Carnitas Street Tacos {Cinco de Mayo recipe}

We are without a doubt, living in the land where tacos rank supreme. With street-style taco shops and trucks at very corner, the competition is stiff – which most of the time, means amazing tacos that you just can’t get anywhere else (besides Mexico, of course).

But sometimes it’s fun to plan an elaborate taco night at home. Side note: Remember when taco dinner box kits were a weekly “indulgence”? Oh, nostalgia. We’ll leave those taco kits in the past though.

Because crafting up cantina tacos at home really isn’t that difficult. Short-cuts make it even easier too. Here’s our simple recipe for carnitas tacos that is a sure bet, every time.

Carnitas Tacos


10 min


10 min


20 min

Print Recipe
Yields 8 servings


  • 2 lb pork shoulder
  • Juice from two limes
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 cups chicken stock, divided
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil, divided

For building tacos:

  • corn tortillas
  • finely chopped onion
  • chopped cilantro
  • lime wedges
  • cotija cheese, crumbled
  • thinly sliced radishes
  • mashed avocado
  • salsa or hot sauce


Season pork shoulder with salt on all sides. In a large pan or dutch oven, heat 1/4 cup oil over medium-high heat until it begins to sizzle. Add pork shoulder to the pan and brown on all sides. Add sliced onions and brown for 2-3 minutes. remove meat and onions from pan and add to slow cooker. Set aside browning pan for later. To the slow cooker, add the seasonings, fresh lime juice, and 1 cup chicken stock to the top of the pork. Mix with spoon. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Check on pork periodically and add more stock when needed.

Remove meat from slow cooker once it’s fork tender. Place on large cutting board or cookie sheet and using two forks, pull apart meat, discarding fat. To the pan where the pork was browned, add 1/4 oil and heat over medium-high heat. When it begins to sizzle, add forkfuls of the meat and press into the oil on all sides, until crispy. Add to a paper-towel lined plate and repeat with more meat.

In a separate pan, heat the tortillas over medium-high heat on both sides until just slightly browned. Add carnitas and toppings.


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