Delicious Instant Pot Carnitas

Delicious Instant Pot Carnitas
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Have you tried Instant Pot Carnitas yet? By cooking a roast and loading it with flavor from an incredible spice mix, this will prepare a large amount of meat that can be used for many meals or a large crowd! You’ve got the option to serve them just as cooked pork, or to crisp them up in the oven!

When my husband was getting ready to graduate from seminary a few years ago, we were getting ready to party big time! I made an epic pot of carnitas to serve our guests but it took all day in the slow cooker but boy, were they good! Using the Instant Pot speeds up the process SO much!

This is the kind of meat that you can use for meal prepping for quite a few meals. If you’re aiming for a lower-carb diet, rice and tortillas will probably not be your best option. Don’t forget to make some pickled red onions to go with these!

Use the Instant Pot to make this Carnitas Recipe

Using the instant pot cuts the time down tremendously! I used a 4 lb roast cut into about 2-3″ slices. By removing most of the fat it means you don’t have huge chunks of fat to scoop out or bite into (anybody relate?), but by leaving on some of the fat you can render it to make for an additional layer of delicious flavor.

Plate with spices used for making Instant Pot carnitas.

Ingredients used to make these Instant Pot Pork Carnitas Recipe

Seasonings make or break dishes, so don’t be afraid to add flavor. For this recipe, we used this mixture of seasonings:

  • Chili pepper
  • Cumin
  • Garlic
  • Paprika
  • Oregano

In addition to the spices, I used

  • salsa- the acid helps to break down the meat to make it more tender while adding flavor.
  • Limes – We used key limes but you can also use regular limes. (4 key limes or 2 regular limes)

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Is this Pork Carnitas Recipe Low Carb?

Yes! This is a low carb recipe, using low carb ingredients. Below, you’ll see the list of ingredients. When eating this, you don’t eat all of the juices so the actual carb count is very low. This recipe also uses minimal ingredients with carbs, so separated over many portions the final carb count is low.

A 4 oz serving is approximately 2g Net carbs

Tips for cooking this Instant Pot Pork Carnitas Recipe

Trim your pork roast, allow some fat to remain but not a large amount. Cut the roast into 2″-3″ slices for faster cooking.

When making the carnitas in the Instant Pot, turn the pot onto saute mode. Render the fat on the chunks of pork. After the fat is rendered, add onions and pepper and move the meat around as the onions and pepper strips cook. Add all of the seasoning mixture and flip meat around using tongs so that all sides of the meat are covered. Mix your salsa and water together then pour it over the meat evenly. Squeeze lime juice over the meat and leave one of the the limes in the Instant Pot with the meat.

Make sure the steam valve is closed then cook the carnitas for 55 minutes (or longer, if you want) on the meat setting. Allow the Instant Pot to naturally release steam (or you can manually do it, but please be careful!).

Partially cooked Pork in Instant Pot for Instant Pot Carnitas

There are so many ways to serve carnitas! You can shred the carnitas after they cook and serve them directly or you can crisp them up under the broiler. You choose! There is no wrong or right.

Bowl of cooked carnitas, cooked in an Instant Pot.

If you’d like to crisp them up, place them on a lined baking tray and broil them for 3-5 minutes (or until they’re crispy enough for you).

Roasted carnitas, first cooked in an Instant Pot then crisped under the broiler.

Enjoy this Instant Pot Carnitas recipe any time of the year. Serve with sugar-free pickled red onions! Pork is also a bit more affordable so if you’re serving a crowd this is a great option. You can also freeze portions of this to enjoy later!

Recipes Using this Pork Carnitas Recipe

Carnitas Sweet Potato Tacos

These are low glycemic, but not low carb. If you add in some sweet potatoes to your lifestyle, this would be a great option for how to use the carnitas.

Sweet Potato Carnitas Taco #slowcarb #THM

Carnitas Zucchini Noodles

Carnitas zucchini noodles one pan meal - Low carb zoodle recipe #ketorecipe #lowcarb #onepanlowcarb

More Recipes that will go well with Instant Pot Pork Carnitas

Low Carb Tortillas

How to cook Cauliflower Rice

Keto Almond Flour Tortilla Recipe

The Best Salsa

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You can also join the YGD Facebook community! Also, get awesome low carb recipe inspiration on Pinterest.

For THM friends, this is an (S)

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Instant Pot Carnitas

Seasoned pork roast – carnitas style, easy and delicious!  Made in the Instant Pot for tender and flavorful!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time55 mins
Resting time10 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
main, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Carnitas, garlic, Instant Pot, lime, onion, Paprika, pepper, Pork
Servings: 16
Calories: 141kcal
Author: Josi


  • 4-5 lb pork roast
  • 1 Med white onion sliced
  • 1 Anaheim pepper sliced
  • 1 T paprika
  • 2 t cumin
  • 2 t salt
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 1 t chili pepper
  • 6 cloves garlic pressed
  • ½ c salsa
  • ½ c water
  • 4 key limes or 2 regular


  • Trim most of the fat off the pork (but leave a layer!)
  • Cut roast into 2-3” slices
  • Mix dry seasonings and set aside
  • Mix salsa, water, and garlic
  • Turn instant pot to Saute mode
  • Put pork in fat side down, to render the fat – use tongs to move meat around to prevent sticking
  • Add onions and pepper
  • Sprinkle seasoning over meat being sure to fully cover meat
  • Pour salsa mixture over and squeeze the limes leave rind in the instant pot for added flavor
  • Switch Instant pot to meat setting, cook for 55 minutes.
  • Once steam is released, shred the carnitas with forks. It should be tender. You can serve it this way.
  • Or, Line a baking sheet with parchment, top with a portion of carnitas
  • bake at *425 for 10 minutes to crisp them up.

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