These carnitas-style pulled pork tacos are a simple take on a classic pork carnitas recipe. Made with seasoned pork shoulder cooked low and slow in the slow cooker, these pulled pork tacos are tender, juicy, and packed full of delicious flavor.
The best part about this pulled pork taco recipe is that it essentially cooks itself. Simply season the pork shoulder, add it to a crockpot, step away for hours and come back to tender and juicy pulled pork. I used a boneless pork shoulder in my recipes because that’s what I had available, however, a bone-in pork shoulder would work just as well and add additional flavor and nutritional value at the same time. Regardless of what option you choose, this slow-cooker pull pork makes plenty of servings to feed a crowd and stores very well in the fridge to create healthy leftovers for days to come.
More Healthy Taco Recipes:
Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork Tacos
Made in the slow-cooker, these pulled pork tacos are easy to make, high in protein and make wonderful leftovers perfect for simple meal prep idea or make-ahead meal.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 6 hours
- Total Time: 6 hours 10 minutes
- Yield: 16-20 servings 1x
- Category: Main
- Method: Slow Cooker
- Cuisine: Mexican
- 3–4 lbs. (2 kg.) boneless pork shoulder (see notes)
- 1 tablespoon oregano, dried
- 1 tablespoon cumin, ground
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 orange, juiced, about 1/2 cup
- 1/2 cup water
- corn tortillas
- avocados, sliced
- red cabbage, shredded
- cilantro, roughly chopped
- limes, cut into wedges
- hot sauce (optional)
- In a small bowl, combine the oregano, cumin, salt, and black pepper.
- Place the pork shoulder on a cutting board, sprinkle with the spice mix and rub into the pork until well covered.
- Transfer the pork shoulder to the slow cooker, top with onion and garlic, add orange juice and water to the slow cooker, and cover with the lid. Turn the slow cooker on and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 5-6 hours.
- Once cooked, remove the pork shoulder from the slow cooker and place it on a cutting board. Using two forks, shred the meat into small bite-size pieces. Set aside.
- Pour any remaining sauce from the slower cooker through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl (don’t throw it away!) to remove excess onion and garlic, and pull out any pieces of meat and add them to the cutting board.
- If the sauce is really liquidy, return it to the slower cooker or a large pot, turn the heat to high, bring to a boil, and allow to cook for several minutes until it has reduced and thickened. Once the liquid has been reduced, return shredded pork to the slower cooker or pot and toss the pork until well coated.
- If the sauce appears rich and thick, skip the step above and return the shredded pork to the slower cooker with the liquid and toss until well coated. Set aside.
- Next, prepare the corn tortillas. Warm a cast-iron pan or heavy bottom skillet to medium-high heat. Fill a bowl with room temperature water, quickly dunk the corn tortilla in the water, transfer to the pan, and warm for about 15 to 45 seconds on each side until golden and toasted, using tongs to flip the tortillas.
- Once the pork and tortillas are ready, build the tacos by filling tortillas with pulled pork, avocado, and shredded cabbage, and top with cilantro, salsa, hot sauce and/or a squeeze of fresh lime. (See notes for crispy pork.)
- Any leftover pulled pork can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for 3 months.
Pork Shoulder: If using a bone-in pork shoulder you will need to extend the cooking time by 3-4 hours on low or 1-2 hours on high
Crispy Pork: For crispy pulled pork, warm a cast-iron pan or heavy bottom skillet to high heat. Once warm, add a drizzle of oil and a portion or two of pulled pork (this will need to be done in batches) and cook for 1-2 minutes per side until browned and crispy.
- Serving Size: 85g/3oz pork
- Calories: 160 calories
- Sugar: 0 grams
- Fat: 4 grams
- Carbohydrates: 0 grams
- Fiber: 0 grams
- Protein: 25 grams
Keywords: slow cooker, crock pot