Crispy pork carnitas on a sheet pan with orange and lime slices

The BEST Pork Tenderloin Carnitas (Crockpot Pulled Pork)

These Pork Carnitas are incredibly juicy, tender, and oh so mouth watering. They’ll make the most delicious sandwiches, tacos, burritos, and so much more! And they’re a perfect protein to make and enjoy all week. Just add a few simple ingredients to your Crockpot and broil!

Let’s take a trip to Mexico without leaving the kitchen! 😉

Carnitas, which actually means “little meats,” are a Mexican cuisine staple. And these Crispy Pork Carnitas are incredibly juicy, tender, and oh so crispy. They’re a perfect protein to make and enjoy all week, and all you have to do is add a few simple ingredients to your Crockpot and broil at the end. It’ll be a recipe you turn to countless times again!

Add this delicious shredded pork to a sandwich or to top a salad, stuff it in some warm tacos, or enjoy with rice and veggies in a bowl. With so many ways to enjoy, you’ll never get bored!

While the Crockpot does alllll of the work, put your feet up and sip your drink like you’re actually lounging beach or poolside in Mexico!

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THESE CARNITAS

  • They’re so easy to make! The Crockpot does all the work.
  • Tender, juicy flavorful pork with perfectly broiled ends! Tastes like the real dang deal 😋
  • Perfect for meal prep! If you do anything for meal prep, prepare some protein you can easily use throughout the week! These carnitas are a great, simple option.
  • Low in carbs and fat and protein packed.
  • So versatile! Use these carnitas in tacos, burritos, bowls, salads, sandwiches and more!

CRISPY PORK CARNITAS INGREDIENTS

  • Pork tenderloin – You can also use pork shoulder or butt. I used the tenderloin to keep the fat lower.
  • Orange – The fresh, sugary juices help pack the carnitas with incredible flavor and crisp them up!
  • Lime – For more dimension of flavor and tang.
  • Spices – I used salt, pepper, oregano, chili powder, onion powder, and garlic powder.
  • Cilantro – Make these carnitas taste so fresh!

HOW TO MAKE THESE CARNITAS

Sit back, relax, and let the Crockpot do most of the work! 😉 Then, finish your carnitas off in the oven to get that classic, crispy texture.

  • Crockpot: Add pork tenderloin to the Crockpot with orange juice, lime juice, and spices. Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Pork should be easily fall apart when finished. Use two forks to shred pork. (Or your Kitchen Aide!) Adjust seasoning level if desired and simmer another 30 minutes. 
  • Broil: Preheat broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Transfer shredded pork to sheet and spread out well. Leave any juices in the crock-pot and broil for 5 minutes, or until it starts to get crispy on the ends.
  • Finish it off: Add pork back to the Crockpot and toss with remaining cooking liquid to moisten. Stir in fresh cilantro and eat up!

HOW TO EAT

  • Make a sandwich! Add this juicy meat to a hamburger bun or potato roll and top with some fresh slaw and pickled red onion.
  • Fill up a bowl. Use whatever you like! Rice, cauliflower rice, sweet potatoes, grilled fajita veggies, shredded cheese, pico de gallo. So yummy!
  • Toss in a salad. For lighter fare, top a big bowl of greens (I love romaine) with carnitas, red onions, fajita veggies, and dressing of your choice.
  • Stuff some tacos! Scoop those carnitas into a taco or soft tortilla! Top with sour cream, cheese, guacamole, and salsa!

MORE MEAL PREP PROTEIN

If you do anything for meal prep, prepare some protein you can easily use throughout the week! Here are some of my favorite options:

WANT TO MAKE THIS RECIPE?

If you try these carnitas and love them, please rate this recipe!

You can also tag me on Instagram, @LaurenFitFoodie. It makes my day seeing your yummy recreations!

Yield: 8

The BEST Pork Carnitas (Crockpot Pulled Pork)

Crispy pork carnitas on a sheet pan with orange and lime slices

These Pork Carnitas are incredibly juicy, tender, and oh so mouth watering. They'll make the most delicious sandwiches, tacos, burritos, and so much more! And they're a perfect protein to make and enjoy all week. Just add a few simple ingredients to your Crockpot and broil!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2.5 lb. pork tenderloin (may need two tenderloins for this)
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. Place pork tenderloins in Crock-Pot. Add fresh squeezed orange and lemon juice, and sprinkle with spices. Toss around.
  2. Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours or high for about 4 hours. Pork should be easily shreddable when done. Use two forks to shred pork (or your Kitchen Aide). Taste and add more salt, if desired, then simmer another 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the broiler and transfer shredded pork to a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Spread out in a medium-thin layer, leaving any juices in the Crock-Pot.
  4. Broil on low for about 5 minutes until it starts to get crisp but is not burnt or dried out. Remove pork and toss with reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Stir in fresh cilantro, then enjoy!

Notes

MFP entry: LFF Pork Carnitas

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

111g

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 156Total Fat: 3.8gSaturated Fat: 1.3gCarbohydrates: 3.9gFiber: 0.1gSugar: 2.2gProtein: 26.3g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram and tag me @LaurenFitFoodie! 

4 Comments

  1. Omg I am so excited! I just figured out how to import recipes to MFP! I have the in the crockpot now and looking forward to the meal prep options this week. Do you know if this can be frozen? I may not make it through the whole recipe as I am prepping a couple different things this week. Thanks!

  2. Amazing recipe!! I made it today to meal prep for the week, and I was honestly a little nervous when pouring the orange juice over the pork.

    I made it in a pot on the stove because my slow cooker is MIA (we moved recently), and I checked it around the 2.5 hour mark and it was PERFECTLY soft and ready to shred. I didn’t broil it because I’m both lazy and because it already tasted incredible.

    I’m so excited for my carnitas tacos this week!

  3. I was just wondering if anyone has tried making these in a pressure cooker /InstaPot. Normally you can easily convert a Crockpot recipe to a pressure cooker recipe. I just wondered if anyone had any comments about trying this and if they thought the flavor was the same as 8 hours in the crockpot.

  4. Had some pork loin chops and it was Taco Tuesday, so went looking for a carnitas recipe. Made this exactly as written. Used 3 oranges and 1 lime for the juice. After shredding, crisped the pork under the broiler, stirring frequently. Ate it in a layered bowl of rice, meat, black beans, guac, chopped tomatoes, cilantro, and a dollop of sour cream. Mmm! Very easy and healthy! Thank you for posting the recipe, Lauren!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.