Chicken Carnitas in a slow cooker topped with cilantro.
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4.31 from 53 votes

Chicken Carnitas Recipe

These Chicken Carnitas are the perfect easy dinner for any night of the week. Seasoned with lime juice, cilantro, and spices, this is a healthy meal option for busy families! Instructions for making them in the slow cooker and the Instant Pot are included below!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 10 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 187kcal
Author: Isabel Eats

Ingredients

For the chicken carnitas

  • 2 1/2-3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 5 tablespoons lime juice, divided (about 3 limes)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, for serving

Instructions

Slow Cooker Instructions

  • Add the chicken, chicken broth, 1 tablespoon lime juice, chili powder, ground cumin, salt, minced garlic and dried oregano to the slow cooker.
  • Mix together with a large spoon, cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  • Transfer chicken to a plate and shred with a fork. Transfer shredded chicken back to the slow cooker and add in remaining 4 tablespoons lime juice and chopped cilantro.
  • Mix everything together, taste and season with more salt as needed.
  • Serve in warm corn tortillas, flour tortillas, paleo tortillas or in lettuce cups with your favorite toppings.

Instant Pot Instructions

  • Add the chicken, chicken broth, 1 tablespoon lime juice, chili powder, ground cumin, salt, minced garlic and dried oregano to the Instant Pot and secure the lid.
  • Turn pressure valve to sealing, select Manual (or Pressure Cook), and pressure cooker on high pressure for 10 minutes.
  • Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes and then open the pressure valve to release any left over pressure.
  • Transfer chicken to a plate and shred with a fork. Transfer shredded chicken back to the Instant Pot and add in remaining 4 tablespoons lime juice and chopped cilantro.
  • Serve in warm corn tortillas, flour tortillas, paleo tortillas or in lettuce cups with your favorite toppings.

Notes

I have theĀ 6-Quart 9-in-1 Duo Plus Instant Pot.
To freeze: Place cooled shredded chicken carnitas in a freezer-safe zip-top bag. Remove as much air as possible and seal.
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Nutrition Facts
Chicken Carnitas Recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 187 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 3g15%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 99mg33%
Sodium 429mg18%
Potassium 59mg2%
Carbohydrates 3g1%
Fiber 0g0%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 21g42%
Vitamin A 7IU0%
Vitamin C 13mg16%
Calcium 13mg1%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 187kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 99mg | Sodium: 429mg | Potassium: 59mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 7IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 2mg