Instant Pot Pork Carnitas Bowls

Instant Pot Pork Carnitas Bowls

Pork Carnitas Bowls begin with your Instant Pot.  The pork is perfectly tender and well seasoned, then broiled for that traditional crispy texture.  Serve bowl style with homemade cilantro lime rice, and homemade pico de gallo.  Add corn, black beans, and avocado slices.  The best pork carnitas recipe ever!

 

 

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Welcome to My Kitchen Serenity!  Carnitas are one of the tastiest and most popular Mexican pork dishes. Pork Carnitas are delicious eaten in a taco shell or as a burrito but they are out of this world served in a bowl with all this delicious rice and beautiful vegetables.  Just look at that photo!

 

finished meal with topping in bowl

 

We start with a homemade rub to ensure an incredibly delicious pulled pork that’s cooked in your Instant Pot or pressure cooker for melt in your mouth tender meat.  We finish the pork by placing it under the broiler for a nice crispy texture.

 

When it comes to family friendly dinners, I have been using my Instant Pot for meat, poultry, soups and stews, rice, even yogurt.  During the summer months, I try to spend as little time in the kitchen as possible. 

 

Bowl recipes are always a popular choice because they’re kinda fun to put together!  Besides that, everyone can build their own bowl with the ingredients they like best.  For instance, with this recipe some people may want more pico de gallo and some people may want less corn. 

 

To save some time, we’ll prepare the Cilantro-Lime Rice and fresh Pico de Gallo once the pork is in the Instant Pot.  Alternatively, you can prepare the dry rub, rice, and pico de gallo the day before.

 

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We use the freshest ingredients to make the best pork carnitas, rice, and pico de gallo.  I’m sure it may sound time-consuming and somewhat complicated, however, there’s nothing hard about preparing this recipe.  Sure, there are many ingredients and steps but certainly doesn’t require a chef to prepare!

 

ingredients laid out on counter

 

Dry Rub Ingredients

The dry rub consists of an exquisite blend of the most flavorful seasonings such as chili powder, cocoa powder, garlic powder, cumin, chipotle powder, smoked paprika, Mexican oregano, sea salt, and black pepper.  You can prepare the dry rub a day in advance if you prefer.

 

Pork Carnitas Ingredients

The pork carnitas are made with a pork shoulder roast cooked in your instant pot with fresh red onion, jalapeno, chicken broth, orange juice, and lime juice.  While the pork carnitas are cooking in the instant pot, we’ll go ahead and make the rice and pico de gallo. Alternatively, you can prepare rice and pico de gallo a day in advance.

 

 

Cilantro-Lime Rice Ingredients

For the homemade cilantro-lime rice, we’ll combine 1 cup of cooked rice with fresh cilantro leaves, fresh lime juice, and salt & pepper to taste.  You can prepare the cilantro-lime rice a day in advance if you prefer.

 

Pico de Gallo Ingredients

I love this fresh pico de gallo recipe!  Cherry or grape tomatoes are mixed with red onion, fresh cilantro leaves, fresh lime juice, and salt & pepper to taste. You can prepare the pico de gallo a day in advance if you prefer.

 

Additional Bowl Ingredients

Serve your pork carnitas bowls with some avocado slices, black beans, whole kernel corn, lime wedges, and fresh cilantro. DELICIOUS!

 

Cut of Pork to Choose

The best meat for this carnitas recipe is a boneless pork shoulder (or pork butt), however, if all you can find is a bone-in then get that.  You can cut it off the bone before cooking it in the instant pot; or remove the bone after it has cooked.  Easy enough 🙂 

 

Have you been thinking about buying an Instant Pot but just haven’t yet?  Wait no longer, my friend!  You can find this Instant Pot on Amazon right now!  Now isn’t that simple?

 

Directions

Step 1: Combine dry rub ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine. Rub mixture onto pork until each piece is thoroughly covered. Press well to adhere.

seasoning on pork

 

Step 2: Press the “Saute” button on Instant Pot and set to “High.” Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and half the seasoned pork shoulder pieces to the container. Sear until pork is browned on all sides, approximately 2-3 minutes per side. Note: DO NOT put the lid on while using the “Saute” function on an Instant Pot.

seared pork

 

Step 3: Once browned, transfer seared pork to a plate and repeat this process with another tablespoon of olive oil and the remaining pork. Remove browned pork from the Instant Pot and set aside.

 

Step 4: Add remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pot, along with red onion and jalapeño. Saute, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, approximately 3-4 minutes.

sauteed onions and jalapenos

 

Step 5: Add browned pork back to the pot and pour chicken broth, orange juice, and lime juice on top. Add lid and lock into place. Set the steam vent to “Sealing.” Press the “Manual” button and adjust to the “High” setting, if necessary. Adjust cook time to 30 minutes. (Select 40 minutes for 4+ pound roasts).

adding liquid and pork to pot

 

Step 6: While the pork is cooking, prepare the Cilantro-Lime Rice and Pico de Gallo by combining the ingredients for each in medium bowls. Stir to combine and set aside until ready to use.

 

Step 7: When the Instant Pot cook time is complete, allow the pressure to release naturally for 20 minutes before doing a quick release of any remaining steam.

 

Optional Steps for Crispy Carnitas:

1) Turn your oven to high broil, and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Transfer pork to the prepared baking sheet and gently shred with two forks. Drizzle with ¼ cup juices from the Instant Pot and toss to combine before spreading into a thin, even layer. Season with additional salt and black pepper, if desired.

 

2) Place pork under broiler for 4-5 minutes and keep an eye on it since some broilers may get hotter than others, then remove from oven and add a little more juice before turning the meat to brown the other side. Place back under broiler for another 4-5 minutes or until the pork is nice and crispy on the edges.

 

3) When finished broiling, remove baking sheet from oven and assemble the burrito bowls by dividing the shredded pork, Cilantro-Lime Rice, Pico de Gallo, sliced avocado, black beans, and corn between 4 to 6 serving bowls. To serve, top with chopped cilantro and fresh lime wedges, if desired.  YUM!

 

Try my other Instant Pot Recipes:

Instant Pot Tomato Basil Soup

Instant Pot Creamy Asparagus Soup

 

Storing Leftovers

Leftovers will stay fresh for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.  Store in airtight containers.  I like to use BPA-free glass containers with locking lids.  Check out this 20-piece set of glass food storage containers with locking lids.  These containers are great for meal prep, too!

 

Make-ahead Tips

As stated earlier, you can make the dry rub, cilantro-lime rice, and/or the pico de gallo a day in advance.

 

Make ’em Low Carb

This recipe can easily be transformed into a low carb, gluten-free meal.  Simply substitute the traditional rice with cauliflower rice.  Omit the black beans and corn.  Sprinkle with shredded cheese or shredded lettuce.

 

What is an Instant Pot

Instant pots aren’t a new thing, per se.  I remember my mother using a pressure cooker many times back in the 70s!  She would cook stew meat in the pressure cooker and it would come out super tender in only a matter of minutes versus baking in the oven or on the stove for hours.  After all, she had a 4-kid family to feed and worked full time.  Her time was valuable, to say the least.  Thank goodness they’ve “reinvented” the old-time pressure cooker with the ever to popular Instant Pot!

 

What Brand is Best

With so many brands of “instant pots” on the market now,  how does one choose which one to purchase?  Sometimes you can get away with purchasing the least expensive item on the shelf and it all works out fine, no problem.  But for an instant pot, the safety features have to be of utmost importance; therefore, I would recommend sticking with a tried-and-true original.  The Instant Pot brand has a minimum of 10 safety features.  Let’s face it, you don’t want any mishaps when cooking food under such high pressure!  Flashback to my childhood:  the top of our pressure cooker flew off under the pressure; there was food for days on the kitchen ceiling!!  Having said that, you just can’t go wrong with the Original Instant Pot!  It’s more than just a pressure cooker.  It has 6 different uses:  pressure cooker, rice cooker, and yes, even a slow cooker.  You can steam, saute, and warm up food!

 

If you try this recipe, please let me know by leaving a comment.  I’d love to hear from you!

 

one serving in orange bowl with avocado and toppings

Instant Pot Pork Carnitas Bowls

These Pork Carnitas Bowls begin with your Instant Pot.  The pork is perfectly tender and well seasoned, then broiled for that traditional crispy texture.  Serve bowl style with homemade cilantro lime rice, and homemade pico de gallo.  Add corn, black beans, and avocado slices.  The best pork carnitas recipe ever! MAKES 4-6 SERVINGS.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 924kcal
Author: MyKitchenSerenity

Equipment

  • Instant pot
  • pressure cooker

Ingredients

DRY RUB INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1 tsp dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided

PORK CARNITAS INGREDIENTS

  • 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 lbs pork shoulder roast, trimmed and cut into 6-8 chunks
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 medium jalapeno, diced
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 3 tbsp lime juice

CILANTRO LIME RICE INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 3 tbsp fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice, divided
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste

PICO DE GALLO INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste

ADDITIONAL BOWL INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large avocado, sliced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp lime juice

Instructions

  • Combine dry rub ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine. Rub mixture onto pork until each piece is thoroughly covered. Press well to adhere.
  • Push the “Saute” button on Instant Pot and set to “High.” Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and half the seasoned pork shoulder pieces to the container. Sear until pork is browned on all sides, approximately 2-3 minutes per side.

    Note: DO NOT use lid while using the “Sauté” function on an Instant Pot.
  • Once browned, transfer seared pork to a plate and repeat this process with another tablespoon of olive oil and the remaining pork. Remove browned pork from the Instant Pot and set aside.
  • Add remaining tablespoon olive oil to the container, along with red onion and jalapeño. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, approximately 3-4 minutes.
  • Add browned pork back to the pot and pour chicken broth, orange juice, and lime juice on top. Add lid and lock into place. Set the steam vent to “Sealing.” Press the “Manual” button and adjust to the “High” setting, if necessary. Adjust cook time to 30 minutes. (Select 40 minutes for 4+ pound roasts).
  • While the pork is cooking, prepare the Cilantro-Lime Rice and Pico de Gallo by combining the ingredients for each in medium bowls. Stir to combine and set aside until ready to use.
  • When the Instant Pot cook time is complete, allow the pressure to release naturally for 20 minutes before doing a quick release of any remaining steam.
  • Optional Steps for Crispier Carnitas:
    Pre-heat the oven broiler to high and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Transfer pork to the prepared baking sheet and gently shred with two forks. Drizzle with ¼ cup juices from the Instant Pot and toss to combine before spreading into a thin, even layer. Season with additional salt and black pepper, if desired. Place pork under broiler for 4-5 minutes, then remove from oven and add a little more juice before turning the meat to brown the other side. Place back under broiler for another 4-5 minutes or until the pork is nice and crispy on the edges.
  • When finished broiling, remove baking sheet from oven and assemble the burrito bowls by dividing the shredded pork, Cilantro-Lime Rice, Pico de Gallo, sliced avocado, black beans, and corn between 4 to 6 serving bowls. To serve, top with chopped cilantro and fresh lime wedges, if desired.

Notes

Nutrition Information:  This recipe makes about 6 large servings.  The nutritional information provided is for 1 prepared pork carnitas bowl (pork carnitas, cilantro-lime rice, and pico de gallo).  Does not include additional toppings. 
Storage:  Leftovers will stay fresh for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.  Store in airtight containers.  I like to use BPA-free glass containers with locking lids.  Check out this 20-piece set of glass food storage containers with locking lids.  These containers are great for meal prep, too!
Tried this recipe?Mention @mykitchenserenity or tag #mykitchenserenity on Instagram!!

Nutrition

Serving: 18oz | Calories: 924kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 77g | Fat: 50g | Cholesterol: 258mg | Sodium: 388mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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