Instant Pot Carnitas

Instant Pot carnitas
Instant Pot carnitas

This Instant Pot carnitas recipe with orange and cumin is super easy to make, is paleo and also Whole30 compliant. Instant Pot makes having cheap/tougher cuts of meat doable in a short amount of time, and this recipe will feed a crowd! This handmade Instant Pot carnitas recipe is a homemade take on the carnitas you may love from Chipotle, or if you’re lucky enough, from street tacos in Mexico. Yum!

carnitas are a really versatile protein.. make a batch and then use it a few ways, ie a copycat chipotle bowl, lettuce wrap tacos, posole, and more. baseline recipe below to feed you for a few days, inspired by nom nom paleo.

Instant Pot carnitas

tender, orange-scented carnitas

Mimi Newman
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Mains
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 10 servings
Calories 136 kcal


  • 3 lb pork shoulder


  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano


  • 1 orange
  • 1 onion
  • 2-3 garlic cloves


  • Set up your instant pot but don’t yet turn it on.
  • cube the pork shoulder into rough 2/3 inch squares, and put into the instant pot.
  • sprinkle on the salt, cumin, paprika, and oregano and toss to coat.
  • zest an orange over the meat, and juice it too. stir to distribute.
  • seal the instant pot lid (be sure the valve on the lid is pointed at the “Sealing” position). press the  “Manual” button and cook on high pressure for 35 minutes. then, let the pressure release naturally (about 20 minutes).
  • when it’s done, you can remove the meat and shred/serve as is or save it in the fridge for lata
  • if you prefer crispy carnitas, heat up a large cast iron skillet over medium heat with a tablespoon of your favorite cooking fat.


Serving: 4ozCalories: 136kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 17gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 530mgPotassium: 335mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 133IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 26mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!