Instant Pot Pork Carnitas Bowls are a delicious, easy-to-make meal that is sure to please all appetites. This simple Instant Pot dish starts with slow-cooked pork shoulder that has been perfectly seasoned and then crisped up in the Instant Pot.
The resulting carnitas is perfect for topping your favorite burrito or taco, spooned onto rice bowls, or served all by themselves in a plate of succulent pork. You can really customize this Instant Pot dish however you see fit, making it the ideal dish for large groups as well as weeknight meals. Instant Pot Pork Carnitas Bowls are a must-try - you won't be disappointed!
Instant Pot Pork Carnitas Bowls are a delicious, easy-to-make dish that has something for everyone!
Instant Pot Pork Carnitas Bowls are a delicious, easy-to-make dish that has something for everyone! This meal takes only 20 minutes to prepare and 40 minutes of cooking time in the Instant Pot. It's simple to assemble with pantry ingredients like canned tomatoes, chili powder, chicken broth, and pork chunks. The flavorful flavors of cumin, oregano, and lime juice come together to create the most satisfying combination in each bite. On top of being so tasty and fast to make, it requires minimum effort and little cleanup afterward -- a win-win situation! With all these factors taken into account, there's no wonder why Instant Pot Pork Carnitas Bowls have become a go-to meal for busy people.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Sauté time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 30-40 minutes (+ time to come to pressure)
Natural release time: 20 minutes
Ingredients need to make Pork Carnitas Bowls
Dry Rub Ingredients:
½ T. chili powder
½ T. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. ground cumin
½ t. smoked paprika
½ t. chipotle powder
1 t. dried Mexican oregano
1 t. sea salt
½ t. ground black pepper
3 T. extra virgin olive oil, divided
Pork Carnitas Ingredients:
3½ - 4½ lbs. pork shoulder roast, trimmed and cut into 6-8 chunks
3 T. extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium red onion, diced
1 medium jalapeno, diced
¾ c. chicken broth, preferably organic
¾ c. fresh orange juice
3 T. lime juice
Cilantro-Lime Rice Ingredients:
1 c. uncooked rice, prepared according to package ingredients
3 T. fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
3 T. fresh lime juice, divided
Sea salt & black pepper, to taste
Pico de Gallo Ingredients:
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
¼ c. red onion, diced
2 T. fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
2 T. fresh lime juice
Sea salt & black pepper, to taste
Remaining Bowl Ingredients:
1 large avocado, sliced
1 c. black beans, warmed
1 c. whole kernel corn, warmed
2 large limes, cut into wedges
3 T. fresh cilantro, for garnish
- 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 “Sauté” button on Instant Pot® and set it 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 the lid while using the “Sauté” function on an Instant Pot.
- Once browned, transfer the 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 the remaining tablespoon of 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:
Preheat 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 the broiler for 4-5 minutes, then remove from the oven and add a little more juice before turning the meat to brown the other side. Place back under the broiler for another 4-5 minutes or until the pork is nice and crispy on the edges.
When finished broiling, remove the baking sheet from the 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. Enjoy!
No two Instant Pot Pork Carnitas Bowls need be the same! There are endless variations you can make depending on your tastes. To start, try varying the type of rice you use as the base. Take it up a notch by adding sweetness with pineapple or mango, spice with peppers, or even surprise friends with different veggies like roasted squash or crunchy cabbage. The possibilities are only as limited as your imagination. You could even customize each bowl by putting out an array of condiments and decorations for people to choose from to top off this delicious dish. Try variations today for a fresh and fun meal that everyone will love!
If you make a batch of delicious Instant Pot Pork Carnitas Bowls, storage won't be an issue. These aromatic meals can be stored in the fridge for up to four days, making them the perfect treat to prepare ahead of time! Just pop your pork carnitas bowls in an airtight storage container and they will keep their freshness and flavor. When you're ready to enjoy them, simply heat them up on the stovetop or microwave; they'll taste as good as when they were first cooked!
Making Instant Pot Pork Carnitas Bowls is easy and it's a great way to make a delicious meal with minimal effort. Here are some of the top tips for making flavorful and tender carnitas. First, make sure your pork shoulder cubes are seasoned generously with salt, pepper, and any other herbs or spices you like. Second, brown the pork shoulder in the Instant Pot before adding your other ingredients to maximize flavor. Third, use aromatic like onions, garlic or jalapenos to add great depth of flavor to the dish. Lastly, ensure your carnitas have a crunchy texture by broiling them at the end of cooking in oven-safe serving bowls. Follow these top tips for amazing Instant Pot Pork Carnitas Bowls every time!
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