Slow Cooker Carnitas Tacos with Mexican Corn Salsa

Tender Mexican pulled pork that’s loaded with herbs and spices and is so flavorful too! This simple crock pot meal is so easy to make and is always a crowd favorite!

Healthy and delicious pork carnitas tacos made in the slow cooker! They're tender, moist and full of so much flavor!

Tacos are 100% the key to my heart. And since being born and raised in San Diego, California – I like to think that I know a good taco when I see it. That’s why when I say that these slow cooker carnitas tacos are some of the best tacos you will ever have – I really mean it loves! (Especially when you add some incredibly flavorful Mexican corn salsa to the mix!) They’re rich, vibrant, loaded with Mexican herbs and spices and (most importantly) incredibly easy to make!

An easy Mexican pulled pork recipe that's cooked in the crock pot with lots of herbs and spies and then served with an easy Mexican corn salsa! This recipe comes out perfectly moist and tender every single time!

What are carnitas?

Basically heaven in shredded meat form… 😉 OR another description for them is simply Mexican pulled pork. Most authentic recipes with require the pork to be simmered all day in a pot on the stove where you’ll have to babysit it and give it lots of tender, love and care. (Don’t get me wrong, authentic carnitas really are incredible and you can definitely taste all the love that goes into them.) But not everyone has time for that. Which is exactly why we’ve started to make them in the slow cooker instead! They always come out just as tender and delicious and are little more convenient for the average busy person too!

Easy Mexican pulled pork that are perfect for tacos, salads and even nachos too! Plus they go great with my homemade zesty corn salsa!

What makes these carnitas healthier?

Several recipes will call for you to marinate/cook the pork in beer or fry the carnitas in a ton of oil, but not this recipe! Instead, we’re relying on the natural juices of the pork mixed with fresh orange juice to give it it’s vibrant flavor. Pork carnitas also have a reputation for being incredibly salty too so we’ve cut back on the amount of salt we added to this recipe. (Pork itself is already pretty salty so I’ve found that we don’t really need to add too much.)

What type of pork should I use for these slow cooker carnitas tacos?

We almost always use pork shoulder butt for this recipe. Sometimes you’ll find it labeled as either pork shoulder or pork butt in the grocery store and both are fine to use for these carnitas. (They both come from the same part of the pig.) We’ve also use a pork roast for this recipe too but it didn’t come out quite as tender as the shoulder/butt.

Slow cooker carnitas are a great option for a busy weeknight meal! They're made in the crock pot so you can start to cook them in the morning and they're done by the time you get home! Plus they're so tasty too!

How to make pork carnitas in the slow cooker

This is by far my favorite way to make carnitas! It’s easy, there’s hardly any clean up and the pork comes out tender and moist every single time!

  1. Pat the pork shoulder butt dry and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Then take your rub mix and rub it all over the pork.
  2. Place the pork in your slow cooker (with the fat cap facing up) and top it with your chopped onion, jalapenos and garlic. Pour the orange juice over the top.
  3. Cook the pork on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 6 hours.
  4. Once it’s done, take it out of the crock pot and shred it using two forks.

Sometimes we’ll take some of the leftover juices in the crock pot and pour it over the carnitas once they’re shredded to help keep them moist too.

Taco night doesn't get any better than this! These incredibly easy carnitas tacos are so flavorful and easy to make and there's hardly any clean up too!

How to make Mexican corn salsa

I’m a firm believer that you can’t have tacos without a good salsa! And since we’re right in the middle of summer, I couldn’t think of a better ingredient to use than fresh summer corn! This salsa is zesty, slightly sweet, packed full of flavor and is so easy to make too! (We’ve even eaten it on it’s own with some chips and it was just delicious! 🙂 )

  • 3 fresh ears of corn, shucked
  • 1/3 of a red onion, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Cotija cheese, crumbled
  • 3-4 fresh limes, juiced
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  1. Start by bringing a large pot of water to a boil on the stove and then add your corn cobs once it begins to boil. Boil the corn for 1 1/2 minutes. Then take the corn cobs out of the pot, discard the water and allow the corn to cool completely.
  2. Once the corn is cool, cut the kernels off the cob and pour them into a large bowl. Add the chopped onion, cilantro and cotija cheese and pour your lime juice over the top. Mix the salsa together and season it with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Store your salsa in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.

*This salsa is best served cold!

These slow cooker pork carnitas tacos have definitely become a staple in our house and I know they’ll be a favorite in yours soon too! I hope you’re all having an amazing day!

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Slow Cooker Carnitas Tacos with Mexican Corn Salsa

Tender Mexican pulled pork that's made in the crock pot and loaded with herbs and spices! This one easy meal you won't be able to get enough of!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 hrs
Total Time10 hrs 10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Crock Pot, Easy, Gluten free, Mexican, Slow Cooker
Keyword: corn salsa, crock pot, healthier, mexican, pork carnitas, slow cooker
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Caitlin

Ingredients

For the pork carnitas:

  • 6-7 lb. pork shoulder butt, skinless & bone-in
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded & finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 fresh oranges, juiced
  • 2 Tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

For the Mexican corn salsa:

  • 3 corn cobs
  • of a red onion, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup Cotija cheese, crumbled
  • 3-4 fresh limes, juiced
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions

To make the carnitas:

  • Rinse and dry the pork, then sprinkle on the salt and pepper.
  • Mix the oregano, cumin and olive oil together and rub it all over the pork.
  • Place the pork in the slow cooker with the fat cap facing up, top it with your chopped onion, jalapeno and garlic and pour your orange juice over the top.
  • Cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 6 hours.
  • Once done, take the pork out of the crock pot and shred it using 2 forks.

To make the salsa:

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil on the stove. Add your corn cobs once the water begins to boil and boil the corn for 1½ minutes. Take the corn cobs out of the pot, discard the water and allow the corn to cool completely.
  • Once the corn is cool, cut the kernels off the cobs and pour them into a large bowl. Add the chopped onion, cilantro and cotija cheese and pour your lime juice over the top. Mix the salsa together and season it with salt and pepper to taste. Store your salsa in the fridge until you're ready to eat.

To make the tacos:

  • Take a warm tortilla and layer it with your carnitas and corn salsa. Add any of your other favorite toppings and serve!

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