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Instant Pot Beef Carnitas

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Instant Pot Beef Carnitas are a perfect weeknight dinner idea. If your family is like mine, then Taco Tuesday is a weekly occurrence at your house. Wrap it up in a tortilla and garnish with cilantro and sour cream, and yum! Your taste buds will be in heaven!

But let's be honest, tacos can get a little boring, same meat, same toppings, same flavors. Introducing your new go-to dish: Instant Pot Steak Carnitas!

3 tacos on a white plate with a tomato, sliced lime and an Instant Pot in the background

Instant Pot Beef Carnitas will add flair and flavor to Taco Tuesday! It is pure, perfectly spiced, tender meat that just falls apart with your fork.

3 Reasons Why You'll Love Instant Pot Beef Carnitas...

#1: The flavor is mind blowing! Spiced up with onion, pepper, chipotle sauce, Adobo seasoning, oregano, cumin and garlic powder, this is one beef carnitas that packs a whole lot of flavor with just the right amount of heat!

#2: The meat is tender and juicy! Cooking the beef roast in the Instant Pot holds in the moisture and prevents the meat from drying out.

#3: This recipe is super easy and requires minimum work on your part! After the initial 15 minutes of chopping onions and peppers and searing the meat, then just add the remaining ingredients to the Instant Pot, set it and forget it until it's ready to shred and serve.

What is Adobo seasoning?

Adobo seasoning is typically used in Latin or Spanish foods to provide a smoky and earthy depth of flavor.

Although there are numerous variations of Adobo seasoning, it is traditionally made up of paprika, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and oregano.

You can purchase pre-made Adobo seasoning at your local grocery store (found in the Mexican or International food aisle) or you can order it online from retailers.

But, why not try making your own? Simply combine 1/4 cup paprika, 3 tablespoons black pepper, 2 tablespoons onion powder, 2 tablespoons dried oregano, 2 tablespoons ground cumin, and 1 tablespoon garlic powder.

Store in an airtight jar or container in a cool, dry location.

What to Serve with

Carnitas, like most Mexican and Spanish dishes, is typically served with rice and beans. You could give this easy, Instant Pot Refried Beans recipe a try or how about these, delicious Mexican Rice with Stuffed Peppers. 

Want to change things up completely? Then we suggest this fresh and tasty Salsa Verde Mexican Pasta Salad.

Ingredients Needed

  • Beef Roast
  • Bell Pepper
  • Red Onion
  • Chipotle Pepper
  • Adobo Seasoning
  • Oregano
  • Bay Leaf
  • Garlic Powder
  • Cumin
  • Salt
  • Chicken Broth

How to Make

The full directions for this beef carnitas in the Instant Pot recipe are below.

Step #1: On sauté mode, sear meat on both sides, then turn sauté off.

A beef roast being seared in an Instant Pot

Step #2: Combine remaining ingredients in the Instant Pot.

Cooked beef roast, sliced bell pepper, sliced onion and seasonings in an Instant Pot getting ready to make Instant Pot Beef Carnitas

Step #3: Close the lid and turn the valve to sealing position.

A beef roast and ingredients for Instant Pot Beef Carnitas being cooked inside an Instant Pot

Step #4: Next, set to a manual high time for 80 minutes. When the cooking time has finished, allow for a manual pressure release before removing the meat from the pot to shred.

Step #5: Once meat has been shredded, place in a serving dish and combine with juices and seasonings from the pot.

Cooked Instant Pot Beef Carnitas meat on a fork with a pot of Beef Carnitas meat in the background

Serve and enjoy!


If you do not eat all your carnitas right away, you can store any leftover beef carnitas in the refrigerator. Carnita taco meat will store for 2-3 days in the fridge.

Freezing: You can freeze any leftover meat as well. Just place in a freezer bag or airtight container. Freeze for 2-3 months. Then thaw in the fridge overnight.

3 carnitas on corn tortillas garnished with cilantro, and sour cream on a white plate with a lime slice

More Recipes

Love Instant Pot Carnitas? Then you'll have to try these other easy and delicious Instant Pot recipes.

Recipe FAQs

Are carnitas healthy?

Carnitas are a healthy dinner option. But you have to take into consideration if you use a regular tortilla or reach for a lower carb option. All toppings and such come into play on an overall healthy aspect.

How to serve carnitas?

Not sure how to serve up carnitas meat? The sky is the limit. Serve with tortillas, in a rice bowl, stuff in enchiladas, quesadillas, and so much more.

What does carnitas mean?

Carnitas refers to braised meat that is then seasoned and cooked for Mexican dishes like tacos, fajitas, etc.

What kind of meat is carnitas?

You will find that carnitas can be either pork or beef. This is something different to do with chuck roast for a weeknight dinner for the family.

What is the difference between barbacoa and carnitas?

The type of meat and process of cooking is the two stand-out items between barbacoa and carnitas. Barbacoa can be lamb as well, and carnitas is generally broiled in the oven after to help crisp up the meat a bit.

What kind of beef for shredded tacos?

You can use any type of shredded beef. I personally love this beef carnitas recipe to shred and use. Tons of flavor, juicy meat, that compliments flour or corn tortillas.


Yield: 6-8 Servings

Instant Pot Beef Carnitas

carnitas tacos on white plate

This Instant Pot Beef Carnitas recipe is moist, tender and full of flavor! If you've never had beef carnitas, I must tell you, you are missing it. With just a few ingredients, you can make your own carnitas at home! This is a dish worthy of any important or special meal.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes


  1. On sauté mode, sear meat on both sides, then turn sauté off.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in the Instant Pot.
  3. Close the lid and turn the valve to sealing position.
  4. Set to a manual high time for 80 minutes. When the cooking time has finished, allow for a manual pressure release before removing the meat from the pot to shred.
  5. Once meat has been shredded, combine with juices and seasonings from the pot in a serving dish.


Suggestions for your Beef Carnitas:

  • Carnitas are normally eaten in tacos accompanied with sauces but can also be eaten on tostadas, gorditas, cakes, or even on their own.
  • It is best to eat them with freshly made corn flour tortillas but it must be said that eating freshly made tortillas is always a pleasure in life with or without carnitas.


  • Can my dog have Beef Carnitas? Your dog can eat beef carnitas, as long as you avoid giving him the spicy condiments that come from the sauce since his digestive system is very sensitive and some ingredients such as onion and garlic can do him a lot of damage that he could become intoxicated.
  • Can my cat have Beef Carnitas? Your cat would love to eat beef carnitas, but be aware that strong, spicy seasonings like garlic, onion, and hot sauce could hurt her. Just cut them out of his portion and give him his nice piece of meat without sauce.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 721Total Fat 44gSaturated Fat 17gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 21gCholesterol 274mgSodium 1043mgCarbohydrates 6gNet Carbohydrates 0gFiber 1gSugar 3gSugar Alcohols 0gProtein 70g

Did you make this recipe?

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  • Jessica McCoy

    Jessica McCoy is a seasoned food blogger with 14+ years of experience in the industry. As a self-taught home cook, she enjoys creating and finetuning easy recipes that are fool proof and simple for anyone to make. Her expertise is in all things kitchen: cooking tips, air fryer recipes, Instant Pot and other pressure cooking recipes, and slow cooker recipes. Jessica was the previous owner of AllSheCooks, where she focused on easy every day recipes including budget friendly dinner recipes and desserts.

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