Instant Pot Carnitas Tacos with Avocado “Crema”

Carnitas tacos

I debated on whether or not to post this recipe because it is a bit similar to my Hawaiian Kalua Pork Taco bowls, but the carnitas were so flavorful that I had to share! Even though I LOVE Nom Nom Paleo’s classic Kalua Pig, I was craving a taco with a little bit more flavor. These carnitas melt in your mouth and pack a huge flavor punch with the garlic, cumin, oregano, and lemon and lime juices and the leftovers can be used in whatever way you want!

Here I chose to make lettuce wrapped tacos, because it is what fits my diet best right now, but you could also use corn tortillas if you are doing grains, or you can look for Siete Foods Paleo tortillas which are amazing and come in two options – almond flour or coconut and cassava. These are a perfect flour tortilla sub!

I topped these tacos with caramelized pineapple, because it tends to always make it into my tacos, queso fresco, and an avocado crema. I think that some roasted poblano peppers would also be amazing here, so feel free to get creative! There is no wrong way to make a taco.

The avocado crema on top can also be reused as a dressing, in chicken salad, or as a topping for eggs (I used mine to top an omelet, so good!). The carnitas are also great for leftover tacos, salads, or as a breakfast hash.

This recipe is made in the Instant Pot. I was lucky enough that my Mom bought me one of these about 2 months back and I’m now using it about twice a week on average. I like to think of it like a Crock Pot on steroids, it has all the convenience and ease of throwing everything into one pot and letting it cook, but it is faster, more flavorful, and you can sautee and brown your food in the Instant Pot before pressure cooking it!

However, if you don’t have an Instant Pot I think you would be fine to toss all of these ingredients into a slow cooker for 8 hours until the pork is fall apart tender.

Carnitas Tacos with Avocado Crema

Adapted from Nom Nom Paleo Kalua Pig and Fed and Fit’s Barbacoa


For the Carnitas:

  • 1 3-4 lb Pork Shoulder
  • 2 tsp of Kosher Salt (if using fine or sea salt, cut this in half)
  • 1 Tbs Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Tbs Oregano
  • 1 Tbs oil of your choice
  • 1 small onion, sliced (or 1 cup of leek tops for Low FODMAP)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup of lime juice
  • 1/2 cup of orange juice
  • 1/4 cup of chicken broth

For the Avocado Crema:

  • 1/2 large avocado, or one small avocado
  • 1/4 Cup of Mayo
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1/2 Jalapeno, chopped and deseeded
  • 1/4 cup of cilantro
  • 1 Tbs of scallions
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Combine salt, pepper, oregano, and cumin in a small bowl
  2. Cut pork into 3-4 equal pieces
  3. Set Instant Pot to Sautee mode, add 1 Tbs of oil to the pot
  4. Season the pork with spice blend
  5. Add pork to Instant Pot to brown, about 4-5 minutes per side. You can use a larger pot on the stove top to speed up this process if you’d like.
  6. Remove the pork and add onions and garlic, sautee until onions are translucent and garlic is fragrant
  7. Deglaze the pan by adding lime juice, orange juice, and broth.
  8. Add pork back to the Instant Pot. Close lid, hit the manual button, and set the Instant Pot to cook for 90 minutes.
  9. For the Avocado Crema: Combine all ingredients in a food processor or in a bowl to blend with your immersion blender.
  10. After 90 minutes the Instant Pot will need to depressurize for about 15 minutes before it can open. Once it is done check to make sure the pork is falling apart. If so, pull out of the pot and shred with two forks, if not, set back in the Instant Pot for another 10 minutes.
  11. Assemble your tacos and enjoy!

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