Slow Cooker Carnitas Recipe

Pork carnitas

Carnitas is a Mexican braised pork dish. Commonly served with other Mexican favorites such as fresh tortillas, salsa, and guacamole, the dish lends itself well to the slow cooker, which does an excellent job of braising meats.

Pork Carnitas

Use this basic recipe to create flavorful pork carnitas to serve with your favorite toppings. The recipe serves eight to 10, and it will freeze well for up to three months.


  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 (4 pound) pork shoulder roast
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 8-10 corn tortillas
  • Pico di gallo
  • Sour cream
  • Guacamole
  • Cilantro, chopped


  1. In a small bowl, mix together the salt, pepper, cumin, cinnamon, coriander, oregano, garlic powder, and onion powder.
  2. Rub the spice mixture on the pork shoulder roast and put it in the slow cooker. Add the chicken broth.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 10 hours or on high for five, until the pork shreds easily with a fork.
  4. Shred the pork with a fork and mix it back into the cooking liquid.
  5. Serve the pork on fresh corn tortillas topped with cilantro, sour cream, pico di gallo, and guacamole.


You can vary the carnitas in many ways.

  • Replace the pork shoulder with country style pork spare ribs.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder to the rub to add additional smoke and spice flavors.
  • Add the juice of an orange or lime to the chicken broth for a citrus flavor.
  • Add one chopped onion and three cloves of minced garlic to the cooking liquid in the pot.
  • Slice your favorite chili peppers into the pot to add heat.

Serving Suggestions

Along with any toppings you enjoy, such as cheese or sour cream, serve the carnitas with a side of Mexican rice and refried beans.

An Easy Mexican Dinner

By making carnitas in the slow cooker, you can be halfway to a delicious and easy Mexican meal by the time you get home from work. Enjoy this delicious Mexican food as a weeknight meal, and freeze the leftovers for easy meals on nights you don't feel like cooking.

Slow Cooker Carnitas Recipe