Pressure Cooker Green Chile Pork Carnitas
Green chile pork carnitas made in an Instant Pot come out flavorful, moist, and perfectly tender every time, and in minutes, not hours! This Pressure Cooker Green Chile Pork Carnitas recipe is the perfect solution for a speedy family friendly dinner!
Hi there! My name is Jessie Van Slyke and I blog over at Kitschen Cat. My husband and I got a pressure cooker as a wedding present over 2 years ago and it sat in the box for another 6 months before I opened it. I didn’t understand why I needed another large kitchen appliance and on top of that, I was scared that it would somehow explode on me. After reading Barbara’s post on getting started with an electric pressure cooker, the first recipe I made in it was these steel cut oats. After the first bite, I was hooked! My Instapot hasn’t left my counter top since!
Thanks to Barbara for letting me contribute to this fabulous community – I’m honored to be a part of the Pressure Cooking Today Team.
My husband and I live in Austin, TX and pretty much live off of tacos for breakfast, lunch and dinner! The classic ATX lunch taco is sheer perfection and in its’ most pure form consists of a tender shredded meat, some sort of sauce or salsa, and is usually topped with queso fresco, cilantro, and onions. This shredded green chile pork is my go-to when I’m trying to recreate the street taco experience.
It’s a fact that I can eat tacos every day and never tire of them, so I’ll often make up a big batch of this delicious pork and eat on it throughout the week. The pressure cooker does a fantastic job of locking in all the moisture and flavor of the green chile sauce, so what you end up with is a authentic, Austin style carnitas taco!
How to make Green Chile Pork Carnitas in an Instant Pot
An Instant Pot is one of the most popular brands of electric pressure cookers. They are easy to use and your Instant Pot can help you create these delicious Green Chile Pork Carnitas!
Carnitas, literally meaning “little meats”, is known as a cut of braised or roasted pork that is then shredded into small pieces and used in a variety of dishes, from burritos, to tamales, to tacos. For this dish, I chose a pork shoulder because it is almost always reasonably priced and makes the most tender pulled meat after spending some time in the pressure cooker.
There are many different ideas as to how long a pork shoulder should cook in an electric pressure cooker, but I’ve found 55 minutes on high pressure with a natural release is the perfect amount! I also recommend cutting your pork into about 6-8 pieces before cooking.
Green Chile Pork Carnitas Recipe Notes:
What I’ve found with this pressure cooker green chile pork carnitas recipe is that it makes a wonderfully large amount of green chile sauce, so depending on your taste, you may want to reserve some of the sauce from your shredded pork. I like to freeze my extra and then have it on hand for the next time I need some but don’t have the time or ingredients to make it. When I’m in a time crunch, there’s nothing I love more than pulling it out of the freezer and pouring it over some chicken or shredded beef enchiladas, or even using it as a dipping sauce for a cheese quesadilla!
Here’s to fresh ingredients, stress-free meals, and authentic Austin tacos!
Pressure Cooker Green Chile Pork Carnitas
- 2-3 lbs pork shoulder, cut into 6-8 pieces
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 large jalapeño, seeded and stem removed
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and stem removed
- 1 poblano pepper, seeded and stem removed
- 1 lb tomatillos, husks removed and quartered
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 onion, quartered
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 bay leaves
- Tortillas (I prefer a flour/corn hybrid)
- Queso Fresco
- Red onion, diced
- Cilantro, roughly chopped
Rub pork shoulder pieces with salt and pepper then place in pressure cooker and brown in olive oil for 2-3 minutes.
Add in jalapeño, green pepper, poblano, quartered tomatillos, garlic, onion, cumin, oregano, chicken broth, and bay leaves.
Give a quick stir and lock lid, then set to high pressure for 55 minutes.
Do a natural release and then release remaining pressure with a quick release after 10 minutes.
Remove meat from pressure cooker. Use an immersion blender to blend broth with vegetables, or allow broth to cool slightly and add broth with vegetables to blender and puree.
Shred meat with fork and then add back to pressure cooker along with green chile sauce.
Stir to combine and then serve in tortillas topped with crumbled queso fresco, red onion, and cilantro.
So Instacart delivered an 8 lb pork shoulder. I’m thinking that might be okay since I have a graduation party to throw on Friday. Any suggestions on how to do this with an 8 lb pork shoulder? LOL
Hi Richele – I would cut it into approximately 1 lb. pieces, double the other ingredients, and cook it in an 8 quart pressure cooker if you have one. Congratulations to the graduate!
If I prepped this and froze it, could I use the same cooking times?
Hi Bee – I would add an extra 10 minutes when cooking this meal from frozen. Here’s a good post about freezing meals https://tidbits-marci.com/top-15-tips-for-how-to-make-freezer-meals-for-the-instant-pot/ I especially recommend freezing in the pressure cooking pot and reserving the cooking liquid and not freezing it with the other ingredients.
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What do you do with the quartered onion once it’s been cooked? Does it go in the blender too?
Hi Loren – Yes, all of it is blended together. I changed the wording to mix broth with vegetables so it’s less confusing. Enjoy!
Thank you! I made it and it was delicious! I had so much leftover green Chile “sauce” that I used it to make green chicken enchilada “casserole” in the instant pot a couple days later.
That’s a great way to use the leftover sauce. Thanks for sharing!
Could you make this with chicken?
You can make it with chicken, but you’ll need to reduce the cook time. I’ve never made it with chicken before, so I’m not exactly sure on the cook time. Chicken breasts have a much shorter cook time, about 8 minutes but that can even vary depending on the thickness so you’ll want to check the internal temperature and add more time if your breasts are especially thick. Then use a 5 minute natural pressure release and finish with a quick release.
A lot of folks including myself have a standard stove top pressure cooker. It would be nice if you would include the times for a stove top PC.
Hi Lisa – the cook time will be the same in a stove top pressure cooker for short cooking items, but because it cooks at a higher psi, reduce the cook time by 15% on longer cook times. Electric pressure cookers don’t start counting down the time until it reaches pressure, so just bring your stove top pressure cooker to pressure the way you normally would and then set a timer when it’s at pressure.
It’s important to let the pepper/broth liquid cool down before putting it in the blender because steam built up quickly i and exploded the lid off, creating a big green mess. (My fault!)
Thanks for the feedback Janann – I’ve updated the recipe.
I made this last night and it was amazingly simple and delicious! I used NaaN bread instead of pita. There was a tremendous amount of sauce left over after removing the meat so I will just freeze it for other uses. I think I will charbroil the Tomatillos next time as well as I do with salsa Verde. I will be making this again soon! Thank you!
Thanks Tom – glad it was a hit! You can’t go wrong with charbroiling the tomatillos.
OMG! Thanks you!
I was going to make this in the pressure cooker, but then my husband had an evening appt so I did it in the slow cooker instead, because I can time my meal better. (i never know how long it’s going to take my pressure cooker to start the countdown and I had side dishes to prepare as well).
Aside from the method of cooking, I followed the recipe exactly. I make Mexican several times a week, but not pork because it’s not my preference. When we go out to Mexican, my husband always orders carnitas, so I thought I’d try it. It was very good. Not because of my cooking skills, but because of the recipe. I was very proud of the results and the praise I got from my family. Will make again. Thank you.
Thanks for sharing Diana! How long did you cook it in the slow cooker?
About five hours on low, I think. I actually don’t remember now. I looked up someone else’s recipe – anyone’s – to see how long to cook the carnitas, but I came back here to make the actual recipe. All the ingredients and measurements were just right.
This is an excellent recipe! We had a 2-3/4 LB boneless pork shoulder and it worked out perfectly. I charred the 3 peppers for an additional level of flavor. We couldn’t find fresh tomatillos (we live in Maine) and had to use canned Goya tomatillos- a little juicy. The sauce was a bit too juicy but that’s what the sauté function on the instant pot can fix.
Tha flavor was great. Next time I’ll double the amount of cumin & oregano and add 1 tsp of chipotle powder.
Thank you for a great recipe. It went very well with a bottle of Shiner Bock!
Thanks for sharing your tips Michal! Glad it was a hit 🙂
I made this for a family dinner, six adults and 3 kids. I followed the directions exactly and used 4 lbs of pre-trimmed pork from our local Mexican market. The only addition to the recipe I made was to spread the meat onto a lined baking sheet after it finished cooking and stick it under the broiler for 5 minutes to brown up and crisp slightly. I served the chile sauce on the side after I blended it with my immersion blender and allowed it to reduce slightly on saute for a few minutes. We made street tacos as suggested and there was only about 1/2 cup of meat left over after dinner (Everyone loved it!) but enough green chile sauce for me to freeze two containers for later use. This was delicious and I will certainly make it again. I’ll probably add another jalapeno or two as my family likes to bring on the heat. Thanks for the great recipe to break in my Instant Pot! Did I mention how good green chile sauce is with eggs?
Thanks for sharing your great tips Virginia! Glad it was a hit 🙂
How about charring the tomatillos first? Anytime I’ve cooked with them, not too many times, I’ve always blackened them in the broiler for a short time. Will that make a difference here?
Hi Nick – you could char the peppers and tomatillos if you prefer to add another layer of flavor to the dish.
Yes and I would use at least five times the chilis! After all this is called Green Chili?
Thanks for sharing. I tried this last night, but 2 cups of broth sounded like a lot so I left it out and just threw all of my veggies in a blender with about 1/2 cup of water to help it along. Sure enough, the pork had a LOT of liquid left over, which I wound up using to make rice. Whatever works, right!? Pork was very tasty and I’m sure it will be great on tacos once I get around to make some tortillas. I froze the leftovers for another time.
Hi Kay – glad you made it your own and enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing!
Made this yesterday and like above comments, found that there was A LOT of sauce. Other than that, the pork was delish. Not as spicy as I had hoped but still tasty (and I used 2 jalepeno and 2 poblanos, no green pepper) Will definitely be added to the rotation and tinkered with!
Glad you enjoyed it. Definitely change it up to suit your tastes.
Just had this for dinner and it was delicious. I will also try the suggestion of sticking it in the oven after the 55 minutes in the pressure cooker. I also think it was a lot of sauce, but I do not mind it. I did not put the meat in the sauce instead I added only a little bit of sauce to the meat. By the way, my home smelled so good 20 minutes into cooking. I could not believe how fragrant it was. I split the left over sauce into 2 servings. I left one as is and will use it for green chicken enchiladas and I added a bunch of cilantro to the other half. I will be using this, for flavoring a recipe similar to your beans and ham hock. It really adds amazing flavor to beans. I loved this recipe, because I have 2 meals ready to go for the next couple of days. This meat would also work well for a topping to arepas. I had some delicious Arepas in Texas during Fiesta.
Thanks for sharing! Sounds like great ways to use the sauce.
I’ve been looking for a carnitas pressure cooker recipe, but they’re all like this one.
Carnitas are supposed to be crispy. The whole deal on carnitas is braise, drive off the liquid and crisp in the oil that remains.
Maybe they do it different down in Texas but a non-crisped carnitas (carnita?) is a non-starter in California.
Definitely change it up to suit your taste.
Thanks for your California “insight”!
Although I love any slow cooked pork (I’m a BBQ pitmaster), I agree with you, as far as authentic Pork Carnitas. In Mexico, the pork is slow cooked in lard, in a copper pot, and then quickly fried in a hotter temp lard to crisp the outside layer. Delicious! I had already put a large pork butt in my brand new pressure cooker, when I found this recipe. I seasoned, browned, and added onion, garlic, jalapeno, and a mix of chicken/beef broth (old trick for faux pork broth) to the pork in my cooker. Just tasted it, and is delicious. I see some chicken tortilla soup in the future!
Great! Thanks for sharing Rodney 🙂
I live in Austin and never really noticed Austin having a “style” of taco. Where do you go out for tacos? Your description sounds amazing.
And thank you for the recipe. I’ll be making this in my IP for sure.
Made this tonight (just got my instapot recently and it’s only my second meal – made the orange chicken a few days ago) and it was a hit with the whole family! My only issue is with the amount of liquid that the green chile sauce makes. It was way too much to mix the pork back into but we did use some of it for flavor. Any thoughts on what to do with the leftovers? I hate to just throw it out. Thanks for the great recipes and can’t wait to try more!
Do you put the bay leaves in the blender or remove them?
Remove them! 🙂
Hi there thanks for the recipe! Can I just take out the meat after 55 mins then crisp in the oven and blend the sauce then make tacos then drizzle the salsa on separately thanks Iain
Hi Iain – Yes, you can skip the first browning step, pressure cook and then brown the meat at the end in the oven, or I browned it in a skillet in this recipe https://www.pressurecookingtoday.com/pork-carnitas-in-the-pressure-cooker/. Enjoy!
Made this yesterday….my first pressure cooker meal in my new deal of the day pot (thanks for the heads up) it was a big hit! Will definitely be making this again and again!
Hi Lainee – so glad you were able to take advantage of the deal! Thanks for taking the time to let us know how much you liked the recipe.
I made this for dinner tonight. OMG, it was delicious! I served it with my homemade refried beans and homemade tortillas. The house smelled like a Mexican kitchen. I will definitely make this again! . My husband raved about it and will be taking the leftovers for lunch. Thank you for a terrific recipe!
Wow, what a kind review 🙂 Love the idea of serving it with some homemade refried beans!
Made this yesterday for friends. When the pork was finished, I was surprised by the mellow flavors, I expected more of a wow moment when I tested it. Nonetheless, my wow moment came when the taco was assembled. Toasted the corn tortillas, added pork, cilantro, red onion, the queso fresco and a little chulula hot sauce and WOW absolutely amazing, all the flavors came together. One of the kids, turned it into a plate of nachos…hmm, I might try that next. Thank you for sharing!
So glad you liked it, Heidi!
So glad you liked it, Heidi! Thanks for letting us know 🙂
I just got my Instant Pot yesterday afternoon and this afternoon, made this recipe. Oh my gosh. Ya gotta make this. I’m from San Antonio, TX and I know excellent Mexican food. This is easy to make but the tastes are so intense and flavorful. Lots of leftover juice which I froze after using the handheld blender stick to blend it smoother. It’s a must on your list to make. Thank you, Barbara, for the recipe. Can’t wait to try more of your recipes.
Linda – thanks so much for taking the time to write this rave review. I’m so glad you loved it. Jessie was the talent behind this recipe I can’t wait to hear more reviews from other recipes you try. 🙂
would a boneless pork roast work with this recipe ?
Hi Jean – if it’s a boneless pork loin roast, it’s much more lean and isn’t as good a choice, but it will work. You may want to reduce the time though.
You got me. It’s already in the pressure cooker coming up to pressure. Can’t wait!
Thanks – that’s fast. Let us know how you like it 🙂
It was as good as I hoped for! The recipe was definitely pushing a 6 qt Fagor Lux capacity-wise, and to say there is extra sauce is an understatement–I probably have almost 2 quarts!
It’s been filed away to make again. Thanks to both you and Jessie!
So glad you liked it, Bob! I’d love to know how you decide to use your extra sauce 🙂
Those look delicious, Jessie. We’re big Mexican food lovers so I know these would be a popular choice around here.
Thanks so much! 🙂