These Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas are a cinch to make and totally addictive! Top them with fresh jalapeño slaw for the ultimate easy, healthy meal!
Over the years, my Mother has developed a bit of an obsession. She hoards something super unusual…CrockPots.
My Mom LOVES her CrockPots. She has every size and shape known to man. The bottom shelves of her pantry are filled with various slow cookers stacked inside one other and on top of each other.
Yet every year when Black Friday rolls around, my dear Mother will brave the cold and the crazy crowds and head to the the local Wal-Mart. She comes home with some odds and ends and always, always a $5 CrockPot.
And what did she ask for for Christmas last year? Another CrockPot.
Over the years, I have found my Mom’s love of slow cookers to be oddly comforting. Whenever I drag out one of my slow cookers —which were gifts from my Mom — I think of her. If I am browsing through the kitchen section at a store and a CrockPot catches my eye I like to think that is a little of my Mom in me. I love it. Sometimes the most unusual and unexpected things make me feel a little closer to home.
So, whenever I create a good slow cooker recipe I always have to share it with my Mom and sisters because, well, our love of CrockPots is genetic. 🙂
These slow cooker pork carnitas are a game changer. They are so unbelievably easy and full of flavor. It makes a super impressive dinner with hardly any effort at all. These pork loin carnitas are topped with a jalapeño slaw, which is really simple and helps pull all of the flavors together.
Ingredients for the Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas
For this easy carnitas recipe, you’ll need:
- Pork loin
- Ranch seasoning packet
- Fresh jalapeño
And to make the slaw for the carnitas, you’ll need a mixture of pre-packaged slaw mix, another jalapeño, oil, vinegar, lime juice, and some spices.
Can the Beer Be Substituted?
Yes! If you prefer not to use beer, 1 1/2 cups of Dr. Pepper or beef broth would be a great substitute!
How to Make Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas
For the slow cooker carnitas, just throw the pork loin, beer, and seasonings into your CrockPot and let it simmer on low all day. That is it! No precooking and no weird ingredients; this easy carnitas recipe will take you literally two minutes to throw together in the morning before you go to work.
After 8 hours, you just shred the meat. This won’t be difficult, it will basically just fall apart. Then, place your meat on a lined baking sheet and broil it for a minute or two until it gets nice and crisp.
Drizzle a bit of the juice from the slow cooker over the crisp meat. This is the key to having super fantastic, majorly flavorful carnitas. Do not skip that step!
Then, just whip up the jalapeño slaw, warm some corn tortillas, and you have a guest-worthy meal on your hands with hardly any effort at all!
Can I Make This Recipe Low-Carb?
Yes! Use your favorite low-carb tortillas in place of the corn tortillas, or make your own Keto Tortillas instead.
What to Serve with Carnitas
My go-to carnitas tacos topping is the jalapeño slaw listed in the recipe card below. Otherwise, freshly squeezed lime juice, finely sliced onion, and fresh cilantro are also delicious.
If you’re looking for side dishes to serve with pork carnitas tacos, here are some of my favorites:
- Sweet Corn and Tomato Salad
- Avocado Bacon Dip
- Jalapeño Ranch Dip
- Seasoned Black Beans
- Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
- Lima Bean Salsa
Tips for the Best Pork Carnitas
- The slaw in the pictures above is the broccoli slaw mix. I have since used regular slaw mix and I think I prefer the regular cabbage mix. However, both worked great.
- I left the seeds in the jalapeño pepper for both the pork loin carnitas and the slaw. I didn’t find either too spicy, but omit the seeds if you’re worried.
- I prefer making the slaw for the carnitas an hour or two before I plan on serving this meal. The slaw tastes better after the flavors have had time to meld.
More Easy Mexican Dinners:
- Skillet Enchiladas
- Turkey, Bacon & Avocado Taquitos
- Easy Keto Taco Skillet
- Grilled Chicken Fajitas
- Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup
For the Carnitas:
- 2 pounds pork loin
- 1 package ranch seasoning
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 sliced fresh jalapeño
- one 12-ounce bottle of beer (I used Red Bridge)
For the Cilantro Lime Slaw:
- 3 cups slaw mix
- 1/4 cup diced red pepper
- 1 fresh jalapeño, seeded and diced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- Spray the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray. Place the pork loin fat side down in the slow cooker.
- Top with ranch seasoning, minced garlic, cumin, and the freshly sliced jalapeño. I did not seed the jalapeño and did not think it was spicy.
- Pour the bottle of beer right over the top.
- Let cook on low 8 hours.
- After it has cooked for 8 hours, shred the meat with a fork, it should just fall apart. Do NOT discard the juice from the slow cooker.
- Using a parchment paper- or foil-lined baking sheet, place the shreds of meat in a single layer.
- Turn your broiler on high and set the meat under your broiler. Let it broil for 1-2 minutes until crisp. (WATCH CLOSELY!!!) Keep an eye on the meat, as every oven heats differently, yours may get crisp quicker than mine did.
- When meat is crisp, spoon some of the juice from the slow cooker over the top (this is key, do not skip this step)
- Add the slaw mix, chopped red pepper and jalapeños to a mixing bowl.
- In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the oil, vinegar, cilantro, slices, and lime juice. Stir well.
- Pour over slaw and stir. Keep cool until ready to serve.
- Heat a stack of corn tortillas.
- Place meat and slaw in tortilla and garnish with additional juice from the slow cooker, or lime juice.
For the Slow Cooker Carnitas:
To make the Cilantro Lime Slaw:
To assemble carnitas:
- If you prefer not to use beer, 1 1/2 cups of Dr. Pepper or beef broth would be a great substitute!
- I personally like the slaw best when it has had time to sit and let the flavors meld. It can be made and served immediately, but I like it best after it has set for an hour or two.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 885Total Fat: 53gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 37gCholesterol: 195mgSodium: 1129mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 4gSugar: 18gProtein: 64g
To avoid any confusion I remove erythritol from the final carb count and net carb count, as it is not known to affect blood glucose levels. To calculate Keto recipes listed on this site carbs - fiber = net carbs. I use Nutrifox as my nutrition calculator. This nutrition information is an estimate based on the information provided by Nutrifox and the specific ingredients I used.