Slow Cooker Carnitas with Salsa Verde

TACOS! This is a great recipe for entertaining – double or triple it for an easy and delicious dinner party. I love to serve this with salsa verde because the fattiness of the pork is cut nicely with the acidity of the tomatillos. I also pour hot sauce all over it because that’s my style.

Carnitas with salsa verde

Slow Cooker Carnitas

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours
Total time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
Yield: 4-6 servings


For the Carnitas

  • 2lb pork shoulder

  • 1 white onion, cut in half

  • ½ an orange, whole

  • 4 cloves garlic

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 2 Serrano peppers, cut in 2

  • ½ teaspoon oregano

  • ½ teaspoon cumin

  • ½ cup water

  • 1 cup soft drink of choice (I used dr. pepper)

  • salt and pepper to taste

For Assembly

  • diced white onion

  • chopped cilantro

  • lime wedges

  • hot sauce (optional)

  • corn tortillas

  • salsa verde (see recipe below)


Season the pork shoulder with salt & pepper. Place all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook over low heat for 8-10 hours. Remove the orange, onion, bay leaf and Serrano peppers and discard. Remove the pork shoulder from the juices, shred with a fork and place back in the juices and let sit for 30 minutes. Turn the broiler to high. Remove shredded meat from juices and place on a baking sheet. Cook under the broiler for 5-8 minutes, until there are crispy bits on the top but the meat is not dried out. Serve on corn tortillas with your choice of toppings. Traditionally these are served with chopped white onion, cilantro, lime wedges, salsa and hot sauce. See below for the salsa verde recipe which pairs perfectly with these tacos!

Carnitas with Salsa Verde

This is a simple salsa recipe that is a sure fire hit. Most salsa verde recipes call for fresh tomatillos that you then need to cook. In this recipe you just toss everything in the food processor and call it a day.

Salsa Verde

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
Yield: 8 servings


  • 1 28oz can tomatillos, drained

  • ½ white onion

  • 1 serrano pepper

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1 handful cilantro

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • juice of ½ lime


Place all ingredients in the food processor and pulse until combined. That is all. Ole! 

Carnitas with Salsa Verde