These Instant Pot carnitas are an absolute snap to throw together with only a few ingredients! Loaded with flavor, and perfect for busy families wanting to eat healthy too, this is a meal to put on the menu this week! It certainly doesn’t hurt that they are keto, paleo, and Whole30 friendly!
Lately, between work, kids, and all our activities…quick and easy meals are a god send. I especially appreciate meals that require minimal effort and prepping on my end. Most of the prep time here is browning the meat and waiting for the pot to come to full pressure. But since I get to do other things while this is happening, it means almost no time with hands on prepping…win!!
Carnitas are just another option for our weekly family taco nights I talked about needing some variety for ME on taco nights in my Chicken Tinga post. I am always dreaming up new and creative ways to get those classic Mexican flavors infused into our taco filling with minimal effort. Next up, I will be sharing my ground beef taco filling which is another family favorite!!
Can I make chicken carnitas?
Rather not eat pork? No worries!
This carnitas recipe will work well with boneless skinless chicken thighs as a replacement too!!
Just reduce the pressure cooking time to 8 minutes!
Can I make stovetop carnitas? Or slow cooker carnitas?
If you have not jumped on the IP bandwagon (you should!), then you can do the whole recipe stovetop!
Just brown the pieces of meat, add the liquids, and then enough water to cover the meat.
Slow cooker version
Throw browned pieces of meat right into your slow cooker with the other ingredients, and cook on high heat for 3-4 hours, or low heat for 6-7.
Each slow cooker cooks at a slightly different temperature, so similar cooking times as you have used before is probably the most accurate!
Serving suggestions for these Instant Pot carnitas:
- Serve atop a bed of greens with all the fixings for a taco salad. We love my spicy slaw too.
- Serve inside any tortilla as taco…with all the fixings too of course (or some of the above mentioned slaw!!) I make these Cassava Flour Tortillas from the Urban Poser which rock!
- As a burrito bowl on a bed of rice and beans…….with…..you guessed it!! All the fixings (again!) And if you like beans, I have a bomber recipe for THE best darn pot of beans you’ll ever make that you should check out!
- I even thought making some sort of empanada inside my favorite Paleo Pie Crust would be amazing too!
- How about on top of a bed of freshly sautéed cauli rice (don’t forget the fixings!!)?
- and have your meal prep pull double duty by making enough taco fillings to turn around and repurpose them for the best gluten free baked chimichangas you’ll ever have!
Finally, do you like easy dinners? Here are some more Instant Pot recipes you could try!
- My Bacon Cheeseburger Soup has the added advantage of all your veggies hidden inside the cheesy broth!
- This Chicken Abobo couldn’t be any easier to prep, and it is delicious served up with some rice over an Asian slaw to keep it low carb!
- Instant Pot Cube Steaks are a great way to turn any inexpensive cut of beef (read: tough) into melt-in-your-mouth tender steak bites slathered in a savory gravy!
- Simple is always good, 2 Ingredient Pulled Pork is simplicity squared!
Instant Pot Carnitas Recipe:
Please don’t forget to leave a rating and a comment below when you give these a try!
Instant Pot Carnitas
- 3 pounds pork shoulder roast sliced into 2" slices. This cut of meat has some marbling and is not super lean. like a loin. Boneless country style ribs also work.
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 12 oz jar favorite green salsa it could be slightly more or less than this, just make sure there is at least 1 cup liquid in the pot before bringing to pressure. (I used Trader Joe's Salsa Verde, flavorful but mild for my kids! Could also sub 1/2 cup lemon juice. w/ 1/2 cup water added.
- 1/2 cup lime juice
- Broth only if you you want it more saucy or soup like!
Preheat the Instant Pot to saute while you prep the pork.
Mix the spice mix together, and dredge each slice of pork in the mixture.
This step is optional for additional flavor. Place a single layer on the bottom of hot Instant Pot to brown. After 3-5 minutes, use some tongs to turn the slices and brown the other side. I do this is 2 batches usually. Do not crowd the pieces or they will not brown well.
When all the pieces are browned, place all pork back into the pot, and add your green salsa, and lime juice or broth if using.
Lock on the lid, and set the 'Meat/Stew" setting, 35 minutes at high pressure.
Once the time is up, hit 'Cancel', and quick release.
Open the lid, and hit the 'Sauté' button to get the liquid simmering. Boil down by at least half to concentrate the flavors (if you like)! I sauté until almost all the liquid is gone and the meat is frying in it's own fat and crisping up nicely!