Tender pulled Pork Carnitas Tacos are filled with flavor, an easy crock pot dinner with only 10 minutes of prep!
Our Chicken Tacos are one of our most classic go-to’s for a Mexican meal, but recently we’ve been loving Ground Beef Tacos and these Carnitas Tacos!
Tacos de Carnitas
Looking for a simple meal to make for dinner? These easy pork Carnitas Tacos are your answer! They’re perfect with a side of rice and beans!
The pork is cooked in the crockpot until it’s super tender and falling apart. It’s flavored with orange and lime juice and spices. Pull apart the pork and add it to tortillas for the yummiest tacos EVER!
Perfect for a big group of people or just your small family.
Carnitas are tender pieces of pork cooked until they almost melt in your mouth. They’re often cooked in lard and seasoned with citrus and spices.
We skipped the lard and opted to slow cook in sweet liquid and other delicious flavors until they were tender. You can use pork tenderloin, pork shoulder, or in this recipe, pork butt.
How to Make Carnitas Tacos
SEASON. Combine rub ingredients in a small bowl and sit aside.
Dry pork butt and rub garlic salt and pepper all over it. Put rub ingredients on pork butt and place in a slow cooker, with the fat side up.
Add minced garlic, onion, and jalapeno. Top with lime and orange juices.
COOK. Cook on HIGH for 6 hours or LOW for 9-10 hours. Let cool for 20 minutes before shredding making sure to discard any big chunks of fat.
SHRED. Shred the meat with two forks, or meat shredder claws.
SERVE. Add to warm tortillas and add any toppings desired (pico, salsa, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, etc.)
Taco Toppings Ideas
I personally feel less is more because I don’t want to mask the deliciously seasoned pork, but you can add as little or as many toppings as you desire. Some topping ideas include:
- Cheese- Monterey Jack, cheddar, Mexican blend, cotija cheese
- avocado slices, shredded cabbage, lettuce, Cabbage Slaw, fresh cilantro, diced onions, jalapeño, diced tomato
- Pico de Gallo ,Guacamole, Salsa – Traditional, Salsa verde, Tomatillo Salsa
Keep tortillas warm. Serve Carnitas Tacos with flour tortillas or corn tortillas. There are several ways to keep tortillas warm. This is especially helpful because corn tortillas tend to tear unless warm.
- Tortilla warmer: warm the tortillas in the microwave then place them in a tortilla warmer.
- Crockpot: Get a kitchen towel damp with warm water. Wrap the tortillas in the towel and place them in the warm crock pot.
- Heating pad: Wrap a heating pad with a towel. Arrange the tortillas evenly over a serving platter or baking sheet. Place the platter on top of the heating pad. The heat will seep through the towel and keep the platter warm.
If you don’t want to use tortillas, serve the Carnitas Tacos recipe over Tortilla Chips or even in lettuce wraps.
Fresh orange juice. To use freshly squeezed juice you will need 2 medium oranges. Also, use the orange peel to make orange zest for added flavor.
Fresh lime juice. You will need 2 medium limes to make ¼ cup of fresh juice.
Garlic. If mincing your own garlic, you will need 4 Garlic cloves for 4 teaspoons.
Make ahead of time. Make the meat ahead of time AND easily store leftovers in the fridge or freezer. Include any drippings in the storage container to keep the meat moist and flavorful.
STORE this Carnitas Tacos recipe in an airtight container in the fridge for about 4 days.
FREEZE in a freezer-safe container for 2-3 months.
Reheat in a crockpot or in a covered pan in the oven. To crisp them up just broil them for 1-2 minutes. Be careful not to burn them.
We highly recommend using pork butt since it has the most fat marbling and makes for tender, fall apart meat. However, you could also use pork shoulder which is a similar cut of meat but has less fat marbling.
Our go-to sides always include Easy Refried Beans and Homemade Spanish Rice, but you can also try Cilantro Lime Rice, Pico de Gallo, or Homemade Salsa.
For more Mexican recipes, try:
- Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas
- Chicken Tacos
- Carne Asada
- Cafe Rio Shredded Chicken
- Chicken Chimichangas
- Mexican Chicken
Carnitas Tacos Recipe
- 4 lb pork butt boneless, skinless
- 2 tsp garlic salt (with parsley flakes)
- 1 tsp pepper
- 4 tsp minced garlic
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 jalapeno deseeded, chopped
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- Tortillas corn or flour
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Combine rub ingredients in a small bowl and sit aside.
- Dry pork butt and rub garlic salt and pepper all over it. Put rub ingredients on pork butt and place in a slow cooker, with the fat side up.
- Add minced garlic, onion, and jalapeno, and top with lime and orange juices.
- Cook on HIGH for 6 hours or LOW for 9-10 hours.
- Let cool for 20 minutes before shredding making sure to discard any big chunks of fat.
- Add to warmed tortillas and add any toppings desired (pico, salsa, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, etc.)
This is one of our favorite taco Tuesday meals!! Super easy & my kids love them!
So so yummy. I love all your mexican recipes and this is my new favorite. but I also say that about everything I make from your website!
We love making these carnitas at home! The meat comes out so flavorful and delicious!
Chicken and beef are my usual taco choices, but these carnitas are flavorful and delicious.
A easy and taSty meat that goes in the crockpot. A great meat for your tacos.
Love these…but instead of tacos next time, we are going to try these as enchiladas
Scored a great deal on pork at Costco and decided to make these for game night. My best friend is Hispanic so I’m always nervous to mess up mexican food. Her and her husband both loved it! We even had the left overs for breakfast.
We love these carnitas! They are super yummy, full of flavor, and easy to make.
This is a staple at our house!