Recipe: Carnitas Ensalada

Carnitas is one of my favorite Paleo meals, hands down. It’s fatty and succulent, easy to make, and feeds a crowd. Or, if you’re lucky like me, there’s no crowd and you get a ton of amazing leftovers.

I will not lie to you. This is the best carnitas recipe out there. Why? Because it’s easy to make, not too fussy, and yet you get all the crispy, caramelized edges that are the true marks of a great carnitas recipe. Sure, you could slap your pork in a crock-pot, but you won’t get the crispy-crisp. On the other end of that spectrum, I’ve tried recipes that involve boiling then shredding then returning to the oven…no thank you.

So I’m using Melissa Joulwan’s recipe as my jumping off point here. I ate this salad like 37 times last week. Okay, maybe 4. But that’s saying something because I never tired of it. In fact, I’m craving it again already. Excuse me while I drool on myself.

Sturdy spring greens are great with this. If you have access to Organic Girl’s salad greens at your market, I’m really digging their Supergreens blend. Or good ol’ romaine would do just fine. You could also take all of these ingredients and wrap ’em up in butter lettuce leaves for carnitas lettuce wraps. The sky’s the limit. Just be sure to put it in your face.

Carnitas Ensalada

1 lime, juiced

1/2 cup olive oil

1 garlic clove; minced, sprinkled with salt, then smashed with the flat of a knife

salt and pepper, to taste

4 servings salad greens or shredded romaine lettuce (at least 1 cup per person)

1/4 head of red cabbage, finely shredded

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

4 servings carnitas, prepared and shredded (at least 1 cup per person)

2 avocados, sliced

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1) In bottom of large salad bowl, whisk together lime juice, olive oil, garlic, and S&P. Add lettuce greens, cabbage, and cilantro. Toss to combine.

2) If carnitas is leftover, re-warm slightly either on the stove with a small amount of water (like 1/4 cup) or in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between each session, until desired temp is reached.

3) Plate the salad mixture and top each serving with carnitas, 1/2 avocado, and a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds. Serve it up, yo.

Serves 4.



8 Responses to “Recipe: Carnitas Ensalada”

  1. Thanks for sharing! I too love carnitas ensaladas. My first exposure to such a salad was at Chipotle. And I’ve been meaning to find a good recipe for home ever since then. Now, I have one. :)

  2. This looks amazing. Oh wait—it was amazing!

  3. Yummy! Thanks for the recipe!!

  4. I had this for lunch today…so easy and SO tasty! I think it’s the pumpkin seeds that put this dish over the top…I toasted mine for some extra crunch! Delish.

  5. Ok, so I’m headed down the road of eating this 37 times this week too…it’s addicting!

  6. WOOT! Thanks for the shout out to my carnitas recipe. Love that y’all are eating it 37 times a week. YAY!

  7. Thanks for the recipe. I was gonna make the coffee rub steak and eggs this weekend, but this is looking mighty tasty!!!


  1. Easy Summer Salads Series…Carnitas Ensalada – Simply Living Healthy - 07/19/2012

    […] This recipe is adapted from Paleo Periodical. […]

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