Savory Pork Carnitas

This carnitas recipe is so easy, and it’s almost universally liked by hungry people of all ages! It’s a perfect “set it and forget it slow cooker meal for an easy weeknight dinner.  It makes a great meal to bring to a friend in need, or to throw prep in advance and stock the freezer (just thaw in the fridge overnight and then empty into the slow cooker!). I like to make one and prep one for the future.

It’s also easily doubled or tripled, so you can feed a crowd! Feed the team out host a few friends – just prep a big batch of meat and then set out all of the fixings and let people build their own tacos or rice bowls.   

Savory Pork Carnitas


  • 3-4 lb. pork shoulder/pork butt
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (4 oz.) diced green chiles (adjust heat by using mild or hot)
  • 1 pkg. (1.25 oz.) taco seasoning (I use about 1/4 c. of The Spice House taco seasoning)
  • 1 c. water


Place ingredients in a 4 1/2 – 6 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook until tender enough to shred (6 hours on high, 8-10ish hours on low). Remove from the cooker and shred meat with a fork.  You can optionally spread the shredded meat on a baking sheet, and stick it under the broiler for 5 minutes or so until the ends start to get kind of crispy and caramelized.

Serve on tortillas or over rice with your favorite garnishes. We like diced white onions or pickled red onions, cotija cheese, fresh cilantro, and lime wedges.

Note: Some recipes use only oregano and cumin in equal amounts, some add chipotle pepper or chili powder – play with the spice mix and see what you like best.  Throw in a bay leaf if you’re feeling fancy.

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