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Slow Cooker Carnitas Street Tacos

Slow Cooker Carnitas Street Tacos with Pickled Red Onions and Queso Fresco

These pork carnitas are made in the slow cooker and are incredibly flavorful! The pork is stuffed in charred tortillas, and then topped with quick pickled red onions, thinly sliced radish for crunch, queso fresco cheese, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime! They're perfect for meal prep and great to feed a crowd too!

Course Main Course, Pork, Tacos
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 20 minutes
Servings 6
Author Molly | Spices in My DNA


For the pork carnitas

  • 1 large white onion, quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • juice of 1 large orange
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 (3-4 pound) boneless pork shoulder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the quick pickled red onions

  • 1/2 of a medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For serving

  • 1 cup crumbled queso fresco cheese
  • 1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • lime wedges
  • mini flour tortillas (or tortillas of your choice!)


  1. Rinse the pork shoulder with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Place the onion and garlic in the slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine the cumin, oregano, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and salt. Stir to combine. Rub spice mixture all over the pork shoulder and place in the slow cooker. Add the orange juice and lime juice. Cook on low for 7-8 hours, or on high for 4-5.

  2. A half hour or so before pork is finished, combine the red onion, apple cider vinegar, honey, and salt in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Let sit for 30 minutes or longer until ready to serve the tacos!

  3. When pork is finished, remove from slow cooker and shred with two forks. Preheat your broiler to high and position the rack in the upper third of the oven. Add the shredded pork to a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Broil for 3-4 minutes or until slightly crispy and golden on top. To assemble the tacos, char the tortillas if desired, and top them with the carnitas, a handful of pickled onions, a sprinkle of queso fresco and cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. Serve immediately!

Recipe Notes

*The leftover carnitas are great in burrito bowls or in salads, and the leftover pickled onions will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week!