carnita with salsa

Instant Pot Pork Carnitas with Pico de Gallo

We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned or linked to in this post.

Sharing is caring!

These Instant Pot Pork Carnitas are so flavorful and juicy.  Of course, you can cook them in the oven or slow cooker but the Instant Pot is a game-changer for Carnitas.  It means you can prepare them quicker as a last-minute dinner idea. For more Southwest inspired recipes,try our Easy Crescent Taco Ring, Best Moist Honey Jalapeno Cornbread Recipe or Cheddar Jalapeno Pretzel Bites With Honey Mustard.

instant pot pork carnitas on blue plate

Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • Great Southwest Flavor
  • Comes together fast in the Instant Pot
  • Perfect dish for parties or game day dinners
  • Can make ingredients ahead and assemble when ready to serve

What to Serve With Instant Pot Pork Carnitas

Ingredients for Instant Pot Pork Carnitas

  • Boneless Pork Roast
  • Jalepenos
  • Garlic Cloves
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Oregano
  • Soy Sauce
  • Cinnamon
  • Cumin
ingredients for instant pot pork carnitas

Ingredients for Pico de Gallo

  • Tomatoes
  • Red Onion
  • Cilantro
  • Green Onion
  • Garlic
  • Jalapeno
  • Salt
  • Lime Juice
pico de gallo ingredients

Ingredients for Crema

  • Plain Greek Yogurt
  • Lime Juice
  • Lime Zest
  • Chili Powder
crema ingredients

How to Make Pork for Carnitas

  • Cut pork into pieces
  • Place pork into instant pot
  • Add all spices and toss with meat
  • Cook on high pressure for 1 hour
  • Release pressure and remove meat to a bowl
  • Shred pork with two forks or with your hands
  • Pour juice over shredded meat

How to Make Pico de Gallo for Instant Pot Pork Carnitas

  • Mix together all ingredients for the Pico de Gallo in a medium-size bowl
  • Chill for several hours to obtain a better flavor

How to Make Crema for Instant Pot Carnitas

  • Simply Whisk all the ingredients for the Crema together in a small bowl
making carnitas

What to top pork carnitas with

Carnitas can be topped with so many things to make them even more delicious.  Common items are; cheese, onions, jalapenos, tomatoes, avocado, corn, sour cream and salsa.

What cut of pork is best for pork carnitas?

I like to use the Boston Butt.  It seems to have just the right amount of fat to make the finished meat extra juicy.

Can I use other meats?

Pork is wonderful in Carnitas, but beef and chicken are also very tasty.

Do I have to use the Instant Pot to Cook Carnitas?

Absolutely not!  You can cook these Carnitas in the oven or in a slow cooker if you have the time.  The Instant Pot is simply a way to save time when cooking for your family.

Which Instant Pot works best for Carnitas?

I use and like this Instant Pot.  It is a good price and I’ve had it for about 4 years in heavy use and no problems.  I have even dropped and dented it with no issues.  It is also large enough to make a nice sized cheesecake.  That being said, I just noticed this Instant Pot that comes in some pretty colors and I AM a sucker for pretty colors.  And, it is the same price.  I think that teal one has my name on it.  Amazon is calling…….

Recipe for Instant Pot Pork Carnitas

pork carnitas on blue plate

Instant Pot Carnitas

Instant Pot Pork Carnitas, juicy with just the right amount of spicy heat. Top them with homemade Pico de Gallo and a dollop of homemade Crema.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: carnitas,instant pot,mexican,pico de gallo,pork carnitas
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 362kcal


  • Instant Pot



  • 4 lb boneless pork roast cut into 2-4 chunks (Boston Butt works well for this)
  • 8 slices jarred jalapenos
  • 3 lg garlic cloves (diced)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp ground cumin

Pico de Gallo

  • 4 lg tomatoes (diced)
  • ½ c diced red onion
  • ½ c chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tbsp diced cilantro stems
  • c diced green onion
  • 1 tsp diced fresh garlic
  • 2 tbsp diced jalapeno
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp fresh lime juice


  • 10½ oz plain greek yogurt
  • juice of 1 med. lime
  • zest of 1 med. lime
  • ½ tsp chili powder



  • Place pork and all spices, jalapenos and soy sauce into the Instant Pot. Toss meat around in the spices to coat.
  • Seal Instant Pot and cook at high pressure for 40 minutes.
  • Release pressure manually and remove meat to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Remove jalapenos and discard. (If you prefer extra hot, just leave the jalapenos in the meat.)
  • Using your hands or two forks, shred the meat. Pour juice from the Instant Pot over the meat and toss to mix. I use the meat as it is at this point but if you prefer a crispy meat, place in skillet over high heat until edges of the meat starts to caramelize and crisp.

Pico de Gallo

  • Mix together all ingredients. This is even better if chilled for several hours to allow flavors to meld.


  • In a bowl, whisk yogurt with the lime juice and zest. Sprinkle the chili powder over the top.


  • You can serve the tortilla right out of the package or heat lightly in the microwave, oven or stovetop.
  • Place pork on your tortilla shell, top with Pico de Gallo and finish with a dollop of the crema. Fold up.
  • Add cheese, olives or extra jalapenos if you desire.


Serving: 1carnita | Calories: 362kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 56g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 145mg | Sodium: 2324mg | Potassium: 1155mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1955IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 88mg | Iron: 4mg

If You Try Our Recipe For Instant Pot Pork Carnitas, Please Come Back And Let Us Know How You Liked it.

closeup of a pork carnita

Pork Carnitas made in the Instant Pot are juicy, fresh-tasting and may even be healthy, depending on what you add.  Kids and husbands will love them.  When using your Instant Pot for this dish, Carnitas can be one of your last minute choices on What’s for Dinner?

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating