These carnitas bowls are our favorite way to eat carnitas pork. They are naturally gluten free without tortillas, you can control the carbs with how much rice you choose and they are so fresh, simple, nutritious and delicious.
This is such a great little recipe! Its just pure goodness and deliciousness all rolled into one little carnitas bowl. A little while back we posted our recipe for Carnitas tacos, but we wanted to give you another way to eat that tender, fall off the bone, flavorful meat. Our carnitas bowls are made with a base of cilantro rice and quinoa, chopped fresh tomatoes, black beans, creamy avocado, homemade spicy salsa, chopped cilantro, a sprinkle of salty cojita cheese and a drizzle of spicy mayo. Good for you and tastes amazing with a little bit of all of that in every single bite!
Of course you can make them with all of these ingredients or just some of them. Make your carnitas bowl just how you like it!
I do love my tacos. Debbie and I both do. Fish tacos, flank steak tacos, and these other carnitas tacos. The only thing is that if you want more than one, it’s easy to start filling up on the tortilla bit and not getting as much of the fillings (a.k.a. the best parts) as you would like.
Served in a bowl, you can add how ever much or little of the rice and more of the fillings and toppings as you like. Debbie and I both like just a little bit of rice and the rest of the bowl filled with the meat, veggies and cheese. The spicy mayo is definitely not a traditional carnitas bowl topping, but I never want to eat a taco or these carnitas bowls without it. Just gives it that extra special spicy and creamy je ne sais quoi…
Of course you don’t have to make your own salsa or spicy mayo for these carnitas bowls. You can use whatever you have, but this fresh salsa is way better than any stuff you will buy in the store and its so dang easy. But this is totally up to you.
Make these carnitas bowls even easier:
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I am dying to show you guys pictures of my new house and kitchen. It is very very close to being done so you have to wait just a little longer. Only some baseboards to paint, backspash to install, lights need to go in, a couple doors to paint… these kinds of things.
We have done an awful lot in the last 4 weeks and we have worked our tails off to get here, but we are pretty happy with the results! I am especially in love with my new gas range. I have never had a gas stove before and I love it already. Instant heat!
Finally cooking in my new kitchen = one happy girl!
Useful Tools to Make Your Carnitas Bowls even Easier
- Enameled Dutch Oven – a pot like this makes this recipe a breeze! So pretty too. And reasonably priced!
- Cream of the Crop Dutch Oven – a lot more money, but great quality, soooooo pretty and it will last you a lifetime!
- Instant Pot – make these carnitas super tender and in record time! See our recipe for instant pot pulled pork and use the ingredients below but with the method from the recipe in the link.
- Tongs – these are a must for pulling hot meat out of the dutch oven
Carnita Rice Bowl
FOR THE CARNITAS
- 1-2 kg pork butt roast (shoulder)
- 2 tbsp salt and pepper each
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 2 tbsp coconut oil or other oil with a high smoke point
- 1 small onion , cut into quarters or eighths
- 5 cloves garlic , smashed
- 1 bottle beer (whatever you have)
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 oranges , juiced
- 2 limes , juiced
- 2 tbsp palm (or brown) sugar
- 1-2 chipotles in adobo sauce
FOR THE FRESH SALSA
- 2 large tomatoes , roughly chopped
- 1 dried Mexican chili , rehydrated in water
- ½ medium onion , roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 handful fresh cilantro chopped
- 1 large lime juiced
- 1 tsp salt
FOR THE SPICY MAYO
- 1/2 cup mayo
- 1 lime , juiced
- 1 tbsp siracha sauce (or other hot sauce)
FOR THE CILANTRO LIME RICE
- 1 1/2 cups white or brown rice
- 2 cups water
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
FOR THE BOWLS
- 1/2 cup cilantro lime rice
- 1/3 cup carnita meat
- 1/2 tomato chopped
- 1/2 avocado , chopped
- 1/8 cup black beans
- 2-3 tbsp fresh salsa
- 2 tbsp cojita cheese or use feta
- 1 tbsp spicy mayo or more drizzled on top
MAKE THE CARNITAS
- Turn your oven on to 350 degrees.Rinse your pork roast quite well and pat dry. Season the roast with salt, pepper and the cumin all over. Be generous with the salt and pepper.
- Get out a big oven proof pot with a lid and put it on med-high heat on the stove. Add the coconut oil, let it get hot, and then brown the roast well on all sides. Turn the heat off.
- Add the onion, garlic, and chipotle pepper to the pot. Pour in the beer, apple cider vinegar and squeeze in the lime and orange juice. You can put in the peel as well, but I found that the lime peel gave a tiny hint of a bitter flavor that I didn’t care for.
- Cover the pot with the lid and slide it in the oven. Cook for 3 hours or until the roast is fall apart tender.
- When its ready, remove the roast from the pot, let it cool for a bit and shred the meat, removing most of the fat at the same time. Place the shredded meat on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Turn your oven on to broil and when its nice and hot, place the tray of meat under the broiler until the meat starts to get crispy and caramelized in some places. If your tray is quite full, you might want to stir the meat a bit so that some other parts can get crispy. Make sure to watch it closely and don't let it burn.Set the meat aside or store in a big container with a lid.
MAKE THE FRESH SALSA
- Place all the ingredients for the salsa in a blender or food processor and whiz it up good till it becomes a thick sauce. Give it a taste and make sure it doesn’t need more salt, lime, or cilantro. Set aside or store in a mason jar or other container.
MAKE THE SPICY MAYO
- Mix the mayo , lime juice and hot sauce in a bowl or shake it in a jar. Add a little more lime if it needs to get a little thinner consistency. I like to keep it in a squeeze bottle so its easy to squirt on the tacos.
MAKE THE CILANTRO LIME RICE
- Bring the water and lime juice to a boil in a medium pot. When its boiling add the rice, cover and turn down the heat to low.
- Cook until the rice is almost cooked but the water is not quite absorbed yet. Add the chopped cilantro and give it a stir. Cover the rice again and cook until the rice absorbs all the water and rice is nice and fluffy.
- Remove from the heat and let it sit covered until you are ready to put the rice bowls together.
ASSEMBLE THE BOWLS
- Chop up the tomatoes, open and drain the black beans, peel and dice your avocado.
- Place your desired amount of rice in a bowl, add some carnitas meat, tomato, black beans and avocado. Pour a few spoonfuls of salsa on top followed by a sprinkle of cheese and cilantro. Finish with a drizzle of spicy mayo on top.Serve!