How to make carnitas – easy and simple with Mesa de Vida

This is our easy, healthier, stovetop method for cooking amazingly flavorful and tender carnitas in about 1-1/2 hours. You can make incredible carnitas without all of the work, that is Whole30 and Paleo friendly, lower in fat, and low in sodium, using our Smoky Latin Cooking & Seasoning Sauce!

Healthy, easy carnitas recipe

Watch the video below to watch me show you how easy it is to make this incredible carnitas recipe using Mesa de Vida!

*If you love carnitas, you can also try our slow cooker method and copycat Whole30 carnitas salad bowl recipe, here!

How to make Carnitas – Stove top method with Mesa de Vida Smoky Latin Cooking & Seasoning Sauce


  • 1-2 Tb healthy oil/fat of your choice *Optional if using a non-stick pan and if you want to keep this very low in fat
  • 2-1/2-3 lb pork sirloin tip roast cut into 1-1/2" cubes
  • 1 jar Mesa de Vida Smoky Latin Cooking & Seasoning Sauce
  • salt and hot sauce to your own tastes


  • Preheat a Dutch Oven (or heavy-bottomed large skillet or saucepan) over medium-high heat. When hot add oil (if using), swirl to coat.
  • Dry excess liquid from the pork with paper towels.
  • Working in batches, place 1 layer (do not crowd the pan) of pork in the pan; cook until golden brown and each piece releases easily when you flip it; if it does not release easily wait a little bit longer until a golden brown crispy crust forms. Turn and cook on the other side. Remove the crisped up pork pieces to a bowl, then proceed with the remaining pork until all pieces are golden brown.
  • Turn the heat down to low. Add all of the pork back into the pan, along with any accumulated juices. Pour in the jar of Mesa de Vida Smoky Latin Cooking & Seasoning sauce, salt and any hot sauce to taste. Toss to coat.
  • Cover and cook on low for 30 minutes. Stir, and add a bit of water if the pan has dried out too much (if your pan is very large, if your burner is extremely hot, or if your lid doesn't fit tight this could happen). Cover and cook for 30 more minutes.
  • Remove the lid and turn the heat up to medium-high/high. Cook for a few extra minutes until most of the liquid has cooked off and concentrated, and a little bit of a golden brown crust forms on the bottom of the pan.
  • Remove from the heat and cover. Let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Serve in tacos with your favorite toppings, in a carnitas bowl, in burritos or enchiladas, or any way you like! Enjoy!

Buy Mesa de Vida Carnitas Simmer Sauce below!

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