TexMex Crockpot Carnitas

Oct 19, 2011 by

Sooooo they opened a Chipotle near me. You know what this means, right? Yeah, I basically have guacamole for blood. Seriously, what is IN that stuff? It surely can’t be legal. (It is. And stop calling me Shirley.)

I find their prices for the amount (and quality) of food you get totally reasonable. And I truly don’t think it would be cheaper to buy all the stuff and make it at home so I justify it way too often. However, last week my local supermarket had a full pork loin on sale so we bought the whole thing and butchered it into roasts and chops. I had a few defrosting for today and – not unlike any other day – had a craving for carnitas. So I decided to make them myself but add a little twist.

What if I added BBQ spices and some sweetener with some citrus juice to the Mexican flavors of the green chiies, lime, onions and tomatoes? I’ll tell you what. THIS IS WHAT!

Sorry if you watched that. For now you will have that song (and the dude’s perfectly triangular eyebrows) stuck in your head for days. (Pink, fluffy unicorns riding on rainbows….)(You’re welcome.) (What? It’s better than Wilson Phillips.)(HOLD ON FOR ONE MORE DAY.)

Seriously, they came out better than I thought they would. I served them in lettuce bowls with some cheddar cheese, fresh tomatoes and guacamole, which I’ve incidentally found out you can just buy large quantities of from Chipotle. Although they look at you crazy. WHATEVS. My husband and kids ate these on GMO-free corn tortillas and you can serve it with rice and refried beans if you’re not strict paleo and can tolerate those.


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  1. I am seriously drooling. I pretty much like anything topped with guacamole, salsa (and sour cream and cheese). Mmmmmmm…..

  2. That just looks to die for!

  3. Lindsay

    We have a pork shoulder in our freezer that we’ve been planning on doing something with this very week so good timing, AndreAnna! So you just put the pork in whole without cutting it up at all??

    • AndreAnna

      I’d recommend trimming it a bit and cutting it up into smaller pieces, this way the flavors can really mix in with the meat.

  4. Hey, I didn’t know you could guac in bulk over at The Chipooter. Good to know. This looks delish. I pretty much never have less that 20 lbs of pork in my freezer so I’m happy to have a new recipe to try. What kind of BBQ sauce do you use?

  5. Mmmmm….pork!

  6. sara z.

    And if you don’t have time for all that, doing the exact same thing with only salt and some garlic slivers shoved into holes yields just as delicious results. I often do that overnight, with no liquid or anything, with my locally raised pork shoulder, and wake up to extremely delicious smells and tastes. I have a little with my eggs, right away!

    • AndreAnna

      That sounds good too, Sara, but the point of a crockpot recipe is that this shouldn’t take much time at all! Assuming you have all ingredients on hand, tossing them in the crockpot with the meat takes no more than 5 minutes and then the minute or so it takes to shred the meat.

  7. I love Chipotle. It’s one of the few fast, convenient places where I can get something to eat that still has good, reasonably healthy stuff in it, and I won’t get sick. And yes. Their guacamole is like crack. Yum. I get a giant salad with carnitas or barbacoa and pico and they spoon a gigantic amount of that green heaven on top. Yum. Love that you did a crockpot version! Might have to try!

    (HOLD ON FOR ONE MORE DAY…crap, now it’s in my head again. Thanks a LOT!)

  8. OMG, this looks heavenly, I must try

  9. Kara

    This recipe has been on my To-Do list ever since you posted it. I finally made this a couple days ago and it is very tasty! I’ve made carnitas before in the crockpot, but the flavor was bland. The citrus juices and barbeque sauce in this recipe add the perfect amount of punch to the traditional carnitas. I’m not a fan of spicy food so I left out the chiles and it was still really good! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Lillian

    Looks amazing! Quick question…could you do this with Chicken instead of carnitas???

  11. Kristy

    Just tried this recipe–found it via Pinterest. Unfortunately, I thought the pork was way too sweet…if I made it again, I think I would leave out the bbq sauce and substitute something spicier…maybe a hot sauce? Not quite sure. To me, using the bbq sauce kept it from being traditionally Mexican. However, it’s just my opinion! If you like sweet over spicy, this is for you!

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for your review Kristy. I just found this on Pinterest, too, and was curious if it was sweet. (not a fan of sweet, personally). I’m thinking if I just leave it out all together it will still be good. The ingredients sound yummy!

  12. Anonymous

    I just made this receipe on Saturday. It was so so so amazing. I really couls not stop eating it. I think it tastes just like Chipotle. I had some fresh guac from Wegmans and that did the trick. This is a wonderful dish. I am making it again tomorrow:)

  13. J Shah

    Can someone tell me how many servings this is?
    Other than that it looks great and has good reviews so I will be trying this some time this week.

  14. Dawn

    10 stars for this recipe. It was amazing. I followed the recipe except increased it for a larger piece of meat. People couldn’t get over how great it tasted. Plus easy and can be. I threw everything in the crockpot and walked away. There was a lot of liquid in the pot about 2 hours before we were going to eat (6 hours into cooking time) so I chose to turn my crockpot up to high. Worked out great nice and thick when we got home 2 hours later and were ready to eat.
    Also I ate mine with ice berg lettuce wrap and I could get over how awesome that was. Tastes way better then normal wraps.

  15. erin

    orange juice and bbq sauce are filled with sugar. make sure to use fresh squeezed juice and I wouldn’t use the bbq sauce at all.

  16. Anonymous

    What does the c. mean quantity wise?

  17. Tonya

    Pretty good recipe. I added 2 Serrano peppers and substituted half the BBQ sauce for sriracha (hot chili sauce) because I wanted it to be more spicy than sweet. The pork was very tender, as promised.

  18. Kim

    This recipe is quick butt. Seriously. It’s easy and all of my children ate it (some in lettuce wraps some in tortillas). I topped with homemade guacamole. We did leave the BBQ sauce out of it as suggested in the comments above. Many blessings and thanks for sharing this recipe will be used regularly at house.

  19. Mannish

    Love this recipe. It’s one I keep coming back to in my dinner rotation. Sometimes (like tonight), if I don’t have the foresight to prep it for the crockpot in the morning, I’ll speed up the process and cook it in the pressure cooker in the evening. Just as easy and tasty.


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