It’s so easy to make healthy carnitas that are full of flavor, and using an Instant Pot helps you get your whole meal on the table in 60 minutes!
HEALTHY CARNITAS SUPPLIES
WHY I NEVER MAKE AUTHENTIC CARNITAS
I love eating carnitas, but until recently, I haven’t tried making them myself. There’s two reasons I’ve avoided making one of my favorite taco fillings:
First, carnitas are typically made by braising pork for hours until it gets tender and juicy, and I don’t have that sort of time.
Second, that braising is usually done by cooking the meat in oil or lard. Absolutely DELISH, but not in line with the healthy lifestyle our family is trying to embrace.
Fortunately, I have an Instant Pot, which can solve both problems at once!
HEALTHY CARNITAS IN THE INSTANT POT
All you have to do is toss the ingredients into the pot, turn on the pressure, and leave them to cook for 45 minutes. Then saute the meat for a few minutes to get it just slightly crispy, like authentic carnitas.
I like to serve carnitas on warm tortillas with sliced radishes, cilantro, and fresh pico de gallo. The spread looks impressive, but the Instant Pot does most of the work for me.
I LOVE that I don’t have to watch the pot (or count calories!) with these healthy carnitas. Hope you love them as much as I do!
Healthy Carnitas Recipe PIN TO SAVE:
I love making these carnitas in the Instant Pot because they cook so fast on the pressure setting, then crisp up nicely on the saute setting. If your pressure cooker doesn't have a saute setting, you can finish it off in a skillet. Adapted with permission from Food.com.
- 2 1/2 lbs pork butt or pork shoulder cut into 3/4" cubes
- 1/2 cup dried minced onion
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 1/2 oz good tequila
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp dried chipotle pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- small corn tortillas
- pico de gallo
- sliced radishes
- chopped cilantro
- sliced limes
Add all pork ingredients, except olive oil, into pressure cooker and stir to combine.
Set pressure cooker to "high" and cook for 35-45 minutes (depending on your cooker). I used the meat/stew setting on the Instant Pot, for 45 minutes.
Release steam according to pressure cooker instructions.
At this point, the pork should be falling apart, but there should still be plenty of liquid left in the pot. Drain the liquid and set it aside, then return the meat to the cooker. Use a handheld mixer to shred the meat.
Push meat to one side of the cooker, add 1 tbsp olive oil. Set cooker to "saute", mix meat into the olive oil, and saute until slightly crispy. Add a bit of leftover liquid from draining the meat, so the meat becomes nice and saucy.
Serve with corn tortillas, pico de gallo, sliced radishes, and cilantro. Squeeze lime juice over top and enjoy!
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Nutritional and cost information is for estimating purposes only, and subject to variations due to region, seasonality, and product availability.