Crockpot Carnitas With Pork
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These Crockpot Carnitas are a simple paleo or Whole30 dish made in the slow cooker.

Crockpot carnitas made with pork loin or tenderloin is a budget-friendly, healthful Mexican meal that’s packed with flavor!

Why This Recipe Is Effective?

  • Because pork loin or tenderloin are used, there are no difficult-to-find components, and the outcome is extremely tender.
  • While the carnitas cook in the Crockpot, fresh citrus tenderizes them and leaves enough liquids for browning and dishing.
  • When you make this carnitas in the Crockpot, you’ll have a quick and delectable Mexican meal waiting for you when you get home from work or school.
  • Browning the carnitas towards the end gives a few pieces lovely crispiness that you’ll like.

Prior to my first Whole30, I had never been a big fan of carnitas. I didn’t have anything against Mexican pulled pork, but if given the choice, I’d choose for steak every time. The issue is…

Well, there are two issues.

a) Chipotle’s steak isn’t Whole30 compliant, and

b) Isn’t steak expensive?

On a recent Whole30, I was craving carnitas bowls and had a couple of pork loins in the fridge that I’d recently found on sale at Sprouts for ridiculously low prices.

This Whole30 Crockpot carnitas recipe made enough carnitas for O and me for an entire week of lunches for approximately 4 bucks for half a loin (8 bucks for the whole thing, and we used the other half for a pan-roasted tenderloin with apples and bacon DROOL).

And did I mention I placed it in the Crockpot on Sunday afternoon and left it to its own devices? Y’all.

It’s just the two of you.

Success Strategies

Crockpot Carnitas
Food: Crockpot Carnitas With Pork Loin (Source: Oliver’s Market)
  • After you’ve shredded the carnitas, don’t forget to brown them! Browning them in a little oil with some leftover liquids brings out the crunchy pieces and gives them a luscious feel.
  • This Whole30 Crockpot carnitas may be made with pork loin or pork tenderloin, both of which are wonderful.
  • However, instead of using a full pork loin or pork tenderloin, only use 2 pounds of either pork loin or pork tenderloin.
  • It doesn’t really matter what order you add the ingredients after the pork, but I normally do salt, garlic, onion, jalapenos, and then the juice.


  • For milder Crockpot carnitas, remove the seeds from the jalapeno.
  • Use chicken breasts in this recipe. Cooking time should be kept constant.
  • For a richer flavor, mix in a cinnamon stick with your citrus liquids.
  • For very tender Crockpot carnitas, add 1/2 cup beer, preferably Mexican, to the cooking liquid. If you’re on a Whole30, don’t try this!


Is it okay if I use my Instant Pot?

Sure! You may start by cooking my ideal paleo Instant Pot carnitas under pressure. The end product is very stunning.

Alternatively, you can use the Slow Cooker mode and follow the recipe exactly as given.

Is it necessary for the liquid to cover the pork loin or pork tenderloin?


Is it acceptable to use two 1-pound pork tenderloins?

Absolutely. Simply use 2 pounds of pork loin or pork tenderloin; however, you get at that figure is OK.

Is it possible to double this recipe?

Absolutely! Simply double all ingredients and cook for the same amount of time as the recipe calls for, erring on the longer side (5-6 hours on high and 7-8 hours on low).

How to Make it?

  1. Rub all over the pork tenderloin or loin with the rub ingredients.
  2. Cover pork with the remaining ingredients for Crockpot Carnitas.
  3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-6 hours, covered.
  4. Remove the meat from the slow cooker and shred it.
  5. In a skillet, heat a sprinkle of avocado oil (or olive oil, or coconut oil) over medium heat. Place a layer of shredded carnitas on top (but don’t overcrowd) and drizzle with cooking liquid. Cook until the underside is crisp, then turn and crisp shortly on the other side. Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon.

Crockpot Carnitas

10 minutes to prepare
Using the Slow Cooker Time required: 4 hours
10 minutes in total

Crockpot carnitas cooked with pork tenderloin or loin under the Whole30 diet. This paleo, Whole30, low carb, and keto Mexican meal recipe is quick and easy to prepare.



  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil or olive oil

Crockpot Carnitas

  • 2 pounds of pork tenderloin or loin
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 jalapeño chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Juice of one lime
  • Juice of one navel orange

To Serve

  • avocado oil

Equipment Needed

Crockpot Carnitas Easy
Food: Crockpot Carnitas With Pork Loin (Source: Oliver’s Market)
  • slow cooker

Instructions For Crockpot Carnitas

  1. Using paper towels, pat the pork tenderloin dry. Rub the rub ingredients all over the tenderloin before placing it in the Crockpot.
  2. Cover and cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 6-8 hours with the other ingredients. The flesh will be cooked through and very tender when done and can be readily separated with a fork.
  3. Remove the tenderloin from the slow cooker and shred it using two forks. Juices should not be thrown away.

To Serve

  1. In a medium skillet, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat. Pour a little of the carnitas liquid over the top and cover with enough carnitas to cover the surface without crowding it. Cook until the fluid has disappeared and the carnitas’ bottoms are crispy and browned. Cook for a few minutes on the other side, but not too long.
  2. Remove from skillet and finish with a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve.


It’s critical that you don’t utilize the entire pork loin, but rather the recommended poundage. You won’t have enough liquid if you use an entire pork loin.

Simply multiply the sauce components to compensate for the extra meat if you want to increase the poundage.

To sear the meat in the skillet, wait until you’re ready to serve. Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator with the juices drizzled over it until ready to serve.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 213kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 31g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 98mg, Sodium: 855mg, Potassium: 636mg, Vitamin A: 50IU, Vitamin C: 4.7mg, Calcium: 33mg, Iron: 2.2mg, Net Carbs: 2g