carnitas pork tacos

Celebrate This Taco Tuesday With Pork Tacos! Easy Stove Top Carnitas Recipe

Pork Tacos aka Carnitas are full of flavor, and this stove-top version only takes about 2 hours.

carnitas pork tacos

This recipe can just as easily be made in the crockpot if you need a quick fix dinner.  Toss the ingredients in a crockpot, and set it on low for 8 hours.  The pork will fall apart, ready for toppings!

carnitas pork tacos

Pork Tacos (Carnitas) are a very budget friendly meal.  Traditionally, when we make tacos, we use ground beef.  It’s the classic tex-mex taco we all love, but ground beef can be expensive, sometimes around $5 a pound – on sale.  When the cost of beef is too high, we substitute with pork.  A pork shoulder costs around $1.79 a pound, and goes on sale all the time.

Since we moved to Colorado, we have been immersed in this world full of the best Mexican food I have ever had, outside of Mexico.  Everything has so much flavor, and because there are usually so many fresh veggies that go with or on top of Mexican food, these are actually pretty healthy.

Depending on the mood we’re in, and of course our budget we dress up our Pork Tacos different.  Some times, it’s the traditional tex-mex, lettuce, tomatoes and shredded cheese.  Sometimes we like to top them with crumbled queso fresco, cilantro, cabbage, a squeeze of lime and hot sauce.

Whatever way you have your Pork Tacos, they are going to be delicious.  If you’re following my January Menu Plan, the ingredients on the grocery list include a few toppings for the tex-mex variation of this recipe.


1 lb pork shoulder (or pork shoulder steaks)
1 onion, diced
1 jalapeño, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp taco seasoning
1 tbsp olive oil
1, 32 oz chicken stock
1-2 tbsp adobo sauce (from chipotles in adobo), optional
1, 4 oz can tomato paste
taco shells – hard or soft

Optional Toppings:

shredded cheese
shredded cabbage
queso fresco


Dice pork shoulder into small pieces – it will cook quicker this way.


In a large pan, over medium-high heat, heat oil until shimmering.  Add jalapeño and onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Add pork, and season with taco seasoning.  Cook, stirring frequently until pork is browned on all sides.  Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds – just until you can smell it.

carnitas pork tacos

Stir in tomato paste and adobo sauce (if using), scraping up browned bits on the bottom.  Add chicken stock, and bring to a boil.  Cook for 2 minutes, scraping up any remaining browned bits, and cover.

carnitas pork tacos

Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for about an hour to an hour and a half, until pork is tender when pierced with a fork.  Use two forks to shred pork. 

carnitas pork tacos

Serve in soft or hard taco shells with your favorite toppings.



For the FREE printable version of this recipe, click the link for a PDF version to add to your collection!

Stove Top Pork Tacos (Carnitas)

Leave a Reply: