In the Kitchen Recipes

Clean Eating Slow Cooker Carnitas

September 11, 2016

Clean Eating Slow Cooker Carnitas

We all like something different when it comes to tacos. My daughter and I eat quesadillas, my son and husband eat tacos and we all like nachos. I had not had Carnitas before, but have had Italian slow cooker pork that my Grandmom makes, Porkette. That meal is slow cooked with garlic and rosemary, while Carnitas are slow cooked with a variety of different ingredients.

Carnitas is a Mexican dish that literally means “little meats”. Authentic Carnitas are made by braising or simmering pork in oil or lard until tender. The process takes three to four hours and the result is very tender and juicy meat, which is then served with chopped cilantro and diced onion, salsa, guacamole, tortillas, and refried beans.

This clean Carnitas recipe skips the oil or lard, but the result of tender, juicy meat is the same! Eat this tender pork on its own, in tacos or even as a salad topper!

slow cooker carnitas pork crock pot easy dinner

Clean Eating Slow Cooker Carnitas

Number of servings: 4- 6 servings


  •  3 lbs. pork shoulder (butt)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tsp. vinegar (red wine, white balsamic or regular balsamic work best, but any will do)
  • 1 large, yellow onion, chopped
  • 10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. fine salt
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano (or mexican oregano)
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. fine salt
Carnitas avocado slow cooker crockpot mexican texmex

Great right from the bowl!


  1. Place the pork shoulder in the slow cooker.
  2. Pour the water, orange juice, lime juice and vinegar over it.
  3. In a large skillet, saute the onions and garlic in a tbsp of olive oil, then pour them over and around the pork.
  4. Sprinkle the spices over and around the pork.
  5. Cook on low for 5-7 hours
  6. Shred with two forks when the pork is tender enough to pull apart easily.
  7. Transfer to a plate or bowl where you can easily finish shredding it. Remove any fat and the bone, if there is one.

You can freeze portions for up to 4 months for easy grab-n-go meals. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Suggested Side: Refried Black Beans & Avocado Slices

slow cooker pork carnitas plantain avocado salsa mexican

Slow Cooker Carnitas with Avocado and Plantain




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