An easy, healthier version of carnitas made in the slow cooker, then broiled slightly for crispy, flavorful crockpot carnitas! (gluten-free, dairy-free)
I have to start this post with an apology. I feel like I’ve let y’all down. Born and raised a Texan, and having lived in Texas my whole life, I’ve enjoyed more than my fair share of tacos, from the traditional Tex-Mex ground beef with a crunchy shell that my mom used to make, all the way to the gourmet fusion-y masterpieces from the chefs of Dallas.
Yet, I only have ONE taco recipe on my site! It’s quite embarrassing, and I am truly sorry for my lack of taco recipes. It’s inexcusable, really. (I guess I have a fajita recipe, but that’s not really tacos.)
Which is why I’m sharing another taco recipe with you today in an attempt to up my recipe index’s taco game. It’s one of my all-time favorites, and now, it’s a little healthier. AND it’s made in the crockpot. Today I’m sharing my recipe for Healthier Crockpot Carnitas.
These crockpot carnitas are the same deliciously flavorful shredded chunks of tender pork with crispy outsides, but they’re less greasy and fatty. How is that possible, you ask? Well, for one thing, they’re made with a center-cut pork loin roast rather than the traditional rump roast or shoulder. They’re also slow-cooked in the crockpot until they’re ultra-tender, then placed under the broiler for those crispy edges that make carnitas so delicious. It’s kind of like magic.
The beauty of these slow cooker carnitas, and really any tacos, is that you can totally customize them any way you like. I love a fresh, warm corn tortilla, cilantro, onion, and diced avocado. But feel free to use any kind of tortilla you prefer and top with anything and everything that makes a taco great for you!
While you make these carnitas and bask in the heavenly smell while they slow-cook for hours, I’m going to try and scrounge up some more taco recipes for y’all to enjoy. Deal?
An easy, healthier version of carnitas made in the slow cooker, then broiled slightly for crispy, flavorful crockpot carnitas.
- 3 lb center cut pork loin roast
- 1 small orange, sliced
- 1 small yellow onion, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp oregano (Mexican oregano preferred)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Place orange and onion slices in the bottom of your slow cooker. Add garlic and bay leaf.
- Trim any excess visible fat off of the pork roast. In a small bowl, combine remaining spices. Rub spice mixture all over the outside of the roast. Rub with olive oil and place in the slow cooker.
- Cook on low 4-6 hours or until pork easily shreds.
- Place pork on a foil-lined baking sheet, discarding bay leaf and orange pieces. Place under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, or until pieces become crispy, watching carefully to prevent burning.
- Serve carnitas with warm corn tortillas, cilantro, onion, avocado and/or salsa.
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