Skip to Content

Easy Air Fryer Carnitas Recipe

These Air Fryer Carnitas are so easy to make and full of flavor! Serve with mexican rice and your favorite mexican sides for a great meal!

What are carnitas?

Carnitas are a Mexican dish made of pork that has been slow cooked until it is very tender. The pork is then shredded and typically served with tortillas, rice, and beans. This easy air fryer pork carnitas recipe uses shredded pork for this classic mexican dish!

Why make them in the air fryer?

Cooking carnitas in the air fryer results in crispy, delicious carnitas that are full of flavor. Plus, it is a much quicker and easier method than slow cooking them in the oven or on the stove. You can use a boneless pork shoulder / pork tenderloin for the chunks of pork in the warm corn tortillas.

How do you make air fryer carnitas?

Simply season some pork shoulder with spices, then cook it in the air fryer until it is very tender. Once it is cooked, shred the pork and enjoy! These juicy pork carnitas can be the best part of taco tuesday. The cook time for this pork recipe is quick in the air fryer basket!

What do you serve with air fryer carnitas?

There are so many delicious ways to enjoy air fryer carnitas! Here are a few of our favorites:

-Tacos: Serve the carnitas on soft or hard taco shells and top with your favorite toppings.

-Burritos: Fill a tortilla with carnitas, rice, beans, and salsa for a hearty burrito.

-Nachos: Load up some tortilla chips with carnitas, cheese, and all your favorite nacho toppings.

-salad: top a bed of greens with carnitas, avocado, black beans, and tomatoes for a filling and healthy salad.

-Soup: Add carnitas to your favorite soup recipe for a boost of flavor and protein.

No matter how you enjoy them, we know you will love these air fryer carnitas! They are:


-Full of flavor

-Perfect for a quick and easy meal

-Versatile and delicious

-Sure to please the whole family!

What ingredients do you need for these Air Fryer Carnitas?

⁃ 2lb pork shoulder/butt

⁃ 1 orange, juice

⁃ 1/4 bunch of cilantro, diced

⁃ 3 tablespoons oil

⁃ 1 jalapeño, fresh and diced

⁃ 4 tablespoons taco seasoning

⁃ 1 teaspoon salt

⁃ 1 teaspoon pepper

⁃ 12 yellow corn tortillas

⁃ 1 purple onion diced

You won’t need any chili powder, black pepper, garlic powder, chicken broth or onion powder for this crispy carnitas recipe.

How do you store the leftovers for Air Fryer Carnitas?

If you have any carnitas leftover, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. When you’re ready to enjoy them again, simply reheat in the air fryer or oven until warmed through. There are many different recipes for carnitas meat but this cooking process does not take much time.

These tender meat carnitas tacos take a fraction of the time that regular carnitas do. The citrus juices make this easy recipe great for air frying. I personally love this authentic carnitas recipe with a little extra sour cream! It’s the real deal, it has the perfect meat and quicker than making it on stove top.

Can I make these carnitas ahead of time?

Absolutely! These carnitas are actually even better when made ahead of time and allowed to sit in the fridge for a day or two. The flavors will have time to meld together and the carnitas will be even more tender and delicious.

I personally have a ninja foodi and it’s a great recipe for flour tortillas too! My family personally loves the burrito bowls with some pico de gallo on the top.

What are some other great and easy Mexican inspired dishes to try?

Where can you serve these Air fryer carnitas?

These carnitas are perfect for serving at:

-Taco nights

-Cinco de Mayo celebrations

-Mexican themed potlucks or parties

-Anytime you’re in the mood for some delicious Mexican food!

We hope you enjoy these air fryer carnitas as much as we do! If you try them, be sure to let us know how it goes by leaving a rating and review below. Happy cooking!

Easy Air Fryer Carnitas Recipe
Yield: 6-8 servings

Easy Air Fryer Carnitas Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

These air fryer carnitas are bursting with amazing flavor and are so great for taco tuesdays!


  • ⁃ 2lb pork shoulder/butt
  • ⁃ 1 orange, juice
  • ⁃ 1/4 bunch of cilantro, diced
  • ⁃ 3 tablespoons oil
  • ⁃ 1 jalapeño, fresh and diced
  • ⁃ 4 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • ⁃ 1 teaspoon salt
  • ⁃ 1 teaspoon pepper
  • ⁃ 12 yellow corn tortillas
  • ⁃ 1 purple onion diced


  1. In a mixing bowl add the pork and the spices (2 tablespoons taco seasoning). Top with the oil, juice from the orange, jalapeño, and cilantro. Mix and add pork and mixture to a storage bag. Place in the fridge overnight or for 6 hours.
  2. Create a foil catch tray for the air fryer basket and add the pork shoulder. Pour over the remaining marinade and cook at 350°f for 45 minutes. Turn the pork at 30 minutes.
  3. Remove the pork and shred the meat. Add the remaining taco seasoning and mix.
  4. Dice the onion. Warm the tortillas and load with the pork, onion, and cilantro.
  5. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 654Total Fat 41gSaturated Fat 13gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 25gCholesterol 136mgSodium 889mgCarbohydrates 31gFiber 4gSugar 5gProtein 39g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Pin it for later!

If you enjoyed this recipe be sure to check out my Instagram Page for the latest posts!

Before you go, check out these great posts!

Easy Air Fryer Pretzel Dogs

Air Fryer Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Easy Air Fryer Hawaiian Pizza – Quick Lunch Meals

Easy and Healthy Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks

Skip to Recipe