Low Carb Carnitas Tacos

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Missing your tacos on a low-carb or keto diet? You don’t have to miss them any longer with this low-carb carnitas tacos recipe, which subs out high-carb tortillas with a tasty low-carb alternative.

I spent many months lamenting the lack of tacos in my life after I started on a keto diet. I love tacos. How was I going to live without them. I tried making a few different recipes for tortillas but it wasn’t until I tried this one by Tasty Low Carb that I met my match.

Carnitas Tacos
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These keto tortillas are so good. They’re incredibly pliable, like a tortilla should be, thanks to the xanthan gum. And they have great flavor, thanks to the garlic powder and apple cider vinegar.

Now I mix up a batch of these tortillas any time I’m craving tacos. They’re perfect for carnitas tacos.

How to Make Keto Tortillas

Homemade Keto Tortillas

You can buy keto-friendly tortillas or low-carb flour tortillas, depending on how low you need to keep your carbs. Or you can make your own tortillas, like I do.

To learn how to make the tortillas, and for the full recipe, visit our recipe page for Keto Tortillas to get the full instructions.

How to Make the Pork Carnitas

Carnitas means “little meats” in Spanish. That’s the way we cook the pork for this recipe. We use pork shoulder.

pork shoulder

Start by cutting the pork shoulder into chunks of about 3″ each. I typically cook a 2 lb shoulder, but you can cook up to a 5lb shoulder for this recipe, if you need more.

Season the pieces with the mixture of paprika, cumin, salt and pepper and brown them in a skillet with a little cooking oil. Once the pieces are browned, put them in a pot along with the spices, orange juice, about a tablespoon of orange zest, water, and bay leaves.

brown the meat

Cover the pot and set it to medium low heat, so the liquid in the pot is just bubbling, but not boiling. Maintain this level of heat for around 3-4 hours, until the pork is very tender.

pork shoulder in instant Pot

If you’re using a slow cooker, set the cooker to low and leave it for 6 to 8 hours.

If you’re cooking in a pressure cooker will take considerably less time. In the Instant Pot, set it for 45 minutes at high pressure.

When the meat is done, break it up into small, bite-sized pieces, then crisp it up either in a skillet, or on a baking sheet under the broiler.

crispy carnitas

How to Build a Carnitas Taco

You can build your carnitas taco any way you like. The best way to make a carnitas taco is with a little bit of crispy meat, some slivers of onion, cilantro, and a spritz of lime. Keep it simple. It’s delicious.

However, I sometimes get excited and put more on it than that.

I like to add some shredded cabbage, sliced cherry tomatoes and green chilis and yum yum sauce.

How Many Carbs are in these Carnitas Tacos

Usually carnitas tacos are carb heavy because the tortillas have a lot of carbs. But, however you dress up your carnitas taco, you can easily keep them low carb.

Carnitas Tacos

Each tortilla has 2 net grams of carbs. If your serving is 2 tacos, then your meal will be just 7 net grams of carbs. If you omit the tomatoes, the total goes down to 5g.

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Carnitas Tacos

Low-Carb Carnitas Tacos

5 from 6 votes
Print Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Pork
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 4 hrs
Total Time: 4 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 261kcal
Author: Laura

Ingredients

For the pork

  • 2 lbs boneless pork shoulder cut into large chunks
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 orange zest and juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 bay leaves

For the tacos

  • 8 3-inch keto tortillas
  • 2 slices onion
  • 8 cherry tomatoes quartered
  • 1/4 cup shredded purple cabbage
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • 1 jalapeno, finely sliced (with or without seeds for spiciness)
  • yum yum sauce or Cholula hot sauce optional

Instructions

  • Rinse pork and pat dry with a paper towel. Cut into large chunks. Salt and pepper the pork.
  • In a 6-quart stock pot over medium-high heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil. When hot, add pork pieces and brown on all sides, about 3 minutes per side.
  • Add the cumin, oregano, garlic cloves, orange juice, water and bay leaves to the pot.
  • Cover and simmer over low heat for 3-4 hours, turning the meat at least once during cooking, until the meat is tender (it falls apart when forked). Alternative: If cooking in a slow cooker, cover and cook on low heat 5-6 hours. In the pressure cooker, cook for 45 minutes on high pressure.
  • Remove pork from the braising liquid.
  • For the tacos
  • Heat ½ tbsp olive oil in a skillet over high heat. Add the shredded meat to the pan. Allow it to brown for at least 1 minute untouched. Flip the meat over and brown an additional 1 minute. Remove from heat.
  • Warm the keto tortillas.
  • Place an ample amount of carnitas in the center of each tortilla.
  • Sprinkle each taco with onions, cilantro, lime juice and jalapeno slices, to taste.

Notes

  • Use leftover pork carnitas for Low-Carb Pork Bowls
  • Use any leftover broth from the cooking process in a soup.
  • Here is our favorite recipe for yum yum sauce (which is mayo, Sriracha, and rice wine vinegar)

Nutrition

Calories: 261kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 1906mg | Potassium: 658mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 426IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 3mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Carnitas Tacos
Low Carb Carnitas Tacos

8 thoughts on “Low Carb Carnitas Tacos

  1. Alex says:

    5 stars
    Made it today. Turned out amazing. Thank you. So easy so delicious!

    p.s. The neighbors smelled them cooking, so I gave them a taco and they loved it too. 🙂

  2. Claudia Lamascolo says:

    5 stars
    I have everything in the house to make this tonight and going to try it, my husband loves ordering this out I will surprise him thanks so much!

  3. Ana says:

    5 stars
    These tacos are the bomb! I’m so happy to still be able to eat tacos while on a keto diet. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. Beth says:

    5 stars
    This looks so tasty and flavorful! I can’t wait to give this recipe a try! My family is going to love this recipe!

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