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Keto Carnitas

Juicy, tender, flavourful and mouthwatering, these Keto Carnitas are perfect for small dinner parties (cuz who doesn’t love Mexican pulled pork?!) or go ahead and hoard the whole 3 lbs to yourself so that you can have tacos all week long!

Almond flour tortillas filled with toppings and keto carnitas.

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Mexican inspired dishes are a big time favourite of mine. The beans, cheeses, tortillas, slow cooked meats and fresh herbs. I have to say that Carnitas are my most favourite type of taco, hands down, I mean who doesn’t love juicy Mexican pulled pork wrapped up in little tortillas and covered in sauce, fresh herbs and veggies?!

You find someone who claims they don’t? Make them these Keto Carnitas and watch their face as it explodes in glory and then sorrow, weeping silently at the thought of all these years wasted. It’s heartbreaking. Believe me. I was there once.

Why you’ll fall in love

  1. These Keto Carnitas feature juicy, mouthwatering pulled pork, slow roasted with lime, onion and jalapeños. Basically, it’s a flavour profile set to entice anyone!
  2. With three different ways to cook it, you’ll be able to work it around your day, instead of work your day around dinner.
  3. We recommend these Almond Flour Tortillas, formed into 12 rather than 4, to perfectly serve the Keto Carnitas and keep them super low in carbs.
Almond flour tortillas filled with toppings and keto carnitas.

Ingredients

Scroll down to the recipe card for ingredient measurements.

  • pork butt
  • avocado oil
  • onion
  • jalapeños
  • garlic
  • limes
  • beef broth or water * if baking in the oven
  • oregano
  • cumin
  • chili powder
  • sea salt
  • ground black pepper
  • Almond flour tortillas
  • Toppings

Pork Butt – When searching for the perfect piece of pork, look for a piece that is generously marbled with fat. This will make your Keto Carnitas super juicy. Pork butt could also be called Boston Butt.

Almond Flour Tortillas – Not to toot my own horn, (though if any time called for that it would be now) but these Almond Flour Tortillas are insanely delicious! Divide the recipe into 12 to get the perfect size tortillas for these Keto Carnitas. They are super pliable and taste great! If you don’t want to make them, you can find low carb tortillas as some grocery stores or can use butter lettuce leaves instead!

Toppings – The possibilities are endless my friend! I like to make a smorgasbord of toppings so that I can have a different taco each time. I like to make little dishes of: Guacamole, Pico de Gallo or Keto Salsa, minced cilantro, thin sliced cabbage, minced red or green onion, sour cream, hot sauce, Low Carb Refried Beans and shredded cheese or, better yet, when I can find some fresh Mexican cheese like Queso Fresco, Manchego or Cotija.

Almond flour tortillas filled with toppings and keto carnitas.

How to make Keto Carnitas

There are three ways to make these extra delicious Keto Carnitas. So awesome, right?

Instant Pot

Looking to embrace these Keto Carnitas in less than 2 hours? The Instant Pot is definitely the way to go! Hop on over to this Instant Pot Carnitas recipe, focusing solely on the Instant Pot method.

Oven Baked

Grab a large oven and stove top safe dish, like a cast iron dutch oven, and heat it on medium high heat with the avocado oil. Heat the oven to 300°. Remove the string from the pork and saw it into 4 equal portions. Mix oregano, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper in a dish and then massage it into the pork.

Pork butt cut into four.

Once the pot is hot, add 1 tbsp avocado oil and then sear the meat on all sides. Meanwhile, prep the rest of the ingredients. Finely chop the onion and jalapeños *see notes, then mince the garlic or press it through a garlic press. Once the meat has seared on all edges, remove it from the pot and reduce the heat to medium.

pot with seared meat beside a cutting board with onion, jalapeños and garlic.

If needed, add 1 tbsp avocado oil to the pot and then the diced onion. Cook until the onion is translucent and then stir in the garlic and jalapeños. Cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes, then deglaze the pot with 1/2 cup beef broth or water. Scrub the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to remove all of the little blackened bits from the bottom.

Pot with Keto Carnitas all ready for the oven.

Add the remaining broth/water, place the meat back inside the pot and then squeeze the limes over top. Turn the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil. Once there, place a tight fitting lid over top and then place the whole pot inside the oven. Cook for 1 hour, remove the lid and then cook for 1 hour more.

Keto Carnitas fresh from the oven.

Remove the pot from the oven, shred the meat inside the pot and then mix it in with the remaining liquid. The meat will have crispy bits from baking so no need to broil it. Enjoy on Almond Flour Tortillas with your favourite toppings!

Keto Carnitas freshly pulled, ready to be served.

Slow Cooker

Heat a skillet on high heat with a tbsp of avocado oil. Remove the string from the pork and saw it into 4 equal portions. Mix oregano, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper in a dish and then massage it into the pork.

Once the skillet is hot, sear the meat on all sides. Meanwhile, prep the rest of the ingredients. Finely chop the onion and jalapeño *see notes, then mince the garlic or press it through a garlic press. Once the meat has seared on all edges, remove it from the skillet and place it inside your slow cooker.

Skillet with seared meat.

If needed, add 1 tbsp avocado oil to the skillet, reduce the heat to medium and then add the diced onion. Cook until the onion is translucent and then stir in the garlic and jalapeños. Cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Scrape the fried goodies overtop of the pork.

Slow cooker with pork and chopped veggies.

Place the lid on and cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high 4-5 hours. The meat should be tender and easily pulled apart. Heat the oven to broil. Strain the juices and set aside for later, then place the meat and veggies back in the slow cooker. Take two forks and shred all the meat into pieces, then stir in 1 cup of the saved liquid.

Shredded meat in slow cooker.

Place the meat on a baking sheet and then broil for 5 minutes, flipping the meat halfway through. Enjoy on Almond Flour Tortillas with your favourite toppings!

Baking sheet with keto carnitas, shredded and crisp.

Expert Tips

  1. I like to remove most of the large fatty pieces from the pork before I cook it. Total preference here, a lot of people leave it for flavour and the more fat, the juicer the Keto Carnitas will be. Totally your call! I find these Carnitas super juicy without the large pieces of fat.
  2. Jalapeños! Be careful when working with these little green gems. Their juice can burn your skin so I choose to wear gloves while working with them. Also, the seeds and white pith can be very spicy. To keep it mild, remove and discard all seeds and white pith. Like it hot? Keep it all! I like it medium so discard all the white pith and leave about half the seeds.
Almond flour tortillas filled with toppings and keto carnitas.

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Almond flour tortillas filled with toppings and keto carnitas.

Keto Carnitas

Juicy, mouthwatering Mexican pulled pork, slow roasted with lime & jalapeños, these Keto Carnitas are piled onto pliable and tasty almond flour tortillas.
5 from 10 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Aleta

Ingredients

  • 3 lb pork butt
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 jalapeños
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 limes
  • 1 ½ cups beef broth or water * if baking in oven
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • Almond Flour Tortillas
  • Toppings see notes for ideas

Instructions

Equipment Needed

Directions

    Keto Carnitas

    • There are three ways to make these extra delicious Keto Carnitas. Instant Pot, Oven Baked or Slow Cooked. Choose your method, make and enjoy!

    Instant Pot

    • Looking to embrace these Keto Carnitas in less than 2 hours? The Instant Pot is definitely the way to go! Hop on over to this Instant Pot Carnitas recipe, focusing solely on the Instant Pot method.

    Oven Baked

    • Grab a large oven and stove top safe dish and heat it on medium high heat with 1 tbsp avocado oil. Heat oven to 300°. Remove the string from the pork and saw it into 4 equal portions. Mix oregano, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper in a dish and then massage it into the pork.
    • Once the pot is hot, sear the meat on all sides. Meanwhile, prep the rest of the ingredients. Finely chop the onion and jalapeños *see notes, then mince the garlic or press it through a garlic press. Once the meat has seared on all edges, remove it from the pot and reduce the heat to medium.
    • If needed, add 1 tbsp avocado oil to the pot and then the diced onion. Cook until translucent and then stir in the garlic and jalapeños. Cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes, then deglaze the pot with 1/2 cup beef broth or water. Scrub the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to remove all of the little blackened bits from the bottom.
    • Add the remaining broth/water, place the meat back inside the pot and then squeeze the limes over top. Turn the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil. Once there, place a tight fitting lid over top and then place the whole pot inside the oven. Cook for 1 hour, remove the lid and then cook for 1 hour more.
    • Remove the pot from the oven, shred the meat inside the pot and then mix it in with the remaining liquid. The meat will have crispy bits from baking so no need to broil it. Enjoy on Almond Flour Tortillas with your favourite toppings!

    Slow Cooker

    • Heat a skillet on high heat with a tbsp of avocado oil. Remove the string from the pork and saw it into 4 equal portions. Mix oregano, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper in a dish and then massage it into the pork.
    • Once the skillet is hot, sear the meat on all sides. Meanwhile, prep the rest of the ingredients. Finely chop the onion and jalapeño *see notes, then mince the garlic or press it through a garlic press. Once the meat has seared on all edges, remove it from the skillet and place it inside your slow cooker.
    • If needed, add 1 tbsp avocado oil to the skillet, reduce the heat to medium and then add the diced onion. Cook until the onion is translucent and then stir in the garlic and jalapeños. Cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Scrape the fried goodies overtop of the pork. *No water or broth is needed with the slow cooker method.
    • Place the lid on and cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high 4-5 hours. The meat should be tender and easily pulled apart. Heat the oven to broil. Remove the meat from the slow cooker, use two forks to shred it all into pieces and then place on a baking sheet. Pour 1 cup of the juices all over the pulled meat and then broil for 5 minutes, flipping the meat halfway through. Enjoy on Almond Flour Tortillas with your favourite toppings!

    Notes

    1. Almond Flour Tortillas – Not to toot my own horn, (though if any time called for that it would be now) but these Almond Flour Tortillas are insanely delicious! Divide the recipe into 12 to get the perfect size tortillas for these Keto Carnitas. They are super pliable and taste great! If you don’t want to make them, you can find low carb tortillas as some grocery stores or can use butter lettuce leaves instead!
    2. Toppings – The possibilities are endless my friend! I like to make a smorgasbord of toppings so that I can have a different taco each time. I like to make little dishes of: Guacamole, Pico de Gallo or Keto Salsa, minced cilantro, thin sliced cabbage, minced red or green onion, sour cream, hot sauce, Low Carb Refried Beans and shredded cheese or, better yet, when I can find some fresh Mexican cheese like Queso Fresco, Manchego or Cotija.
    3. I like to remove most of the large fatty pieces from the pork before I cook it. Total preference here, a lot of people leave it for flavour and the more fat, the juicer the Keto Carnitas will be. Totally your call! I find these Carnitas super juicy without the large pieces.
    4. Jalapeños! Be careful when working with these little green gems. Their juice can burn your skin so I choose to wear gloves while working with them. Also, the seeds and white pith can be very spicy. To keep it mild, remove and discard all seeds and white pith. Like it hot? Keep it all! I like it medium so discard all the white pith and leave about half of the seeds.
     

    Nutrition Facts

    Nutrition facts are an estimate only! The ingredients you choose could have different nutritional values than the ingredients I have used.
    Nutrition facts do not include tortillas or toppings. Deduct fibre from total carbs to get 3.2 g net carbs per 1/2 lb of meat.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 0.5lb | Calories: 415kcal | Carbohydrates: 4.4g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 27.1g | Sodium: 566mg | Fiber: 1.2g | Net Carbs: 3.2g
    Tried this Recipe? Like it Today!Mention @MamaBearsCookbook

    20 Comments

    1. 5 stars
      Making this tonight! It’s perfect for cinco de mayo and Taco Tuesday falling on the same day tomorrow!!

    2. 5 stars
      I love carnitas! Thank you so much for this easy recipe, plus all the tips on different cooking methods. We’re trying out the slow cooker method and it smells delicious!!

    3. Chandice Probst

      5 stars
      Yummmmm such a great keto option that nobody would know!

    4. Mama Maggie's Kitchen

      5 stars
      Oh my word! I need this in my life. I have to rethink dinner tonight. lol.

    5. Love a healthier version of pulled pork carnitas! Thanks for sharing.

    6. 5 stars
      These Keto Carnitas look outstanding. I love the cooking technique and tips you have included. I am super excited to test this method out.

    7. 5 stars
      Keto or not, this is a great recipe. I can’t believe that three little limes added so much flavor. Definitely going to make it again.

    8. Analida Braeger

      5 stars
      Thanks for all the great tips and different ways to make the pulled pork. This is very helpful!

    9. Pam Greer

      5 stars
      We are keeping these all for ourselves – no dinner party for us!! We froze some too so we can some later!

    10. 5 stars
      We make carnitas often but I have never used the instant pot to cook them. This will seriously cut down the cooking time in half. Genious!

      • It’s SO much faster! I still do love the oven and slow cooker methods as well, they certainly have their place and time 🙂

    11. 5 stars
      I absolutely love pulled pork carnitas and this keto version is awesome!

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