Whole30 Slow Cooker Crispy Chicken Carnitas make for a super easy, healthy dinner. They’re full of flavor, making them perfect for a Chipotle copycat Whole30 carnitas bowl!
Carnitas are traditionally made by simmering large chunks of seasoned pork on the stove top then coarsely chopping to achieve the name Carnitas, translated as “little meats,” virtually the same result can be achieved in the slow cooker then broiling the meat once shredded to achieve the crunchy bits. Instead of using pork, I went with my favorite protein source, chicken. Some might call this blasphemy, but I call it easy, smart, healthier, and absolutely delicious. Your family and friends will thank you for making these Whole30 Slow Cooker Crispy Carnitas again and again – think easy burrito bar!
This Healthy Chicken Carnitas Burrito Bowl is so easy to make, inexpensive and perfect for meal prep day. Start off by throwing the chicken along with all of the seasonings and broth into the slow cooker.
For my broth, I chose to use Whole30 approved, Kettle & Fire brand. This post is not sponsored by them, they just happen to be an awesome product I want to share with you guys. Kettle & Fire bone broths are 100% natural and organic and they only use ethically sourced ingredients. This means that they only use 100% pasture raised, humanely treated animals that are never given hormones or antibiotics. There are no artificial flavorings added to their bone broths and their bone broth is an excellent source of protein. Head on over to their site to learn more and find out where you can purchase Kettle & Fire bone broths.
After your chicken has cooked on LOW for 8-10 hours or on HIGH for 5-6 hours and you have it all shredded, its time get those edges nice and crispy! Please don’t skip this step otherwise you just have Slow Cooker Chicken but NOT Chicken Carnitas!
Simply line a large or 2 smaller baking sheets with foil, spread out your shredded chicken and broil for 5 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, toss chicken and drizzle with some of the leftover seasoned slow cooking juices that are bursting with flavor and broil for another 5 minutes. Repeat this process once more. And to finish it off, squeeze fresh lime juice over the chicken for an extra dose of tasty!
You can either store chicken in the fridge for meals throughout the week or wrap some in a warm tortilla smothered with your favorite toppings. I prefer to pile mine high, bowl-style with some of Chipotle’s Famous Guacamole and The Best Damn Salsa Ever!
I hope you guys love this bowl! It’s:
This would make the perfect meal when you’re craving Mexican food, but also something healthy with plenty of staying powder. Each serving is packed with protein! And it’s so easy to customize. If you’re needing more carbs, add rice. Like a little spice, add our family favorite (and most popular recipe on the blog) salsa. Also, if you’re not doing the Whole30, feel free to add a tasty Mexican cheese or sprinkle on some feta. The possibilities are endless.
Plus, leftovers store and pack beautifully, making it ideal for lunches throughout the week. Total win.
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment and don’t forget to tag a photo #kimscravings on Instagram! We’d love to see what you come up with. Enjoy, friends!
Paleo carnitas made from chicken in the Slow Cooker for a super easy Whole30 dinner. They're full of flavor, making them perfect for a Chipotle copycat Whole30 carnitas bowl!
- 4-5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts*
- 2 cups chicken stock, broth or chicken bone broth (I used Kettle & Fire Chicken Bone Broth)
- 3/4 cup fresh orange juice from about 2 oranges
- 1 small red onion , diced
- 4 cloves garlic , peeled and minced
- 1 tablespoon chipotle powder (or 1 chipotle in adobo sauce, minced)
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2-4 fresh limes
- Add the chicken, broth, orange juice, onion, garlic and seasonings to the bowl of a large slow cooker. Gently toss to combine.
- Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours until the chicken is completely tender and shreds easily with a fork.
- Once the chicken is cooked, preheat your broiler to high heat and grease one large baking sheet with cooking spray. Use a fork to shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Then use a slotted spoon to transfer it to the prepared baking sheet, spreading the chicken in an even layer and leaving the juices behind in the slow cooker. (Don’t discard the juices, you will use them later!)
Place baking sheet under the broiler, 2 racks down from the very top, and broil for about 5-6 minutes, or until the edges of the chicken begin browning and crisping up. Remove the sheet from the oven, then ladle about 1/2 cup of the juices from the slow cooker evenly over the chicken, and then give it a good toss with some tongs so that the chicken is evenly coated with the juices. Broil for an additional 5 minutes to get the meat more crispy. Then remove and ladle an additional 1/2 cup of broth over the crispy chicken. Broil for an additional 5 minutes. Then remove sheet from the oven, and toss chicken with the remaining juices. Then drizzle with fresh lime juice from the limes.
- Create a Chipotle copycat carnita bowl or serve in tacos, burritos, or salads. This chicken can also be refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 3 days, or frozen in a sealed container for up to 3 months.
*Instead of chicken breasts, you can use skinless boneless chicken thighs.
Enjoy other Whole30 favorites!
Something to think about….
Have you tried the Whole30? What’s your favorite slow cooker meal?