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Whole30 + Keto Instant Pot Carnitas

  • Author: Natalie
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x


4-pound boneless pork butt, cut into 2″ chunks (I get my hormone + antibiotic free pork butt from ButcherBox, which I highly recommend!)

1 yellow onion, sliced

2 cups chicken stock

juice from 1 orange

juice from 2 or 3 limes

2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

2 bay leaves


In a large measuring cup, combine the chicken stock, orange juice, lime juice, cumin, oregano, salt + pepper. Stir to combine.

In your instant pot, add all the pork butt + raw onion. Pour over the chicken stock mixture and add in the bay leaves. Close with the lid, and make sure the vent is at SEALING.

Cook on HIGH PRESSURE for 30 minutes. Will take about 10-15 minutes to reach pressure, then it will start counting down from 30. After the 30 minutes is up, do a NATURAL RELEASE for 15 minutes. It will start counting up to 15. Then do a QUICK RELEASE, where you move the valve to VENTING to release any more steam. Once all the steam is gone, you can safely open the instant pot.

Set your oven to BROIL.

Gently remove all the carnitas and transfer to a rimmed baking quarter sheet. Discard the bay leaves. Shred the carnitas into bite size pieces using 2 forks. Pour 1/2 a cup of the sauce and onions over the carnitas.

BROIL the carnitas for 5 minutes, until crispy. If I have time, I like to turn the carnitas a few times and keep broiling in 5 minute increments. This really caramelizes the fat and gives it the most amazing texture and flavor.

Serve warm topped with chopped cilantro. Delicious in burrito/taco bowls with fajita veggies, cauliflower rice, guacamole + salsa. Can also serve in lettuce leaf tacos or as a salad.

Will keep in an airtight container for 5 days, or frozen for 6 months.


Meal Prep Instructions: Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. I love these plastic ramekins to hold salsa or guacamole. HEATING: These are delicious cold served as a salad! Or, to heat, remove the salsa and/or guacamole ramekins, and either microwave until warm, about 3-5 minutes (I like to sprinkle in a little water to help it steam and prevent it from drying out). Or reheat in a 350ºF oven until warm, 10-15 minutes. Can also reheat in a skillet over medium heat until warm, about 5-10 minutes.

Slow Cooker: You can also make these in the slow cooker. Here is my slow cooker carnitas recipe.

I prefer pork butt, but you could also use pork shoulder. If you have bone in pork butt, just cut around the bone, then throw it in to the instant pot. The bone will add even more flavor!

I use yellow onion, but you could use white or red.

You don’t have to crisp them in the oven, but highly recommend you do!