A slow cooker carnitas tacos recipe that is absolutely delicious and low-fat. Use boneless pork loin, a lean cut of meat, to make a healthy and family-pleasing meal.
Healthy carnitas taco diet
Make these low-fat carnitas tacos if you're on a diet, are thinking about a diet, or just want to be on a taco diet! I've loaded them with lean meat and vegetables plus spices and chipotle so they are absolutely delicious. Plus they are made in the slow cooker.
I'm not one to diet. I typically just get really mad at myself when my pants don't fit and try to eat less, until they do, and then go back to eating like a food editor.
Eating like a food editor isn't so bad. The healthy things even out when you cook all day, every day!
Enter a carnitas tacos recipe that tastes amazing but is much lower in fat than it's pork shoulder cousin.
Try some of my other Healthy Recipes!
What is a the leanest cut of pork?
If you're looking for the absolute leanest cut of pork it is the tenderloin. About a pound in weight, it's only a few grams of fat per serving. It's as lean as a boneless, skinless chicken breast.
Other lean cuts are the pork loin often called a pork roast, and loin chops. Anything from the loin really. There isn't as much fat there as there is in the belly, where that delicious bacon comes from. My belly is the same. Sort of on the fatty side!
I chose a pork loin roast for this healthy slow cooker meal because it has a great texture when it is cooked for a long time. It's not as succulent as a fatty pork shoulder or butt. It's a bit dry and shreds into lovely little pieces.
Mixed with saucy goodness and soft, savory vegetables, this lean cut of pork creates the meaty part of my healthy tacos.
Slow cooker carnitas tacos with vegetables
My associate Khalil, and I worked together as editors at Ladies' Home Journal magazine years ago. We developed recipes for the magazine and had a blast working in the test kitchen.
One day we'd been baking and eating nothing but sugar, and another day we would be cooking up healthy food. His recipe for Low-fat Carnitas Tacos was a favorite.
Even better than this dinner being delicious and healthy, it's made in the slow cooker. What a way to make EVERYONE happy!
The carnitas tacos are loaded with vegetables like carrots, onions, tomatoes and even beans. And this filling is more versatile than working for just tacos.
You can serve these carnitas over rice or quinoa, over a salad, or as tacos like I do.
The perfect dinner for those days when you've been eating nothing but cupcakes. Or, a great dinner for the other, more responsible days!
And, as my 3-year old nephew Sawyer would point out: THIS is healthy food and I'll deserve a treat for eating it!
How to make pork carnitas tacos
Making these slow cooker tacos is as easy as loading the slow cooker with delicious ingredients, setting it and you're off. I load my healthy pork carnitas with vegetables like carrots, onions, tomatoes, even beans, so my tacos are half meat and half veggies.
- Trim excess fat from pork loin.
- Add pork loin and vegetables to the slow cooker.
- Add spices, chipotle, canned beans and seasonings.
- Slow cook for 5 hours.
- Shred pork and add fresh cilantro.
- Serve in tortillas with Cotija cheese.
Try these low-fat treats to top off the meal:
Carnitas tacos recipe
Pork loin is a lean, healthy cut of meat. I pair it with high-fiber beans and veggies for a delicious Mexican meal made in the slow cooker.
- 2 lbs boneless pork loin
- 1 medium onion diced
- 3 carrots diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 chipotle chile in adobo chopped, plus 2 tbsp adobo sauce
- 2 cans (15.5 oz cans) cannellini beans drained and rinsed
- 1 can (28-oz can) diced tomatoes
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 1½ tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp cayenne
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- corn tortillas
- sliced red onion
- lime wedges
Trim excess fat from pork and cut roast in half crosswise. Combine remaining ingredients, except cilantro, in a 6-qt slow cooker and add pork; cover and cook 5 hr on high or 8 hr on low.
Shred pork with two forks and stir in the cilantro. Serve in corn tortillas with crumbled queso fresco, red onion and lime wedges on the side if desired.
Nutritional analysis is for the filling only and does not include corn tortillas.
Kitchen equipment you'll need for this recipe:
Pin this recipe!
Recipe by Tara Teaspoon
I’ve been in the food publishing business for over 20 years, creating recipes and food styling for magazines, books, television and advertising. Find out more about me!
Recipe by Khalil Hymore. Originally published LHJ Feb 11. Photography Peter Ardito. Food Stylist Susan Ottaviano. Prop Stylist Michelle Wong