Instant Pot Pork Cataplana

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Instant Pot Pork Cataplana. Served throughout the Algarve to both tourists and locals as an alternative to the traditional seafood cataplana. Loaded with red peppers, tomatoes, piri piri seasoning and tender chunks of pork.

Instant Pot Pork Cataplana

Pork Cataplana

Today I am going to show you how to make pork cataplana in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker. Though unlike many recipes for pork cataplana that you see on the internet it will be free of clams.

That is because when we eat out locally, the Portuguese stew we know, and love is a pork ONLY cataplana. It is basically pork stew that is cooked in a rich and mildly spiced Piri Piri sauce and often served on meals of the day.

Meals of the day are a frequent thing in Portugal, and I couldn’t imagine dining out at any other time. We will head to an outside café and have lunch in the sun, with a beautiful view of either the park or the beach.

Quite often, you will compete with friends, over who has found the best priced café to have a homemade rustic style lunch at.

I know anyone American I mention this to, is rather shocked by the price, just like I was when we first moved to Portugal.

Our favourite café in our local town, is just 7€ (less than $10) per person. That includes bread, olives and carrots to start, the main meal, a dessert and a drink. I always look at the bill when I leave shocked by how cheap it is.

Whenever we eat out, we always complain that we don’t do it often enough.

The pork cataplana you will often see on the menu, is often served with rice or bread to mop up the sauce. They get the pork so tender and that is what the Instant Pot is good at and what I am going to be sharing with you today via my Instant Pot Pork Cataplana.

Instant Pot Pork Cataplana

Instant Pot Pork Cataplana

The pork we get locally is sold at an amazing price. We pay approximately 2€ for a good-sized portion of pork stewing meat. It is cut to size already for us and all we need to do is throw it into the Instant Pot with the rest of the ingredients.

We also have a good stash of it in the freezer for when we need something quick and cheap for dinner.

We didn’t need to go out to source extra ingredients because everything in the pork cataplana is what I would call pantry or fridge staples. Ingredients that we often have readily available and don’t need to go to several supermarkets to look for.

Pork Cataplana Main Ingredients:

The Portuguese offer us amazing cheap menus of the day, because they are good at saving money themselves. They will have 3 generations of the same family working in the café, they will buy meat in bulk and focus around a handful of dishes to be served each day only.

One thing I notice that they do, is serve a fish cataplana one day, then a pork stew version the next day. This means you will often be served the stock from the day before.

The fish stock they use in the pork stew, just adds to the flavour and I love it. With this idea, I made a pork cataplana in the Instant Pot back in Spring and used fish stock that I had for my Instant Pot Paella so that I had a good use for it.

Cooking Pork Cataplana In The Instant Pot

The pork in Portugal is very cheap. It’s the cheapest way to add meat to your diet and its readily available. I often pinch myself over just how cheap it is.

But for cooking pork stew at home, to make sure the pork is tender, the best way to cook it is for 45 minutes in the Instant Pot.

That way you have a similar texture as pulled pork, before you have pulled it. The Instant Pot we have, that we used to make our pork cataplana in, is the Instant Pot Duo and you can order it here or read our Instant Pot Review.

Kitchen Gadget Must Haves. Including the air fryer, instant pot and the rest of our top 10 kitchen gadgets.

How To Cook Pork Cataplana Stew In The Instant Pot?

This is one of those amazing dump and go Instant Pot recipes. You sauté the onion and garlic first, along with the red peppers, then dump the rest of the ingredients in and cook on manual pressure.

Come back later and you have beautiful tender pieces of pork ready for your lunch and dinner. Because pork cataplana is a tomato-based pork dish, it is easy to load up into baguettes or to load up with seasonal vegetables and potatoes. Or serve it the Portuguese way over white rice.

The Instant Pot Draining Method

One thing I have found when cooking pork in fresh tomatoes is that they can hold a lot of water. As well as this pork can hold a lot of fat juices. During times like this I follow the draining method. I place a large mixing bowl underneath, place my sieve over it, then pour the Instant Pot contents into the sieve. Then the bowl below will catch all the extra liquid and my pork is now thick and creamy.

It saves adding thickeners to the sauce and keeps it a lot more natural.

Instant Pot Pork Cataplana

Plus, the stock at the bottom can be used for another dish at a later date.

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How Long Does It Take To Cook Cataplana In The Instant Pot?

Just like any stew that you cook in the Instant Pot a pork cataplana takes a while to cook. That is because you want perfectly tender meat, that tastes similarly in texture as doing a stew in the slow cooker for 8 hours.

Though comparing a pork cataplana stew in the Instant Pot, it is JUST 45 minutes compared to 8 hours in the slow cooker.

MORE Instant Pot Stews

I love stew in the Instant Pot and this month on our blog, we’re featuring stews from around the world. Starting with this delicious Instant Pot Pork Cataplana.

Here are 2 more delicious Instant Pot Stews:

Instant Pot Pork Cataplana

Instant Pot Pork Cataplana

Instant Pot Pork Cataplana. Served throughout the Algarve to both tourists and locals as an alternative to the traditional seafood cataplana. Loaded with red peppers, tomatoes, piri piri seasoning and tender chunks of pork.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time48 mins
Total Time53 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Instant Pot, Mediterranean
Servings: 4
Calories: 625kcal


Main Recipe Ingredients:

After Cooking:


  • Peel and thinly slice your garlic and onion. Deseed and medium slice your red pepper. Chop the ends off the tomatoes and chop them into cubes.
  • Place your red pepper, fresh tomatoes, onion, garlic and olive oil into the Instant Pot and cook on sauté for 3 minutes or until the tomatoes have softened.
  • Add in the rest of the main ingredients and stir.
  • Place the lid on your Instant Pot and set the valve to sealing. Cook for 45 minutes on meat/stew and when it beeps use QPR (quick pressure release) to manually release pressure.
  • Drain any excess liquid if needed.
  • Stir in the soft cheese and Greek yoghurt.
  • Serve over rice or use as a tapas snack.


We used the Manny brand for our Piri Piri. It’s a delicious marinade and you only need a little to flavour a dish. It gives a warm flavour and it suited our small kids too. It is traditional to have pork cataplana with fish stock, but you could also use pork stock if you prefer. Because there is a lot of water in the tomatoes, you only need a small amount of stock.


Calories: 625kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 45g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 139mg | Sodium: 236mg | Potassium: 1280mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 4015IU | Vitamin C: 77.7mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 3mg
Nutrition InfoPlease Note: Nutrition values are our best estimate based on the software we use at Recipe This and are meant as a guide. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.
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Instant Pot Pork Cataplana

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I’m Samantha and along with my chef husband Dominic and our three kids, we teach you how to cook smart with kitchen gadgets. You can learn more about us and how we can help you by CLICKING HERE →

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