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square side view of pork tenderloin taco

Pork Tenderloin Carnitas

Juicy, crispy shredded pork tenderloin carnitas uses a leaner cut of meat than traditional recipes for healthy, delicious pork tacos made in a slow cooker.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 189kcal




  • Place pork tenderloins in crock-pot and sprinkle with spices. Add chilis, lime juice, and orange juice. 
  • Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours or high for about 4 hours. Pork should be easily shreddable when done. 
  • Use two forks to shred pork, adjust seasoning level if desired and simmer another half hour. 
  • Preheat broiler and transfer shredded pork to a baking sheet, spread out in a medium-thin layer, leaving any juices in the crock-pot.
  • Broil on low for about 5 minutes until it starts to get crisp but is not burnt or dried out. Remove pork and toss with reserved cooking liquid to moisten. 
  • Stir in fresh cilantro and serve with taco fixings or over Mexican flavored rice. Taco fixing ideas: pickled red onions, queso fresco, salsa, cheese, lime, guacamole, tomato, lettuce, black olives or whatever else you prefer.


  • The recipe was revised in 2016 to remove beer since it wasn't necessary. After testing the recipe again in 2022, I added this back in as optional since I like the addition and think it helps with moisture, but the recipe is still fine without it. 
  • To make in an Instant Pot, add ingredients to pressure cooker and cook on high for 35 minutes. Let pressure release naturally and then shred and  crisp up in oven following the rest of the recipe instructions as if it had been cooked in a crockpot.
  • To make in the oven, place ingredients into a dutch oven or dish covered in foil, rubbing the pork with olive oil before placing it in the center. Bake covered at 300° F for 2.5 - 3.5 hours and then crisp on a sheet pan and follow the rest of this recipe's instructions.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • To freeze let cool completely and freeze in airtight freezer safe containers for up to 3 months. Let defrost in the refrigerator overnight or on defrost setting in microwave making sure to stir often.


Serving: 200g | Calories: 189kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 480mg | Potassium: 718mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 530IU | Vitamin C: 12.4mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 3.1mg