Al Pastor-Inspired Carnitas

al pastor-inspired carnitas
al pastor carnitas

These carnitas are a mind-meld between traditional carnitas, with its slow-roasted, citrusy, buttery, fall off the bone tenderness, and al pastor, with its spicy and sweet notes.  If you too are trying to figure out how to make al pastor at home, this Instant Pot carnitas recipe brings al pastor-inspired flavors home.

al pastor-inspired carnitas

How to make al pastor at home – make Instant Pot carnitas with al pastor flavors!

Start with a 3-4lb cut of pork shoulder, bone in or out. You’re going to also want a full pineapple, an onion, and a small can of chipotles en adobo.

Peel and chop the pineapple. I did half into chunks (which will go into the instant pot) and the other half in thin rounds (which will go on your tacos/taco salads.)

throw the pork shoulder, pineapple, the whole can of chipotle peppers, as well as a tablespoon of cumin and kosher salt into the instant pot. give it a stir!

set the pressure to high and cook the instant pot carnitas for 30 minutes. let the pressure release manually. take the carnitas out of the pot and shred the meat. you can eat it then and there or you can crisp it up in a skillet with a few of the stewed pineapples and a ladle or so of the cooking liquid, until crispy. YUM!

al pastor-inspired carnitas

Instant Pot Al Pastor-Inspired Carnitas

Mimi Newman
Instant Pot Al Pastor-Inspired Carnitas
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Instant Pot
Cuisine American, Mexican, Paleo, Whole30
Servings 8 servings
Calories 209 kcal


  • 3 lb pork shoulder
  • 1/2 pineapple roughly chopped
  • 1 8 oz can of chipotles en adobo
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt half if iodized


  • combine everything in an Instant Pot
  • Set to high pressure and cook for 30 minutes, letting the pressure release manually
  • shred the carnitas and serve as is, or crisp up in a skillet with some of the stewed pineapple and cooking liquids
  • serve over salad or in taco form!


Note, this has a little heat to it! I’d say it’s like, a moderate, sweet-hot level of spice, akin to harissa.


Serving: 6ozCalories: 209kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 21gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 70mgSodium: 1357mgPotassium: 439mgFiber: 4gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 1637IUVitamin C: 28mgCalcium: 30mgIron: 3mg
Keyword homemade al pastor, how to make al pastor at home, Instant pot carnitas, spicy carnitas recipe
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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