Apple Cider Slow Cooker Carnitas with Fresh Apple Salsa

These delicious slow cooker carnitas couldn’t be any easier!  Cider braised pulled-pork is topped with a fresh and crunchy green apple, cucumber and pomegranate salsa.

If you love slow cooker recipes, be sure to check out my Slow Cooker Pinterest board!

Remember how I was getting all motivated about rocking my crockpot with these 19 Healthy Slow Cooker Soups and Stews?

Well I have been dreaming up all sorts of fun slow cooker recipes, and will hopefully be posting one per week for the foreseeable future.  Starting with these fun tacos!

Actually this recipe has been on my ‘list’ forever…since the fall!  It is kind of a ‘fallish’ meal, with the apple cider.  I almost didn’t make it, thinking I should wait until next fall, but that big bottle of apple cider was staring me down from the fridge!  “Use Me, Denise!!”

So I listened to him, and thank-you, Mr. Apple Cider, because now we have these slow cooker carnitas!

Apple Cider Slow Cooker Carnitas with Fresh Apple Salsa

Apple Cider Slow Cooker Carnitas with Fresh Apple Salsa

I love these slow cooker carnitas for a few reasons:

First and foremost, FLAVOR!  That is the most important part, right?  The meat is so tender after braising for 8-10 hours in apple cider, with some brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon and bay leaf.  Falling apart tender, and juicy and flavorful!  A little bit sweet, a little bit tangy, and just a taste of that apple cider goodness.

 The fresh apple salsa is the perfect fresh, crunchy topping: Granny Smith apples, cucumber, jalapeno, red onion, cilantro, and pomegranate arils, tossed in a squeeze of lime.

Secondly: these are SO EASY!  I am not kidding you, they take 5 minutes to get into the crockpot.  The apple salsa takes maybe 10 minutes.  So basically you are getting a super delicious dinner for only 15 minutes of effort!

Apple Cider Slow Cooker Carnitas with Fresh Apple Salsa

Thirdly: the pork cooks for 8-10 hours.  Translation: week-night dinner!

I love looking forward to such fresh, fun food after a long day of work…it is so great to walk in the door to an almost-made dinner that is so fast to make and creates almost no dishes!

This means more play-time and more cuddle time with Kai!

I’m so thrilled with how easy this recipe was, and I’m pumped up to keep rocking the crockpot!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Apple Cider Slow Cooker Carnitas with Fresh Apple Salsa
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dinner
Serves: 4-6
Slow Cooker Cider Carnitas
  • 1.5-2 lb Boneless Pork Shoulder
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp salt
Fresh Apple Salsa
  • 2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced into small cubes (1/2 inch or so)
  • 1 jalapeno, de-seeded (or leave some seeds in if you want it spicy)
  • 2 cups of cucumber, diced into small cubes (1/2 inch or so)
  • ¼ cup pomegranate aryls
  • 2 tbsp torn cilantro leaves
  • 2 tbsp red onion, diced finely
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
To Serve:
  • Tortillas
Slow Cooker Cider Carnitas
  1. Place pork shoulder in bottom of slow cooker.
  2. Whisk together remaining ingredients and pour over the pork.
  3. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
  4. Remove pork from slow cooker and place in a bowl. Using two forks, shred the meat, then toss with ¼ cup (or more) of juices from slow cooker.
Fresh Apple Salsa
  1. Combine all ingredients and toss in lime juice.

Products used in this recipe:

Apple Cider Slow Cooker Carnitas with Fresh Apple Salsa

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