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Lime Cilantro Carnitas
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5 from 1 vote

Lime Cilantro Carnitas

This is a great weekend meal and perfect for leftovers. My Lime Cilantro Carnitas can be served in low carb tortillas or just over my keto slaw...Either way this tender and flavorful shredded pork is the bomb!
Course dinner, family dinner, keto dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword carnitas, mexican, pork
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Resting time 1 hour
Servings 8 servings
Calories 249kcal


  • Instant Pot


  • 4-5 lbs pork shoulder I use bone in
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 2 limes
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • cup cilantro chopped


  • Combine cumin, salt, chili powder and oregano. Rub into pork shoulder and set aside. Set instant pot to sauté and add olive oil to the pot. Working in batches brown the pork on all sides, about 3 minutes each side. This step should take about 10-15 minutes.
  • When pork has been seared take out of instant pot and set aside. Add onion, garlic, juice of one of the limes, bay leaf and chicken broth to the instant pot. Place seared pork on top of the onion mixture in the pot.
  • Seal the instant pot lid and vent, and then set instant pot to MEAT for 35 minutes. When the instant pot is finished let it slow release for at least 30 minutes but up to an hour. This is an important part of the cooking process, so I do not recommend skipping the slow release part.
  • Carefully remove the lid and take pork out of juices, leaving the bones, fat and bay leaf. Place pork on a plate.
  • If your pork had a bone then remove the bone and shred. If no bone then just shred with two forks and place on a serving dish. As a side note I tend to pick out the few large chunks of fat as it is my preference to not chew the fat, however this is simply a preference.
  • Add cilantro, squeeze juice of second lime, toss and serve.
  • Serve with my keto tortillas, cotija or feta cheese, keto slaw, and definitely avocado.


This recipe is specifically for use of an instant pot...and I highly recommend getting one as they are cheap and can replace your crockpot.  However, if all you have is a crockpot you can still make these...they just take a lot longer.
Simply season your meat as suggested.  Then saute your hunks of meat in a skillet with olive oil on all sides.  Then transfer all browned pork to a crockpot and set on low for 8 hours.  Then once the 8 hours is done let them sit there covered for another hour or 2.
The crockpot would work well with these Lime Cilantro Carnitas if you wanted to cook them overnight.  Start the crockpot just before you go to bed and in the morning they will almost be finished.  Then you will have batch cooked for a few meals later in the week.


Calories: 249kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 93mg | Sodium: 1039mg | Potassium: 531mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 168IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 2mg