Slow Cooker Carnitas (Mexican Pulled Pork)

by Erin

Making your own carnitas is easy thanks to the slow cooker. Serve it in tacos, over nachos, or in a rice bowl!

Slow Cooker Carnitas Tacos

Jump to recipe

When I told On the Border Products that I was planning a Taco Night dinner, they made sure to send me all the necessary ingredients to complete the taco bar experience.

In fact they almost overwhelmed me with options by sending four different kinds of tortillas chips, two cheese dips, and also four salsas with varying degrees of spice and chunkiness. (I was excited to see the Guac Blast chips again after the fun chicken recipe I made with them in the past.)

OtB Margarita

But of course what’s a taco bar without some margaritas? They also sent along two different margarita mixes, but instead of filling up the bucket and freezing the entire thing, I decided to mix per order in case people preferred blended or on the rocks. It was really easy to mix and tasted great either way.

Slow Cooker Carnitas

For the tacos I decided to make some slow cooked Mexican pulled pork. I’ve made two kinds of Mexican pulled chicken for tacos and nachos so it was time for a little change. This recipe is similar to Slow Cooker Cuban Mojo Pork but has more Mexican flare with taco seasoning.

Once shredded and cooked, the pork was extremely tender and full of flavor. Definitely worth the wait (especially when you make homemade tortillas in the meantime). I also made an avocado cheese ball to go with the meal! See more recipe ideas listed below.

Shredded Slow Cooker Carnitas

Cinco de Mayo Recipes

Mexican Pulled Pork Tacos

Slow Cooker Carnitas Tacos


Yield: Serves 6-8 Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat


  • 1 (3.5-4 lb.) boneless pork butt, fat trimmed to 1/8″
  • 2 Tbsp Mexican or Taco seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups water (more or less)
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 orange, halved
  • 1 lime, halved
  • Tortillas
  • Favorite toppings


  1. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Rub seasoning all over the pork. Place pork in skillet and cook until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes.
  2. Transfer the pork to a slow cooker along with the onion, oregano, cumin, bay leaves, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add enough water to just barely cover the meat.
  3. Squeeze the juice from the orange and lime into the slow cooker and add the juiced halves in as well. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours, or until meat is easily shredded with two forks.
  4. Remove the meat from the slow cooker and strain solids* from the liquid into a large, wide pot. Place over high heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and syrup-like, about 20 minutes.
  5. Turn the oven to broil. Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside.
  6. Shred the pork into bite sized chunks. Fold in the syrup and spread out mixture in a single layer onto prepared baking sheet. Broil on lower middle rack for 5 minutes, or until meat is crispy but not charred. Flip the meat and broil again for 5 minutes longer.
  7. Serve carnitas with desired toppings and a margarita!


*Toss bay leaf, orange, and lime, but you can chop up the onion and stir into the meat when it's done.

Did You Make This Recipe?
I want to see! Tag me on Instagram at @TheSpiffyCookie and hashtag it #TheSpiffyCookie.

Source: Adapted from Girl Carnivore.

Did you make this recipe? I want to see!

Tag @THESPIFFYCOOKIE on Instagram and hashtag it #THESPIFFYCOOKIE

Disclosure: I was provided with complimentary On the Border products. I was not compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


Post updated 4/29/20, photos above and below are the originals.

On the Border

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Liz @ Books n' Cooks May 1, 2020 - 12:14 pm

This is such a great recipe for bulk cooking on the weekend, to have a whole bunch of different meals during the week. Or for stocking the freezer! I need to add this to my list of recipes to make soon – I’m trying to have some ready-made meals in the freezer for when I return to work. It’ll make life way easier, and I know this will be a winner for my whole house!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Erin May 1, 2020 - 4:26 pm

We have some saved in our freezer right now, it’s great to have on hand!

Simply Inspired Meals May 1, 2020 - 12:00 pm

This is making me hungry just reading this, definitely a must try recipe.

Wendy Klik May 1, 2020 - 11:22 am

I use my slow cooker for carnitas too. Turns out so very delicious and then can be eaten as is, used for tacos or enchiladas, added to quesadillas, used as a topping for nachos….the possibilities are endless.

Erin May 1, 2020 - 11:24 am

Exactly! We froze some of it the last time we made it to use as desired!

Rebekah @ Making Miracles May 1, 2020 - 9:55 am

Oh YUMM!! That looks WONDERFUL! I have huge pork roast in my refrigerator right now that I’ve been debating what to do with…!

Erin May 1, 2020 - 10:42 am

Do it! The carnitas can be used in so many things.

kita July 2, 2013 - 3:00 pm

Hells yeah for the queso on top!

Jennie @themessybakerblog July 1, 2013 - 10:43 pm

A taco bar is nothing without some ritas. You really out did yourself with this taco smorgasbord. Yum!

Nessa July 1, 2013 - 6:40 pm


Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers July 1, 2013 - 5:26 pm

I LOVE Taco Night! I swear I could eat it everyday! On my fend for yourself nights, I always make tacos! Nothing like a few fat tacos and some salsa! Your recipe sounds super yummy!!

Mr. & Mrs. P July 1, 2013 - 11:11 am

We are in the mood for tacos any day, any time… =)

Tracey July 1, 2013 - 7:12 am

Promise you’ll invite me to your next taco night? Wow, this all looks seriously amazing! I’m officially starving :)


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