Carnitas Burrito Bowl

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You know how much I love a good Chipotle Burrito Bowl Recipe. Well I have taken the chicken version made some changes and present to you my Carnitas Burrito Bowl!! 

Carnitas Burrito Bowl from (@whatsgabycookin)


You guys are all WELL aware of my love for carnitas.

I’ve been obsessed ever since I made my first batch about 10 years ago in culinary school. Carnitas are soft and tender / fall apart in your mouth, and have a little crispy char to them to give you all the different textures. They are also downright delicious and apart from baby back ribs… hands down my fav cut of pork! I’ve made you carnitas a few times before but let’s add one more to the bunch!

I’ve been working with The National Pork Board the last few months because hi, is that not the most on-brand partnership you’ve ever heard of. Truly a dream!! If you remember about a month ago, I woke up at the crack of dawn for a Satellite Media Tour to spread the work about The United States of Pork. Basically here’s the deal…. The National Pork Board did a survey across America to see the #1 pork dish in each state. Check out the results here and the Carnitas Burrito was the #1 recipe for California. SURPRISE SURPRISE….

We live for a Carnitas Burrito here in LA! And I know I can access any number of incredible Carnitas Burritos around the state. Anyways… I wanted to put my spin on the Carnitas Burrito and turn it into a bowl. IF you’re anti-bowl (are you feeling ok??) You can easy wrap this up in a large pliable flour tortilla and it will be equally as delicious! 

Carnitas Burrito Bowl from (@whatsgabycookin)

A few things to note when it comes to making carnitas: 

  • Pork shoulder goes by several names at the grocery store including picnic roast, Boston butt, blade roast, and pork butt. 
  • Common cooking methods for pork shoulder include braising, smoking, roasting, grilling, and slow cooking.
  • If you’re using a slow cooker: Cook pork shoulder on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours. It’s important to use a meat thermometer to make sure your pork shoulder reaches an internal temperature of 170°F.  

Alright guys… have at it! 

Carnitas Burrito Bowl

Author: Gaby Dalkin
4.8 from 12 votes
My all time fav Carnitas Burrito Bowl! All of the toppings, yummy rice, and the best carnitas you'll ever make!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 45 minutes
Total Time 4 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine Tex Mex, Southwestern
Servings 6 people


For the Carnitas

  • 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder cut into 2 inch cubes
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 10 oz chipotle salsa
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste

For the Rice

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup white basmati rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro
  • kosher salt to taste

For the toppings

  • 1 cup black beans warmed
  • 1 cup frozen charred corn warmed
  • Guacamole
  • Pico de gallo
  • Shredded Monterey jack cheese


For the Carnitas

  • Place the pork in a large dutch oven with the orange juice, lime juice, salsa and salt. Add enough water to barely cover the meat. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low and simmer with the lid on for 2 hours, at which point the pork should be falling apart to the touch. Turn the heat up to medium high, and continue to cook the pork for 45 minutes, uncovered, stirring every once in a while, until all the liquid has evaporated and the pork fat has been rendered. Parts of the pork should be caramelized and golden brown. Remove the dutch oven from the stove and season with salt as needed

For the Rice

  • In a heavy saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the white rice and lime juice and sauté for 60 seconds to toast the rice. Add the water and bring the rice to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to low and cook until the rice is tender and all the water is absorbed. Add in the cilantro and fluff rice with a fork. Taste and adjust salt and lime juice as needed.

To assemble

  • Arrange equal parts of the white rice and carnitas in 4 bowls. Top with equal parts of the beans, corn, guacamole, pico and cheese. Season with salt and pepper as needed and serve immediately.


These carnitas are amazing - if you have leftovers you can use them on potatoes, nachos, or wrap them up in tortillas.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 501kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 58g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 136mg | Sodium: 828mg | Potassium: 1263mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 291IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @WhatsGabyCookin or tag #whatsgabycooking!


  1. 5 stars
    The meat came out great! I’m not even the biggest pork fan but needed to change it up and this was delicious! It shredded like butter 🙂 It is great in a bowl and would make awesome tacos too. My husband loved it and said definite make again! I followed the recipe exactly using TJs chipotle salsa and my 5.5 quart Le Creuset. Love this one, thanks Gaby!

  2. Could you cook the pork in a slow cooker and then transfer to,skillet or Dutch oven to let liquid evaporate and pork to crisp? If so, how long would you cook it in the cooker, maybe 3-4 on high or 6-8 on low?

  3. 5 stars
    Do you have any suggestions for what to use if you don’t have a Dutch oven? Would a cast iron skillet be too small? As in for the depth of the pan.

  4. 5 stars
    Finally had time to make gaby's carnitas. Absolutely amazing. Delicious. Never have I ever tasted such flavorful carnitas. I’ve made carnitas in a slow cooker before, but these are next level. Boyfriend says these taste better than his favorite restaurant.

  5. 3 stars
    I have made this twice and love the carnitas BUT I have had no success with the rice! Both times the rice has been mushy. Wondering if there is a misprint with the amount of water??? My daughter had the same problem.

    1. Nope - no misprint! Rice is a 1:2 ratio! But maybe you're buying different rice? I'd check the back of the package and double check the ratio!

  6. I used the instant pot to make this and it came out great! I cut the pork into chunks and used the sauté function to sear all sides until golden. Then I dumped the chipotle salsa, salt, lime juice and orange juice and cooked on high pressure for 25 min. Let natural release and shred. I also threw it onto a sheet pan and put under the broiler for 10 min because I prefer crispy edges. So good and much less work than other carnitas recipes!! Thank you!

    1. Yay! I was thinking about doing this very same thing. I like to broil mine until it's crispy too. Thank you for sharing instructions for the instant pot!

4.84 from 12 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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