“Not only does this recipe feature the most delicious set-it-and-forget-it slow cooker carnitas, but it also has the simplest way to get a perfectly baked, caramel-y, melty sweet potato. All components of this recipe put together–crispy carnitas, caramelized sweet potato, cool and creamy guacamole–such a perfect balance! Remember, crisping up the carnitas in a pan is NOT optional because it transforms the flavor and brings them to life.” – Pooja Parikh
Baked Sweet Potatoes with Slow Cooker Carnitas and Lazy Guacamole
Prep: 30 min
Cook: 9 hrs, 15 min
- 2-3 lb Pork Shoulder
- 2 tsp Sea Salt
- 2 tsp dried Oregano
- 1 whole Onion, chopped
- 4-5 cloves Garlic, minced
- 2-3 whole Bay Leaf
- 2 Tbsp Lime Juice or juice of 1 whole lime
- 1 1/2 cups Orange Juice
- 1 cup free range Chicken Broth
- 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sweets & Guac Ingredients:
- 4 whole Sweet Potato
- 2 whole Avocado
- 3 tsp Lime Juice, or juice of 1/4 lime
- 1 tsp Granulated Garlic
- 1 tsp Sea Salt, or to taste
- 1/2 cup Red Onion, minced
- 1/2 cup Cilantro, chopped
- Combine the first nine ingredients (pork shoulder through chicken broth) in a slow cooker, ensuring the pork’s fat cap is facing up. Cook on low for 9 hours.
- Once 9 hours have passed, carefully lift the lid off the slow cooker and shred the meat with a fork. It should fall apart easily. Additionally, remove the bay leaves from the slow cooker. (At this point, you can transfer the pork into a container and, after it has cooled, store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it. If doing so, only reserve enough liquid from the crock pot to cover the pork in the container; discard the remaining liquid).
- When ready to serve, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup shredded meat per person and distribute evenly throughout the skillet. Leave undisturbed and allow the meat to crisp up on the bottom.
- After a few minutes, sauté the meat to redistribute, then allow to crisp up again. Repeat this process until most of the meat has browned and is crispy to your preference.
Sweet Potatoes Instructions:
- Preheat oven to 450ºF.
- Wash and dry sweet potatoes. Individually wrap each one in foil, then place into the oven for 1 hour.
- Carefully cut open the sweet potatoes, gently smashing them down a little bit to create room for the crispy carnitas goodness.
- To make the lazy guacamole, scoop the flesh out of the avocado, add lime juice, garlic powder, and sea salt, and mash to combine.
- Top sweet potatoes with crispy carnitas, a generous scoop of guacamole, minced red onion, and cilantro.
You could easily cook the carnitas and sweet potatoes ahead of time, then just reheat and assemble them when you’re ready to eat. What to do with leftover carnitas? Crisp them up whenever you want to eat them, then use them to top soups, salads, hashes, or even eat alongside some roasted or sautéed veggies for a delicious meal. They are incredibly versatile and always delicious!
Pooja’s journey with food began with a 2010 auto-inflammatory disease diagnosis that led to a persistent interest in the impact of our foods on the body’s overall health and wellness. Pooja, a proud Indian American, is passionate about sharing her culture in a unique way that follows an anti-inflammatory agenda while also satisfying taste buds everywhere. Pooja says she “enjoys coaxing flavors out of foods with minimal ingredients when possible—lots of flavors, little effort, and balancing flavors with vegetables, not masking them.” Follow Pooja on Instagram, Tiktok, and FoodSocial to join the conversation about the healing power of food and more!