Slow Cooker Chicken Carnitas

These Slow Cooker Chicken Carnitas are sure to be a favorite dinner at your house! A healthy chicken recipe that can be used in so many different ways. Easy to make, perfect for meal prepping and everyone loves it.

We use this flavorful, shredded chicken for chicken quesadillas, on top of salads or just as is for a low carb meal! This crock pot chicken is one of our favorite chicken recipes to make for parties. Set out all your favorite taco toppings and everyone can serve themselves!

These Slow Cooker Crispy Chicken Carnitas are perfect for a healthy dinner!

Slow Cooker Chicken Carnitas Recipe

These Slow Cooker Chicken Carnitas are one of our favorite crock pot chicken recipes. Not only are they super easy to make and so delicious, but you can use them in a variety of ways.

Our boys love making wraps, tacos, rice bowls or nachos with this flavorful shredded chicken. It’s a great way to meal prep chicken for the week to have on hand for easy meals. We even love adding it to salads!

So to sum this crock pot chicken recipe up, it’s mega tasty, takes just 5 minutes of prep and it’ll feed your family all week long.

Slow Cooker Crispy Chicken Carnitas will be the hit for dinner on taco night!

How To Make Slow Cooker Chicken Carnitas

Add 3 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts to a slow cooker along with orange slices, apple juice and seasonings. If you’re short on time you can set the slow cooker to high, or if you have more time, set it to the low setting for 6 hours.

Slow Cooker Crispy Chicken Carnitas seasoned.

When the chicken is done, remove it from the slow cooker and shred it with two forks. Add it back to the slow cooker and toss with the juices. Cook the chicken, uncovered, for another 30 minutes to infuse the flavor of the juice into the chicken.

Slow Cooker Crispy Chicken Carnitas shredded in juice.

Preheat the broiler. Remove the chicken from the slow cooker, draining off as much of the juice as you can. We even like to place the chicken on a paper towel lined board to help dry the chicken.

Spray a sheet pan with an oil-based cooking spray or drizzle the pan with oil. Add the chicken to the pan in a single layer and then drizzle with more oil on top.

Broil the chicken for 5-7 minutes until the edges get crispy and brown. You can skip this step if you’re short on time but it really adds a delicious flavor and texture to the chicken.

There’s no cooking in lard here which is traditional for a carnitas recipe – I’m definitely not opposed to that – just wanted to keep this a lighter option for more regular eating.

Slow Cooker Crispy Chicken Carnitas broiled and ready to serve!

Ways To Use These Chicken Carnitas

Cheesy chips are a favorite after dinner snack for both our boys. Sometimes with beans and chicken or meat, sometimes just plain chips and cheese. They could eat plate after plate.

And now that we’ve made these Slow Cooker Chicken Carnitas, it’s become a staple bowl in the fridge, too. You can wrap it up with rice and beans and make a burrito, pile it in crispy taco shells with lettuce and cheese and guacamole, or add it on top of a homemade pizza.

This flavorful, slow cooker chicken is really good on just about anything – and even on it’s own. If you’re looking for a low carb meal, add this chicken to a low carb wrap or in a cauliflower rice bowl!

Pile it on nachos or stuff it into your taco shells and load up all the toppings you can think of.

Then when the kids are ready for the “second” dinner they can get back in the fridge and feed themselves. It is fun to see what kind of creations they come up with…or just to see them eating the chicken right from the bowl!

Slow Cooker Crispy Chicken Carnitas can be served with all your favorite toppings!

How Long Does This Slow Cooker Chicken Last In The Fridge?

If it’s not gone before 4 days, we recommend transferring the chicken to the freezer at that point. Simple place the chicken in a resealable freezer bag and freeze for another easy meal.

If you can try to freeze the chicken flat in the bag, it makes for easier defrosting, and also allows you to pull out as much chicken as you need.

Reheat the chicken on the stove top in a skillet with a touch of oil to crisp it up again. Or microwave it just until it’s warmed through.

Looking For More Slow Cooker Recipes?

Slow Cooker Crispy Chicken Carnitas can be served with all your favorite toppings!

Slow Cooker Chicken Carnitas

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 hours
  • Total Time: 6 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x

These Slow Cooker Chicken Carnitas are sure to be a favorite dinner at your house! Use this chicken for tacos or nachos or just serve over rice!



  • 1/3 cup apple juice
  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large navel orange, half sliced and half reserved
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Flour or corn tortillas for serving


  1. Pour the apple juice in the bottom of a slow cooker. Add the chicken and season with the oregano, garlic powder, salt, pepper and bay leaves.
  2. Place the orange slices on top, then squeeze the other half of the orange over the chicken. Cook high for 3-4 hours, or low for 6.
  3. Shred chicken and place back in slow cooker, tossing in the juices, and then cook on high for 30 minutes. This infuses more of the flavor from the juices into the chicken, but if you’re short on time, you can move right to the broiler.
  4. Remove the chicken from the juice, draining off as much as possible. Spray a sheet pan with an oil-based cooking spray and then add the chicken in a single layer.
  5. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, toss, then place under the broiler for 5-7 minutes until slightly browned and crispy. Add to a serving bowl or platter and toss with some of the juice from the slow cooker.
  6. Serve in tortillas, taco shells or over rice.
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

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5 Responses
    1. Dan

      Thanks so much for checking in Isabel. Chicken Carnitas are a whole thing if you actually Google it. Carnitas is used in this way more as a method of cooking the meat and it’s very delicious. But if you prefer not to use the free recipe provided here that is your choice!

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