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Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas Tacos with Avocado Crema

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Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas Tacos with Avocado Crema

When I’m making dinner on a busy day, my main requirement is that it’s easy to throw together at meal time. Making tacos in the slow cooker really gives the meat so much flavor and makes it real juicy. On Sundays, I rely on my slow cooker a lot.

This past Sunday, I made these Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas with Avocado Crema and my family loved them! (well minus my one child who is picky and asked for only pork and cheese in the tortilla 🙂 That sauce though! Love how the creamy cool avocado sauce pairs with the warm, savory pork.

I purchased some pre-made fresh pico from our local grocery store, made up the avocado crema well before dinner time, and cooked the pork in the slow cooker. At meal time, all I had to do was broil the pork, and assemble the tacos. I also purchased some fresh made tortillas from our local grocery store – which they are known for – and it really upped the flavor! Thick and so soft.

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas with Avocado Crema

Author Shannon Lyon | Plum Street


Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

  • 1 2-3 lb. pork loin or roast (bone out) (fat trimmed off)
  • 3 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. garlic salt
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. oregano
  • 2 tbsp. hot sauce of choice (I used Cholula)
  • 2 small oranges, peeled
  • 2 c. water

Avocado Crema

  • 2 medium hass avocados, pitted and scooped out of peel
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded, then diced
  • 2 c. fresh cilantro
  • juice of 2 limes (4-5 tbsp.)
  • additional salt and pepper to taste

For Serving

  • fresh tortillas
  • pico de gallo (I used storebought but you could make your own)
  • fresh cilantro
  • cotijo cheese
  • fresh lime juice


Making the Pork

  • After rinsing and trimming fat off pork, place in slow cooker.
  • Add spices and seasonings to completely cover the roast. Add the oranges around the pork on the sides.
  • Once seasoned, pour water into the side of the slow cooker (not over the roast – leave the spices untouched on top of and around the sides of the roast).
  • Cook on HIGH for 5-6 hours or LOW for 7-8 hours, until meat is easily shredded with a fork. It should fall apart.  Save/reserve all the juices in the slow cooker.
  • Once pork is cooked, remove into a large bowl and shred meat. 
  • Place shredded meat on a large aluminum foil-lined /parchment-lined baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, or until edges are browning.
  • As soon as meat is crispy and dark on the edges, remove from oven. Mix together all the spices and juice in the slow cooker. Even mash in the oranges to get that flavor. Then spoon juices from the slow cooker over the meat (I usually spoon several cups). This will keep it juicy and not dried out, and it adds so much of that flavor into the meat.
  • Mix well and serve it up on the tacos!

Making the Avocado Crema

  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Pulse until smooth. Add salt and pepper as needed to taste. Also feel free to add as much or as little lime juice as you’d like. I love a ton!
  • Note: You can also sub greek yogurt for the sour cream or vice versa.
  • Once ingredients are combined, chill before serving on tacos. 
  • Stores in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge.

Assembling Tacos

  • Assemble by layering a warm tortilla, crispy pork, crema, pico, and some fresh queso fresco or jack cheese. Top with additional cilantro or lime juice if desired.

The secret to taking this pork from basic slow cooker pork to crispy carnitas is finishing it off in a really hot oven. Crisp up the edges, then pour some of the juices from the slow cooker over it, and yum! You have amazingly juicy pork with crispy edges.

One of my favorite tips for fast assembly dinners is to get every item chopped and in serving bowls early in the day. Cover them with saran wrap and put them in the fridge (shredded cheese, pico, chopped cilantro, chopped limes, avocado crema, etc.). Then at meal time, just pull the bowls out and put them on the table. So easy.

I hope you love these Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas Tacos with Avocado Crema. Check out my other sweet main dishes here … and tag me with photos if you make this @plumstreetcollective on Instagram. Thanks for reading!

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  1. Gabrielle says:

    Could you make this with chicken thighs instead?

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