Slow Cooker Cheater Pork Carnitas + Video

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3-Ingredient Slow Cooker Carnitas are so easy they just about cook themselves. The most simple recipe yields the most fabulous results. Just toss it in the crockpot and go! Come back hours later to perfectly tender and juicy pork that is mouthwateringly delicious and perfect on everything.

titled (and shown) 3 ingredient pork carnitas

Cheater pork carnitas make the best street tacos, veggie salad topping, carnitas nachos and cheese and so much more! I actually turn the leftovers into taquitos.

Slow Cooker Carnitas

It all starts with a good cut of pork. I used pork shoulder (aka pork butt), but you could go with pork loin for a leaner cut. The pork shoulder makes it even more rich and tender.

Toss it all in a slow cooker and let it go. Shred it with forks or meat claws and serve!


Watch the video below to see how easy it is to make this recipe!

I have made slow cooker carnitas several times and I just can’t get over how easy and flavorful it is. I love it on nachos, in burritos and tacos, and I use it for flautas and taquitos.

You are going to love it too.

Pork Carnitas Recipe Tips

  • Make sure you are using a flavorful salsa. I prefer the 505 Southwestern Hatch Valley Green Chile Salsa with Tomatillos, Garlic and Lime. 

Kitchen Items You Will Need

  • Slow Cooker – the slow cooker is almost my most used kitchen appliance, especially during fall/winter! It’s just so convenient, and lets face it, it makes comfort food taste even better!

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Mexican shredded pork on flour tortillas

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crockpot pork carnitas

Slow Cooker Cheater Pork Carnitas + Video

Donna Elick
Slow cooker carnitas are so easy to make! This simple recipe brings the most fabulous results. Just toss everything in the crockpot and go!
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 5 mins
Course Main
Cuisine Mexican
Method Slow Cooker
Servings 10 people



  • 5 pounds boneless pork shoulder
  • 2 cups green salsa
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste


  • Place pork in the bottom of the crockpot. Sprinkle onion over top and pour salsa over top.
  • Cover and cook for 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low. Once cooked through, use 2 forks or meat claws to shred pork. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mine usually needs just a pinch.
  • Stir, cover and allow to cook for 30 minutes longer so the pork can absorb all those yummy juices.
  • Serve and enjoy!


Donna’s Notes

Make sure you are using a flavorful salsa. I prefer the 505 Southwestern Hatch Valley Green Chile Salsa with Tomatillos, Garlic and Lime.


Serving: 6ounces | Calories: 314cal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 51g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 136mg | Sodium: 448mg | Sugar: 3g | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 2mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled pinterest collage (and shown) crockpot carnitas recipe

Originally published November 2015, updated and republished June 2020.

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    1. It would not matter as it does not change the flavor. The flavor from bones is in the marrow. Since you are not getting to the marrow it does not matter. The bone is traditional because when it is cooked completely, it will pull out eadily

  1. Just had this for supper. Big hit with my husband & myself. Very easy. I did let the juices sit overnight so I could skim the fat off the top before heating the meat back up in the juice. Then I fried the pork in a non-stick skillet so I wouldn't have juices running down my arm when I ate them. Very tasty with shredded cheese & a homemade pico de gallo on top.

  2. 5 stars
    I love to use boneless for this recipe, It makes everything easier. This was so good, and I can’t wait to make more!

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