I have the EASIEST carnitas recipe here for you! Cooked low and slow to achieve that amazing fall-apart pork tastiness.
We pretty much make this about once a month and it's ALWAYS a hit. We LOVE our usual Chipotle Bowl order... but with the prices these days... it's just SO much cheaper to make this version at home! Besides, pork shoulder or pork butt are both cheaper cuts and both are great choices for carnitas!
Besides all things tacos. I am pretty much obsessed with bowl food. Always have been, even before it became a thang.
Put it in a bowl. I’m happy.
The BEST Slow Cooker Carnitas
I believe the way to cook traditional carnitas is by braising the meat. Which still takes time but something about putting a meal in the slow cooker (even though it takes time) is different than having a meal with lots of hands on time (if you know what I mean!). This pork carnitas recipe has been hanging out on the blog now for YEARS and after our blog upgrade earlier this year SHE needed a refresh! I plan on updating the pictures too! But for now, I have given this recipe a much needed update!
How to make Slow Cooker Carnitas
First is to simply season the pork butt (I use pork butt 9/10 times because it's what is cheapest and at Aldi!) with a spice blend of chili powder, cumin, salt, and black pepper.
Next, place the onion and garlic at the bottom of the slow cooker and add the broth and lime juice.
Place the cut pork on top of the onions. Drizzle with olive oil and top with jalapeno slices.
Cover with the lid and a cook time on low for 6-8 hours. Once the pork is completely cooked through and falling apart at the touch, it's time to shred it!
You can do this with forks, tongs, or the best way is putting it in our stand mixer! I SWEAR this works!
Now you have perfectly shredded pork to start making your bowls! You can follow my extra steps for crispy carnitas here (It's SO worth the extra step!). All you need to do is add the pork to a rimmed baking sheet and bake until nice and crispy... so DELICIOUS.
I love making my bowl Chipotle style with shredded romaine lettuce, some red onions, sauteed bell peppers, sour cream, some black beans, and top with fresh cilantro!
This recipe makes a big batch so there will be plenty of leftover carnitas all week long! See below other ways to serve this favorite recipe!
You sure can! I have another fantastic carnitas recipe on my blog specifically for the Instant Pot! Check out my other version of carnitas here!
Either! Depending on what the store has (or what is cheaper). I have made this recipe with both and it turns out tasty either way!
No! Keep that flavor layer right where it is! The fat layer helps retain all that flavor and moisture in the meat while it cooks. And most of it renders off during the cooking process.
Sounds like the connective tissue didn't melt away during the cooking process. This takes time and these tissues will break down over this low and slow process! To prevent this, try to find a cut with a balanced amount of fat. Not too much but not too lean.
Other Pork-Tastic Recipes You Might Like
- Instant Pot Whole30 Pork Chile Verde Tacos
- Slow Cooker Chili Pork Verde
- Baked Pork Chops with Rice and Kickin' Cranberry Sauce
- Instant Pot EXTRA Crispy Salsa Verde Carnitas
Made this recipe and loved it?! We would love it if you would take a minute and leave a star rating and review – it is also helpful if you made any substitutions or changes to the recipe to share that as well. THANK YOU!Print
Slow Cooker Carnitas Burrito Bowls
- Total Time: 6 hours 20 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
Slow roasted carnitas with all your favorite fix-ins make the perfect healthy food bowl mealprep for the week!
- 3 Lbs Pork Shoulder (cut into 2-3 inch pieces)
- 1 tbs chili powder
- 1 tbs cumin
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- ¾ Cup Chicken Broth
- Juice of 2 limes
- 1 Yellow Onion, Diced
- 3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
- 1-2 Jalapenos, Sliced Thin
- 2 Tbs Olive Oil
Salad Bowl Ingredients
- 4 Cups Romaine Lettuce, Chopped
- 1 Avocado, Smashed with Sea Salt
Pico De Gallo Ingredients
- 2 Roma Tomatoes, Diced
- 1 Green Onion Stalk, Sliced
- ¼ Red Onion, Diced
- 1 Jalapeno, Optional
- Mix spices together to create a rub. Season pork evenly with the spices
- Meat Preparation
- In a heavy bottom sauce pan heat oil on medium high heat
- Sear pork on all sides (in batches if necessary) until browned
- Slow Cooker
- In a crockpot, add onion, garlic, seared pork, jalapenos, and broth
- Let cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 6 hours
- Shred (See notes for LIFE HACK)
- Place pork in a large bowl of plate and shred with two forks
- Alternative: Utilize a stand mixer (Kitchen Aide) with the paddle feature to shred!
- Bowl Preparation
- Layer romaine, pico de gallo, carnitas, and avocado
- Serve with lime wedges and plantain chips
Shredding Life Hack - Put the pork in a stand mixer if you have one! This makes SUPER quick work shredding all of this meat! This works with chicken too! Such a GAME CHANGER.
- Prep Time: 20 Minutes
- Cook Time: 6 Hours
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Slow Cooker
- Cuisine: Mexican-Inspired
Keywords: Carnita Bowl, carnitas, pork, chipotle bowl
Joanne K says
Where can I find plantain chips?
For dietary reasons I can’t eat pork. Can this be replaced with a different protein?
Hi Melissa! Of course! I would substitute boneless chicken thighs or a chuck roast of 2-3 lbs in this recipe. Hope you enjoy!
lynn petrozza says
Making this tomorrow. Sounds delish!!! Love burrito bowls!!
Thank you Lynn! It's SO addictive. And actually I'm making this tomorrow too!! 😁
This looks amazing! I am obsessed with Chipotle burrito bowls, and even Moe's burrito bowls. They are so tasty and I love that you can make it into a healthy and tasty meal. I'll definitely have to give this recipe a try!