These Slow Cooker Beef Carnitas Bowls are super simple to make with the help of your crockpot. Finish them off with a quick guacamole and a combination of your favorite toppings for a healthy weeknight dinner.
Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time in the kitchen, but some nights I just want a super simple recipe – Especially in the summertime when I’d rather be spending time outdoors and savoring in every second of dry weather that we actually get here in the Pacific Northwest.
This is that recipe: Prep time = 5 minutes.
Slow Cooker Beef Carnitas
This recipe was inspired by my Crockpot Chicken Taco Lettuce Wraps – Probably one of the easiest recipes on this blog and easily the one with the worst photographs #FinallyLearnedToUseACamera
It only takes 5 ingredients to make the slow cooker beef carnitas and there’s no pre-sauteeing before things get thrown into the slow cooker. Flank steak is my meat of choice here – It’s a leaner cut of beef that responds well to cooking low and slow. You’ll be left with tender beef that shreds easily with a fork. Before throwing it in there, we’ll rub it with cumin to really get the flavors running throughout. On the top, we’ll sprinkle some jalapeno and onion, and pour in a jar of salsa.
I’m serving the flank steak over rice and topping it with lots of my favorite ingredients. However, if you’re looking for a lighter option, try serving it up in lettuce wraps.
In my opinion, if you’re going to have toppings, you HAVE to have guacamole! I love this quick version when I’m in a hurry that uses just three ingredients and requires no measuring. All you have to do is scoop out the avocado, squeeze in the juice of a quarter lime, and add a clove of minced garlic. Mash it all together with a fork and you’ve got the yummiest “faux guac” around.
The flank steak will cook in 8 hours on low heat, or 4-5 hours on high heat. I’m loving my new crockpot which allows me to set a timer for cooking, and then just keep the food warm once it’s finished because lately with the crazy Portland traffic, it’s hard for me to work a full-day and make it home in 8 hours. But it’s easy for me to walk in the door and be greeted by the amazing smell of these carnitas! Pretty awesome.
Wine Pairings for Beef Carnitas:
- Look for lighter-bodied, fruit-focused reds like Beaujolais or Grenache.
- Alternatively, a Malbec or Tempranillo will be a bit heavier, but compliment the smoky-spicy flavors in this dish.
Slow Cooker Beef Carnitas Recipe
Slow Cooker Beef Carnitas Bowls
- 1½ lbs flank steak
- 1½ Tablespoons cumin
- 1 jalapeno (seeded and sliced)
- 1 16-ounce jar salsa
- 1 onion (diced)
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 avocado
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1 quarter of a lime (juiced)
- Salt and Pepper
- 2 cups rice
- Cotija cheese (for topping)
- Red cabbage (for topping)
- Jalapeno (for topping)
- Cherry tomatoes (for topping)
- Cilantro (for topping)
- Lime wedges (for serving)
- Rub flank steak with cumin and place in bottom of slow cooker.
- Spread chopped onion and jalapeno over steak. Pour salsa over top.
- Place lid on slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.
- Remove steak from slow cooker and shred with forks. Place steak in slow cooker and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. Using a spoon, scoop the avocado into a medium bowl. Combine with the lime juice, cilantro, and garlic. Using a fork, mash the ingredients until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Near the end of the cooking time, cook the two cups of rice according to the package directions (Bring the rice and 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium pot with a lid in place, as soon as it reaches a boil, reduced the heat to low and let simmer for 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving).
- Spread steak on top of rice and add desired toppings.
19 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Beef Carnitas Bowls”
Pinning it! This looks delicious, Erin!
Oooh, this sounds so delicious! I bet slow cooking makes the steak extra soft and flavorful!
This is seriously calling my name in a serious way. I love how easy the prep is! I will definitely be making this during the summer!
I totally agree Amanda – I love low-prep meals!
Bowls like this are definitely my go-to easy weeknight dinner. So tasty, fresh and easy!
I agree Erin – I love bowls for weeknight dinners! Especially the fact that they’re totally customizable.
Ohh those look dreamy. And as much as we’re die hard grilling and smoking fans, I can’t lie, there are so many days I just want dinner to be ready at 6pm without me doing anything but setting the table. This sounds awesome. Go crock pots!!!
Crock pots rock 🙂
Thumbs up for not having to saute the meat ahead of time! That, in my mind, defeats the purpose of the slow cooker – ease. These bowls look phenomenal, and we will have to make them!
I totally agree Catherine – And thank you!
Erin, I am all about simple meals in the summer and this looks great!
Hi Erin, Just discovered your lovely site. This looks amazing. Pinned to try.
Just looking at this is making me hungry! Your pictures are so gorgeous! And I love meals like this…carnitas are just soooo good! I definitely need to try your recipe!
Thanks Michelle – I hope you enjoy!
We had similar ideas on how to make recipes using the salsa! I made slow cooker pork quesadillas! Here’s the recipe: http://pinkonthecheek.com/spicy-dr-pepper-pulled-pork-habanero-salsa/
They look delicious Lauren!