please pick up a copy of Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Quick & Easy. I can’t keep the blog going without your support!

Comments are closed.

  • […] Pulled pork on a gluten-free Hawaiian roll. […]

  • Kristy B.
    June 4, 2013 at 10:40 PM

    I am uber stoked about the bread book. So so excited. I love baking bread, and making people believe gluten free food can be delicious. I get excited about the idea that nothing is out of reach even when your diet is restricted. Cannot wait til November.

    • gfshoestring
      June 6, 2013 at 8:11 AM

      You’re singin’ my son, Kristy! That’s exactly it. Nothing is out of reach, and we’re going to prove it together!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Susan Dress
    June 3, 2013 at 8:14 PM

    Wouldn’t 2/3 c oil & 1/3 c vinegar be a two:one ratio? for 3:1 it would have to be 3/4 c oil & 1/4 c vinegar.
    I’m not sure whether to add your new book to my cart or wish list. My son loves it when I put cookbooks on the wish list. Then he can help me choose recipes to try when I unwrap his gifts.

    • gfshoestring
      June 3, 2013 at 8:26 PM

      Yes, Susan! I just fixed my error. Sorry about that.
      That’s sweet, what you do with your son. I’d go with the wish list. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Intolerant Cook
    June 3, 2013 at 8:12 PM

    Hi, looks fab! I do think your 1 cup of vinaigrette needs adjusting – currently it’s 2:1. It should read 3/4 cup oil & 1/4 cup vinegar to keep the 3 to one ratio going, no? Love these recipes coming to my inbox almost daily :)

    • gfshoestring
      June 3, 2013 at 8:25 PM

      Yes! My mistake, Intolerant Cook. Thanks – I’ve corrected it. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Lisa
    June 3, 2013 at 6:36 PM

    Your last few posts are like you are reading my mind…I’ve been craving Hawaiian buns for about 3 days and can’t wait to try out this recipe.

    • gfshoestring
      June 3, 2013 at 8:39 PM

      I have powers, Lisa. I don’t want to freak you out, but I know stuff.
      xoxo Nicole

  • Anonymus
    June 3, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    Be sure to use Gluten Free Worcestershire sauce! It’s one of those things that you’d think would be gluten free but usually isn’t. (Those of us who are gluten free know to look for this, but in case someone’s making this for a friend and doesn’t realise…)

    • gfshoestring
      June 3, 2013 at 8:39 PM

      Good point, Anon. Very true!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Denise Ferguson Kennedy
    June 3, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    I CANNOT wait to make this! Last time I posted about how my kids were so grateful to you….this one is going to make my husband grateful, for sure! :)

  • Elisabeth
    June 3, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    THESE look amazing! My only problem is the whey powder …can I just leave it out? Will it mess things up? I am so looking for something Hawaiian bread that I can have when my husband walks around eating his (he won’t do gluten free at all!) Thanks!

    • gfshoestring
      June 3, 2013 at 8:30 PM

      You can’t just admit it, Elisabeth. I haven’t tested the recipe with substitutions, so you’ll have to experiment!

      • Elisabeth
        June 3, 2013 at 8:40 PM

        I know I know….I wondered why I hadnt tried the buns in your cookbook yet. I really hate Udis. Does anyone have any dairy free suggestions to sub for whey? If it didnt make me sick for a week or more I wouldnt be so picky!

        • gfshoestring
          June 3, 2013 at 8:42 PM

          Sometimes, blanched almond flour (sub 1:1 by weight) works. I’d try that! (by the way, I just realized I had written that you can’t just “admit” that instead of “omit that.” so embarrassing!)

        • Elisabeth
          June 4, 2013 at 4:40 PM

          I love you forever! I don’t mind experimenting if I have some idea of where to head. (Don’t be embarrassed! It’s the end of school and everyone needs a little extra grace right now! Omit makes much more sense :))

  • Jennifer Sasse
    June 3, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    oh yes – I forgot about this bun/roll recipe and I love the subs to make them Hawaiian – those little buggers were so yummy! I’ll have to make some up for the next time we have this pulled BBQ pork (YUM-O!!!) recipe (thinking July 4th holiday) or hamburgers. We had hamburgers at home this weekend and my little one that is also exclusively GF with me says, “Where’s the buns, Ma, where’s the buns?” I hadn’t gotten around to it… GF Mommy fail?
    Will there be a GF hot dog bun recipe in the bread book that I have already pre-ordered???? FYI: if you have not pre-ordered this bread book – DO IT. None of us is going to regret it! :)

    • gfshoestring
      June 3, 2013 at 8:35 PM

      You know there will be, Jennifer! Tell that little guy that the buns are coming!
      xoxo Nicole

  • WTFPinterest.com
    June 3, 2013 at 9:29 AM

    I am so looking forward to your new book! I’m excited about being able to bake gf bread that has a conveniently-long, flexible rise (like my favorite Jim Lahey no-knead bread I baked all the time before I was diagnosed with Celiac)! You’re the best, Nicole! Thanks! OXO

    • gfshoestring
      June 3, 2013 at 8:38 PM

      A “conveniently-long, flexible rise” is exactly what almost every recipe in the bread book is all about, Allison. You’re gonna love it. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Donia
    June 3, 2013 at 9:27 AM

    I feel very un-American because I hate barbecue sauce. And ketchup. I’m sure your barbecue sauce is excellent, though!

    Over the weekend I was watching a cooking show, and it reminded me of another no-bake food that you should totally make. Speculoos. Plus, I think anyone having to be nut-free would love it!

    I finally made your white bread from your first book. My daughter tells everyone who’ll listen, “It is AMAZING.”

    • Jennifer Sasse
      June 3, 2013 at 9:58 AM

      We love the white bread too and it was my very first successful homemade GF bread – it’s that easy and awesome – amazing too! :)

    • gfshoestring
      June 3, 2013 at 8:36 PM

      Okay, the fact that your daughter tells everyone about the white bread is awesome, Donia. Good call on Speculoos! I have thought about that many times, but you gave me the push I needed. :)
      xoxo Nicole

      • Marjan Crabtree
        June 6, 2013 at 4:39 AM

        Speculoos (or Speculaas as we call it) should really be a December recipe. I admit it is nice the whole year around but us Dutch associate it with December celebrations!

        Oooh and my kids LOVED the pulled pork!!

        • gfshoestring
          June 6, 2013 at 8:10 AM

          Marjan, Donia is referring to the spread. Glad your kids loved the pork!

        • Marjan Crabtree
          June 6, 2013 at 8:22 AM

          Glutenfree speculoosspread would be awesome! (In Belgium the biscuits are actually called Speculoos as well)

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