Mouthwatering pork shoulder carnitas, cooked in the crockpot to tender perfection, makes this carnitas salad meal prep irresistible. Don’t be put off by the cooking time; your slow cooker is doing most of the work here! These salads can be made keto-friendly by leaving off the corn. The combination of pork carnitas, avocado, cheese, and leafy greens makes a delicious and filling meal.
I was first introduced to crockpot pork shoulder carnitas in the dietitian-authored book “Real Food for Pregnancy”. What I’ve done here is take some perfect pork carnitas and incorporate them into a tasty carnitas salad meal prep. This one has me looking forward to lunch!
I’ve mentioned this book on the site before, and I think it is a worthy read, whether you are pregnant or not. What follows is a little tip from the book to elevate the taste of this salad even more.
After cooking the pork carnitas, you will have some delicious fat hanging out at the bottom of the crockpot. You could use 1-2 T of the fat to crisp up your pork shoulder carnitas in a cast-iron skillet if you wish. It’s an incredibly delicious protein option for this salad meal prep!
You’ll typically find pork shoulder sold in much larger pieces than one pound. I had a small piece of pork shoulder leftover after using the rest in a stew recipe. If you have a larger piece, you could cook it all in the crockpot and freeze extra for future meals.
The pork, cheese, and avocado here all provide some moisture and a fatty mouthfeel, making dressing unnecessary. Just give the salad a good stir before eating to distribute the ingredients and get a mixture in each delicious bite. Yum!
Which foods do you find satiating?
If you are here for fat loss recipes, I recommend trying both this carnitas salad and the Spicy Beef and Black Bean Taco Salad. These salads have some common elements, but the beef salad uses lean meat, while this one uses a fattier pork shoulder. Consider investigating whether you experience greater satiety when you choose the fattier cut of meat.
I find there is no difference (for me) between low-fat/lean meat and dairy and their higher fat counterparts. Others report that they do notice a satiety difference between higher fat and lower fat whole foods.
Choosing lean proteins was an easy way for me to cut calories to create the calorie deficit needed for weight loss. Opting for lean protein is also aligned with the current Dietary Guideline recommendations.
Others may find that lean protein is less satiating. If this describes you, choosing lean proteins may mean that you won’t be satisfied between meals and that you’ll ultimately eat more. This could mean a higher calorie intake that leads to weight gain.
It’s important to figure out what sorts of nutrient-rich foods you find satiating. This information will make it much easier to create a healthful diet that supports a fat loss goal.
The dietary pattern that results will vary by individual. I hope that the articles and recipes on this site are helpful as you figure out what may be best for you. (In conjunction with your physician or a registered dietitian, of course.)
And now for the disclaimer…
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The calorie information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don’t sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to this post. Let’s get cooking!
Pork Shoulder Carnitas Salad Recipe (Crockpot)
- 1 lb. pork shoulder
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 8 cups mixed greens (I used 2 bags of Trader Joe's herb salad mix)
- ½ cup salsa (Choose one with no added sugar, no oil)
- 5 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded
- 3.5 ounces drained pickled jalapenos
- 1 cup frozen roasted corn, thawed
- 1 medium avocado, chopped
- 1 lime, juiced
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
- Sprinkle the sliced onion across the bottom of your slow cooker. Place the pork shoulder on top.
- Cook on low for 8 hours. Lift the pork and onions out of the oil at the bottom of the slow cooker. Shred the pork with two forks and mix with the onions.
- Sprinkle the chopped avocado with the lime juice to help prevent browning.
- Distribute the mixed greens evenly between 4 salad containers. Top each with an equal amount of the pork mixture, cheese, avocado, pickled jalapenos, and corn.
- Keep the salsa separate until ready to serve by distributing 2T into a total of 4 dressing cups.
- Garnish each salad with ½T of cilantro.
- Before eating, stir the salad ingredients together, including the salsa. Enjoy!
This is a level 2 recipe (transition or weight maintenance). If you find meals that are higher in fat to be more satiating, this may be a level 1 recipe for you. This is especially true if a meal like this will prevent you from snacking later. Skip the corn if you need a lower carb or keto-friendly meal prep option.
Do you find fattier meats to be more filling than lean proteins? Or are you like me, and you don’t feel that there is a difference in satiety between the two? Tell me about your experience with these foods in the comments below!