These spicy pork carnitas tacos have a wondrous weeknight twist, swapping the traditional slow-cooked pork shoulder for ground pork instead. A flavor-infused pork carnitas recipes with diced poblano peppers and red onion, with a hearty dose of spicy Mexican seasoning, stirred together in a thick, fragrant sauce and ready in just 15 minutes. Served with quick-pickled onions, queso fresco, and a drizzle of chipotle lime sour cream, grab a tortilla and get ready to nosh on some noms that will send your tastebuds soaring.
A problem with a solution
I adore pork carnitas, truly I do. My slow cooker version is amazing, and you can do so much with the leftovers. But, it’s time intensive, even as a slow cooker meal.
When I’m craving carnitas on a weeknight, I want it now. So if I didn’t buy a pork butt, and didn’t get it in the slow cooker in the AM, I’m screwed, right?
No! That is how these bad boys were born. I think you’re going to love them as much as I do, and I promise, they are kid-approved too.
What is pork carnitas?
In the most basic sense, pork carnitas is the Mexican version of pulled pork!
Instead of a simple salt and pepper base and a hearty helping of barbecue sauce, carnitas goes in a completely different direction.
- Spicy and sweet with peppers and orange or citrus overtones.
- Lightly fried after shredding.
- Served in tortillas instead of buns.
Plus, unlike the BBQ version, pork carnitas is usually served with a wide array of toppings!
What to top pork carnitas with!
On the subject of toppings, let’s talk about some of the best, and my fave, things to put on top of pork carnitas tacos!
- Queso Fresco, Cotija, or Monterey Jack Cheese
- Chipotle Lime Crema or Sour Cream
- Pickled Red Onion
- Diced Tomatoes
Some people like to go super simple and just throw some cilantro and onion on their tacos, a la street taco style, but on this weeknight version in particular, I am all about those pickled onions, cheese, and chipotle lime sour cream. Yum!
How to prepare pork carnitas tacos
This recipe is so simple that you could do it with your eyes closed.
But, I mean, don’t actually do it with your eyes closed. That’s kind of dangerous. Knives, hot pans, grease, etc. Take this as my official disclaimer, ha ha ha.
All you need is one pan. Bam!
- Pop the poblano peppers and onion in the pan and cook until they’re soft.
- Add the ground pork and cook until no longer pink.
- Add the seasonings and the sauce and you’re done!
I like to heat tortillas on a hot comal or dry skillet, but you can always wrap them in paper towels and pop them in the microwave for 30-60 seconds. You won’t get that great golden crispness of a comal-cooked tortilla, but they’ll be warm, and that’s what matters.
Weeknight Pork Carnitas Tacos
If you’re looking for a pork carnitas recipe fit for a fast weeknight dinner, then you definitely need to whip up these easy and delicious tacos. With flavorful poblano peppers, and a super simple spicy sauce, these pork carnitas tacos will be an instant hit with the whole family! Top with quick-pickled onions, queso fresco, chipotle lime sour cream, and cilantro for the perfect taco tuesday dinner!
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- Chickpea Falafel Pita Tacos
Easy Weeknight Pork Carnitas Tacos
Chipotle Lime Sour Cream
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- 1.5 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 1-2 teaspoons water, as needed
Pork Carnitas Tacos
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 poblano peppers, deseeded and diced
- 1.5 cups red onion, diced
- 1.5 lbs ground pork
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoons chicken broth concentrate
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 12 flour tortillas
- 1 cup queso fresco
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped