Aldi 5 Ingredient Carnitas Taco Recipe

There are some foods that get better and better the more ingredients you add. Take an omelet, for instance. Sure, it's good with cheese, but how about cheese, onions, ham, tomatoes, pepper, tomatoes, and chives? Even better, right? Imagine perfect fried rice with chicken, pork, egg, peas, carrots, onion, and so on. Then, of course, there's pizza, the maximalist foodie's dream.

In other cases, though, it's important to know when enough is enough. When it comes to the classic street taco, enough is exactly five ingredients. In this case, the said ingredients are all found at your friendly neighborhood Aldi, too, so no need to pound the pavement looking for the right stuff. Chef and food writer Erin Johnson of Probably in the Kitchen loves sourcing carnitas taco ingredients from Aldi because "the packaged pork is well seasoned," but, she adds "if you'd like to kick the flavor up a bit, you can add additional cumin or taco/fajita seasoning to the pork before you put it under the broiler." All those spices are easily found at Aldi, meaning you can easily make your own taco seasoning later.

Now, even though Johnson says that "cilantro and onion are the traditional toppings for carnitas tacos," she adds that "any toppings work! I frequently add radishes and queso fresco." First, however, try this recipe just as it is. In this case, less is more, as in "more flavor". Plus, it's less prep work. Here are the ultra-simple Aldi carnitas tacos you'll love.

Gather your ingredients for Aldi carnitas

This is one of those refreshing recipes where there's nothing the least bit unusual or hard to find on the list. Plus, this is a list that's remarkably short for all the flavor it produces. And, as you have surely figured out by now, you can find all of this stuff at your local Aldi grocery store. To make this ultra-simple meal, you'll need a package of Aldi Carnitas Seasoned Boneless Pork Shoulder, 1 white or yellow onion, 1 bunch of cilantro, 1 package of corn tortillas, and 1 container of Aldi Fresh Cut Salsa. You'll want pork shoulder in particular, as that's what distinguishes carnitas from similar dishes like tacos al pastor.

As for the exact kind of salsa, that's up to you. Feel free to go mild, medium, or spicy with it, depending on how much of a kick you want in the final dish. When it comes to tortillas, there's also a bit of room for improvisation, too. Johnson says "I prefer corn tortillas, but this is a matter of personal preference. Feel free to substitute flour tortillas. I typically get 12 tacos out of this recipe, [but] you only need to heat the number of tortillas you intend to use."

Cook up the pork for these Aldi 5 ingredient carnitas

The easiest way to cook the meat is to put the pork (soon to be called carnitas) in an Instant Pot on high pressure for 25 minutes with 1 cup of water added in. "I opt to cook the carnitas in the Instant Pot because it is the fastest method," says Johnson, "but you can also cook it in a slow cooker or in the oven following the directions on the package." If you have an Instant Pot, Aldi also has a series of Instant Pot kits that could make other meals even easier.

You could even grill or pan cook the pork, as long as you keep the heat low so things stay tender. Do that, and you'll be all good. If you do use an alternate method rather than a pressure cooker or slow cooker, just remember to have some chicken broth or its substitutes on hand for when liquid is called for before the broil.

Chop veggies and shred the carnitas taco meat

While the pork is cooking, finely chop the onion and cilantro. You want these cut into pretty small bits in order to help the flavors mix well in the final stages, so take your time here and work carefully. Remember that you've got plenty of time while the meat is being cooked.

Once the meat is cooked, remove the pork from the cooker or pan and reserve any liquid. Then, shred the pork using forks, tongs, dedicated shredding tools, or whatever works for you. After that's done, spread the meat out on a broiler-safe baking sheet and prepare for assembly. You're almost done!

Assemble your Aldi 5 ingredient carnitas tacos

Pour about a cup of the reserved cooking liquid over the carnitas. If you don't have reserved liquid, perhaps because you went the oven route, then use broth. Put the pan with the pork under the broiler until the pork edges have crisped. This step will take about 10 minutes, though be sure to check on the meat to make sure it doesn't dry out in the process.

While the pork is under the broiler, heat the corn tortillas on a skillet until they warm and pliable. Alternately, you can place them on a pan in the lower rack of your own while the broiler is going.

Once the pork carnitas and tortillas have cooked to your satisfaction, take them out of the oven and pan. Assemble the tacos by filling the tortillas with the carnitas, chopped onion, cilantro, and salsa. Serve and enjoy.

Aldi 5 Ingredient Carnitas Taco Recipe
5 from 110 ratings
Everyone will love these incredibly simple carnitas tacos that use just 5 ingredients from Aldi. Using an Instant Pot helps to make the process even faster.
Prep Time
Cook Time
carnitas tacos
Total time: 45 minutes
  • Aldi Carnitas Seasoned Boneless Pork Shoulder
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 package of corn tortillas
  • 1 container Aldi Fresh Cut Salsa (mild, medium, or hot, based on preference)
  1. Cook carnitas in Instant pot on high pressure for 25 minutes with 1 cup water.
  2. While pork is cooking, finely chop onion and cilantro.
  3. Quick release the pressure cooker or take meat out of the oven. Shred the pork using forks on a broiler-safe baking sheet.
  4. Pour 1 cup of the cooking liquid over the carnitas and then put under the broiler until the pork edges have crisped, which will take approximately 10 minutes.
  5. While the pork is under the broiler, heat the corn tortillas on a skillet until warm and pliable. Alternately, you can warm them in a sheet pan on the bottom rack of your oven, while the broiler is on.
  6. Assemble the tacos by filling the tortillas with the carnitas, chopped onion, cilantro, and salsa.
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