I'm all about letting my crockpot do the heavy lifting when it comes to dinner prep, which is why I LOVE these crockpot keto carnitas. Throw the meat in, leave for the day, and hours later you have tender, juicy, pulled-apart pork shoulder to enjoy however you like! Eat it plain, assemble pork carnitas bowls, or go for that low-carb tortilla and all the tasty toppings (like this mango avocado salsa!) to really live up Taco Tuesday. I'll take the latter, please. 😉
how to make crockpot keto carnitas
What's not to love about carnitas? It's an easy meal that will also feed a crowd. I made these for our family's New Year's gathering and not only did we feed several adults and children, but we also had LEFTOVERS. This recipe for keto carnitas doesn't yield quite as much as our NYE carnitas fiesta, but if you have a large crockpot or slow cooker, it's simple enough to adjust.
Here's what goes into the crockpot!
- pork shoulder (about 4 pounds)
- garlic cloves
- salt and pepper
- ground cumin
- cayenne pepper
- onion powder
- canned or jarred green chiles
To prep the pork shoulder:
- Mix all the spices together and coat the pork shoulder in the dry rub. Place the meat in the crockpot or slow cooker, fatty side up.
- Zest and juice the orange. Juice the lime. Pour the citrus juice and zest onto the meat. Add the green chiles to the mix and your pork shoulder is ready to slow cook!
- Cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.
- When the pork shoulder is done, pull the meat apart with two forks (it should easily fall apart). Place the meat on a baking sheet, pour on a bit of extra juice from the crockpot, and place the meat under the broiler for about 5-10 minutes or until some of the meat is browned and crispy.
about those homemade low-carb tortillas
Are tortillas keto-friendly? Standard tortillas are not because they're made with high-carb flour or corn. I'm starting to see many store-bought options for low-carb tortillas (like these, which taste pretty good) but they're not always grain-free and gluten-free. Homemade low-carb tortillas are actually really easy, and I love this keto tortillas recipe from gnom-gnom, one of my favorite keto/gluten-free bloggers! They're only 2g net carbs each, and require just a few ingredients. They're soft and pliable, and everything a tortilla should be! I adapted the recipe a little, and here's what you'll need:
ingredients for homemade low-carb tortillas
- super-fine almond flour
- coconut flour
- xanthan gum (this is a gluten replacement- don't skip it!)
- baking powder
- onion powder
- garlic powder
- apple cider vinegar
To make the tortillas (here's the gist but scroll down to see all the recipe details!):
- Combine all the dry ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until they're all combined.
- Add the apple cider vinegar while the processor is still running. Add the egg and water, and stop the processor once the dough forms a ball.
- The dough will be sticky, but I let it sit for a few minutes so the coconut flour can absorb some of that moisture. Knead the dough, roll it into a ball and wrap it in parchment or wax paper (or plastic wrap if you don't plan on using it right away) and let it chill in the fridge for 10 minutes.
- Roll the dough ball into a log, then divide it into 1 to 2-inch sections (I usually get about 8). Form each section into a ball and then use a rolling pin to roll and flatten each dough ball until you have a tortilla that's about 5-6 inches in diameter.
- Fry each tortilla for about 30 seconds in a really hot skillet and then enjoy!
what to serve with keto pork carnitas
The answer: pretty much anything! But to keep things really low-carb/high-fat, I go for some shredded cabbage and chopped radish with a spicy chimichurri (its basically a chimichurri similar to this recipe by Savor the Best, plus a tablespoon of green chiles for extra kick). Other ideas: avocado, plus sour cream or cotija cheese if you're fine with dairy. The combination is delicious whether you're eating carnitas with low-carb tortillas or making more of a bowl/salad and want to use the chimichurri as a dressing.
Oh, and one last squeeze of lime is always a good idea! 🙂 Enjoy, friends!
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- pork shoulder, 3-4 pounds
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 lime, juice only
- 1 large orange, zest and juice
- 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon green chiles from a can
- 1 cup almond flour
- 3 tablespoons coconut flour
- 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon coconut or avocado oil (for frying)
- Combine all the dry spices in a small dish. Use your hands to evenly coat the pork shoulder in the dry rub. Place the pork shoulder in the crockpot, fat side up.
- Pour the lime juice, orange juice and zest onto the meat. Add the chopped garlic, pressing about half of it into the top and sides of the meat and leaving the rest in the bottom of the crockpot.
- Add the green chiles to the crockpot.
- Cook the pork shoulder in the crockpot on low for about 7-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. When it's done, it will be fork tender and easily fall apart.
- Turn on your oven broiler and arrange the top rack so it's sitting just a few inches under the broiler.
- Place the pork shoulder on a parchment or silpat-lined baking sheet. Using two forks to pull the meat apart, shred the pork shoulder. Spread the meat evenly on the baking sheet, and drizzle 2-3 tablespoons of the leftover juice (from the crockpot) onto the meat.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven right under the broiler, and broil the meat for about 5-8 minutes, or until some of the edges (but not all the meat) look slightly browned and crisp. Remove from oven and cool.
- Assemble meat in a low-carb tortilla and toppings of choice.
- Add the dry ingredients to a food processor or high-speed blender (I use this Ninja blender for everything!). Process the dry ingredients just until they're well combined.
- With the blender still running, pour in the apple cider and allow it to mix for a few seconds before pouring in the egg. Continue to let it blend, then add the tablespoon of water. When the dough forms a ball, stop the blender and let the dough sit for a few minutes. It will be really wet and sticky, so this gives the dough time for the coconut flour and xanthan gum to absorb moisture.
- Place parchment paper or a baking mat on a flat work surface. Dust it with almond flour or a tiny amount of coconut flour, just to keep the dough from sticking as you knead it. Transfer the dough to the work surface and use your hands to knead it for a few minutes. Roll it into a ball and wrap it with plastic wrap or loosely in parchment, then let it chill in the fridge for 10 minutes or so.
- Remove the dough from the fridge, roll it out into a log, and slice the log into about 7-8 even sections. Form each section into a dough ball, then flatten with your hands. Place it between two sheets of parchment paper and roll it out with a rolling pin until you have a thin, flat tortilla that is about 5-6 inches in diameter.
- Heat a skillet or pan over medium heat. Place a teaspoon of the oil into the skillet to help prevent your tortillas from sticking. Allow it to heat for 2-3 minutes, you want it to be very hot. Place a tortilla into the skillet and cook one side for about 30 seconds, being careful not to burn the tortilla. Flip it and cook the other size. Repeat with each tortilla.
- Cool the cooked tortillas on a plate. You can also turn a muffin tin upside-down and fold the tortillas upward (like a taco shell), placing each shell in between the muffin cups so they stay propped up. They won't crisp up like a taco shell, but this will help them hold a taco shape.
Topping suggestions for keto carnitas: sliced cabbage, chopped radish, avocado slices, chimichurri, and/or sour cream or cojita cheese (if not dairy-free).
Low-carb tortilla recipe adapted from gnom-gnom.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 250Total Fat: 32gCarbohydrates: 4gNet Carbohydrates: 2gFiber: 2gProtein: 23g