Slow Cooker Cochinita Pibil (Shredded Pork)

4.71 stars average

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Cochinita pibil is an authentic Mexican recipe made with pork shoulder which is slowly cooked with citrus and achiote paste until tender and juicy. We suggest serving with warm corn tortillas.

Shredded pork on a plate

Taco night is a frequent occurrence in our house. Whether it’s shrimp tacos, fish tacos or steak tacos, my boys embrace just about anything served in a warm corn tortilla topped with cilantro and onion.

Slow Cooker Cochinita Pibil Ingredients
Slow Cooker Cochinita Pibil Seasoning

To start making the cochinita pibil, simply mix all of the spices, achiote paste and citrus juices in the bottom of the slow cooker insert.

No-Mess Cleaning Tip:

There’s no need to dirty a second bowl to mix the ingredients, simply whisk them together in the slow cooker insert!

Slow Cooker Cochinita Pibil Pork

Once you’ve mixed the spices, paste and citrus juices, rub the marinade carefully all over the pork shoulder. At this time you will top with a little beer for added flavor and bit of acidity.

Slow Cooker Cochinita Pibil Onion

While the slow cooker pork is cooking, I recommend whipping up a batch of pickled red onions.

Slow Cooker Cochinita Pibil Onions

How do you make pickled red onions?

Simply toss thinly shaved red onions with white vinegar or lime juice (or both) and a good pinch of salt. Let sit for 2 hours or up to overnight stirring frequently.

Slow Cooker Cochinita Pibil Meat

Once the pork is fully cooked and tender, gently shred using two forks.

What should I do with the reserved cooking liquid?

There will be a high amount of fat content in the reserved cooking liquid so I suggest refrigerating it overnight then removing the hardened layer of fat that lifts to the top once chilled. You can speed this up by placing it in the freezer. Store the rest of the shredded pork with the reserved cooking liquid.

Slow Cooker Cochinita Pibil Featured

To serve, place the shredded pork on warm corn tortillas and top with cilantro and pickled red onions if you wish.

homemade corn tortillas close up

You can use store-bought corn tortillas but we love making them from scratch. Follow my easy step-by-step guide to making homemade corn tortillas.

How can I freeze the shredded pork?

You can freeze the shredded pork in an air-tight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

How far in advance can I prepare this pork?

This recipe is great for prepping-ahead! It will stay good in the refrigerator for up to four days.

What’s the best type of slow cooker to use?

Slow Cooker Cochinita Pibil Image

What are your favorite taco toppings? I’d love to hear from you!

Liz with Slow Cooker Cochinita Pibil

No forks required.

Slow Cooker Cochinita Pibil Featured

Slow Cooker Cochinita Pibil

4.71 stars average
Cochinita pibil is an authentic Mexican recipe made with pork shoulder which is slowly cooked with citrus and achiote paste until tender and juicy. We suggest serving with warm corn tortillas.
PREP: 15 minutes
COOK: 4 hours
TOTAL: 4 hours 15 minutes



  • 3 pound boneless pork shoulder roast
  • 4 tablespoons achiote paste
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 orange juiced
  • 12 ounces pale ale (such as Dos Equis)

Pickled Red Onions (optional)

  • 1 large red onion – thinly sliced
  • 1 lime juiced
  • kosher salt to taste
  • corn tortillas (pickled red onions and minced cilantro – to serve)


  • In the base of the slow cooker, use a fork to mash together the pork marinade: achiote paste, garlic powder, onion powder, vinegar, salt, pepper and orange juice.
  • Add pork to the slow cooker and rotate with tongs until pork is evenly coated with marinade.
  • Pour in beer and cover with lid.
  • Cook on Low for 8 hours or High for 4 hours.
  • While pork is cooking, prepare the pickled red onions by combining all ingredients in a small bowl and tossing to combine. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Set aside until you’re ready to serve.
  • Remove pork from the slow cooker and let rest until it’s cooled down enough to handle. Use your fingers or two forks to shred pork, removing any large pieces of fat.
  • To remove fat even further from the dish, pour out all of the liquid that is remaining in the slow cooker into a measuring cup with a fat separator. Let the fat come to the top and discard.
  • Add shredded pork back into the slow cooker and pour in the remaining broth that has been separated.
  • Serve pork in corn tortillas and garnish with reserved pickled red onions and minced cilantro.

Last Step:

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Achiote paste can be found at a Mexican grocery store or online at Amazon.
Gloria uses fresh onions and garlic but I prefer to use powder when using the slow cooker as I find it sometimes results in a bitter taste otherwise.


Calories: 214kcalCarbohydrates: 10.7gProtein: 23.5gFat: 8.6gSaturated Fat: 2.9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5.7gCholesterol: 75mgSodium: 843mgFiber: 1.1gSugar: 1.3g
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9 responses to “Slow Cooker Cochinita Pibil (Shredded Pork)”

  1. Ru Bonilla Avatar
    Ru Bonilla

    I appreciate the recipe. But few things off. I’m sure it’s good. Achiote always adds great flavor. But as a native of where this dish was made, I have to mention, where are the banana leaves?? This gives a distinct flavor. First line the pot with them then add pork and achiote. With achiote lemon and orange juice is best. And to slow cook for at least 35 minutes per lb of pork. And don’t get rid of the fat! Unless really counting your calories. But this is pork. Diet already flies out the window in that alone. So might as well take the whole fat portion. And pickled onions please use apple vinegar. No cilantro needed. Habernos please Go ahead though.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Good Morning Ru! This recipe hails from Gloria Velsaco of Aguascalientes. She is an extremely talented cook and was gracious enough to spend 4 days in the kitchen with me a few years ago. I love the banana leaves but she never mentioned that to me and this recipe is a tribute to her and her family. She also uses limes, not lemons but you know I love lemons so thank you for sharing how you make this dish! <3

  2. Laura Avatar

    Hi! If I double the recipe, do I cook it for the same time? Also, do I put the big chunk of meat?

    1. gustavhafen Avatar

      Unfortunately this version is far away from the authentic cochinita from Yucatan. Banana leaves are a must, they provide that unique fragrance and flavor of this dish. Moreover, the pork is marinated with sour orange, but limes, oranges or white vinegar can be used. Definitely not beer.

  3. Martha Vveros Avatar
    Martha Vveros

    Good recipe. As a Mexican woman I added a couple of bay leaves because it’s a tradition from my country and I can say the result was so tasty.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Sounds delicious!

  4. Lisa Avatar

    I finally made this today after having it bookmarked forever. Why did I wait so long?! It was delightful. I’ve only ever had the “authentic” style to compare it to and WOW. This hit the spot. The pickled onions are must, don’t skip them!

  5. Twila Pickrell Avatar
    Twila Pickrell

    Will this recipe also work in an Instant Pot by pressuring for 60 minutes with natural release?

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Yes that should work well but I don’t use an pressure cooker much so I cant tell you for sure!