The Best Pork Carnitas Tacos
Hands down, the BEST pork carnitas tacos ever! My pork tacos with mango salsa, guacamole, sour cream and chipotle sauce are a family favorite! The pork is slow-cooked and extra tender after cooking for hours and loaded with incredible spices and flavors. And the mango salsa is the perfect complement to the rich pork filling! This recipe will feed a crowd, or have plenty left-over for the next day.
These pork carnitas tacos start with well-seasoned pork shoulder or roast. I typically like to break down the pork shoulder into smaller pieces for more even cooking. I season the pork well all over with a homemade spice blend featuring paprika, coriander, cumin, chili, garlic and brown sugar. The pork is then slow-cooked for hours until it literally starts to fall apart and melt in your mouth! When it’s done slow-cooking, take two forks and pull the pork meat apart into bite sized pieces and enjoy. You can use this recipe for slow-cooker pork for other recipes too, like quesadillas or enchiladas!
The toppings for this taco recipe add so much flavor! I like to make my own mango salsa and creamy guacamole. For the salsa, finely dice the mango and tomatoes, then combine with cilantro, lime juice and shallots. If you’re making the salsa ahead of time, leave out the lime juice and salt until ready to serve. For the guacamole, mash a few ripe avocados using forks or a potato masher, then combine with lime juice, garlic, oil, cilantro and sour cream. This zesty and refreshing guac is my favorite!
Enjoyed this recipe for pork carnitas tacos? Check out some of my other recipes!
- The Best Fish Tacos – seriously amazing fish tacos, also with mango salsa!
- Korean BBQ Tacos – barbecue flavored beef with spicy slaw topping!
- Cali Street-Style Pork Tacos – grilled pork tacos with peach salsa!
- Grilled Chicken Tacos – juicy grilled chicken thigh with homemade guacamole, refreshing cabbage slaw and queso fresco! These are addictive!
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The Best Pork Carnitas Tacos with Mango Salsa
- 2 1/2 to 3 pounds pork shoulder or pork butt
- 2 tsp EACH: salt, chili powder
- 1 tsp EACH: garlic powder, onion powder
- 1 tsp EACH: smoked paprika, ground cumin, ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1 large onion, diced
- 5 to 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup vegetable or beef broth
For Mango Salsa:
- 1 large mango, finely diced
- 3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 1 medium shallot, finely diced
- small bunch cilantro, chopped
- juice from 1 lime
- salt and olive oil, to taste
- 2 ripe avocados
- juice from 1 lime
- 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
- salt, to taste
- 2 to 3 garlic cloves, pressed
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 tbsp freshly chopped cilantro
- 30 mini corn tortillas, 4 to 5 inch diameter
- jalapenos, sour cream, Chipotle sauce, for serving
- Section the pork shoulder into large chunks, if not already sectioned. Place the pork, garlic and onion into slow cooker. Combine all the spices in a small ramekin: salt, garlic and onion powder, cumin, paprika and sugar. Mix together thoroughly, then season the meat. Add the vinegar and broth. Close the slow cooker and cook on ‘HIGH’ heat for 4 hours, or ‘LOW’ for 6 hours. Stir once after 2 1/2 hours.
- After 4 hours, remove the pork from cooking liquid and shred using two large forks; set aside and keep warm. Pour the remaining liquid into a frying pan. Bring the liquids to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until reduced in half. Pour the resulting sauce over the shredded pork. If not serving tacos right away, keep the meat warm in the slow cooker.
- Prepare the mango salsa: peel and dice mango, seed and dice tomatoes, chop cilantro and shallot. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and add the lime juice, season with salt and a bit of olive oil to taste.
- Prepare the guacamole: mash the avocados into a puree in large bowl using forks or a potato masher. Then, combine the avocado with lime juice, salt, garlic, olive oil, cilantro and sour cream. Mix until creamy.
- For serving the tacos, I recommend toasting or grilling the taco shells. I use my gas stove top and simply place the tacos over open flames for a few minutes until they’re warm and slightly charred. Alternatively, you can warm the shells in a preheated oven or under the broiler.
- Spread a spoonful of guacamole over the taco shell, follow with a generous amount of pork carnitas and top with mango salsa, hot sauce and sour cream, if desired.