Carnitas Tacos with Apple Salsa and Chipotle Crema

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This recipe brought to you by the combination of pork, apples, and chipotle. You are correct, there is nothing better.

Uffda.  Long name on this guy.  Sorry, dudes, it was necessary.  There is no other way to describe the deliciousness that lives within this corn tortilla.

Whoever invented the taco was a genius.  If someone told me to pick one food to eat for the rest of my life, it would be tacos.  Definitely.  It is the perfect combination of meat, veggies, spice, creaminess, crunch, and soft.  All wrapped in a tortilla.  Someone was thinking when they invented this.  It is basically a sandwich, perfected.  And healthy!  For the wedding diet…obviously.

For the record, the USA worked very hard to ruin the taco.  Too many people believe that a taco is salty ground beef, tomatoes, refried beans, sour cream, and a hard shell that disintegrates the second you bite into it.  This is not a taco.  This is a hot mess.  On the bright side, there are many people now working to resurrect the taco in all of its beautiful glory.

This taco in particular was inspired.  Pork and apple is a classic combination.  So is pork and chipotle.  Combining all three is pure magic, sweet and spicy and crunchy and soft and oh my god just go make it.  This is the perfect combination of healthy, summery fare, and comforting pulled pork.  If someone asked me to describe my “culinary style”, comfort food with a twist would be the words and this would be the perfect dish to exemplify that theme.

This dish has three distinct components.  Thus, three different recipes are below.  As far as cooking order, get the carnitas cooking a crock pot first.  While it cooks, prepare the salsa and crema.  You want both of these components to set for at least a couple hours before serving.

Pork Carnitas

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  • 5 lb pork butt/shoulder
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 T cumin
  • 1 T smoked paprika
  • 1 T coriander
  • 1 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 T oregano
  • 1 T ancho pepper
  • 2 jalepenos, rough chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, rough chopped
  • 1 cup chopped pineapple
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 cloves garlic


This is almost the same as my previous Carnitas recipe, with just the addition of pineapple and a slightly different spice rub.  Take the pork butt (which is actually pork shoulder, and is sometimes labelled thus at the store) and rub it generously with salt and pepper.  Combine all other spices in a bowl. Massage the spice mix into the pork, making sure to get into all the cracks and crevices.  Really give that pork butt a rub.  Hey-o!  🙂

Put the pork butt into your slow cooker/ crock pot with the fat cap on top.  Put the jalepeno, onion, garlic, and pineapple right on top of of the fat cap.  Top with a little bit more oregano, if desired.

Cook on low for 10 hours, or high for 6 hours.  When it is done, remove from the slow cooker and shred the meat in a large pan.  Pour the shredded meat and all the juices from the crock pot into a large skillet and simmer the juices down until ready to serve.

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Apple Salsa

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  • 2 apples (choose a sweeter cooking variety)
  • 1 jalepeno pepper
  • 1 anaheim pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 inch ginger
  • salt and pepper


Finely dice the apples.  Juice both limes toss with the apples in a large bowl.  Remove the seeds and membrane from the jalepeno and anaheim peppers.  Dice finely and add to the bowl.  Mince the garlic and ginger, and dice the onion.  Chop the cilantro.  Add everything to the same bowl, along with salt and pepper to taste.  Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.

Chipotle Crema

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  • 1 cup half and half ( I used low fat)
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup sour cream ( I used low fat)
  • 6 chipotle peppers in adobo
  • salt (to taste)


Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender (I used my Ninja blender, which is my all time favorite kitchen appliance).  Cover and refrigerate for at least 4-6 hours before serving, to let the ingredients combine.

Put it all together! 

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  • Carnitas
  • Apple Salsa
  • Chipotle Crema
  • Corn Tortillas
  • Red Cabbage


Heat the tortillas through in a skillet.  Use a slotted spoon to put carnitas on top of the tortillas.  Top with salsa, crema, and chopped red cabbage.  Devour immediately.



  1. Pingback: The WordPress Cooking Challenge! | Healthy in All Hues
  2. lpmendoza · August 28, 2015

    Hi Amanda! I wanted to thank you for posting this fabulous recipe for carnitas tacos with apple salsa and chipotle crema. It looks absolutely fabulous and I can’t wait to cook it in my own kitchen! This week I am sharing my new cooking challenge, “The WordPress Cooking Challenge” in which I will be testing out recipes from different food blogs and sharing my experiences cooking the dishes with everyone. I will then be linking back to your blog so readers can find the original recipe. I hope you enjoy reading my journey and join in on the challenge too! You can read more about the challenge here: Have a great day! 🙂


  3. Pingback: WordPress Cooking Challenge #4: Mama Maravilla’s Cauliflower Pancakes | Healthy in All Hues
  4. Pingback: WordPress Cooking Challenge #5: Clash of Pans’ Carnitas Tacos with Apple Salsa and Chipotle Crema | Healthy in All Hues

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