Easy Instant Pot Carnitas Bowls

Easy Instant Pot Carnitas Bowls

Making your restaurant favorite meals at home can seem daunting. It seems like it’s a balance of timing or the right equipment and just making it come out right. But thankfully, with your Instant Pot, you can have the best of both worlds. Quick delicious meals that have been made at home. Instead of over paying for your favorite burrito bowl, why not make your own carnitas bowl at home with ingredients you control and a short amount of time. This recipe has a lot of ingredients, but it’s super easy to put together and a great meal idea for dinner tonight!

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


  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. 
  2. Push the “Sauté” 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.
  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.
  4. 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.
  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).
  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.
  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 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. Enjoy!


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