Healthy Pork Loin Carnitas – Three Tasty Ways to Enjoy Pork Carnitas
Updated: Jul 18
As a Mexican myself, I always wanted to prepare pork carnitas, but the registered dietitian in me has been hesitant to do so since traditional carnitas recipes tend to be fried or are prepared with fattier cuts. So, instead, I decided to make my version of healthy pork carnitas using a slow cooker. You won’t believe these carnitas are lean and so juicy!
As a mom, I love the convenience a slow cooker brings-minimal cooking preparation, and you have leftovers for a few days. The key to making these carnitas healthy is choosing the leanest pork cuts. In this case, I chose a pork loin, which yields nicely for slow roasting or grilling. There are a variety of lean pork cuts which meet the USDA guidelines for “lean” containing less than 10grams of fat per serving. The best part of cooking with pork is not only its nutrition, but it’s versatile and inexpensive, and you can easily find it at the supermarket.
If you have questions on what to look for at the supermarket, check out my latest video on how to shop for the healthiest cuts of pork at the supermarket.
I’ve partnered with the National Pork Board’s “Pork Es Sabor” initiative to show you tasty, healthy and family-friendly recipes you can enjoy at all times. Check out the video below on how to prepare this simple, delicious and healthy Pork Loin Carnitas.
A Mexican burrito is my favorite way of eating carnitas. So simple to assemble and you can toss whatever ingredients you find in your fridge. Try to choose whole grains like whole grain tortillas, brown rice, and beans to make this dish fiber-rich and extra nutritious.
Next, I will be sharing with you inspiring dishes based on Pork Loin Carnitas. These are perfect for family dinners, back to school lunches or weekend meals. Pork is a great option – it’s a high-quality, nutritious protein, easy to prepare and can be cooked in many ways. Say goodbye to boring leftovers! Below you will find new flavors and 3 ways to eat Pork Loin Carnitas. I hope you enjoy them! A Mexican burrito is my favorite way of eating carnitas. So simple to assemble and you can toss whatever ingredients you find in your fridge. Try to choose whole grains like whole grain tortillas, brown rice, and beans to make this dish fiber-rich and extra nutritious.
Pork Loin Carnitas Burrito
What do you need?
Whole grain tortilla
Pork loin carnitas
Shredded cabbage or lettuce
There is nothing better than a burrito or taquito to enjoy some Mexican carnitas. Super simple to prepare and you can add any ingredient you fancy or find in your fridge. Opt to choose whole grains like whole wheat tortillas, brown rice and beans to transform the nutritional value and increase the fiber content.
Your heart and your digestion will thank you!
BBQ Pork Loin Carnitas Sandwich
What do you need?
Mini Wholemeal Burger Bun
Pork Loin Carnitas
Who doesn’t love a good BBQ pork sandwich? Great for family gatherings, Sunday barbecues or a quick lunch for the kids. You only need 4 ingredients, but the highlight of this recipe is the tender and juicy Pork Loin Carnitas. Add your favorite BBQ sauce and pair it with a side salad or corn on the cob for some extra veggies!
Asian Lettuce Wraps
What do you need
Iceberg Lettuce or Butter Lettuce
Pork Loin Carnitas
For the Asian dressing:
Hot Sauce (sriracha)
Grated Fresh Ginger
1/8 teaspoon Chili Powder
1 tablespoon Kosher Salt
These veggie-rich lettuce wraps have a kick and crunch to them. The tenderness of the Pork Loin Carnitas plus the crispiness of the red peppers and cabbage really work nicely. I recommend using an iceberg or butter lettuce because it will work better as a wrap. An excellent dish for a light meal or appetizer.
Healthy Pork Loin Carnitas
Servings: 6 Prep Time: 10 min Cook Time: 8 hrs
½ teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2 pounds of pork loin
4 Whole garlic cloves
1 Jalapeño pepper cut in half and without seeds- If you want it spicy, leave a couple of seeds
Juice of 1 Orange
Juice of 1 Lemon
¼ cup of Water
Cut pork tenderloin into equal 1-2 ”inch cubes. Combine the dry ingredients of the marinade (salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, and chili powder) and spread with the pork. Then put the pork in the slow cooker.
Cut the onion into 1 ”cubes and peel the whole garlic. Cut the jalapeño and remove the seeds. (If you want it more spicy you can leave the seeds). Add them to the cooking pot.
Lastly, add the liquid ingredients. Cut the orange and the lemon and squeeze the juice into the pot with the pork and onion. Add an additional ¼ of water to prevent the pork from drying out.
Mix all ingredients well in the pot and cover. Cook at medium temperature for 8-10 hours or overnight.
When ready, the pork will be very tender and easy to shred.
By Marina Chaparro
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by the National Pork Board. I was compensated for my time and services included but not limited to photography, videography, recipes, and social media post. I only work with brands that I truly believe in their mission or use them personally. As always, all thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.