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Sunday Slow Cooker: Carnitas

I have tried to make carnitas multiple times in the crockpot and although they usually turn out pretty tasty, I always miss the crunchy bits that you find when you order carnitas out. However after doing some research on carnitas, I stumbled across an amazing trick. All it takes to add that crunchy texture is a quick trip to the oven before serving. Baked or broiled at a high temperature for just a few short minutes will create lots of texture and crispy bits that make these carnitas taste like the real thing.

Slow Cooker Carnitas
Servings: 8
Serving Size: about 3/4 cup
Nutritional Info: 224.9 calories, 7.7g of fat, 1.3g of carbohydrates, .1g of fiber, 25.8g of protein
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 6 *


  • 2.5 lbs. pork shoulder,lean only, trimmed of fat
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1-2 diced chipotle peppers and 2 tbsp adobo sauce
  • 3/4 cup light beer or chicken broth
  • 1-2 bay leaves


  1. Season the pork with salt and pepper. Place it in the crockpot.
  2. Mix together the remaining ingredients in a bowl and pour over the pork.
  3. Cook for 6-8 hours on low until the pork is fork tender and easily shreds.
  4. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Lay pork out in a single layer on a non-stick baking sheet. Roast for 4-5 minutes until the edges become crispy and toasted.

* PointsPlus® calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

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I’m Kristen and I couldn’t be happier you are here. You will find a variety of healthy and delicious recipes that will not only taste great, but help you fit in your favorite jeans.

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13 Response to Sunday Slow Cooker: Carnitas

  1. Esta on January 5, 2013

    would this work with beef?

  2. Kathy Ith on January 6, 2013

    I would like to know what you do to the tortillas that are pictured to crisp them up?

    • Kristen on January 9, 2013

      I either toast them directly on the burner on the stove or toss them in a really hot oven for a few minutes.

  3. Martha on January 6, 2013

    Love carnitas and the slow cooker. Have added this to my list of “must try” recipes. Will definitely crisp them up in a hot oven before serving too!!

  4. mtntourist on January 7, 2013

    Do the PointsPlus include the tortilla, salsa, etc.?

    • Kristen on January 9, 2013

      It doesn’t – just the meat.

  5. Carla on March 15, 2013

    I’ve made this twice….OUTSTANDING!!!! First time as part of a beans and yellow rice… Second time used for nachos….and some for the freezer. Didn’t change a thing…perfect as is!

  6. shauna on July 22, 2013

    made this and <3ed it. next time i will up some of the spice but it was great and easy!

  7. Amy on September 29, 2013

    Made these today and they were a hit!

  8. LeAnn on March 20, 2014

    Made these for my family and served them with the reduced fat beans… My family loves them. My seven year old asked me before going shopping if I was going to get the stuff to make more. Absolutely delicious, I served then on the mission brand multi grain tortillas that are only 100 calories each. We love love love this recipe!

  9. Bridget on January 5, 2015

    The recipe calls for “adobo” sauce. Is it dry seasoning because that’s all I could find?

    • Kristen on January 6, 2015

      The dry seasoning should work, just watch the salt since some have a lot of salt in them. I was actually referring to the adobo suace that comes with the canned chipotle peppers. It’s a thick red spicy sauce.


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