You don’t need to wait for Cinco de Mayo to cook up a batch of these mouthwatering pork carnitas. No excuses necessary – you can enjoy these anytime you’re looking for a satisfying, smack-your-lips carnitas experience.
If you’ve got omnivore, plant-heavy tendencies like me, go right ahead and load up your carnitas plate with plenty of veggie sides. I like to enjoy my pork carnitas bowl-style, with these sides:
- black beans
- cilantro lime slaw (grab my recipe here)
- quick-pickled red onions (and grab this recipe, too!)
- diced avocado
- brown rice
If you’re feeding a household, and those hungry mouths are demanding tacos, these carnitas are delicious tucked into a soft corn tortilla. Top with those same sides I mentioned above for the full carnitas experience.
Quick & Easy (plus plenty of leftovers!)
This recipe is easy enough to whip up any day of the week, and is a fantastic choice for batch cooking. One go-around of these in your slow cooker wil leave you with enough for several nights of dinner! Pop the extra in your freezer, and enjoy an easy quick dinner or two in the coming weeks.
You’ll start with rubbing the spice mixture onto the pork, and then refrigerate pork overnight (it’s perfectly fine to skip the wait time if you just can’t squeeze it in). Next, you’ll add the sliced onions and bay leaves to the bottom of the slow cooker, then place the pork on top. After that, squeeze in the citrus (lime and orange). Set your slow cooker to low, and let it cook for 8-10 hours, until perfect tenderness.
Use two forks to shred the pork in a large dish or on a large platter. Finally, spread some of the pork onto a sheet pan, and heat under broiler for about three minutes until crisp on the edges. If you plan to freeze some carnitas for future meals, hold off on crisping those portions under the broiler. Simply freeze those portions as is.
Options (because it’s important to make a recipe work for you):
- Make this recipe in your slow cooker, or in the oven. I’ve included directions for both methods. Choose what works for you.
- Feel free to cut this recipe in half if the yield is just too much for your household. Cook time will remain the same.
- Squeezed for time? No need to marinade in the rub prior to cooking. It’s a nice extra that boosts the flavor a bit, but if you can’t fit that step in, no worries. I guarantee that your pork carnitas will still taste amazing regardless.
- Freeze any extras for an easy, quick weeknight meal in the coming weeks or next month. Just be sure to wrap it airtight before you put it in the freezer (and hold off on the crisping step until you plan to serve it).
- Take your pick – slow cooker or oven method. Do what works for you. Directions for both methods are included in recipe instructions below.
Drop me a comment and let me know how you liked this recipe! And don’t forget to snap a pic of your carnitas creation, post it and tag it #nourishednotfamished. I’d love to see what you’re cooking in your kitchen!