6-Ingredient Slow Cooker Carnitas | Real Food Whole Life

6-Ingredient Slow Cooker Carnitas

Simple to prepare with easy-to-find ingredients, 6-Ingredient Slow Cooker Carnitas takes just minutes to prep, and the results are insanely delicious. 

There is a lot of recipe testing that happens on weeknights at our house, and as a result Andrew and Elle end up eating their fair share of mediocre meals that never make it to the blog.

Testing slow cooker recipes is especially tricky, since I can’t tinker with the recipe once everything goes in.

But every once in a while I land on a recipe that the entire family devours on the very first try.

Enter 6-Ingredient Slow Cooker Carnitas. Chicken is our go-to when it comes to slow cooking, but sometimes we need a little variation, and carnitas seemed like a really good place to start.

I wanted to keep the ingredient list as short as possible, while still keeping a ton of flavor and I have to say, this recipe nails it.

After the pork gets a braise in the slow cooker, it’s shredded and then run under a hot broiler to crisp it up and add extra caramelized flavor.

Whatever you do, do not skip the broiling step! It takes a really yummy pulled pork to a whole other level. Trust me here. It’s worth the extra step.

When I served this tender, flavorful, crispy pork to my family they hardly even said a word during dinner, as they were too busy digging in.

Elle said it was her favorite dinner ever, and Andrew just gave me an enthusiastic head nod in between taco bites.

The only problem now is that I can’t go back to recipe testing for awhile because this is the only thing they want to eat!

I hope you will give this one a try soon. Now, let’s make some 6-Ingredient Slow Cooker Carnitas! 

RECIPE & KID-FRIENDLY ADAPTATIONS

1 | Use pork loin roast if you prefer a leaner option, or pork shoulder for a more traditional version.

2 | Use the caritas however you like. It’s a great filling for tacos, burritos, bowls, or with roasted veggies. Serve it separately on a plate with toppings on the side for resistant eaters.

THIS RECIPE IS . . .

Naturally Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Soy-Free, Sugar-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo and Whole30 Friendly

Image of 6-Ingredient Slow Cooker Carnitas
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6-Ingredient Slow Cooker Carnitas

Yield 6 -10

Simple to prepare with easy-to-find ingredients, 6-Ingredient Slow Cooker Carnitas takes just minutes to prep, and the results are insanely delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon mild chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 pounds pork loin roast or pork shoulder
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • Optional accompaniments: Tortillas avocado, queso fresco, pickled jalapeno, lime wedges, thinly sliced cabbage, salsa.

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, stir together the cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and salt.
  • Rub the spice mixture on all sides of the pork. Place the pork in a 6-quart slow cooker, then pour in the lime and orange juice, turning the pork to coat.
  • Cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours, or low for 8-9 hours, or until the pork shreds very easily with a fork.
  • Remove the pork from the slow cooker. Shred with two forks, then add back to the slow cooker, stirring to combine with any remaining juices.
  • Place the shredded pork on a foil lined, rimmed baking sheet. Broil on high for 10-15 minutes, stirring once, or until the edges of the pork begin to crisp and brown. Keep a close eye to avoid burning.
  • Serve warm as a filling for tacos, burritos or in bowls.

Notes

All slow cookers are different, so you may need to adjust the time up or down depending on your particular model.
Use pork loin roast if you prefer a leaner option, or pork shoulder for a more traditional version.
Use the caritas however you like. It's a great filling for tacos, burritos, bowls, or with roasted veggies. Serve it separately on a plate with toppings on the side for resistant eaters.

did you make this recipe?Mention @realfoodwholelife or tag #realfoodwholelife!

8 comments to " 6-Ingredient Slow Cooker Carnitas "

  • Kelly Sparrer

    This was delicious and hubby approved!

  • These were amazing. My family loved them. Placing the meat under the broiler took it over the top!

  • Laura

    Hi I’ve made this before and it was great. I need to cook for a larger group this weekend. If I double the recipe should I adjust the cooking time?

    • Robyn Downs

      Laura, yes, you may need to add a bit more time. Start with an extra hour, and allow time in case you need to a more. Hope it’s a hit!

  • Meredith

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this simple but amazing recipe! My daughter and husband request it frequently. The broiling you mention makes a huge difference! We find it tastes great without it (sometimes we’re in a hurry), but the broiling is worth the extra few minutes.

    • Robyn Downs

      Meredith, so happy to hear you and your crew are enjoying this simple recipe! My daughter is the exact same about the broiling. It’s an extra step (and an extra dirty pan) but makes a pretty yummy difference!

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