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instant pot carnitas

Instant Pot Pork Carnitas Lettuce Wraps with Salsa Fresca

4.27 from 34 votes
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Protein: Pork
Cut: Pork Butt
Diet: Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Keto, Paleo, Whole30
Course: Main Course, Meal Prep
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 pkg ButcherBox Pork Butt, bone-in / bnls

Dry Rub

  • 2 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp avocado oil

Braising Liquid

  • 4 cloves garlic smashed
  • 1 ea jalapeño pepper rough chop
  • 1 ea orange juiced
  • 2 ea limes juiced

Salsa Fresca

  • 3 ea tomatoes seeded, small dice
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp cilantro finely chopped
  • 1 ea jalapeño pepper seeded, small dice - for some heat keep the seeds
  • 2 Tbsp red onion minced
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper

Lettuce Wraps

  • 1 head Bibb lettuce
  • 2 ea avocados sliced
  • salsa fresca


  • Mix dry rub together excluding avocado oil. Pat pork butt dry and cut into 2-3 smaller pieces. Massage rub into pork butt.
  • Set Instant Pot on sauté mode. Once it's hot add avocado oil and sear pork butt pieces for 4 minutes per side. To ensure a good sear, avoid over crowding the pot and sear in 2 batches.
  • Place seared pork on baking sheet and set aside. Add onions, jalapeño peppers and garlic to Instant Pot and sauté for 4 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Deglaze pot with lime juice and orange juice. Scrape the cooked bits off the bottom of the pot.
  • Return pork and any juices in the pan to Instant Pot. Close and pressure cook on high for 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, make slasa fresca. Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate.
  • Preheat oven to 400℉.
  • Once pork has finished pressure cooking, vent Instant Pot. Be careful that steam is hot! Open lid only when all steam has been released.
  • Remove pork butt from Instant Pot with a strainer, reserve the liquid. Place pork on a baking sheet and shred with 2 forks. Place in oven for 10 minutes or until crispy. This step can be omitted if you don't want the carnitas crispy.
  • After removing from the oven (or after shredding if you choose not to skip the oven) toss pork with a ½ cup of reserved liquid. Freeze any extra liquid and use it the next time you braise a pork butt.
  • Serve carnitas on top of lettuce leaf with avocado and salsa fresca. For some added deliciousness add a dollop of sour cream or crumbled cotija cheese!
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