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Instant Pot Whole30 Pulled Pork Carnitas Tacos (Whole30, Paleo, GF, DF)

When I asked my husband what he wanted for dinner this week, his instant reaction was: “pork tacos.” I don’t think we’ve ever eaten these together so I don’t know where it came from. This seemed like the perfect time to come up with an Instant Pot Whole30 Pulled Pork Carnitas Tacos recipe, so I did! And guess what?! It was fantastic. I was able to get the meat from Aldi for $2.29 a pound, and had everything else mentioned on hand. This made a BIG batch and was the perfect dinner and lunch meal prep.

The key to this recipe is allowing the pressure to release naturally. For anyone new to the Instant Pot, this means that instead of “venting” the pressure cooker, you just let it release the pressure on its own time. AKA, DON’T TOUCH IT.  The Instant Pot Whole30 Pulled Pork Carnitas Tacos is not the fastest instant pot recipe. That said, this turned our MUCH faster than a slow cooker would’ve! To be honest, I’m not 100% sure how long the instant pot took to release pressure because I wasn’t home. My guess based on past experience is that the Instant Pot Whole30 Pulled Pork Carnitas Tacos took 20minutes to pressurize, the one hour of cook time, and 25minutes to de-pressurize. The great thing though is because the Instant Pot automatically switches to “keep warm” mode, you don’t have to be right there when the timer goes off. This gives you the freedom of a slow cooker, but the benefit of sauteing in the same pot. This can also give you additional time to focus on other meal prepping. Enjoy these Instant Pot Whole30 Pulled Pork Carnitas Tacos!

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Instant Pot Whole30 Pulled Pork Carnitas Tacos (Whole30, Paleo, GF, DF)
Tender, tasty, and totally easy. Saute, then set it and forget it. An affordable Whole30 option with a mexican flair!
Cuisine Whole30
Cuisine Whole30
  1. Set Instant Pot to "Saute." Add in 2tbsp of coconut oil into pot right away. While IP heats up, cut onions into thin slices. Add into Saute and allow to cook until clear or caramelized. Stir as needed
  2. While onions are sauteing, cut pork in half. You want to be able to brown several sides for added flavor. Remove onions from IP (wear oven mitts if you remove the pot itself!). Add in 1 tbsp of coconut oil into pot and brown one haf for 4 minutes. Flip and continue to brown.
  3. Remove first section of pork, then repeat with the other half. Turn IP off when done.
  4. Add everything back into the Instant Pot. Add in all of the spices and cooking liquid (broth) into the Instant Pot. Set to manual High Pressure for 60 minutes. Cook.
  5. Allow the Instant Pot to NATURALLY release (this means don't switch the IP from "sealing to venting" just let it do its thing!).
  6. Once fully released, pour any extra liquid into a large bowl. Save for now. Allow the meat to rest for 10minutes (if you are like me and came home to the IP on keep warm you don't need to wait the 10mins). Shred the pork. If any part seems dry (it shouldn't!) add back in liquid a few tablespoons at a time. I did not need to do this but this liquid can be very helpful if something went wrong. Garnish with cilanto. See recipe notes for suggestions on ways to serve this meat.
Recipe Notes
  • I have always found coconut oil online cheapest {link!}, but if you don't have any, avocado oil or any olive oil work work fine.
  • Make sure to save your onion scraps (peels included) for homemade veggie broth!
  • If you can't find Tajin {link!}, double the lime juice and add and additional 1/2tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of ancho chili powder. I was able to find this spice blend in the hispanic foods section of my local grocery store.
  • If you don't have any veggie broth, chicken/beef broth or bone broth would work.
  • If using frozen broth, make sure that the broth completely melts before starting the pressure cooker (put it in for about the last minute of "saute" time or melt in the microwave). I always freeze my easy homemade veggie broth  so I just microwaved for a minute.
  • If you want to try to get this recipe done faster, change the cook time to 1hr 2 mins and manually release the pressure. NO promises on how that turns out, and you MUST rest the meat if you choose to do this.
  • Serve alongside or over toasted cauli-rice, or over pan fried plantains, with a salsa like my Sweet & Spicy pico de gallo, guacamole (I get the premade kind from Aldi because it's very affordable and Whole30 compliant), fajita veggies - for us bell peppers sauteed in our cast iron skillet, romaine boats, or just some extra cilantro and lime juice!



4 thoughts on “Instant Pot Whole30 Pulled Pork Carnitas Tacos (Whole30, Paleo, GF, DF)”

  • For fresher, more complex flavor, “fry” the cumin and chile powder. I usually do this when I’m frying the onions and/or garlic in most recipes; cook the onions a few minutes, then add the spices a couple minutes before the onions would be done. Cumin can burn, though, so in this recipe what I would do is brown the meat first, remove, fry the onions & spices, then add liquid to stop the browning; then proceed with recipe. Another thing I do is after shredding the meat, slow-cook with the lid off for 30min or so; the broth evaporates but all the flavor & spices get concentrated and permeate the shredded meat ¡Buen provecho!

    • Excellent idea with the spices! Oh that also sounds tasty. I love getting the flavor back into the meat. Thanks!

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