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Slow-Cooked Carnitas Recipe

Slow-Cooked Carnitas Recipe

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 YIELD: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


  • 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.

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.

Reviews for Slow-Cooked Carnitas

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Reviewed Sep. 30, 2017

"We LOVE this recipe!! I'd give it six stars if that was an option! We make it quite often. I tried using the chicken broth once when I didn't have the tiquila, and while it was still really good It really needs the tiquila for full flavor. I'm also going to try using the corn tortillas as others have sugested, I like them better anyway! We also like using the liquid, it makes a wonderful tortilla soup. Yumm!"

Reviewed Jul. 30, 2017

"This was quite good. It was done after 6 hours (I used a pork loin). As another reviewer indicated, I turned it after 5 hours and let it cook one more hour. Used a 7-oz. can of fire-roasted chilies. For toppers, I used red pickled onions (Bobby Flay's recipe on, fresh lime, cilantro, chopped grape tomatoes, sour cream and guacamole. Used both flour and corn tortillas. Next time will try to drain off some of the excess liquid."

Reviewed Jul. 7, 2017

"LOVED these! I served them on small corn tortillas with Emily's Honey Lime Coleslaw (also here on the Taste of Home site). I will never make another recipe for a pork taco again. I loved how all the cilantro, onions, garlic and salsa really infused in the meat. The ratio of liquid to meat here is just's nice and moist but not dripping when you serve it."

Reviewed Jun. 5, 2017

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

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!"

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."

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."

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!"

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! : )"

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."

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