Slow Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork aka Carnitas is full of flavor and so easy to make. Tender, juicy pork infused with a blend of Mexican spices, all effortlessly slow cooked to perfection! Plus, it only takes 5 minutes to prep and the slow cooker does the rest!
Why I Love This Recipe
- Bursting with Flavor: This Mexican Pulled Pork recipe offers an explosion of authentic Mexican flavors, combining tender, juicy meat with a tantalizing blend of traditional spices and herbs.
- Effortless Cooking: With the magic of the Crock Pot, this recipe allows you to set it and forget it, freeing up your time while the flavors meld together. Plus, it only takes 5 minutes to prep!
- Meal Prep Hero: This recipe (and many slow cooker recipes) are perfect for meal prep. Just store all the ingredients in a freezer bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy, pop into the slow cooker and forget about it until dinner time!
- Crowd-Pleasing: Whether you’re planning a casual family dinner or hosting a gathering and need to feed a crowd, this dish is bound to please even the most pickiest palates, making it a perfect addition to any occasion.
- chili powder
- onion powder
- garlic powder
- kosher salt
- small onion
- apple cider vinegar
- canned diced green chilies
- boneless pork shoulder
How to Make Slow Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork
1. Add Ingredients: Place all the ingredients in a slow cooker and mix ensuring everything is coated with spice mixture.
2. Slow Cook: Set the slow cooker heat to low and cook for 8-10 hours, until hot and cooked through.
3. Shred and serve: Shred the meat with two forks and serve with desired accompaniments.
Meal Prep Slow Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork
1. Place all the ingredients except the pork shoulder in a gallon freezer bag and mix together by pressing on the outside of the bag.
2. Add the pork shoulder, and turn to coat in the mixture.
3. Seal bag, label and freeze for up to 3 months until ready to use. Be sure to get as much air as possible out the bag so that it doesn’t form ice crystals inside when freezing.
4. When ready, remove the frozen mixture from the bag and place it all into the crock pot. Set the heat to low and cook for 8-10 hours, until hot and cooked through.
Freezer Meals For The Win
I love having meals prepped in the freezer because it ensures you can serve your family a fresh home-cooked meal even on the busiest of days. In fact, I prefer to double or even triple a recipe sometimes so I can keep multiples in the freezer, especially when the ingredients are seasonal. A meal prepped freezer bag is also a great way to share with friends! If you have a sick friend or know a mom who just delivered a new baby, deliver a few frozen bags with cooking instructions to them and you’ll be the lifesaver they’ve been needing.
Here are some of my favorite make-ahead freezer meals that are perfect for your slow cooker!
Tips for the Best Mexican Pulled Pork
- Select the Right Cut: Opt for a well-marbled pork shoulder or pork butt for the perfect balance of tenderness and flavor.
- Slow and Steady: This slow cooking process ensures the meat becomes fork-tender and absorbs all the aromatic flavors.
- Enhance with Citrus: Squeeze fresh lime over the pork to impart a subtle citrusy tang that complements the richness of the dish.
- Shred with Care: Once the pork is cooked, use two forks to shred the meat and be sure to allowing it to absorb all the flavorful juices and spices.
- Crisp up In Pan: If you want some crispy bits, feel free to add the cooked pork to a sauté pan and crisp up the edges for some extra texture.
Ways to Use Carnitas (Mexican Pulled Pork)
This recipe is the perfect base to use in a variety of delicious ways. Here are some ideas for how to incorporate your carnitas into your meals:
- Tacos: Fill warm tortillas with carnitas, fresh salsa, avocado, lettuce and a squeeze of lime for a classic and delicious taco.
- Burritos: Wrap up carnitas with rice, beans, cheese, and guacamole in a large tortilla for a hearty and flavorful burrito.
- Quesadillas: Layer carnitas between cheese and tortillas, then grill until the cheese is melted and the tortillas are crispy for a delightful twist on a classic dish.
- Nachos: Pile carnitas on top of tortilla chips, then add cheese, jalapeños, salsa, and guacamole for an indulgent plate of loaded nachos.
- Salads: Add carnitas to a bed of mixed greens, along with avocado, corn, black beans, and a zesty dressing for a refreshing and satisfying salad.
Images by Ivan Solis
Slow Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork
- slow cooker
Make-Ahead Freezer Instructions:
- Place all the ingredients except the pork shoulder in a gallon freezer bag and mix together by pressing on the outside of the bag.
- Add the pork shoulder, and turn to coat in the mixture.
- Seal bag, label and freeze until for up to 3 month until ready to use. Be sure to get as much air as possible out the bag so that it doesn't form ice crystals inside when freezing.
- When ready, remove the frozen mixture from the bag and place it all into the slow cooker. Set the heat to low and cook for 8-10 hours, until hot and cooked through.
- Shred the meat with two forks and serve with taco shell and toppings or other desired accompaniments.
Make Same Day Instructions:
- Place all ingredients in a slow cooker and stir to coat thoroughly.
- Set heat to low and cook for 8-10 hours, until cooked through and easily falls apart with a fork.
- Shred the meat with two forks and serve.