Recipe: Pork Carnitas Tacos with Tomatillo Salsa

If you don’t have a slow cooker I think this recipe alone is worth the $25 or $30 investment (we use this basic, inexpensive slow cooker). We have tested these pork tacos on quite a lot of people (including our dinner club guests), and it gets rave reviews every time! I’ve also already shared another slow cooker favorite of ours “The Best Whole Chicken in a Crock Pot,” which can easily be turned into overnight homemade chicken stock. There is no better way than a slow cooker to make inexpensive cuts of meat delish.

Pork Carnitas Tacos Recipe from 100 Days of Real Food


4.8 from 20 reviews
Pork Carnitas Tacos
Serves: 8 – 10
Adapted from Marcela Valladolid
  • 2 to 2 ½ lbs pork shoulder or Boston butt roast, cut into 5 or 6 small pieces (in Charlotte we use pork from Grateful Growers Farm, which is sold at the Matthews Farmers’ Market and Hillbilly Produce)
  • 3 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 onion, cut into 6 or 8 chunks
  • 3 garlic cloves, whole
  • 1 recipe tomatillo salsa (use this recipe or can be purchased at Trader Joe’s, though theirs is a bit salty)
  • 1 ½ recipes whole-grain corn tortillas
  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • Fresh cilantro
  1. Mix together oregano, pepper, salt, and cumin and rub on outside of pork pieces in bottom of slow cooker.
  2. Throw onion and garlic on top of pork.
  3. Slow cook on low for 6 – 8 hours or until meat is falling apart.
  4. When finished discard the onion and garlic. Drain meat and shred with a fork.
  5. Serve warm with tortillas, tomatillo salsa, avocados and cilantro.


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  • Comments

    1. Kim |

      Can you freeze this meal and eat again later?

      • Amy Taylor (comment moderator) |

        Hi Kim. You can absolutely freeze the pork.

    2. PLV |

      This recipe was so easy to make and absolutely delicious. Instead of throwing the onions away I ate them. I would have like to save the flavorful grease to do something with later, but didn’t know whether to refrigerate it or not, so I threw it out.
      I am definitely going to put this on my monthly meal plan. Yum!!

    3. janet |

      My husband looked at me after a couple of bites and said ‘I could eat this ALL the time!’ Great, easy recipe! I’ve never made carnitas before, and this couldn’t be more simple and flavorful! I used Frontera tomatillo salsa – local company in Chicago, no crazy chems and salt is one of the last ingredients so not as salty as others. I also used Whole Foods corn tortillas. This is going into our permanent meal rotation, thanks Lisa!

    4. Michelle |

      I saw that a few people have used pork tenderloin. I have a pork tenderloin tip, and was wondering if this would work for this recipe?

      • Amy Taylor (comment moderator) |

        Hi Michelle. It is the higher fat content of the shoulder/butt that makes this recipe moist and juicy. A tenderloin is a very lean cut.

    5. |

      Do you add water or something?

      • Amy Taylor (comment moderator) |

        Hello Jesko. No, it makes plenty of its own liquid.

    6. Piper |

      I’m making this today for Cinco de Mayo dinner with friends tonight! Can’t wait.

    7. Kirsten |

      How much tomatillo sauce do you need for the recipe? I like that you suggest using store bought if you don’t have time to make fresh, but I seldom see what the quantity should be.

      • Amy Taylor (comment moderator) |

        Hi Kirsten. It completely depends on how much you wish to use. :)

    8. delmara |

      ive made this before and love it! i slacked today and started it a little late. id rather not eat at 9pm, can it be cooked on high? or maybe high part of the time? or do you think that would dry it out too much?

      • Amy Taylor (comment moderator) |

        Hi Delmara. So sorry that we are not able to answer recipe questions in real time. How did it turn out?

    9. Lauren |

      Hi. I’m planning to make this on Friday (today is Sunday). Can I make the salsa early and freeze? Or how long will it keep in the fridge? I’ll do the pork the day of.

      • Amy Taylor (comment moderator) |

        Hi there. You could freeze it although it does change the texture a bit. .

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