Don't let the name fool you. These Pork Carnitas Enchiladas are pretty easy to make. The trick is cooking the pork in a slow cooker. It's easy, and the meat comes out moist and flavorful.
This meal looks look like you put a ton of time and effort into dinner… when I really didn't 😉
These pork carnitas enchiladas are an easy win. You cook the pork in a crockpot with onion, jalapenos, garlic, orange juice, and a few spices. It's simple, and the meat comes out flavorful.
Then you roll up your shredded pork in a tortilla with a little bit of cheese, place it in a baking dish, and top it with your favorite enchilada sauce and, of course, more cheese.
Shredded Carnitas: I have two ways to make carnitas, in a dutch oven and in a slow cooker. I included the recipe for the slow cooker carnitas in the recipe card below.
Enchilada Sauce: You will need about 15oz of enchilada sauce. My favorite sauce is Siete Red Enchilada Sauce.
Flour Tortillas: You will need 8 6-inch flour tortillas or 10 6-inch corn tortillas. Flour tortillas can hold more meat without breaking.
Cheese: I like to use a Mexican cheese blend that includes monterey jack, queso, asadero, and cheddar.
🥗 How to make Carnitas
I have two recipes for making carnitas:
Dutch Oven: It takes about 3 hours. Add all the ingredients to a Dutch oven, then bake in the oven for a couple of hours. You can then crisp the carnitas in a skillet.
Slow Cooker: (the recipe in the recipe card below) This takes 4-8 hours. You add all the ingredients into a slow cooker, then once the meat is done, broil it in the oven until it gets crispy.
🔪 How to Make Pork Carnitas Enchiladas
1. Prep: Heat oven to 375°F. Spray a 13x9-inch (3-quart) baking dish with cooking spray. Spread ½ cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of the baking dish.
2. Fill the Tortillas: Using a slotted spoon, place about ⅓ cup of carnitas down the center of a tortilla. Add 1 tablespoon of shredded cheese. Roll tortillas tightly, and place seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with the other tortillas.
3. Top the Enchiladas: Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the tortillas and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
4. Bake: Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Cheese: I used a Mexican cheese blend, but you can use straight-up Monterey jack cheese, pepper jack cheese, mild cheddar cheese, or queso blanco.
Tortillas: You can substitute corn tortillas for flour tortillas.
Sauces: You can use green enchiladas sauce instead of red.
If you're looking for a beefy enchilada, check out my tex-mex enchiladas. They are just as easy to make and stuffed with shredded beef.
🥡 How to Store
Let any leftovers cool completely, then cover the pan tightly with foil. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.
If you need more suggestions, check out these 13 sides to serve with carnitas.
Corn tortillas are more traditional and more flavorful than flour tortillas, but flour tortillas stay in tack better and absorb the flavors of the meat and enchilada sauce better. It's up to you to decide which one to use. I go back and forth all the time.
This recipe calls for orange juice. I like using store-bought orange juice (like Simply Orange). Fresh orange juice from oranges will taste better, but oranges aren't quite in season yet.
I've tried out a few enchilada sauces, and my favorite is Siete's Red Enchilada Sauce. It's a little spicier, so if your sensitive, don't go for it, but it's so good. The thick and creamy sauce pairs perfectly with these enchiladas. I just love it.
To make carnitas
- 1 ½ lb lean boneless pork loin roast cut into 2-inch chunks
- ½ white onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 jalapeno deseeded*, chopped
- ½ cup orange juice you can juice 2-3 oranges or use orange juice
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder, salt & pepper
To make Enchiladas
- 15 oz enchilada sauce – my favorite is Siete Red Enchilada Sauce
- 8 6- inch flour tortillas
- 1 ½ cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
To make Carnitas
- Add all of the carnitas ingredients to a large slow cooker, and give everything a stir to combine. Cook on low for 5-7 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. The pork is done once it shreds easily with a fork.
- Shred pork with a fork.
To make Enchiladas
- Heat oven to 375°F. Spray a 13x9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- Spread ½ cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of the baking dish.
- Using a slotted spoon, place about ⅓ cup of carnitas down the center of a tortilla. Add 1 tablespoon of shredded cheese. Roll tortillas tightly, and place seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with the other tortillas.
- Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the tortillas and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.