Minimal prep, but oh so tasty!
This delicious Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas is tender, juicy, flavorful, and so simple to make! It is perfect to have on hand for tacos, burrito bowls, salads, sandwiches, and so much more! It is the perfect meal prep recipe to make in advance for your busy week ahead.
Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas
- 2 lbs pork tenderloin or pork cut of choice
- 1 onion diced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp red chili flakes
- Make spice blend by combining chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, salt, pepper, and chili flakes. Set aside.
- Add onion, garlic, tomato paste, lime juice, and 1 tsp of spice mixture to the slow cooker. Stir until fully mixed.
- Sprinkle the rest of the spice blend on the pork, patting on each side to help it stick to the meat.
- Place pork on top of the onion mixture and top slow cooker with lid.
- Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Total cooking time will vary based on slow cooker and cut of pork.
- After pork is fully cooked, use two forks to shred the meat.
- Stir to mix well with the onion mixture.
- Optional Step: To create crispy pork carnitas, heat a heavy skillet (cast iron is best) over medium high heat. When pan is hot, add 1 tablespoon of olive or avocado oil. Add the carnitas in batches, careful not to crowd the pan. Drizzle a few tablespoons of the cooking liquid from the slow cooker over the pork. Once bottom is crispy, turn the meat, until desired crispiness is reached.
- Serve warm as an entree or a topping to your favorite dish such as tacos, burrito bowls, salads, sandwiches, and so much more!
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- Pork Tenderloin – The “loin” is the area between the shoulder and rear legs and is the most tender and lean part of the animal. Although you can use any cut of pork, pork tenderloin is going to have your lowest amount of saturated fat and will be most tender.
- Onion & Garlic – This is where so much of the flavor comes from! Sautéing it prior to blending helps these flavors to POP.
- Tomato Paste – Although this can easily be omitted, it does help to balance the flavors of some of the spices and helps to thicken the “sauce” that is created during the cooking process.
- Lime Juice – This helps to bring out a ton of flavor and give a little bit of a citrus kick. It also helps to create the “sauce”. If you love a citrus flavor, you can also squeeze extra lime juice on the final product.
- Spices – This Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas calls for simple spices that you probably already have on hand…chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, salt, pepper, and red chili flakes. Feel free to omit or adjust any spices to your liking.
- Make spice blend and mix 1 tsp with onion, garlic, tomato paste, and lime juice. Sprinkle the rest of the spice blend on the pork. and layer into slow cooker.
- Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
- After pork is fully cooked, use two forks to shred the meat. Stir to mix well with the onion mixture.
- Serve warm as an entree or a topping to your favorite dish such as tacos, burrito bowls, salads, or sandwiches!
I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOU TRY IT!
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