Easy Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas – Weeknight Dinner Favorite


We love tacos of any kind.  Really, anything that can be rolled in a tortilla is a winner around here.  And if it can be made in the slow cooker, that’s a double bonus.

These Pork Carnitas in the slow cooker were such a big hit that I know they’ll be served often.  It takes less than 5 minutes to put the ingredients in the crock pot.  Perfect for a busy morning.   The meat can handle an all day cooking, so they’re great for long, busy days too.

I know these are not authentic.  Frankly, authenticity is the last thing on my mind at 8am when I’m loading up the crock pot for dinner.  I bet most of you agree with that.  Once the lid is closed and the dial is turned on, I could do a Mexican Hat Dance around the kitchen I’m so happy to have dinner “done”.

Other than the pork, you probably have all the ingredients in your kitchen now.  Here’s what you’ll need: 

Easy Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas – Weeknight Dinner Favorite

Serves: 6-8 servings

  • 2½ lbs. boneless pork chops, pork roast or tenderloin
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 Tbs. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • ½ cup taco sauce
  1. Place all ingredients in slow cooker.
  2. Cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 7-8 hours.
  3. Shred meat with a fork.
  4. Serve in tortillas with cheese, lettuce and other toppings that you like.
These are wonderful served with lettuce, chopped onion,cilantro and shredded Jack cheese.


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  1. These look great! We don’t eat a lot of pork around here because aside from putting it on the grill, I’m never sure what to do with it. Once school starts I’ll be starting up my second job again and need a few good slow cooker recipes to add to our meal rotation.

  2. We make a variation of this. We leave out the chili powder and use Salsa Verdes, Hernandez is the brand. Learned it from a friend with a Mexican Heritage. During the winter, I will cook it in the oven to warm the house, but during the summer it goes in the crock-pot.

  3. Thanks for this! I never thought to use chops lol! I always think I have to buy a big ol roast and it goes to waste. Great idea! Thanks again!

  4. Made these for dinner tonight!!!! What a hit with the family and the brother in law (he is hard to please). Used the Pork Tenderloin tips that Albertsons had buy 1get 3 free ($22 for 4 pkgs)!!!!!!!! Will be back tomorrow for more pork. Thanks for a easy dinner in the Texas heat!

  5. The chops in the pic are frozen. Did you/can you put them in the crock pot frozen?

  6. I made this last night and enjoyed it. Made lots of good leftovers. We put it in corn tortillas with avocado.

    The one thing I would have done differently is to saute the onion and garlic prior to putting it in the slow cooker. The onion just doesn’t taste good unless its been sauteed.

    I would definitely make again.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m glad someone else thinks the same way. Onion and garlic never taste the same in the crockpot unless you Sautée them.

  7. mmm, looks good. was wondering if this is spicy?

  8. the only thing I would add is avocado!

  9. Jeannie santiago says:

    I don’t have any taco sauce in the house. Is it okay to leave it out, or does it need the liquid? If so, do you know any alternatives.?

  10. Trying this tomorrow.

    I have a fear of using the crock pot when I am not home, so I never have.
    But tomorrow I am doing this. Just got to run get garlic, taco sauce and cilantro perhaps.
    (I confess I have NEVER used real garlic, but now seems like the perfect time.)

    I will be cooking for one, so hoping to freeze some for future meals. Any tips on doing so?
    And how to prepare after taking from the freezer?

    Will be having my first meal with tortillas, black beans, cheese and onion. Loved the idea of serving leftovers over rice too. (Should I conserve any of the leftover liquid btw?)

    • Susan, to freeze it, just cool it down and put it in plastic freezer bags. Freeze it in the amount you would need for yourself. To prep it again, just microwave to thaw and heat. You might want a little of the liquid with the meat.

      • Thank you! Can’t wait to come home to a cooked dinner. Hopefully cooking on low and then having it convert to warm after 8 hours will work out ok. I am gone 9 hours with traveling time.

  11. just got the pork from the freezer. It is a 24 oz center cut loin fillet. Should I use less of any of the ingredients since it is smaller in size? Thanks for your help!

    • That’s a little over half the amount of meat I used. You might cut the other ingredients by about half. You can estimate though. It doesn’t have to be exact. One thing to watch, since you’re cooking it for a long time, is to use a small enough crockpot that it’s filled close to full, or at least half way. That will help it keep from overcooking.

      • unfortunately my programmable crockpot is 6 quarts, so that will be a problem perhaps. But it will have to do.

        • I think that will work, but you might try putting a casserole dish inside the crock and putting the meat and sauce in it. That helps make it “smaller”.

          • wow! really? I NEVER would have thought of that. It is safe to do that? First time being gone all day with a crock pot cooking AND putting a dish inside…might be too much worry for me to handle, lol!

          • Yes, it’s safe 🙂

          • should I cover my smaller dish with foil, (I have a square one that I can barely fit the pork roast into diagonally, that will fit inside my oval crock pot) so the juices stay in my smaller dish, so they won’t end up inside the big crock pot itself once it gets hot?

            no need for a rack or anything between the smaller dish and the crock pot?

            I sure appreciate all your help!

  12. Had pork in the freezer. It is a 24 oz center cut loin fillet. Should I use less of any of the ingredients since it is smaller in size? Thanks for your help!

  13. When I shred the meat, do I leave it in the crockpot?

    • I sometimes take it out to shred it and then depending on how much liquid there is, I either put it back in or spoon some of the juice over the top. Whatever makes it easier to serve.

  14. Mary Jo says:

    This is a great quick recipe. I cut the recipe in half and put 2 pork chops (1 pound total) in the slow cooker with all the ingredients. When I removed the pork to shred, I used my emulsion blender on the cooking juice to make a sauce and returned the pork. So good, only required some cilantro, arugala (fresh from our garden) and a warm corn tortilla for a delicious meal.


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