Taco Tuesday doesn’t get much better than quick & easy Instant Pot Carnitas Tacos! Flavorful Mexican garlic and citrus-infused pulled pork comes together about an hour and makes some of the best tacos you’ll ever have!
Why can’t Taco Tuesday happen every day?
I don’t know about you, but I personally don’t reserve my taste for tacos for only one day a week. The alliteration is cute, but I’m not gonna keep myself from a good plate of tortilla-wrapped love on a Friday, you know?
And I’m sure as hell not going to wait hours and hours for them when I can fire up my Instant Pot to get the same results!
This page includes step by step instructions, as well as tips and notes. If you’d like to skip all that, feel free to scroll down to the full, printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.
I think you’re gonna love these Instant Pot Carnitas Tacos, guys.
Really, there’s nothing to NOT love.
Crispy pork? Double check.
Crispy pork made in a little over an hour instead of 4 hours? Triple check!
What Is Pork Carnitas?
Carnitas literally means “little meats”. Originating in Mexico, this is a dish consisting of tender, juicy pork that’s braised or simmered in oil (or lard) until it’s super tender.
In traditional preparation, this process take about three to four hours, making it the perfect job for an oven or slow cooker.
The magic of an electric pressure cooker makes this dish possible in just over an hour! Which means you can chop your taco garnishes while the pork cooks, serve your guests a Corona, and be ready to eat in no time!
Which Cut of Pork Is Best For Carnitas?
You’ll want a good blend of lean and fatty pork for a batch of carnitas. This blend keeps the meat moist and tender during cooking. Boneless Boston butt roasts or marbled pork shoulders have the best ratio for carnitas.
When cooked properly, the collagen in the roast breaks down and the meat falls apart (“shreds”) on its own, with only the assistance of forks or a sharp knife.
What Do You Serve With Carnitas Tacos?
The beauty of tacos is that there are NO RULES! You can serve whatever you have available, or customize your tacos with a certain flavor profile. Try a combo of the following:
- Corn or flour tortillas
- Beans (black, pinto, or refried)
- Sliced or diced red or white onion
- Salsa (pico de gallo, black bean & corn salsa, fruity salsa)
- Guacamole or chopped avocado
- Sliced radishes
- Fresh cilantro or green onions
- Cheese (cotija, cheddar, queso fresco)
- Hot sauce or homemade adobo sauce
As for side dishes, pairing these tacos with Mexican rice and black or pinto beans is a classic combo. You can also switch things up with this Dominican-style arroz primavera recipe and a batch of quick and easy air fryer tostones.
How To Make Pork Carnitas
- Make the mojo sauce: combine garlic, orange and lime juice and zest, oil, cilantro, oregano, cumin, salt, and red pepper flakes in a food processor. Pulse until well blended.
- Next, drizzle a bit of oil into the bottom of an Instant Pot (or other electric pressure cooker). Cut a pork roast into 4 large chunks and place it in the inner pot. Scatter sliced onions over the pork, then pour mojo sauce over.
- Secure the lid and pressure valve on the pot. Cook on Manual High for 45 minutes, allowing a 15-minute Natural Release.
- During the release, preheat an oven to 400 degrees F. Place the cooked pork in a bowl and shred using two forks, then transfer to a foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
- Then, broil the pork for 4 to 5 minutes until the tips are browned and slightly crisp. Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn. You can do this multiple times, tossing the pork until it gets crispy all over to your liking.
Serve the crispy, juicy pork on your favorite tortillas with chosen toppings. You can also serve it on a salad, or in quesadillas or burritos.
LOOKING FOR MORE TACO RECIPES?
HELPFUL KITCHEN TOOLS FOR MAKING INSTANT POT CARNITAS:
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Instant Pot Carnitas Tacos
- 8 cloves garlic minced
- ½ cup fresh orange juice
- ½ cup fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1 cup fresh cilantro finely chopped
- ½ tablespoon fresh oregano minced (or 2t dry)
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 3-4 pounds boneless pork shoulder or pork butt
- 1 small red onion sliced
- Flour or corn tortillas for serving
- 1 Avocado chopped, for serving
- Pico de gallo for serving
- Cilantro leaves for serving
- Lime wedges for serving
- In a food processor or blender, combine garlic, orange and lime juice and zest, oil, cilantro, oregano, cumin, salt, and red pepper flakes. Pulse until well blended.
- Drizzle a bit of oil into the bottom of the Instant Pot. Cut pork into 4 large chunks and place in the Instant Pot. Scatter sliced onions over the pork, then pour mojo sauce over it.
- Secure the lid and pressure valve. Cook on Manual High for 45 minutes, then allow a 15-minute Natural Release.
- During the release, preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place the cooked pork in a bowl and shred using two forks, then transfer to a foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
- Broil 3-5 minutes until tips of pork are browned and slightly crisp, tossing meat at necessary to brown all of it. Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn.
- Serve on flour or corn tortillas with chopped avocado, pico de gallo, cilantro, and lime wedges.