This crockpot carnitas recipe is so simple to make and it’s packed with flavors. They’re Paleo, Whole30 friendly, Gluten-free, Keto-friendly, and the easy-to-find pork shoulder is light on your wallet as well. So tender and juicy, it’s like having Chipotle in your own kitchen, but better!
I’m a sucker for the slow cooker, crockpot recipes because they just make life so much easier.
You can put something in it at night and wake up to a fresh warm breakfast, or put something in it in the morning before you go to work, then come home to a hearty dinner.
I get it. No one wants to spend a full day at work just to come home and spend hours cooking, then clean up too.
The ease and convenience of fast food are all too appealing in these situations, which is why I’m super excited to share these easy, healthy, crockpot carnitas with you.
It’s affordable and doesn’t take much effort, so there’s no excuse for you not to eat healthily!
Why I Love this Whole30 Carnitas Recipe
The star ingredient of this recipe is pork shoulder which is budget-friendly and very easy to find. If for some reason you do have some difficulty finding pork shoulder you could always use pork loin or pork tenderloin as well.
The great thing about using the slow cooker is that you can use tougher cuts of meat (aka cheaper) because they cook low and slow, which makes them more tender.
I always just buy whatever is available or most affordable at the grocery store, no need to be picky here.
Moreover, this recipe is so versatile and is great for meal prep since you can use it in so many different ways. You can make tacos, burritos, taco/burrito bowls, loaded nachos, loaded fries… the list goes on.
I really like Siete Foods brand chips and tortillas. They taste great and have all the clean ingredients.
Orange juice to make it naturally sweet
The orange juice in this recipe is a great substitute for sugar, and the citrus helps tenderize the meat even further what makes it even juicier.
You’ll see a lot of recipes call for brown sugar, or sometimes sodas like Dr. Pepper or Cola as a sweetener, but the orange juice in this recipe works even better in my opinion. It’s healthier and creates a better flavor and texture for the meat.
How to Make this Healthy Crockpot Carnitas
As I said previously, these healthy, Whole30 carnitas are super easy to make. All you’ll need is 8 simple ingredients and a crockpot. For this recipe you will need:
- Pork shoulder or pork loin
- Orange (to juice)
- Salt, Pepper
- Smoked paprika
- Optional: diced jalapeno pepper if you want to add a little heat!
Throw all of the ingredients in the crockpot, let it cook for 8 hours, then take the pork out to shred it. Once you’ve finished shredding, place the pork back into the crockpot and let it sit for about 30 more minutes so that it can soak up all of those mouth-watering juices.
How to Serve these Whole30 Crockpot Carnitas
Whether you’re making tacos, burritos, taco/burrito bowls, or even throwing it in a soup or chowder, all you’ll need is a couple of fresh ingredients to top it off and have an all-star dish.
Some great ways to top off your carnitas would be with fresh lime, fresh chopped onion, fresh cilantro, salsa, pico de gallo, avocado, or guacamole.
Add some cauliflower rice to keep your dish low carb and bump up your veggie intake as well.
Another great way to eat this carnitas is in lettuce wraps. There’s a nice fresh crunch from the crisp lettuce and it keeps this dish low carb, paleo, Whole30, and keto-friendly. So many possibilities!
What are your favorite ways to eat carnitas? Leave a comment below!
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You may also like these other easy crockpot recipes:
- 2 lb pork shoulder
- 1/4 onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- Juice of one medium orange
- 2-3 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
- 1/2 tsp black pepper (or to taste)
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- Pat dry the pork shoulder with paper towels. Season with all the “rub” Ingredients and rub all over the pork then place in your crockpot.
- Add Onion garlic and orange juice. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or cook on high for 4- 6 house. Pull apart with a fork. The meat should be very tender easily fall apart.
- Serve with your favorite Taco shells, or on top of burrito bowls.
Increase or decrease the ratio of seasoning depending on the amount of meat you are working with.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This does not result in any extra cost for you, but it does mean that I make a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 360Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 102mgSodium: 477mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 27g
The Nutrition Facts above are specific to the ingredients I chose to use for this recipe, which may vary.