Slow Cooker Carnitas (Whole30, GF, DF, Paleo)


Hello, friends! It’s been so cold and rainy here in Little Rock and I’ve wanted nothing more than warming foods. I have really been working on checking in with my body and figuring out what my body really wants and needs. Not what my mind or emotions want, what my body needs. This is called intuitive eating. I would encourage you to begin practicing intuitive eating. I know you will love the results. For me, I had to create a healthy relationship with food and how it makes me feel before I could really dive into intuitive eating.


So, this past week I checked in with myself and my body said… PROTEIN! This is what my mom calls being “meat hungry.” Have you ever gotten to where you just crave meat? For me, this happens when I am amping up my workouts or lifting more weights. My body wanted protein so I whipped up a batch of my favorite slow cooker carnitas. I’ve been making these for years, with a tweak here or a tweak there and I want to encourage you to do the same! Add what sounds good to you, throw it in the pot, and make it happen!


The best part about these carnitas is you can throw them in your slow cooker and dinner is DONE! But if you really want to make them truly delicious, I like to crisp them in the oven for 5 minutes and WOW! What a delight. It really brings out all the flavors and the texture is to.die.for. But don’t let me tell you how to live your life. If you don’t want to crisp them, don’t! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. They are delicious in burrito bowls, tacos, taco salad, nachos, breakfast nachos… you name it! Thanks for reading! Don’t forget, if you make a recipe of mine, tag me! Follow me on FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM and sign up for my EMAILS.

Slow Cooker Carnitas

prep time: 5 minscook time: 8 hourtotal time: 8 hours and 5 mins


For spice rub
  • 1T coarse sea salt
  • 1T cumin
  • 1T chili powder
For the carnitas
  • 1 pork butt or shoulder (approximately 3 lbs)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 jar of salsa
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 can of chipotles in adobo


For the carnitas
  1. Rub pork with spice rub. Add all ingredients to the slow cooker. For very spicy, all the entire contents of chipotles in adobo. For a milder spice, remove and discard chipotles and add only adobo sauce. Cook on low for 8 hours (10 hours if meat is frozen). Remove and shred. Enjoy in tacos, burrito bowls, nachos, etc. 
For crispy carnitas
  1. Remove meat from slow cooker and shred. It should fall apart easily. Place on a rack lined sheet pan and broil for 5 minutes.
For sauce
  1. To make a delicious sauce for the carnitas, remove chipotles and cook leftover sauce in the slow cooker on high for 20 minutes. I used the sauté function on my slow cooker. Cook until reduced by half and coats the back of a spoon.  
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