Slow Cooker Pork Tacos Are the Lazy Cook’s Dream for Taco Tuesday

You know I love tacos more than anything else.

Vertical image of a row of meat, sour cream, and onions inside three tortillas on a plate, with text on the top and bottom of the image.

Okay, well, almost more than anything else. Guacamole and white wine are up there too, if I’m being honest.

Tacos are one of those delicious dishes that can include just about anything you like wrapped up in those tasty tortillas. I love to eat them in practically every way you can imagine, from meatless or veggie to ones packed with beef, fish, or chicken.

I have never eaten one I didn’t like (except maybe a fast food one, but saying I didn’t like it would be a lie – it simply wasn’t my favorite thing in the world).

This recipe, though… These are the easy-peasy ones that I turn to over and over again when I don’t want to put too much effort into my cooking.

Really, they couldn’t be easier to prepare. You throw a bunch of ingredients in a bowl to whip up a sauce, then you pour said sauce over the roast in the slow cooker.

Vertical image of three flour tortillas filled with meat, sour cream, and onions on a plate next to limes and a bowl of sliced onions on a blue napkin.

This is a foolproof recipe that really makes dinner a breeze, whether it’s your traditional taco night, or simply a busy day when you could use a hearty meal at the end of it, once you finally have a chance to sit down.

The meat cooks all day (you know, that whole set-it-and-forget-it thing) and when you open the lid, the aroma that wafts out is incredible.

You shred the meat right there in the appliance, and then the meat gets mixed into the sauce that was created while it cooked, so it’s packed with flavor.

What sets this meat apart from the salsa + protein recipes commonly made in this particular appliance is the addition of fresh, natural ingredients. When you take a bite, you get a little bit of everything with the juicy pork.

There’s some heat from the poblano peppers, a bit of bite from the red onion, freshness from the cilantro, and a blend of flavorful spices that pull the whole mixture together.

Vertical top-down image of three flour tortillas filled with shredded meat, sour cream, sliced onions, and chopped herbs on a plate on a blue patterned napkin.

All you have to do is fill your favorite type of tortillas with the juicy, tender meat and add whatever toppings you love to enjoy on your tacos.

You’ll stuff at least three of these in your mouth before you even try to speak. Really – this is what happens whenever I eat them, at least. I’m so eager to chow down on all that deliciousness!

My number one tip with this recipe is to make sure you do not use pork loin for the roast. The ideal cuts for preparing with this particular example of long, gentle heat magic are the butt or shoulder of the pig.

You want to choose one a cut that has some marbling to it rather than a portion that is more lean. This makes for the most tender meat in the end.

And of course, no taco is complete without toppings, so let’s return to that topic for a second.

The toppings are what make this dish so special, at least in my mind. You can use up leftover vegetables, your favorite salsas, hot sauce, or whatever makes you the happiest.

Vertical close-up image of three flour tortillas filled with shredded meat, thinly sliced red onions, and sour cream on a plate.

I highly recommend serving this meal with some lime wedges on the side, no matter what other toppings you plan to use. The burst of acid from the lime really livens up the whole dish, adding a bit of brightness to every single bite.

You can make them for Taco Tuesday, but if you are anything like me, you’ll want to make them whenever the mood strikes, regardless of the day of the week. Tacos are life, after all. And nothing beats a recipe that’s as easy to make as this one.

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Horizontal image of two flour tortillas filled with shredded meat and various toppings on plate next to a bowl of herbs and lime wedges.

Slow Cooker Pork Tacos


  • Author: Nikki Cervone
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hours, 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Description

Whether you’re a lazy cook or you feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day, slow cooker pork tacos are an easy Taco Tuesday fix.


Scale

Ingredients

For the Pork:

  • 2 pounds pork roast (butt or shoulder)
  • 2 poblano peppers, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup homemade or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf

For Serving:

  • 8 taco-size flour or corn tortillas, warmed
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Red onion, thinly sliced
  • Lime wedges
  • Salsa or hot sauce (optional)
  • Sour cream (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place pork in slow cooker. Add all of the other ingredients except the bay leaf to a bowl and stir to combine. Pour over pork. Add the bay leaf. Cover and cook for 6-8 hours on High.
  2. Shred the pork with two forks while it’s still in the slow cooker, or transfer to a cutting board to shred. 
  3. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Stir the pork into the sauce in the slow cooker insert.
  4. Wrap tortillas in a damp paper towel and heat in the microwave for 45 seconds, or until warm.
  5. Spoon pork into tortillas. Add toppings as desired and serve.

  • Category: Tacos
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: pork, poblano pepper, slow cooker, taco

Cooking By the Numbers…

Step 1 – Chop Vegetables and Measure Ingredients

When selecting your roast, make sure you choose the butt or shoulder. Do not use loin for this recipe – you want to use something with a higher fat content for the best, most juicy results.

Seed and roughly chop 2 poblano peppers. Mince the garlic.

Horizontal image of assorted chopped fresh ingredients and spices in bowls next to a plate of raw meat.

Dice enough red onion until you have 3/4 cup total, and thinly slice some more for garnish. And don’t forget our tips to avoid any of those painful tears!

Chop enough cilantro leaves until you have 1/4 cup total, plus some more for garnish.

Measure out all of the remaining ingredients as listed on the ingredients list, slice up some lime wedges, and prep any additional toppings as needed.

Step 2 – Cook the Meat

Place the pork shoulder or butt in the slow cooker.

Horizontal image of a raw slab of meat in a bowl covered in various aromatics and chopped vegetables.

Add all of the other ingredients except for the bay leaf, and stir to combine. Pour the mixture over the meat.

Add bay leaf, cover, and cook on High for 6 to 8 hours.

Step 3 – Shred and Serve

Open the lid and check for doneness.

Horizontal image of a cooked slab of meat in juices and cooked peppers and onions.

Use two forks to shred the meat. You can do this right in the bowl of the appliance, or if you are concerned about scratching the insert, you can transfer the meat to a cutting board to shred it instead.

Horizontal image of shredded cooked meat on a white cutting board.

Remove the bay leaf and discard it. Stir the shredded meat in with the sauce remains in the bottom of the insert, which formed while it was cooking.

Horizontal image of shredded cooked meat in a seasoned liquid in a bowl.

Wrap the tortillas in a damp paper towel and heat them up in the microwave for 45 seconds, until warm and pliable.

Serve with your favorite toppings, and lime wedges on the side.

What About the Leftovers?

Sometimes we have leftovers and we just don’t know what to do with them. Thankfully, this shredded pork makes fantastically delicious leftovers that are super versatile.

Horizontal image of two flour tortillas filled with shredded meat and various toppings on plate next to a bowl of herbs and lime wedges.

I love to add it to a cheese quesadilla if I only have a little bit left.

You can also add it to a sandwich, tostadas, burritos, empanadas, and so much more. The flavorful meat brings life to so many recipes.

I’ve even added it to macaroni and cheese. It’s pretty darn fantastic!

For more slow cooker favorites from Foodal, check out these recipes next:

What are your favorite toppings for tacos? Tell us in the comments below. And once you try the recipe, be sure to come back to rate it!

Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on February 17, 2013. Last updated on November 3, 2020.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

About Meghan Yager

Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.

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