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Easy Crispy Carnitas Tacos with Roasted Jalapeño Lime Avocado. Slow-cooked pork seasoned with smoky chipotle chilies and dried spices. Then braised with fresh orange juice, lime juice, and enchilada sauce until caramelized and falling apart. Shred the meat, then stuff it into hard taco shells with cheese. Bake the tacos in the oven until they’re crispy and cheesy. Each taco is crunchy, a little spicy, and so cheesy inside. Serve with creamy, salty, roasted jalapeño lime avocado mash, plus a mix of your favorite toppings. These come together easily and are so delicious. The perfect crispy tacos that everyone loves!

Crispy Carnitas Tacos with Roasted Jalapeño Lime Avocado | halfbakedharvest.com

I think you all know by now that we love tacos in my family. The long, short story is simply that my brothers and I grew up eating my dad’s crispy tacos at least once and sometimes twice a week. They were easy for him to make, and we loved them.

My dad always made his tacos with beef, then he would stuff the meat into hard shells with cheese. The unique thing that he did was melt the cheese in the oven. It’s completely delicious and my personal favorite way to enjoy any kind of taco.

Crispy Carnitas Tacos with Roasted Jalapeño Lime Avocado | halfbakedharvest.com

I’ve made many beef tacos, chicken tacos, and even cauliflower tacos, but the one meat I’ve neglected a bit is pork. That is until today!

These are my take on carnitas tacos. Carnitas, translated, means little meats. They’re Mexican slow-cooked pork that’s seasoned with spices. The meat is shredded and used for tacos, burritos, or served over rice.

Because pork has a high fat, the meat always comes out juicy and delicious.

You can make my carnitas using either the oven or the crockpot. Either way, the recipe is so easy and, of course, so delicious.

Crispy Carnitas Tacos with Roasted Jalapeño Lime Avocado | halfbakedharvest.com

These are the details

Step 1: season the pork

My go-to seasoning blend is canned chipotle chilies in adobo, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, cumin, Mexican oregano, and salt.

I then add enchilada sauce, which is not traditional, but I like to use it for a bit of extra flavor and sauce!

Crispy Carnitas Tacos with Roasted Jalapeño Lime Avocado | halfbakedharvest.com

Step 2: slow-cook the meat

You can braise the meat in the oven or use the crockpot. Both methods are almost identical and equally delicious.

Arrange the meat in a large Dutch oven, then toss with all those yummy seasonings. Add orange juice, lime juice, and enchilada sauce, then water. Slow braise the meat for 2-3 hours in the oven or 5 hours in the crockpot. As the meat is slowly cooking, the braising liquid turns into a yummy red sauce. Save this sauce for serving alongside your crispy tacos.

Crispy Carnitas Tacos with Roasted Jalapeño Lime Avocado | halfbakedharvest.com

Step 3: shred the meat

When the roast is falling apart, remove it from the pot and shred the meat.

Then toss with some of the sauce left in the pot.

Crispy Carnitas Tacos with Roasted Jalapeño Lime Avocado | halfbakedharvest.com

Step 4: the crispy shells

Instead of using store-bought taco shells, I like to take corn tortillas and stuff them with the meat and cheese. I throw them into the oven to bake until the tortillas are crispy.

This method is my favorite, and I use it every time I make tacos for my family. We love the crispy oven “fried” shells and melty cheese. It’s the best when some of the cheese melts out onto the pan and gets crispy too. Delicious.

You can easily use store-bought hard taco shells as well. When I’m crunched for time, I often will too!

Crispy Carnitas Tacos with Roasted Jalapeño Lime Avocado | halfbakedharvest.com

Step 5: the jalapeño lime avocado

Roasted jalapeños mixed with avocado, cilantro, lime, and sea salt. It’s not fancy, but it’s so good! Great for scooping up with chips too!

Serve up the avocado on each taco, then add whatever other toppings you love most. I always recommend a pineapple salsa or mango salsa. I love a good fruity salsa. And don’t forget the leftover red sauce in the pot. It’s so good, so use it for dipping!

Crispy Carnitas Tacos with Roasted Jalapeño Lime Avocado | halfbakedharvest.com

Looking for more simple weeknight recipes? Here are a few favorites:

Crockpot Chipotle Pot Roast Tacos

Crispy Cider Braised White Chili Chicken Tacos

Crispy Jalapeño Cream Cheese Buffalo Chicken Taquitos

Sheet Pan Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Slow Cooker Chipotle Chicken Tortilla Soup with Salty Lime Chips

Healthier Homemade Crunchwrap Supreme

Crispy Chipotle Chicken Tacos with Cilantro Lime Ranch

Crockpot Crispy Buffalo Chicken Tacos

Lastly, if you make these Crispy Carnitas Tacos with Roasted Jalapeño Lime Avocado, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And, of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Crispy Carnitas Tacos with Roasted Jalapeño Lime Avocado

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories Per Serving: 448 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

Ingredients

Roasted Jalapeño Lime Avocado

Instructions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 325° F.
    2. Arrange the pork in a large, oven-safe Dutch oven. Add the chipotle chiles, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cumin, oregano, and salt. Rub the roast all over with the spices. Pour over the orange juice, lime juice, enchilada sauce, and 1 cup water. Cover and roast for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until very tender.
    3. Crank the heat on the oven up to 425° F. Uncover and cook for 10 minutes, until deeply caramelized on top. Remove the meat from the pot and shred it.
    4. Line the unfilled taco shells up in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Transfer to the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Stuff the pork into each taco shell and top with cheese. Bake for 10 minutes, until the cheese has melted.
    5. Meanwhile, roast the jalapeños alongside the tacos or char them over an open flame using a gas burner. Once charred, remove some of the charred skin, and if desired, de-seed, then chop. Mix the jalapeños with the avocado, cilantro, and lime – season with salt and lightly mash.
    6. Serve the tacos topped with cilantro, avocado, and any braising liquid left in the pan. I also love to serve with mango salsa.

Crockpot

  • 1. Arrange the pork in bottom of the crockpot bowl. Add the chipotle chiles, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cumin, oregano, and salt. Rub the roast all over with the spices. Pour over the orange juice, lime juice, enchilada sauce, and 1 cup water. Cover and cook on LOW for 5 hours or on HIGH for 3 hours.
    2. Remove the meat from the crockpot and shred it using two forks.
    3. Line the unfilled taco shells up in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Transfer to the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Stuff the pork into each taco shell and top with cheese. Bake for 10 minutes, until the cheese has melted.
    4. Meanwhile, roast the jalapeños alongside the tacos or char them over an open flame using a gas burner. Once charred, remove some of the charred skin, and if desired, de-seed, then chop. Mix the jalapeños with the avocado, cilantro, and lime – season with salt and lightly mash.
    5. Serve the tacos topped with cilantro, avocado, and any braising liquid left in the pan. I also love to serve with mango salsa.

Notes

For Easy Homemade Hard Shells: Warm 8-12 corn tortillas for 30 seconds to 1 minute in the microwave, until pliable. On a baking sheet, rub the tortillas with olive oil. Lay each flat and then layer evenly with cheese and meat. Fold the other half of the tortilla over the filling, gently pushing to adhere (see above photo). Transfer to the oven and bake for 5-8 minutes, then flip and cook another 5 minutes more, or until the cheese has melted and the tortillas are crisp. 
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Crispy Carnitas Tacos with Roasted Jalapeño Lime Avocado | halfbakedharvest.com

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Comments

  1. I’m looking to make this in a few days! How would you adjust the cooking time for pork if it is 7 pounds? Mine is a 7 lb whole pork butt – it has the bone in it. I’m looking to do it in the Dutch oven.

    Sounds so yummy!

  2. 5 stars
    Like all of your recipes, Tiguan, this too was a crowd pleaser!
    I used Trader Joe’s cooked carnitas instead of a pork butt to make this a super easy and quick weekday meal!
    It was fabulous. Will definitely make again!

    1. Hey Julie,
      So glad to hear this recipe turned out nicely for you, thanks for making it and your comment:) Thanks for your kind message! xT

  3. 5 stars
    I have made these twice…the last time I used short ribs rather than pork and they were fabulous! (I just try to use whatever I have in the freezer ;)) The trouble that I have is getting the corn tortillas, which have been warmed in the microwave first, and then smeared with oil, to stay shut on the pan as a taco. They keep opening flat or they break so they are more like a 1/2 quesadilla. The tortillas were not stale, they had been bought that same day…any suggestions??

    1. Hey Jennifer,
      Love to hear this! Thanks so much for trying this recipe and your feedback! Have you tried closing them with a toothpick? That should work nicely for you! Have the best weekend! xT