Carnitas tacos are the secret to a restaurant-worthy taco night. They’re filled with meltingly tender pork that’s finished with perfect, crisp edges. Just make your carnitas in a slow cooker (super easy) and add some fresh toppings. It’s Taco Tuesday on point!
The Best Carnitas Tacos
If you love good Mexican food, carnitas tacos are probably no stranger to you. Juicy shredded pork is wrapped in a warm tortilla blanket. Then, it’s topped with freshly diced onion and cilantro.
But don’t limit yourself to getting your taco fix at a Mexican restaurant or taco truck. You can achieve the same flavors and textures right at home.
Enter these homemade carnitas tacos. The pork is meltingly tender with perfectly crisp edges – all thanks to the beauty of a slow cooker. Just toss in all your ingredients, let it cook during the day, and crisp it in the broiler for a few minutes before taco night begins. Serve it up taco-truck style, tucking the carnitas into warm tortillas and sprinkling an array of simple, fresh toppings.
Carnitas Tacos Recipe Video
This recipe comes together easily with a few key ingredients. Watch how I make it in the video below!
How To Make Carnitas Tacos
To get started, let’s make sure you’re getting the right type of pork. Carnitas are typically made with pork shoulder or butt because of its higher fat content. This helps keep the meat juicy and tender while it’s cooking.
You can read more on how to season and cook your pork in my carnitas recipe. Then once it’s done broiling in the oven, you’re ready to assemble the tacos.
Prepare a batch of warm tortillas to wrap your carnitas. Sprinkle on freshly diced onions and cilantro. Then finish it off with a squeeze of zesty lime juice. This right here is your classic carnitas taco recipe.
But if you want to add more flavors to this, keep on reading for additional toppings such as cheese and of course guacamole!
Get Creative With Taco Toppings
While onions and cilantro are typical carnitas taco toppings, there’s no need to stop there.
- Tortilla options: You can use my freshly made cassava flour tortillas or corn tortillas. But if you’re looking for a low-carb option, large butter lettuce leaves are just as delicious.
- Fresh dips: Put a spoonful of homemade guacamole, pico de gallo, or homemade salsa.
- Cheeses: My favorite is cotija cheese, but you can also sprinkle on queso fresco.
More Taco Recipes
If you’re hosting taco night, surprise your guests with a variety of options. Here’s a few delicious ideas.
- Barbacoa + Barbacoa Tacos
- Grilled Fish Tacos
- Carne Asada Tacos
- Shrimp Tacos
- Pulled Pork Street Tacos
- Taco Salad
- Prime Rib Tacos
Super Tasty Carnitas Tacos
- 4 pounds skinless, boneless pork shoulder or butt
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 orange, juiced
- 1 jalapeno, deseeded and finely diced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup red onion, finely diced
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- 6 tortillas
- limes, for garnish
- In a small bowl place oregano, cumin, black pepper, salt, and chili powder, then mix thoroughly.
- Rub the spice mixture generously around the entire pork shoulder and place in the slow cooker.
- Top with pork with the onion, minced garlic, jalapeno, and orange juice in the slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on the low setting for 8-10 hours, or high heat for 5-6 hours. The meat should be tender and nearly falling apart.
- Remove the pork from the slow cooker to a large cutting board and use two forks to shred the meat. (Don't get rid of the liquid as you will be using it later)
- Place the shredded pork on a baking sheet.
- Pour 1 cup of the reserved slow cooker liquid over the pork to season.
- Broil for 5-10 minutes on high heat until the meat becomes golden browned and crispy on the edges.
- Serve immediately with tortillas, freshly diced onion, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice.
- Note: you'll likely have have leftover carnitas. You can make more tacos or enjoy the carnitas in burritos or on salads. You can also store it in the fridge and then reheat to enjoy later.