These delicious Instant Pot Carnitas are keto-friendly and easy to make! You can enjoy two street tacos served with a spicy keto slaw for fewer than 5 net carbs, making it the perfect low-carb dinner recipe!
I tend to lean towards lighter dishes (like Cacio e Pepe Zoodles or this Keto Shrimp & Broccoli Stir Fry), but sometimes the occasion calls for something heartier. I’ve been missing my girls’ night tradition at our local Mexican restaurant, so I fixed up these Instant Pot Carnitas to make up for it! To put it over the top, I added a spicy keto coleslaw mix for the perfect combination of flavors and textures.
These pork carnitas are packed with a TON of flavor and take barely any effort to throw together. It’s not the fastest meal, but it can be easily meal prepped so you can end a hectic weeknight with a satisfying, keto-friendly dish. It freezes and reheats beautifully, too, making it an amazing freezer meal option when you just can’t stand the thought of another soup.
I made Keto Street Taco Carnitas by using the Mission Carb Balance Street Taco tortillas, bringing 2 tacos + slaw to just 4.7 net carbs. For a super filling, low-carb meal, serve with 3/4 cup of Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice (4.1 net carbs), about 1/3 cup of this Avocado Bacon Dip (7.6 net carbs), and two Carb Balance street taco tortillas cut up and toasted into chips (3 net carbs). Add some tequila shots, and you’ve got a fun Mexican night under 20 net carbs!
(P.S. Looking for more low carb Mexican food? Check out this list of 40+ Keto Mexican Food Recipes!)
Instant Pot Carnitas Ingredients:
As always, this is a quick overview of the ingredients you will need. For the specific measurements and instructions, keep scrolling to the printable recipe card!
- Boneless Boston Butt or Pork Shoulder
- Spices: Dry Ranch seasoning, oregano, cumin, salt and paprika
- Vegetables: Garlic, Onion, Jalapeños, and Lime
- Beef broth
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Keto Sweetener: I used golden monkfruit. If you aren’t watching carbs, you can use brown sugar or coconut sugar.
How to make carnitas in an Instant Pot:
This recipe is super easy! First you’ll place your pork, spices, and vegetables into the Instant Pot. In a small bowl, mix your broth, Worcestershire, and sweetener to make a tasty sauce. Pour this sauce over the meat and give it a little stir to get everything coated.
Next, allow your Instant Pot to come to pressure and cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Once it is finished, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes. Discard your vegetables and shred your meat. Reserve at least 1 cup of the juices!
Transfer the shredded pork to a rimmed baking sheet or dish and place under the broiler on high. Allow this to broil for 2-3 minutes or until you see that the meat is nice and crispy. Make sure to keep a close eye on it while this is happening–You don’t want to allow the edges to burn! Once it has crisped up, remove from oven and pour the juice over the meat. This results in crispy-yet-tender, super flavorful carnitas!
How long to cook carnitas in an Instant Pot:
The cooking time is determined by the size of your Boston Butt. A good rule of thumb is 15 minutes per pound of meat. This is the same whether you are cooking it as one large roast or as smaller 1-pound pieces.
Are Instant Pot Carnitas good for Keto Meal Prep?
Yes, this recipe is great for meal prepping! Cook your carnitas, then portion them out for salads, wraps, tacos, and more! The meat will keep up to 4 days in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer. Store the meat in some of the juice to ensure your meat is flavorful, tender, and moist after reheating.
If you are cooking ahead of time and plan to serve later, reserve an extra cup of the juice and skip the broiler step until you’re getting ready to serve. Once the meat is nice and crispy, pour some of the juice over the meat. You may not need all of the juice, depending on how much the meat soaked up during storage, but it’s better to have it and not need it than wish you had more later!
Can I freeze Pork Carnitas?
Yes, pork carnitas freeze wonderfully and reheat easily. If I plan to freeze these, I skip the broiler step and save that for when I’m reheating so that it doesn’t get overcooked. Allow the meat to cool completely, then freeze in a freezer bag with some of the juice to prevent the pork from drying out.
You can freeze it all together or freeze in 10 equal portions so that you can pull out the exact number of servings you may need. To reheat, allow the meat to come to room temperature, then you can reheat in the microwave or in a baking dish in the oven. Right before serving, I like to broil the meat 2-3 minutes and add additional juice.
Keto Slaw Ingredients:
I love these tender, flavorful keto carnitas with a light, slightly spicy slaw! Here’s what you’ll need for that:
- Cabbage slaw mix, cilantro, and jalapeño
- Mayonnaise, ranch dressing and lime juice
- salt and pepper to taste
How do you make slaw keto?
It couldn’t be easier–Just combine all the ingredients, mix together well, and then add salt and pepper to taste. Store in the fridge until ready to serve! Many coleslaws call for a sweetener (making them not keto-friendly), but I don’t feel like this mix needs any sweetener at all.
I wouldn’t freeze this coleslaw as the mayonnaise tends to separate. You can, however, make this 3-5 days in advance and store in the fridge. Just give it a good stir before serving! It also comes together SUPER quickly and requires no cooking, so it’s simple to prepare on a busy weeknight if you need to!
More Keto Instant Pot Recipes:
- Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Soup
- Pork Sirloin Roast
- Instant Pot No Bean Chili
- Ginger Garlic Pork Tenderloin
- Instant Pot Stuffed Meatballs
Instant Pot Carnitas with Keto Slaw
- 5 pound Boneless Boston Butt
- 1 1 ounce package ranch seasoning
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 4 whole garlic cloves
- 4 sliced fresh jalapeños seeded
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 white onion peeled and quartered
- 2 cups beef or chicken broth
- 1/4 cup golden monkfruit if not keto, use brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 lime juiced
For the Keto Slaw:
- 3 cups cabbage slaw mix
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1 fresh jalapeño seeded and diced
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon ranch dressing
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- salt and pepper to taste
To make the carnitas:
- Place pork, seasonings, garlic, jalapeno, and onion in the pressure cooker.
- In a bowl, stir together broth, sauce, monkfruit, and lime juice until mixed well. Pour over pork.
- Pressure cook the meat 15 minutes per pound (1 hour and 15 minutes for a 5 pound butt), then allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes.
- Discard the vegetables, shred the meat, and reserve at least 1 cup of the juice.
- Place shredded meat in a single layer on baking sheet or in a casserole dish.
- Broil meat on high 2-3 minutes or until crisp. Watch VERY closely--All ovens heat differently, so take it out when it looks nice and crispy!
- Take meat out of oven and spoon some of the juice over the top of the meat. This helps make the meat super flavorful and moist, so don't skip!
- Serve carnitas with warm low-carb tortillas (I used Mission Carb Balance Street Tortillas), lime wedges, and keto slaw.
To make the keto slaw:
- In a medium sized bowl, add all ingredients and toss until well coated. Add salt and pepper to your preference. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.
- To make this in the slow cooker, add all carnitas ingredients to the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours. Once meat is shredded, broil and cover with juice as directed.
- Nutrition information calculated using Mission Carb Balance Street Taco Tortillas. Each serving is 2 street tacos + slaw--->Net Carbs 4.7 g per serving