Damn Delicious

Easy Pork Carnitas

Easy Pork Carnitas - Juicy, tender pork carnitas made in 30 min, start to finish! No fuss, no hassle. Serve as tacos or burrito bowls. So easy, so so good.

Juicy, tender pork carnitas made in 30 min, start to finish! No fuss, no hassle. Serve as tacos or burrito bowls. So easy, so so good.

Easy Pork Carnitas - Juicy, tender pork carnitas made in 30 min, start to finish! No fuss, no hassle. Serve as tacos or burrito bowls. So easy, so so good.

We are just about to enter week 3 of our quarantine/stay-at-home order here in Chicago. We’re playing trivia via Zoom, going on all the FaceTimes with friends, and doing taco night with all the fix-ins here.

And I know we all have a bit more time to cook as we’re locked insides our home but hey, I am always down for quick carnitas. Specifically 30 minutes start to finish. No fuss, no hassle.

Now you can serve these in warm tortillas or as burrito bowls – there’s no right or wrong, and it is ALL GOOD. I also know it is hard to find some ingredients right now so please feel free to use any kind of toppings/fix-ins you have on hand – black beans, corn kernels, cherry tomatoes, and/or romaine lettuce (or other types of greens you have handy) will also work beautifully here.

And if you have some ice cold beers on standby, that will also work perfectly as a side.

Easy Pork Carnitas - Juicy, tender pork carnitas made in 30 min, start to finish! No fuss, no hassle. Serve as tacos or burrito bowls. So easy, so so good.

Easy Pork Carnitas

Juicy, tender pork carnitas made in 30 min, start to finish! No fuss, no hassle. Serve as tacos or burrito bowls. So easy, so so good.

15 minutes15 minutes


  • 1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice


  1. Season pork with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
  2. Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add pork, onion, garlic, chili powder and cumin. Cook, stirring often, until pork has browned, about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Stir in orange juice and lime juice, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Cook until reduced, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Serve immediately.

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  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    I was skeptical of this recipe, I didn’t want chewy tough pork tenderloin. It was really good! I think the key was to actually overcrowd my cast iron to let it cook long enough to get the browning effect, without being over done. Yum! 

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    This was SOOOOO easy.  My wife is diabetic so we have to watch the carbs.  I duplicated your photo and put lots of cilantro, avocados, lettuce, lime slices, red onions and I made a simple pico de gallo for the plate.  She only had 2 tortillas but could eat all the rest of the pork and veggies to make a full meal.  The pork wasn’t exactly pork carnitas but it was VERY good for a quick weeknight meal.  I wouldn’t change anything except I would combine the meat, onions and spices in a bowl and let them set for 20-30 minutes ahead of time.  Make sure the pan is HOT or you will have steamed pork instead of crispy edged pork.  Great recipe!  I wish I could upload a photo.

  3. OH MY GOSH!!! SO SO GOOD!! I had a craving for pork tacos but had the craving late. This recipe is perfect for a quick pork taco fix!! Thank you!!

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    I did double the recipe, but followed it exactly and it went for a second night. I reheated it in the pan with a little bit of orange juice and lime juice and let it reduce. I did learn that i needed to let it completely reduce during the pan frying session and add orange juice/lime juice and let that reduce completely too. My family loved it and so did I. My husband even commented that he enjoyed my “cooking”! I love the website and the recipes. Thank you for helping my break my mundane streak.

  5. Rated 4 out of 5

    Flavor was there but the loin was hard to avoid overcooking – not enough fat. I think with a fattier cut of pork this would be even better.

  6. Rated 5 out of 5

    These are so good. My husband was super skeptical of trying this recipe but, we made them again 2 nights later. Now we have used this recipe more times than I can count. We always buy a whole pork loin and cut it into chops. This recipe is great way to fancy up a porkchop and it’s quick and easy. Whole family approved. We’re making this for company tonight and I figured I better give it a review since I’m using it so much. Thanks Chungah!

  7. Rated 5 out of 5

    Amazing way to celebrate Taco Tuesday. Super fresh and delicious tasting carnitas. 

  8. Rated 5 out of 5

    Very good. I cooked the pork in a little water prior to adding all the good stuff just to get it tender. We added refried beans to our tortillas with the pork mixture I will be making this again !

  9. Rated 5 out of 5

    These are easy and delicious! My family loved them. I will definitely be making them again and again.
    Served with Pico De Gallo, guac, and tortillas.

  10. Rated 5 out of 5

    This turned out great.  It did look like the picture.  I browned pork alone in batches then added the onion and garlic.  Continues to brown and then added juices.  Was delicious!

  11. Rated 5 out of 5

    Delicious! Some reviewers mentioned that their carnitas didn’t turn out like the picture. I made sure to use exactly one pound of meat on medium high heat (not too low) in a iron skillet, and they turned out perfectly! Thank you for another great recipe, Chungah!

  12. Could you use ground pork with a similar result?

  13. Rated 5 out of 5

    We’ve made this twice already and can’t wait to have it again! So easy, quick and the whole family loves it! Served with avocado, lettuce, shredded cheese, diced tomatoes and sour cream 

  14. Rated 5 out of 5

    Excellent. A huge hit with the whole family. We served this in tacos with avocado, chopped onion and cilantro, diced mango, crumbed queso fresco, and salsa.

    Mine did come out as pictured: nicely browned. As some other commenters have already said, you need to make sure the pan is really hot. It might help to use a cast-iron pan, but even if you don’t, the oil needs to be very hot before the pork goes in the pan. And then, instead of stirring frequently, let the pork/onion/garlic mixture sit awhile in between stirring, so the meat can brown against the surface of the pan. It might take longer than 8-10 minutes. As the liquid cooks off, stir only occasionally, and scrape browned bits from the pan. It’ll brown.

  15. Rated 5 out of 5

    Quick, easy, and delicious–what more can you ask for. Unlike many commenters, mine came out looking exactly like those pictured here. You just have to use adequate heat to cook off the liquid. This is definitely a keeper and will be made frequently at our house. We served it over romaine with sautéd onions and peppers, corn, black beans and cheese. Wonderful!!

  16. Rated 5 out of 5

    I made this last week with a pork loin I found in my freezwr and pantry staples! This was so damn easy (and delicious!) to make! Can’t wait to make it again!

  17. Rated 5 out of 5

    Holy moly!!! This is a FANTASTIC recipe. I’m currently having my morning coffee and cannot get over how good our dinner was last night! 
    We had this over jasmine rice, pico de gallo, avocado, hot sauce, and sour cream. Just amazing! Thank you for sharing! 

    Side note: The name you picked for your site is seriously so true. Everything Recipe I have made from your site and cookbook (which is a lot!) is DAMN DELICIOUS 

  18. Rated 5 out of 5

    I missed giving you 5 stars in my previous post, for this easy, delicious recipe.

  19. Love this Carnitas recipe! Very easy Ok here is the recipes
    Carnitas; 3-4 lb pork butt or shoulder
    1 orange cut in half
    1 large white onion (I use whatever i have on hand)
    4-6 cloves of garlic smashed
    Juice of one lime
    1/4c. Of red wine vinegar
    3 bay leaves
    1 tablespoon dry oregano
    1 teaspoon cumin (more if you like)
    1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes ( if you like a little heat)
    1 teaspoon black pepper
    1teaspoon sal
    I like to cut my roast into about 3 chunks to help it fit into my pot add all ingredients except salt to pot add enough water to cover meat bring to a boil on stovetop cover pot and place in oven till meat is tender about 2 hours
    Once meat is tender remove meat from juices place on a sheet pan. Place pot over high heat and cook juices down till it thickens into a glaze(about halfway down I remove the orange halves and bay) you’ll probably have about 1cup left sprinkle meat with salt to your own taste pour reduced sauce over meat toss a little and place under broiler till nice and crispy what a delicious meal.

    My husband and I loved this EASY and Delicious Carnitas recipe. Due to the Coronavirus quarantine, I was only missing the cilantro. Which I love immensely. Also it was a little difficult to cut the loin into 1/2″ pieces. Slippery to handle. Maybe put the meat in the freezer for 30 minutes to firm up? Then proceed to cutting? Any way it was an awesome, easy, yummy meal. I have loved making so many of your recipes and look forward to your next one.

  20. Rated 4 out of 5

    As one person already commented, I’m not sure what is pictured here but the actual recipe looks nothing like the picture. Still tasty, but don’t expect it to look like the picture. Looks like an entirely different recipe??

  21. Rated 5 out of 5

    My family really loved these, but mine did not look anything like the pic! I did end up cooking two tenderloins (so probably 1 pound and 1/2) because they were small. Maybe I should have used more spices? Anyway, very yummy and love that I now have another way to cook pork tenderloin. As my youngest says, “I like this kind of chicken.” 🙂 🙂 🙂

  22. Rated 5 out of 5

    This recipe is a really interesting way to use a pork tenderloin cut. I really enjoyed this recipe. I added a little cayenne just because we like it spicier. Thanks!

  23. Rated 5 out of 5

    These are SOO good!! So easy and ! My family loved it! A definite keeper!! We had them with rice and my kids had it in tortillas with guacamole and salsa!!

  24. Rated 5 out of 5

    So good and easy!

  25. Rated 5 out of 5

    Easy, tasty, yummy ! Keeper ! 🙂

  26. Rated 5 out of 5

    Made this last night and guess what? It was Damn Delicious. Thanks for posting it, we’ll save this to our favorites. Be well!

  27. I only have lemon. Would it be okay to sub lemon juice for lime juice?

  28. Rated 5 out of 5

    I made this for lunch today & it was FANTASTIC!  Easy and yummy.   

  29. Rated 5 out of 5

    I had defrosted a pork tenderloin yesterday and came across this recipe today. I had all of the accouterments on hand so thought, “Why not?” I have made carnitas the long, slow way and was afraid this quick method would result in dry, tough meat trying to obtain the nice dark coloring. Boy, was I wrong! These were juicy and tender.  I roasted a poblano chili and added some freshly chopped jalapeño to the final wrap and a squeeze of fresh lime. Awesome!

  30. Rated 5 out of 5

    Wow.. It was damn delicious as usual.. It was so good. Thanks again!