I was never really a big Mexican or Tex Mex food fan growing up. I grew up in an Italian family with Jewish roots in New York, so bagels and lox were my tacos, and marinara sauce (or if you’re really legit, gravy) ran through my veins. Little did I know I’d eventually move to San Antonio, and then to Dallas, TX and marry a self proclaimed nacho and taco monster. Needless to say, I warmed up to Mexican food. But by the time I started liking it, it was already too late. I discovered my nightshade issues and it was all out the window from there. Like I said, my husband loves Mexican food, so I had to learn how to make my own versions. That started with a base of an amazing protein made nightshade free… Slow Cooker AIP Carnitas!

I’ve probably only had traditional carnitas at a restaurant maybe once in my life. But that was enough to want to recreate them in an allergy friendly version that I can actually have. Don’t get me wrong, I love simple ground beef on nachos or tacos as well, but carnitas just has so much flavor! And when you’re limited in the fact that you can’t add tons of spice or sugar, to a recipe, ya want some flavor. And these have serious flavor perfect for adding to any taco, nacho, or hash recipe!

What’s Different About These Slow Cooker AIP Carnitas?

It’s made from pasture raised pork shoulder.

Even if I could eat nightshade spices, I’d be way too weirded out to eat conventional pork from a restaurant anymore. Pigs raised in CAFO feed lots have awful, awful lives and are fed absolute junk. I don’t eat a ton of pork, but I hate eating it when I don’t know where it comes from.

Pasture raised pork means that the pigs were fed their natural diet, and had the chance to roam on grass. It’s not always easy to find, but I get pastured pork shoulder from the farmers market when I can, and enjoy every bit of it when I do!

It’s nightshade free and seed spice free… which means it’s not spicy!

For all of you paleo or Whole 30 folks that still eat nightshades, nightshade spices are problematic for lots of folks with autoimmune disease, including myself. I love spicy food too, don’t get me wrong, I just really can’t have it without having a crippling headache and fatigue. I’ve included modifications if needed, but rest assured that this recipe is totally AIP.

Yup, there’s also bone broth.

Because, it’s me. Of course there’s going to be bone broth! Truthfully, you can basically get away without any broth when you’re doing a pork shoulder, because it’s so fatty. But, you could always use a little broth!


Slow Cooker Carnitas (AIP, Paleo & Whole 30)



  • 3 lb pastured pork shoulder, excess fat trimmed
  • 1/2 cup bone broth
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large orange
  • 2 limes
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp dried cilantro
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish
  • (OPTIONAL FOR NON-AIP: 2 tsp black peppers, 1 tsp crushed red pepper)


  1. Combine the cilantro, oregano, and salt (plus other seasoning if using ) to create a dry rub
  2. Rub the seasoning into the pork shoulder, coating it evenly
  3. Push the three garlic cloves into the pork shoulder
  4. Place the shoulder into the slower cooker set to low
  5. Pour the juice of the orange, the juice of the two limes, and the bone broth over the pork shoulder
  6. Add in the two bay leaves and the chopped onion
  7. Cover the roast and cook on low for 8 hours
  8. Remove from the crockpot and shred with two forks
  9. OPTIONAL: Place under the broiler for 5 minutes to crisp before serving

I hope you love this recipe as much as my husband and I do! Throw it in a breakfast hash, top off some nachos, or add it to some tacos, and you’re good to go 🙂

Slow Cooker Carnitas (AIP, Paleo, Whole 30)