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Instant Pot Pork Carnitas Tacos Recipe Instant Pot Pork Carnitas Tacos Recipe


Instant Pot Pork Carnitas Tacos Recipe

Written by: Emily Smith

These Instant Pot Pork Carnitas Tacos are my go-to for a quick, flavorful dinner. The pork is tender, juicy, and packed with spices, then crisped up for the perfect bite. Yum!

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Let me share my homemade instant pot pork carnitas tacos recipe. Picture succulent chunks of pork shoulder, seasoned to perfection, & slow-cooked until tender. One bite, and you'll know why this dish has a special place in my kitchen. No restaurant can match this homemade goodness. I promise, once you try it, it'll become your new favorite too. Ready for a culinary adventure? Let's dive in!

Ingredients for Delicious Pork Carnitas Tacos

  • Pork shoulder: Tender and flavorful meat that is perfect for slow cooking and shredding for delicious and juicy carnitas.
  • Onion: Adds a sweet and savory flavor to the dish while providing a nice texture to the overall filling.
  • Garlic: Enhances the savory taste of the carnitas and adds a depth of flavor to the dish.
  • Cumin: Brings a warm and earthy flavor to the pork, adding depth and complexity to the overall taste.
  • Chili powder: Provides a mild heat and a rich flavor to the carnitas, giving it a delicious kick.
  • Oregano: Adds a hint of freshness and a subtle herbaceous note to the carnitas, enhancing the overall flavor profile.
  • Chicken broth: Infuses the pork with additional savory flavor and helps keep the meat moist during the cooking process.
  • Vegetable oil: Used for browning the pork before pressure cooking, adding a crispy texture and rich flavor to the carnitas.
  • Orange juice: Adds a bright citrusy flavor to the carnitas, balancing out the richness of the pork with a touch of sweetness.
  • Lime juice: Provides a tangy and zesty kick to the carnitas, enhancing the overall flavor and freshness of the dish.

Essential Tools for Making Instant Pot Pork Carnitas

  • Instant Pot: Speeds up cooking time and helps to tenderize the pork shoulder for juicy and flavorful carnitas.
  • Knife: Used to chop the onion and garlic, as well as to cut the pork shoulder into smaller, manageable pieces.
  • Cutting board: Provides a stable surface for cutting ingredients and prevents cross-contamination.
  • Citrus juicer: Extracts the juice from the orange and lime to add a bright and tangy flavor to the carnitas.
  • Oven: Used to broil the shredded pork after cooking in the Instant Pot to achieve crispy edges for added texture.

Serves: 4 people

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 60 minutes

Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 2 lbs pork shoulder, cut into chunks
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Juice of 1 lime


  1. Season pork with cumin, chili powder, oregano, salt, and pepper.
  2. Set Instant Pot to sauté mode, add oil, and brown pork on all sides.
  3. Add onion, garlic, chicken broth, orange juice, and lime juice.
  4. Close lid, set to high pressure for 45 minutes, then do a quick release.
  5. Shred pork and broil in the oven for crispy edges.
  6. Serve in tacos with your favorite toppings.

Nutritional value:

Per Serving in Calories: 380 kcal | Carbohydrates: 5 g | Protein: 30 g | Total Fat: 25 g | Saturated Fat: 8 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4 g | Cholesterol: 95 mg | Sodium: 650 mg | Dietary Fiber: 1 g | Sugar: 2 g | Calcium: 50 mg | Potassium: 600 mg | Iron: 3 mg | Vitamin A: 100 µg | Vitamin C: 10 mg

Tips for Making Pork Carnitas Tacos Ahead of Time

Make Ahead Instructions

  • Cook the pork carnitas as directed in the recipe.
  • Let the pork cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Freezing Instructions

  • Allow the pork carnitas to cool completely.
  • Place in a freezer-safe container or bag, removing as much air as possible.
  • Label with the date and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

One interesting fact about this instant pot pork carnitas tacos recipe is that you can use the leftover cooking liquid to make a delicious sauce by reducing it on the stovetop with some additional seasonings like cumin and chili powder. It adds an extra depth of flavor to your tacos!

Frequently Asked Questions About Pork Carnitas Tacos

Can I use a different cut of meat for this recipe?
Yes, you can use pork loin or pork tenderloin as alternatives to pork shoulder.
How can I make this recipe spicier?
To add more heat, increase the amount of chili powder or add a pinch of cayenne pepper.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
Yes, you can make the pork carnitas ahead of time and reheat them when ready to serve.
How long can I store the leftover pork carnitas?
Leftover pork carnitas can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
Can I freeze the pork carnitas?
Yes, you can freeze the cooked pork carnitas in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.

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