Take the stress out of meal prep with a fast and flavor-packed recipe for Instant Pot Carnitas topped with cherry tomato pico de gallo.

Top down view of Instant Pot Carnitas topped with cherry tomato pico de gallo salsa on white plate with tortilla chips

I have a confession to make: This was the first time I had ever used an Instant Pot.

While the “slow cooker on speed” has been a popular appliance for awhile now, I was slow (pun intended) to warm up to the Instant Pot craze. Who needs one more kitchen gadget?

If that gadget is an Instant Pot, then YOU DO. The answer is YOU!

Top down view of boneless pork shoulder in an Instant Pot

Now that I’ve utilized my Instant Pot on more than one occasion, allow me to share that it’s virtually impossible to mess up pressure-cooking anything in this multipurpose contraption.

But here’s the one tip that will ensure you truly never face failure: You must include enough liquid to avoid the scorching, charring or burning of whatever is inside your Instant Pot.

Top down view of an Instant Pot filled with carnitas ingredients: garlic, spices, boneless pork shoulder and onion

Other than that, throw literally anything into this miracle machine, attach the lid and let it put your food under pressure (shout-out to Queen & David Bowie). In a fraction of the time it’d take a slow cooker to tenderize meat and veggies, you’ll pop open the lid and discover moist, juicy, perfectly cooked poultry, pork, beef and more.

And that leads us to the below: Instant Pot Carnitas served atop grilled tortillas with a fresh cherry tomato pico de gallo. With a cook time of just 90 minutes, you’ll barely have time to whip up guac and margs before the insane aroma of carnitas fills your kitchen. Tender shredded pork slow-cooked at high pressure in a bath of lime juice and spices. Instant Pot = instant carnitas success!

Instant Pot Carnitas topped with cherry tomato pico de gallo salsa on white plate with tortilla chips next to hot sauce and a glass of beer

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Main Course

Instant Pot Carnitas

Take the stress out of meal prep with a fast and flavor-packed recipe for Instant Pot Carnitas topped with cherry tomato pico de gallo.
5 from 1 vote
Top down view of Instant Pot Carnitas topped with cherry tomato pico de gallo salsa on white plate with tortilla chips
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 50 mins
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients 

  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 (3-pound) boneless pork shoulder, trimmed and quartered
  • 1 medium white onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon coriander
  • 2 cups chicken stock

Cherry Tomato Pico de Gallo Salsa

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 small white onion, small diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 jalapeños or serrano chilies, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • Set the Instant Pot to the “Sauté (More)” setting. Once it is hot, add the vegetable oil.
  • Season the pork with 2 tablespoons kosher salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Brown the pork shoulder in the Instant Pot, searing it on all sides. (If needed, do this in batches to avoid overcrowding the pot.)
  • Add all of the browned pork shoulder, plus any juices, to the Instant Pot. 
  • Add the chopped onion, garlic, orange juice, lime juice, chili powder, oregano, cumin, coriander and chicken stock to the Instant Pot.
  • Set it on the “Pressure Cook” setting for 90 minutes and close the lid.
  • Once the pork is done cooking, transfer it to a cutting board, and using two forks, shred it into pieces and serve it with Cherry Tomato Pico de Gallo Salsa. 

Make the Cherry Tomato Pico de Gallo Salsa:

  • In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Taste and season with salt and pepper.  
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!

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Recipe by Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.


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Nutrition

Calories: 327kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 41g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 103mg, Sodium: 204mg, Potassium: 990mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 760IU, Vitamin C: 33.3mg, Calcium: 59mg, Iron: 3.1mg

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Ok, this recipe was amazing!!!!! Some notes if you have a different Instant Pot – cook on high pressure for 90 mins and do a quick release. No other changes! Keep as is! It’s PERFECT! Thank you!!

  2. Question, my instant pot doesn’t have a “pressure cook” setting. It has a “pressure” setting and then I pick “high” or “low” pressure. Does it cook 90 mins on high pressure?