Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

If you couldn’t tell already, we love Mexican style cooking. It took me a while to figure out a recipe for carnitas that was healthy, tasty and didn’t require too much time or too many steps. This recipe fits the bill! It’s easy to put together in the morning and the flavors are great. The spices are delicious, and the juices of the lime and orange add great flavor and make the meat extra tender! I love that I can make this with pork tenderloin instead of a pork shoulder, and it is still tender and flavorful. (You can certainly make it with a pork shoulder, I have done so and it came out very good as well). Serve this with white rice or cilantro lime rice and pinto beans and you have a complete meal. Then just top with your favorite toppings, like guacamole, salsa, sour cream or plain yogurt, and cheese.

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican


  • 2-3 lb pork tenderloin (I usually use a two pack of this weight)
  • 1/2 T. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 yellow onion quartered
  • 1 orange juiced
  • 1 lime juiced


  • Place pork in a slow cooker
  • In a small bowl, mix together all the spices. Rub on all sides of the pork.
  • Add mixed garlic, onion, lime juice and orange juice to the slow cooker.
  • Cook on low for 8 hours.
  • Remove pork and shred. (I like to cut the pork tenderloin into about 3 pieces and then shred so the pieces of pork are not too long. I also sometimes cut up the onion a bit if the pieces seem too big.
  • Return to slow cooker and toss with juices to coat evenly.
  • Serve over white rice or cilantro lime rice with pinto beans and your favorite taco toppings. We like it with guacamole, salsa, plain yogurt or sour cream, and cheese.


What to serve with it: We love to eat this over white rice or cilantro lime rice and pinto beans.  Then we top with our favorite taco toppings including guacamole, salsa, sour cream or plain yogurt and cheese.
Helping Hands: When my little ones want to help I usually have them mix up the spices and help juice and orange and lime.  Then I just add the ingredients as needed. 
Make Ahead Options: By nature this is a make ahead option. If you will be short on time in the morning you could mix up the spices the night before to save a bit of time in the morning.  This also freezes really well if you want to freeze some for another meal another time.  

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