7+ Reasons to Try Carnitas – The Delicious Mexican Dish

Carnitas, a flavorful and versatile Mexican dish made of slow-cooked pork, offers affordability, high protein, and easy preparation, perfect for parties and cultural immersion.

Mexican tacos with carnitas

Carnitas is a widely loved traditional Mexican dish that is popular for a reason! If you have not tried carnitas, you are missing out on your next favorite meal! We have seven facts about carnitas to tempt you into trying this delicious Mexican dish.

Carnitas are a traditional Mexican dish, and the best way to connect with a culture is through its food! There are many reasons to try carnitas! It is a flavorful dish, easy and affordable to make, great party food, and you can serve it in several ways. Carnitas are also rich in protein and iron. 

Read on for seven reasons you must try carnitas, including how easy it is to make, the health benefits of the meal, and the different ways it can be served and eaten.

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7 Reasons Why You Should Try Carnitas

Whether homemade, enjoyed at a restaurant, or bought in a street side taco, carnitas are a truly delicious Mexican dish and an excellent example of the rich flavor in Mexican cooking. 

If you haven’t tried carnitas before, it is time to change that! We have seven reasons to convince you that you must taste this incredible dish as soon as possible. 

Carnitas Are Incredibly Flavorful

Street tacos - with carnitas, red cabbage and queso fresco cheese

If you enjoy complex umami flavors, you need to try carnitas! Very few foods can beat carnitas in taste, as the unique blend of herbs and spices distinguishes it from other popular pork dishes. 

Carnitas is made from slow-cooked pork stewed in its own juices to create a rich and flavorful meat that is tender on the inside but braised and crispy on the outside. This pork is cooked with flavor-packed spices such as cumin, garlic powder, chilly, and dried oregano. 

The result is an unforgettable flavor profile that will keep you and all your guests returning for second helpings!

Carnitas Are Easy To Make

Despite its complex flavor profile, and long cooking time, carnitas is surprisingly easy to make at home and requires only a few ingredients. 

To make carnitas, all you have to do is add pork shoulder to a large pot with lots of spices, put the heat on low, and let it stew all afternoon. When the pork is tender enough that you can easily shred it, you’ll know it is fully cooked. Then, just shred it, and your carnitas is ready to serve!

So, why not try making carnitas the next time you feel like a Mexican dish for dinner but want to stay in? 

Carnitas Are Affordable To Make

Mexican People eating tacos al pastor in Taqueria in Mexico

Not only is carnitas delicious and easy to make, but it is also reasonably affordable! Another reason to try carnitas is that the meal is so easy to fit into your budget. 

Pork shoulder, the main ingredient in carnitas, is one of the cheaper cuts of meat on the market, which makes carnitas a budget-friendly meal option, particularly as it is great for leftovers!

Carnitas Is Very High In Protein

Another benefit of eating carnitas is that they are made of pork, which is very high in protein and iron and essential for building muscle and strength. Pork is also a good source of zinc and vitamin Bs. 

The health benefits of pork, combined with the low-oil cooking method, mean that eating carnitas can be good for your health! Lower-fat alternatives can be made from leaner cuts of pork. 

Carnitas Is A Versatile Dish

Carnitas is a versatile dish, which can be eaten in various ways, depending on which you fancy. 

Carnitas can be eaten as a main, with a side of beans, salad, or rice. Alternatively, it can be incorporated into various traditional Mexican meals, such as a filling in tacos, burritos, nachos, and enchiladas. Leftover carnitas also makes a great sandwich filling!

Carnitas Are Great Party Food

Selective focus on platter Mexican food on served bistro table in cafe interior with homemade Latin cuisine, tex mex tortilla tacos as spicy starter for have bite during unhealthy dinner or lunch

Carnitas are also a great dish to make at a party or any other time you need to feed a hungry crowd!

There are several reasons why carnitas are the perfect food to serve at a party. Firstly, it is easy to make and best made in large batches. Carnitas also keeps well and makes for good leftovers – meaning you can make it before the party and don’t need to worry about waste afterward. 

Lastly, carnitas is a great party food because everyone loves it! Whether in the form of tacos, nachos, or as a main, you’re sure to get plenty of compliments on your hosting if you bring out a carnitas dish at your next dinner. 

Carnitas Is An Authentic Mexican Dish

Lastly, one of the best ways to learn about a culture is to immerse yourself in its food. Thus, eating carnitas is a cultural experience.

Carnitas is a traditional, authentic Mexican dish, and by eating it (whether in a restaurant or at your kitchen table), you can learn more about the culture and food of the country. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Kind Of Meat Is Carnita?

Carnita is made from pork, most traditionally the pork shoulder or butt. Cooks use this area to make carnitas because it has a high-fat content, which keeps the pork tender and juicy during the long cooking process. 

What Is The Difference Between Pulled Pork And Carnitas?

Having read the description, you wonder what the difference between pulled pork and carnitas is. 

These dishes are similar, and carnitas is sometimes considered the Mexican version of pulled pork. Both dishes are both slow-cooked pork dishes. However, carnitas differ from pulled pork in that it is richly flavored with herbs and spices during cooking, while pulled pork is left plain. 

What Is Carnitas Vs. Barbacoa?


Barbacoa is similar to carnitas, as it, too, is a slow-cooked, spicy meat. However, when you look into the two dishes more, their differences become apparent. 

Carnitas is always made of pork. On the other hand, barbacoa is usually made with tougher meat, such as lamb, beef, and goat, to tenderize it. Additionally, carnitas is fried more than barbacoa, giving it a crispy outside which barbacoa lacks. 

Final Thoughts

Carnitas is a deliciously spicy pork dish from Mexico and is an excellent example of an authentic Mexican dish. We recommend that you try carnitas for its flavor, versatility, affordability, health benefits, popularity at a party, and the ease of making it. 

So, now that you know more about carnitas, get out there and try it! You won’t regret it!

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