Slow-Cooked Carnitas Recipe
Slow-Cooked Carnitas Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Slow-Cooked Carnitas Recipe

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These hearty carnitas are delicious and easy to simmer in a slow cooker all day long. Sometimes, instead of using tortillas, I place the pork on top of shredded lettuce for a tasty salad. —Lisa Glogow, Aliso VIejo, California
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Cook: 6 hours
MAKES:12 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Cook: 6 hours
MAKES: 12 servings


  • 1 boneless pork shoulder butt roast (3 to 4 pounds)
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup tequila or additional chicken broth
  • 2 cans (4 ounces each) chopped green chilies
  • 12 flour tortillas (8 inches), warmed
  • Fresh cilantro leaves, sliced red onion and chopped tomatoes, optional

Nutritional Facts

1 carnita (calculated without optional toppings): 363 calories, 15g fat (5g saturated fat), 67mg cholesterol, 615mg sodium, 28g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 1g fiber), 24g protein.


  1. Cut roast in half; place in a 5-qt. slow cooker. Sprinkle with the garlic, oil, salt and pepper. Add the onions, cilantro, salsa, broth, tequila and chilies. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until meat is tender.
  2. Remove meat; cool slightly. Shred with two forks and return to the slow cooker; heat through. Spoon about 2/3 cup meat mixture onto each tortilla; serve with toppings of your choice. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as Slow-Cooked Carnitas in Taste of Home April/May 2011, p58

Sweet White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a sweet white wine such as Moscato or a sweet Riesling.

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sg.debp User ID: 7605763 267677
Reviewed Jun. 5, 2017

"Really delicious on small corn tortillas with pickled red onions and fresh chopped cilantro!"

erinshea1982 User ID: 7151030 260308
Reviewed Jan. 26, 2017

"I needed a recipe yo use up some pork I had thawedz found this! We really liked it! Moist, and tender! The leftovers made a wonderful pork green chili stew!"

shirley21 User ID: 5932816 260222
Reviewed Jan. 24, 2017

"Meat came out real tender, but not much flavor. I was surprised at how bland it tasted. i added a few sprinkles of cumin on mine, once in the shell. When we reheated it for another meal, I added a packet of dry taco seasoning. That seemed to give it a little more flavor. Not what I was expecting."

PageRD User ID: 5881442 259017
Reviewed Jan. 1, 2017

"The pork was nice and tender but I thought it would be more flavorful. The flour tortillas got soggy from the juices of the meat so I agree that I'd use corn tortillas. I think this would be delicious as a tostada on a crispy corn tortilla."

piesmom2004 User ID: 7350229 256956
Reviewed Nov. 19, 2016

"I can never get my carnitas to taste authentic enough and this recipe hits the nail on the head! I made it just as it says and at the end I heated some oil in a pan to fry one side of the meat so it got crispy. I used corn tortillas and topped them with onions and cilantro. My whole family DEVOURED these carnitas. I can't wait to make these again :). Thank you for posting Lisa!"

I_Fortuna User ID: 8342880 247816
Reviewed May. 3, 2016

"I subtracted a star for using flour tortillas and garlic. Traditionally, unless you live in Texas, tacos are made with corn tortillas. Flour tortillas are too heavy for this type of taco and one misses out on the melding of the delicate flavors of the corn tortilla with, again, traditionally, pico de gallo (fresh cilantro, seeded tomatoes, and the green part of the scallion, *no* salt and pepper but lime juice is o.k.). Also, traditionally, carnitas is made crispy in a dry frying pan or under the broiler. This is part of the delicious character of carnitas, although optional.

Save the flour tortillas for quesadillas, burritos and fajitas. Hubby makes a quesadilla from only avocado and a bit of salt.
Hubby's makes traditional quesadillas also with corn tortillas made al carbon.
Why does everyone put garlic in everything? Traditionally, garlic is rarely used in much of Mexican cooking. It simply masks the great flavor of the pork, Yuk! : )"

Lys10 User ID: 5239329 243694
Reviewed Feb. 12, 2016

"Loved this! The flavor and tenderness of the meat is great! I have tried it with both a pork and a beef roast. We like the pork so much more."

grandmascooking22 User ID: 5357761 241532
Reviewed Jan. 11, 2016

"I have asked Hispanic friends for years how to make my carnitas taste like theirs....nothing has worked until now! This recipe is perfect. The flavors that cook in to the meat are incredible. We used the meat for tacos a couple nights and then used the meat in the broth for Huevos rancheros. It's just the best! Thanks, Lisa!"

CarrieBerry4Chad User ID: 5330384 232745
Reviewed Sep. 12, 2015

"Not exactly what comes to mind when you think carnitas, but still had a really good taste. Meat turned out nice and tender and had tons of leftovers to freeze for future meals."

lmmanda User ID: 1101093 219279
Reviewed Jan. 30, 2015

"This was a delicious dish! I cooked the meat about 5 hours and turned it over to cook the last hour. Even my son who claims not to like pork thought it was great."

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