Main Dishes, Pork, Recipes


Carnitas, literally “little meats,” is a braised or roasted pork dish that is typically something you’d find on the menu at your local Mexican restaurant. But did you know that you can easily make Carnitas at home in the crock pot? Well, you can! [Duh. Otherwise this post would be a lie. HA! :)] They miiiight not be quite authentic, but they are tasty. Ben even prefers them to the carnitas available at our favorite Mexican restaurant in town.

Carnitas | The Pajama Chef

I’ve been making this recipe for about three years now, and it’s pretty much your easiest crockpot recipe: add ingredients to crockpot, cook, shred, and serve. There aren’t many seasonings [just pepper, oregano, and onion], so it might not sound impressive, but the simplicity allows the natural goodness of the meat to shine through. You know that my meat loving husband adores that!

Carnitas | The Pajama ChefEvery single time I have made this, the results have been a perfect juicy and tender pork. It makes a ton, so after eating our fill of several meals of soft Carnitas tacos, we usually freeze some, enjoy some with rice a la burrito-bowl-style, and experiment with different leftover techniques. Later in the week I’ll be sharing the stirfry of our dreams, but first you need to make this awesome pork so that leftovers are possible. 🙂

For your first go-round, I highly suggest making a good guac and investing in some fresh soft tortillas for the ultimate Carnitas experience. Then you can go hog wild with toppings if you want, but I think that sometimes simple is best so try it that way first. Enjoy!


  • Servings: lots
  • Print

from Good Cheap Eats

  • 3-4 pound pork shoulder roast
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup water


Place pork roast in crockpot and season with pepper. Cover with onion and oregano, then pour water on top of everything. Cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for 4 [though I haven’t tried that].

Meat should be falling apart, so shred with a fork and serve with soft tortillas and guacamole.

Notes: Freezes well.


22 thoughts on “Carnitas”

  1. I’ve actually never had carnitas! I’m missing out! Nothing could be easier than this recipe so I have no excuse. OK, I have one excuse, Pinterest is down right now. I hope it comes up before I go to bed so I remember to pin this!


Thanks for visiting... I would love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.