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Crock Pot Carnitas Tacos with Red Chili Salsa

Crock Pot Carnitas! Delicious carnitas tacos made easy in your slow cooker! Top it with homemade red chili salsa and fresh onion and cilantro for a super simple yet mouth-watering meal!

Crock Pot Carnitas Tacos | #recipe #dinner #slowcooker

Is anything sexier than a man holding a plate of carnitas tacos? Sure: A man consuming a 4-person portion of said carnitas tacos, complete with all the taco accouterments.

The gist of this recipe is carnitas-made-easy. Simply rub your porky meat in spices, put it in the crock, pour in a little something special (beer)… Boom!: Dinner. 

You’ll walk in the door eight hours later to carnitas aroma, which in my opinion should be bottled up and sold on the mass market as an air freshener.

After slow cooking the meat, I simply shred it with a fork (it should fall apart super easily), then toss the meat in a skillet to crisp it up just before tossing it on top of tortillas and dousing it with salsa.

Speaking of salsa…this homemade red chili salsa sets your mouth a-fire. Yow-we!  It burns so good.Crock Pot Carnitas Tacos | #recipe #dinner #slowcooker

In real life, which is not to be confused with photography life, a carnitas plate looks nothing like the one I’m showing you.  It has three times the meat, 4 times the salsa, 2 times the tortillas, an avocado’s worth of guacamole, saffron rice, pinto beans and shredded jack cheese. 

In real life, that plate is chock full of succulent shredded pork, plus anything that could go with said meat, and bears no resemblance to an actual taco…

…But for picture purposes, this:

Crock Pot Carnitas Tacos | #recipe #dinner #slowcooker

When made in your slow cooker, pork carnitas are fall-off-the-bone delicious. Mounds of rice, beans, cheese and guacamole to go along with your tacos makes for a super filling and satisfying meal to put you in a taco coma for days.

Celebrate life…five carnitas tacos at a time

Crock Pot Carnitas Tacos | #recipe #dinner #slowcooker

Crock Pot Carnitas Tacos with Red Chili Salsa

Crock Pot Carnitas Tacos with Red Chili Salsa is an amazing taco recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
12 tacos


For the Carnitas

  • 5- lb bone-in pork shoulder roast
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 ounces beer, nothing too hoppy
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Fixings: red chili salsa, raw yellow or white onion, cilantro, corn tortillas, recipe below

For the red chili salsa (this is a spicy salsa, look out)

  • 2 large ripe heirloom tomatoes
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 jalapeños, roasted and seeded
  • 2 in dried red chili pods, soaked hot water for 5 minutes
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves, optional
  • salt to taste


To Make the Crock Pot Carnitas:

  • Rub the pork roast with the paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. You can do this several hours ahead of time to allow the spices to season the meat, but you don’t have to. Place the meat in your crock pot (I use a 6-quart crock pot) with the chopped onion and beer and lime juice.
  • Put crock on the lowest setting and crock it for 8 hours. When the meat is ready, it should shred very easily with a fork and should fall right off the bone.
  • Remove the roast from the crock pot and shred the meat. If you’d like, use the fat drippings that are still in the crock pot to fry up the shredded meat in a skillet to give it a nice crispy crust. This is not a necessary step, but will definitely give more flavor and texture to the meat.

To Make the Salsa:

  • Put your oven on the broil setting and place the jalapenos on the top oven rack to roast for 5 to 8 minutes, until skin is brown and charred. Remove from the oven, allow to cool, discard the stems and the insides.
  • Place the dried chilies in hot water for 5 minutes until they’re soft. Remove the stems, but keep all the seeds inside and squeeze any water out that has pooled inside of them.
  • Place all ingredients (including jalapeños and chilies) into a blender and blend to desired “chunkiness”. I let mine go until it’s pretty well emulsified.
  • Place salsa in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
  • Prepare the tacos with heaping portions of carnitas, red chili salsa, chopped onion and cilantro.


If you're gluten intolerant, be sure to use gluten-free beer for this recipe!
Nutritional facts calculated without tortiallas


Serving: 1of 12 - Calories: 202kcal - Protein: 19g - Fat: 13g
Course: Lifestyle
Cuisine: American
Keyword: carnitas, pork, slow cooker, tacos
Servings: 12 tacos
Calories: 202kcal
Author: Julia
Recipe Rating

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Thursday 9th of January 2014

Do you have any suggestions for what brand of beer to use?

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