Easy Carnitas Tacos

Ground pork stands in for slow-cooked pork shoulder in this quick skillet-cooked taco filling that includes all the spicy, citrusy flavors of traditional carnitas without all the work.
  • Total Time 35 Minutes
  • Prep Time 30 Minutes
  • Servings 8
  • Ingredients 16


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 package (1 oz) Old El Paso™ original taco seasoning mix
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 package Old El Paso™ Taco Bowls™ soft flour tortillas (8 bowls)
  • 1 cup Old El Paso™ refried beans (from 16-oz can), heated
  • 1/2 cup diced tomato
  • 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Lime wedges


Step 1 In 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add pork and onion; cook 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until pork is no longer pink.

Step 2 Stir in taco seasoning mix, garlic, cumin, cinnamon and oregano; stir in orange juice. Cook over medium heat 1 to 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in lime juice.

Step 3 Meanwhile, heat bowls as directed on package. Spread refried beans in bottoms of bowls. Divide pork mixture among bowls. Top with tomato, queso fresco cheese and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.


1 Serving: Calories 300 (Calories from Fat 140); Total Fat 16g (Saturated Fat 6g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 45mg; Sodium 600mg; Potassium 330mg; Total Carbohydrate 24g (Dietary Fiber 2g); Protein 15g % Daily Value: Vitamin A 4%; Vitamin C 8%; Calcium 10%; Iron 10% Exchanges: 1 1/2 Starch, 1 1/2 Very Lean Meat, 3 Fat Carbohydrate Choices: 1 1/2

Expert Tips

Like it hot? Top with sliced jalapeño chiles or a few drops of hot sauce.

Bottled orange juice is fine to use in this recipe but with lime juice, freshness really makes a difference. So if at all possible, opt for fresh-squeezed lime juice.