Carnitas Burrito Bowls & Verde Avocado Sauce

carnitas burrito bowls filled with rice, veggies, sweet corn and avocado verde sauce

Carnitas Burrito Bowls

This delicious pork shoulder takes about 2.5 hours to cook in the oven but will last you for several days.  One protein with lots of options for different meals.

Carnitas are great because you can use them in tacos or make these burrito bowls filled with all types of goodies.  Or even use the pork instead of chicken to make BBQ pork sandwiches or tacos with a vinegar marinated slaw

I originally started out making the carnitas meat for tacos and never really thought to make burrito bowls until I got lucky with our weekly menu plan.  

There was just enough leftover cilantro lime rice, black beans, avocado verde sauce and salsa. 

Basmati rice with cilantro, garlic, lime and agave

So we added in a lot more vegetables to make a super delicious burrito bowl filled with lots of fiber and nutritional goodies.

Assembling the Carnitas Burrito Bowls

Here is where you can get really creative and use up stuff you’ve got in the fridge, especially leftovers.  

Add in a little lettuce and some rice then lots of other options.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Chopped lettuce
  • Cilantro lime rice or Tex-Mex Rice
  • Cooked black beans or Ranchero beans
  • Sweet Corn
  • Red Cabbage
  • Avocado verde sauce (see below for the easy recipe)
  • Red salsa
  • Specialty tomatoes, deseeded and sliced
  • Fresh cilantro leaves
  • Pickled Jalapeños
  • Your favorite hot sauce

Finally, layer the ingredients in a big bowl and then devour!

Carnitas Burrito Bowls

And I love that this recipe for carnitas is cooked in healthier method traditional carnitas since we don’t cook the pork in lard.

It was adapted from an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.  The meat can go a little on the dry side depending how much fat was removed, which is why the fat from the avocado verde sauce really helps.

Avocado Verde Sauce

You absolutely need to make an avocado verde sauce if you’re having pork carnitas!

  • 1 large avocado
  • 2 medium tomatillos, husked and quartered
  • 1 small clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium jalapeño (deseed for a milder version)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • Kosher salt

Add the avocado, tomatillos, garlic and jalapeño to a mini-prep or food processor with a blade. Pulse until pureed.  

Avocado Tomatillo Verde Sauce

Add the cilantro and pulse. Add salt to taste.

When organic jalapeños and tomatillos aren’t in season you can use a jar of Muir Glen organic tomatillos.  

Just mix together 1 cup of the tomatillo sauce, 2 avocados and a handful of cilantro.  

And since the tomatillos come in a large jar, freeze the remaining tomatillo sauce in 1-cup containers to use next time you want to make avocado verde sauce.

Park Shoulder Carnitas

Make Organic Seasoned Salt

The carnitas meat will be cut up, the fat cut off, and then covered in seasoned salt. Use about 1 tablespoon of seasoned salt blend for every pound of meat.  

I like to make my own blend from bulk organic spices.

I also like to add some of the Persian spice sumac to add a little kick and tang, but that is totally optional.

Want More Recipes Like Carnitas Burrito Bowls?

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Seasoned Pork Carnitas | Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free

Pork Carnitas make a great protein that can be used for several different meal options like these burrito bowls, tacos, sandwiches and more!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword carnitas burrito bowl, pork, seasoned pork carnitas
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes
Servings 8


  • 2-3 tbsp seasoned salt
  • 2 tsp sumac (optional)
  • 2-3 lb pork butt
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1 tsp GF liquid smoke
  • 1 medium sweet onion, quartered
  • 2-3 large shallots
  • 5 cloves garlic

Seasoned Salt Blend

  • 4 tbsp kosher salt
  • 4 tbsp organic raw cane sugar
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cornstarch


  1. Mix together the spices to make your seasoned salt blend and store in an airtight container.

  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Rinse the pork butt, which usually comes in several pieces. Remove most of the fat and cut into 2-inch pieces. In a bowl, mix the pork pieces with the seasoned salt (1 tablespoon seasoned salt per pound of pork) and make sure they are all well coated.
  4. Place a roasting grate or baking rack inside a roasting or baking dish. Fill with the water and liquid smoke. Carefully, place the seasoned pork pieces onto the grate. Place the onion quarters and garlic cloves over the meat.
  5. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 1 1/2 hours.
  6. Remove the foil and bake for 1 hour. Let cool enough to handle then shred the pork.

Deana Larkin Evans

You get one life - do your best to ENJOY IT! So hi, I'm Deana. This food blog is all about cooking wholesome real food and developing gluten-free recipes for some of our favorite comfort foods. I had to start eating gluten-free in 2010, then cut dairy and casein (except for the occasional Parmesan) in 2014. We learned A2 casein (goat, sheep and buffalo milk) is easier to digest than the predominate A1 form in cow milk. So we brought back goat milk dairy into our recipes in 2016. Thank goodness, right! So I'm kind of a science nerd, too. In the '90s, I earned an undergrad degree in biochemistry from The University of Texas at Austin. Hook 'em! Then followed up with a PhD in biochemistry and a law degree from the University of Houston. I recently earned a certificate in genomics/sequence analysis from Johns Hopkins University, where I also took a very cool food microbiology course. Currently, I'm learning about the microbiome and gut health. And trying to come up with healthy recipes to feed those gut bugs! #feedthegutbugs

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