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Pork Carnitas Tacos are a delicious way to enjoy succulent slow cooker Pork Carnitas. Imagine lightly charred corn tortillas filled with tender pork carnitas, warmed in a cast iron skillet to get all of those crispy edges. All that’s left is for you to pile them high with your favorite toppings and devour.

pork carnitas tacos served on a stainless steel platter

If there is one go-to meal in our house, it’s tacos. Most often, we make them very simply: flour or corn tortillas, ground beef seasoned with salt and pepper, cheese, sour cream and hot sauce.

Is this what you’re thinking? “What? No tomatoes? No lettuce? No onion?” I know. We’re weirdos. 🙂

But then there are these Pork Carnitas Tacos. They make a regular appearance in our house for a couple of reasons. First, they’re so quick to put together when you have carnitas on hand in the refrigerator or freezer. Second, they’re perfect for gatherings of friends and family, served family style where everyone can make their own tacos and top them exactly as they like.

What Toppings Go on Carnitas Tacos?

Authentic pork carnitas tacos can be as simple as charred corn tortillas topped with carnitas, finely chopped raw onion, cilantro and maybe a squeeze of fresh lime. (Mexican street food tacos are often served this way.) But you have endless options for toppings!

  • finely chopped raw white onion or red onion
  • thinly sliced jalapeno
  • shredded cabbage
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • crumbled cotija or shredded jack cheese
  • lime wedges (Squeeze fresh lime juice right over the top of your tacos for that citrusy zing!)
  • Mexican crema or sour cream
  • Guacamole
  • Pico de Gallo
  • Homemade Refried Beans

I’ve written this recipe to serve 4, but it’s easy to modify for a group of friends or family. With a full recipe of pork carnitas kept warm in a slow-cooker, stacks of warm tortillas and a slew of toppings, you’ll have a lot of happy people.

My easy pork carnitas recipe, takes just 15 minutes of prep time and 8 hours in a slow cooker / Crock Pot to cook into tender, flavorful, melt in your mouth submission (same goes for my Chicken Carnitas). You’ll need 6 to 8 pound boneless pork roast (pork butt / pork shoulder), fresh garlic cloves, tomato juice, orange juice, chipotle hot sauce, and a handful of spices like ground cumin, oregano, and cinnamon that I bet you have on hand! Crisping it up in a pan makes it a perfect base for all kinds of Mexican food from these tacos, to burritos, Pulled Pork Quesadillas, and Pulled Pork Nachos.

More of My Favorite Taco Recipes

  • Shrimp Tacos (Crisp salt and pepper shrimp in lightly charred tortillas with crunchy cabbage slaw and a creamy, spicy sauce!)
  • Grilled Shrimp Tacos (Crowd pleasing tacos that you can cook entirely on the grill!)
  • Carne Asada Tacos (One of our favorite ways to enjoy tender Carne Asada!)
  • Pork Belly Tacos (Crispy pork belly in charred tortillas with crunch cabbage slaw and a spicy tangy sauce – decadent and totally delicious!)
  • Lamb Tacos (Succulent and perfectly spiced, piled with toppings and drizzled with lime crema!)

How to Make Pork Carnitas Tacos

Step 1: Warm tortillas in a heavy skillet and transfer to foil to keep warm.

charred corn tortilla

Step 2: Heat oil in a cast iron or non-stick skillet; add carnitas. Cook and stir until warmed through with crispy edges.

pulling pork butt and crisping it up in a cast iron skillet

Step 3: Assemble tacos starting with crispy carnitas on the bottom and top as desired. Serve.

Recipe Video

Pork Carnitas Tacos

5 from 6 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Calories: 475
Servings: 4 people
What better way to enjoy succulent slow cooker pork carnitas than in big, juicy tacos!?

Ingredients  

  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or more
  • leftover cooking liquid from carnitas or broth optional
  • 3 cups Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

Suggested toppings:

  • shredded jack cheese or crumbled cotija cheese
  • thinly shredded green cabbage
  • chopped cilantro
  • finely chopped raw white onion
  • Mexican crema or sour cream
  • Guacamole or avocado slices
  • Pico de Gallo
  • Homemade Refried Beans on the bottom of the tacos or served on the side

Instructions 

  • On your stovetop, heat a dry, cast iron or other heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add one corn tortilla and cook for about 30 seconds to soften and lightly char, flip tortilla and cook for about 30 seconds more. Transfer to aluminum foil to keep warm; repeat with remaining tortillas. (recipe note #1)
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a large cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add carnitas; cook and stir until the meat is heated through and has crispy edges. Add carnitas cooking liquid or broth as desired if the meat seems dry. (recipe note #2)
  • To assemble tacos, add 1/3 cup carnitas to a warm tortilla and layer on desired toppings. Repeat with remaining tortillas and serve. (recipe note #3)

Notes

  1. If you’re feeding several people, you can warm the corn tortillas in the oven. They won’t have that pleasant char, but they’ll be soft, warm, and delicious anyway. To do so, wrap stacks of 6 tortillas in foil and heat in a 350˚F oven for 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. I prefer to pan-crisp carnitas, but you can also warm and crisp it under the broiler. Spread the carnitas in a shallow layer on a foil lined baking sheet and broil on high for 3 to 5 minutes until warmed through with crispy edges. Add carnitas cooking liquid or broth as desired.
  3. Or serve family style with warmed tortillas in foil and warm meat and toppings in separate serving bowls for everyone to assemble their own tacos.
  4. Note that nutrition facts do not include toppings.

Nutrition

Calories: 475kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 76mg | Sodium: 1120mg | Potassium: 133mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 265IU | Vitamin C: 3.2mg | Calcium: 131mg | Iron: 2.3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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28 Comments

  1. Kankana Saxena says:

    Every time I order taco and there is an option for carnitas, I ALWAYS go for that. Now with your recipe, I can try at home. You got me hungry.

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      So excited for you to try these, Kankana!

  2. Neil says:

    5 stars
    I’ll have my pork carnitas tacos served with lots of fresh shredded cabbage please Marissa! These look absolutely delish!

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      Yes! Crunchy cabbage is always a good idea. Thanks, Neil. 🙂

  3. David @ Spiced says:

    5 stars
    Oh man, how do I love tacos? Let me count the ways! Ok, maybe let’s skip that part…we’d be here all day. These pork carnitas tacos look delicious, Marissa! And since they’re made in a slow cooker, all of the work is done for you by the time dinner rolls around. This needs to be on our menu here soon!

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      haha…I’m the same, David. ALWAYS in the mood for tacos. Hope you and your family love these.

  4. Valentina says:

    5 stars
    I have two favorite parts to this recipe: first, getting the carnitas crispy, and second, that you heat the tortillas in the heavy pan to sort of char them. YUM! 🙂 ~Valentina

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      Crisping up the carnitas is everything, right!? And we love that little bit of char too. Thank you, Valentina.