Pork Carnitas Recipe
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Pork Carnitas Recipe

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I use this recipe often when entertaining. I set out all the toppings, and folks have fun assembling their own carnitas. Because I can prepare everything in advance, I get to spend more time with my guests. —Tracy Byers, Corvallis, Oregon
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Cook: 9 hours
MAKES:12 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Cook: 9 hours
MAKES: 12 servings


  • 1 boneless pork shoulder butt roast or pork loin roast (2 to 3 pounds), cut into 3-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 12 flour tortillas (6 inches), warmed
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2 medium avocados, peeled and diced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Minced fresh cilantro, optional
  • Salsa

Nutritional Facts

1 serving: 340 calories, 20g fat (7g saturated fat), 65mg cholesterol, 585mg sodium, 19g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 3g fiber), 21g protein.


  1. In a 3-qt. slow cooker, combine pork, lime juice, salt, pepper and pepper flakes. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour; stir. Reduce heat to low and cook 8-10 hours longer or until meat is tender.
  2. Shred pork with two forks. Spoon about 1/3 cup pork mixture down the center of each tortilla. Top with cheese, avocados, tomatoes, onion, lettuce and, if desired, cilantro. Fold in bottom and sides of tortillas. Serve with salsa.
    Freeze option: Before adding toppings, freeze cooled shredded meat mixture in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally and adding a little broth or water if necessary. Serve as directed.
    Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as Pork Carnitas in Country Pork 1996, p64

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mzgrinder User ID: 6418368 231111
Reviewed Aug. 12, 2015

"I agree with the other reviews, not really a carnita, but very tasty. Will make again. I used a pork loin roast, but did not cut into cubes. Cooked whole roast (2 1/2 - 3 lbs). Didn't try out, but really doesn't need to cook that long to be tender. Time in crock pot OK if you need to get it on before work and have ready when you come home, however I would add some broth or wine or something to keep it most. Instead of onion, tomato, diced, I made some pico de gallo to put over it. Served with cheese, lettuce, and avocado on the side for more topping. Very tasty."

OhBarbi User ID: 5434643 45632
Reviewed Jan. 30, 2013

"Not really carnitas. Should be called shredded pork tacos. That being said, the pork was tasty and tender but dry. Guess I should have mixed some of the broth in with the meat."

MY REVIEW User ID: 3542351 202283
Reviewed Oct. 3, 2010

"This recipe was a hit! And SO much healthier than traditional carnitas which are fried! YUM!"

jward1822 User ID: 843185 42835
Reviewed Feb. 3, 2010

"Pork Carnitas is cooked then fried...This does not call for frying...This is just cooked pork meat..."

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