Slow Cooker Carnitas with Jalapeno Lime Slaw

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Level up your taco night game with these flavorful slow cooker carnitas tacos with quick pickles slaw. They’re easy to make and hard to resist.
Freezer Friendly
Slow Cooker

Crispy, rich pork and tangy, spicy slaw come together to make one fantastic taco! The carnitas are slow cooked until it practically falls apart, then pan fried to give it a crispy outside. The slaw adds a refreshing and spicy kick to the rich and savory carnitas. Together, they make a perfect filling for tacos.

Reheating Leftovers

The best way to store leftover carnitas is to keep them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. To reheat carnitas, you have several options, depending on your preference and the tools you have available. Here are some of the most common methods:

Oven: This method helps to preserve the crispiness of the carnitas. Preheat your oven to 350°F and place your carnitas in an oven-safe dish. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until heated through. Then, remove the foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes, or until crispy4.

Stovetop: This method is faster than the oven method, but may not produce as crispy results. Place your carnitas in a skillet and add a tablespoon of oil or water to prevent them from drying out. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5-10 minutes, or until heated through.

Microwave: This method is the quickest, but can also lead to dry meat. Place your carnitas in a microwave-safe dish and cover with a lid or paper towel. Heat on high for 30 seconds to 1 minute, stirring in between, until heated through.

Can I freeze this?

You can’t freeze the slaw, but you can definitely double the carnitas recipe and freeze the leftovers. You’ll want to freeze them after you’ve slow cooked and shredded the pork, but before you pan fry it. Freeze the shredded pork along with the cooking liquid. To reheat, fully defrost the meat then fry as instructed in the recipe below, being sure to drizzle some of the liquid onto the meat as it fries.

Slow Cooker Carnitas with Jalapeno Lime Slaw

Slow Cooker Carnitas with Jalapeno Lime Slaw

Prep Time:
20 min
Cook Time:
8 hours
Total Time:
8 hours, 20 min
6 - 8
Equipment Needed
  • 6 quart slow cooker
  • 2 lbs of pork loin roast, trimmed of excess fat
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • ¼ cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 tablespoons neutral oil, divided
  • 16 corn tortillas, heated

For the Slaw:

  • 2 cups green cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup purple cabbage, shredded
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and grated
  • 2 radishes, shredded
  • 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp of lime juice
  • 1 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and minced

For the Slaw

  1. In a large glass jar with a lid, combine the vinegar, lime juice, sugar, salt, cumin, and cilantro. Shake well to dissolve the sugar and salt.
  2. Add the cabbage, carrot, radish, and jalapeno to the jar and toss to coat with the dressing. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

For the Carnitas

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, lime juice, stock, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, and chili powder.
  2. Trim the pork loin of excess fat and pat dry with a paper towel. Season all over with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork loin to the pan and sear on one side for 3 minutes without disturbing. Flip the roast onto another side and repeat this process until browned on all sides.
  4. Place the pork in a 6-quart slow cooker and pour the juice mixture over it. Add the bay leaves , cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or until the pork is very tender and shreds easily with a fork.
  5. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and shred with two forks. Discard the bay leaves but reserve the liquid.
  6. Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Working in batches, add the shredded pork in a thin layer. Spoon a little of the reserved juice over the meat and press down with a spatula. Cook until the bottom side is crispy, then flip, spoon more juice, press it with the spatula, and cook until that side is crispy too. Remove from the pan and repeat with the remaining pork.
  7. Divide the meat between the tortillas and top with the slaw. Server with lime wedges.
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