Copycat Chipotle Carnitas Recipe


Copycat Chipotle Carnitas Recipe

Save time and money by making this classic restaurant style carnitas the way they do at Chipotle!

Copycat Chipotle Carnitas Recipe
Copycat Chipotle Carnitas Recipe

It is time to break out the slow cooker for Chipotle's Pork Carnitas Copycat recipe and have dinner ready when you get home. This Chipotle carnitas recipe comes out insanely tender and juicy. You can serve this slow cooker carnitas recipe over Mexican rice, in a taco, or even in a fresh salad.

Chipotle recipes like this are absurdly easy to make, but will taste like you slaved away all day to prepare this fiesta in your mouth. Try it out tonight for a pork recipe your family will love! This is one copycat Chipotle recipe you'll want to save. Recreate your favorite burrito bowls from scratch from the comfort of your own home!




  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 5- or 6-pound pork shoulder
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 chipotle chili peppers in adobo (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon beef bouillon
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper


  1. In a large deep skillet, heat oil and brown the pork on all sides until golden brown. Place pork into the slow cooker, cutting into two or three large pieces if necessary to fit in one layer on the bottom of the insert.

  2. Combine all the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and pour over the pork. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

  3. Remove pork from the cooker and shred or chop into bit-size pieces. Chill. Remove the bay leaves and pour juices into a large bowl, cover and chill for 2 hours or overnight.

  4. Skim most of the solidified fat from the juices and pulse briefly in a blender or food processor - some small chunks should remain. Toss the pork with about 1 cup of the juices and reheat. Warm and serve the remaining sauce separately.

  5. Carnitas may be made into burritos or tacos, or used in many other ways.

  6. To serve as burritos, add accompaniments of sliced avocado, chopped cilantro, finely sliced lettuce or cabbage, lime wedges and sour cream.


Chipotle chiles in Adobo are available in small cans in the foreign food section of most grocery stores or in Latinx markets. When using, include some of the thick sauce and chop the chiles into 3 or 4 pieces. Store unused chiles and sauce in a ziptop bag in the freezer for later use. If unavailable, you may use crushed pepper flakes or ground chipotle to flavor the carnitas.

The Founding of Chipotle Mexican Grill

The popular Mexican Chipotle fast food chain was founded by Steve Ells in 1993 in Denver Colorado. Ells had previously studied at the Culinary Institute of America in New York and took his experiences in the Mexican food industry in San Francisco with him to Colorado. Only one month after opening, Ells was already selling over 1,000 burritos a day. Ells, initially, was planning on opening a fine-dining restaurant with the money he’d saved up and raised from the small burrito joint, but after seeing the success of his new Mexican grill, he focused his energies and money on this new venture instead. McDonald’s even made a small investment in the company but later pulled out in the hopes of focusing on its own chain. Chipotle now has over 2,000 locations nationally and internationally in Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, and France. The chain has become quite a success considering its humble origins.

Top it off!

Complete your Chipotle burrito with a little homemade pico de gallo!

What do you order at Chipotle?
Let us know in the comments!

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I love Chipotle, so I can't wait to try these at home. They look so good!

I get this at Chipotle all the time! Can't wait to make it at home.

This is a great alternative to beef tacos. Yum!

Usually I'm all about beef tacos, but these were filling and so tasty.

Yum! I won't be needing Chipotle runs anymore! This recipe was perfect!

I'm not generally a carnitas fan, but this recipe was great. I thoroughly enjoyed my carnitas tacos.

I'm not a pork person, but I LOVE these carnitas. I will definitely be making these regularly.

This recipe is DELICIOUS. And I could definitely make it at home, no problem.

Everyone loves Chipolte. Can't wait to try out this recipe!

Just recently branched out from my usual Chipotle order, tried the carnitas, and fell in love! I can't wait to try this homemade version in my crockpot )

Chipotle is awesome, but sooo expensive! I'd love to make a batch of this to have for lunches all week.

Chipotle=bae. Where I go to school the closest one is 45 minutes away. Now I can make it all the time!

I love Chipotle's pork carnitas, but they are so expensive. So glad this recipe allows me to make them at home for cheaper.


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