Carnitas Tacos


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Life without guacamole just isn’t worth living!! Which is why I’m always on the prowl for fun ways to incorporate one of my favorite condiments! And today it’s all about these Carnitas Tacos topped with guac!

Carnitas Tacos from (@whatsgabycookin)

I can’t even remember the first time I made carnitas? It had to be years ago when I was in culinary school and just starting to emerge from my picky eater status. (20 some odd years of not really eating fish, meat, mushrooms etc… so if I can get over it, there’s hope for everyone else!) Since then I can’t get enough. These melt in your mouth carnitas are to die for. And when you put them in a warmed flour or corn tortilla and top it off with some guacamole and a sprinkle of pickled onions, well, things look just about perfect!

Carnitas Tacos

5 from 5 votes


  • 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup fresh Orange Juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh Lime Juice
  • 10 oz chipotle salsa
  • 1 tsp kosher salt plus more to taste
  • Small Corn and Flour Tortillas


  • Diced white onions
  • lime wedges avocados
  • Guacamole
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Sliced Jalapenos

For the Pickled Red Onions

  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 red onion cut in thin slices


  • Make the pickled red onions. Whisk the apple cider vinegar, sugar and salt with 1 cup water in a small bowl until sugar and salt dissolve. Place onion in a jar; pour vinegar mixture over. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
  • 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 as been rendered.
  • Parts of the pork should be caramelized and golden brown. Remove the dutch oven from the stove and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve as needed or let cool and store in an airtight container for 4 days in the fridge
  • To assemble the tacos, warm or char a small tortilla and place a few pieces of carnitas on top. Add a dollop of guacamole, a few pickled red onions, chopped onions, jalapenos and a sprinkle of cilantro. Serve immediately.

Photo by Matt Armendariz / Food Styling by Adam Pearson / Recipe by What’s Gaby Cooking

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Recipe Rating


  1. Carnitas Tacos | ShoutYourSite

    […] Life without guacamole just isn’t worth living!! Which is why I’m always on the prowl for fun ways to incorporate one of my favorite condiments! And today it’s all about these Carnitas Tacos topped with guac! I can’t even remember the first time I made carnitas? It had to be years ago when I was   …Continue Reading […]

  2. Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch

    Mercy, another great recipe to indulge me in my love of guac and limes!!! Can’t wait to try these!

  3. Maika

    Gaby- these look amazing! I have a dinner party this week and was trying to decide what to make that’s easy and delish! How many tacos does this recipe make? Thanks!

    • Gaby

      The pork makes enough for 8 people to comfortably have tacos!!

  4. Monika

    I love tacos! I could eat them everyday, and these pickled onions are going to really give a nice zingy flavor!!

  5. Jenny Flake

    These look amazing Gaby! I’ve been wanting a pickled onion recipe, yay!!!

  6. Julie @ Table for Two

    Ooo just like Jenny, I’ve been wanting a pickled onion recipe too!! We’ve been ordering it on toppings for a bunch of Chipotle-style cafes we’ve been going to! These tacos are amazing!

  7. Gerry @ Foodness Gracious

    I could eat carnitas all day long and topped with creamy avocado is bonus material 🙂

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    • Gaby

      They will keep for several weeks, but are best in the first week.

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    • Gaby

      Yes – but they wouldn’t get that crispy topping- so if you do them in a slow cooker, I’d shred them up and put them in the broiler for a few minutes to get them crispy

  17. Judy

    How long do you think pickled onions would be safe if they were kept in the fridge~where else would you keep them?

    • Gaby

      I keep them in the fridge for 2-3 weeks and then use them all up!!

  18. Rachel

    Such a good recipe. The onions are a must. Husband raved about them all night. I made avocado crema for them, which was good, but I’d stick to guacamole or avocado slices in the futures.

  19. Pauline

    Gaby – these look amazing – could I just put the whole pork shoulder in the Dutch oven uncut? And shred when cooked?

    • Gaby

      it would take way longer to make it that way! But also there’s a whole pork butt carnitas recipe in the new cookbook and it’s AMAZING

    • Pauline

      Thanks – made them yesterday – posted them on IG – sorry I didn’t make the cut on your story but they were delicious.

  20. Francie

    Gaby I have two boneless pork loins. Would this work instead of shoulder? Thanks in advance!

  21. Angela Horwath

    5 stars
    This was insanely good! Make it immediately. Also is it in your first cook book? I have your new one and didn’t see it in there.

  22. Rebecca McVeigh

    Hi Gaby-

    We have really enjoyed your recipes the past several months and your new cookbook is amazing.
    Question: have you ever made your carnita recipes with chicken. I’m allergic to hooved animals, (yep, that’s a real thing) so pork won’t work. I would love your advice.
    Many thanks-
    Rebecca McVeigh

  23. MaryRose Miraglia

    No William Sonoma has the chipotle salsa
    What and I use as a substitute

  24. Melissa

    5 stars
    No brainer! has quickly become our family’s go to taco night! so easy and my So Cal raised hubby says best tacos he has outside of Huntington Beach!

  25. Noreen Berger

    This recipe looks yummy!!! Please tell me what exactly is chipotle salsa. Do you have a recipe for it or is there a particular brand you like to use.

  26. Cherie

    Great recipe and congrats on Poppy! Suggestion for slow cooker/insta pot timing/tips? Made these stovetop and they are great.

  27. Helen

    5 stars
    Made this today after seeing it on Gaby’s insta stories earlier this week.
    Extremely simple recipe, but the result – wow – AMAZING!!!! Even the picky 9 year old twin ate it all.