Slow Cooked Pork Carnitas (Mexican Pulled Pork)

It was an early Cinco de Mayo celebration in our house. With teaching tonight and traveling on Thursday night (the real Cinco de Mayo), we pushed our celebrations up a few days. Trust me, I caught a lot of flack for the events from Mr. Prevention. I, on the other hand, need no excuse to make and enjoy Mexican food! As far as I’m concerned, I could (and would) eat Mexican on a daily basis.

It doesn’t happen often. I rarely repeat recipes. I’m all for trying new things…always. And besides, it keeps things rolling here on the blog. But sometimes, recipes are worthy of a repeat. Not to say that other recipes aren’t but this is certainly a favorite. And as the wheels started turning on menu options for Cinco de Mayo, this recipe kept coming to mind.

The original recipe calls for a pork shoulder roast, which is…fabulous. However the shoulder cuts tend to be heavily marbled with fat, making them the “perfect” choice for something like carnitas that are to be shredded. And while that’s all fine and good (oh so so good), I decided to try this recipe with a leaner cut and used a center cut boneless pork loin. The pork did need some additional cooking time, but the moist heat slow cooking yielded perfectly shredded pork carnitas and a much lower count of saturated fat grams and calories. When you’re cooking with flavors like chipotles in adobo and cumin, you really won’t miss the fat. I PROMISE!

Tomorrow will be another Mexican recipe for the REAL Cinco de Mayo :)

Question: Will you be celebrating Cinco de Mayo?

P.S. The Bloggers Bake for Hope bidding opened at midnight! Bid on a treat and help raise money for breast cancer awareness! My Big-O Brownies are open for bidding!

Be well,


  1. I love carnitas!! Looks delicious :)

  2. Mouth is watering…looks awesome!

  3. I SWOON for pulled pork! So good!

  4. As big of a mexican food lover as I am, you’d think I’d be ON IT with the Cinco de Mayo celebration… oops.

    My friend’s bday is on the holiday. He has an obligatory duty to drink tequila for his birthday every year… poor thing… ;)

  5. What a wonderful dish any day of the year!!!

  6. These look sooooo gooood, Nicole! We don’t eat pork but I bet chicken or beef would also be fantastic…thanks for the meal inspiration! Hope you have a wonderful Wednesday!

  7. I remember this recipe! I too rarely repeat dishes, but this one totally deserves it.

  8. Holy yum. I love Mexican food. I wonder if I can convince my parents to pick a bunch up from the place up the street for the hockey game tomorrow. It only seems logical right? :)

  9. When I make pulled pork, I almost always use lean meat. And I think it’s pretty damn good! these carnitas look fab! I personally think it should be cinco de mayo week. Mexican food every day sounds good to me!

  10. Ya know I woke up this morning thinking it was cinco De Mayo and got excited because we’re having fish tacos tonight. Well turns out I was wrong so we won’t really be celebrating with Mexican fare tomorrow. At least we’ll celebrate in spirit tonight!

    I love crockpot pulled pork. Looks delicious Nicole :)

  11. I think that’s why we like each other so much – I can eat Mexican every day and never get sick of it – while I always use a pork shoulder to braise/crock pot, I’ll try your leaner version next time. :D

    Have a safe drive to Oak Park!

  12. Just had to chime in and share how excellent we thought these were! I love coming home to a crockpot meal and having enough leftover to freeze. Thank you!

    • Becca, thank you! It’s so funny you posted on this recipe because I was just thinking about this recipe today and how I NEED to make them again!


  1. [...] there was pork carnitas in the freezer and we just heated that up, layered it in a tortilla, and topped it with a dollop of [...]

  2. [...] 3. Slow Cooked Pork Carnitas Tacos. I don’t know that I’ve ever had better flavor in a taco and being the Mexican food-lover that I am, this post will always stick out as a favorite! Plus it’s so simple to make and I’ve found great success with slow cooking a pork tenderloin vs. a pork shoulder to cut lots of calories and fat! [...]

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