This restaurant style pork carnitas burrito is juicy and tender, drenched in a spicy verde sauce and topped with queso fresco for authentic flavor.Jump to Recipe
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As we’ve mentioned many times before, we love Mexican food. One of our favorite restaurants, Yolanda’s Mexican Café, serves this delicious pork carnitas burrito smothered in salsa verde. It’s the juiciest and most tender wet burrito, with so much freshness and zing from the green sauce. Since it’s Alex’s go-to order, we couldn’t help but recreate this dish at home – with our own unique spin, of course!
Our restaurant style pork carnitas burrito is made of juicy slow cooker carnitas, onion, jalapeno, rice, beans, cheese, and a flavorful spicy verde sauce, all wrapped up in what we think is the perfect burrito shell, a 14-inch Sonoran style flour tortilla. While it takes some prep work to make a carnitas burrito that tastes delicious and authentic like one from a restaurant, this recipe is totally worth the effort.
This burrito gets a lot of its flavor from the marinade in our homemade slow cooker carnitas. Not only does it make the carnitas super tender and zesty, but the leftover juices are reduced and used in two ways – as the base for our homemade spicy verde sauce, and as an added flavor bomb inside the burrito filling. Finding ways to use the byproducts of cooking like this is such a great way to tie the individual components of a dish together and reduce food waste.
Restaurant Style Carnitas Burrito Recipe Ingredients
To make a carnitas burrito that tastes just like it’s from your favorite Mexican restaurant, you’ll want to use flavorful, tender pork carnitas and a delicious sauce. That’s why we recommend making our slow cooker carnitas and spicy verde sauce recipes ahead of time for this restaurant style burrito recipe.
Here’s the full list of ingredients you’ll need to make the best carnitas burrito:
- Avocado oil (or vegetable oil)
- Red onion
- Slow cooker carnitas, plus reserved juices (recipe here)
- Brown rice
- Refried beans
- Shredded Mexican-blend cheese
- 14-inch flour tortillas
- Spicy verde sauce (recipe here)
- Queso fresco
Note: 14-inch flour tortillas can be hard to find, depending on where you live. If there’s a Mexican market in your area, they will likely have this size available (and probably freshly made!). If you can’t find tortillas this big, just make sure to use less filling in each burrito so you can still fold them easily.
How To Make A Delicious Carnitas Burrito
To make a restaurant style carnitas burrito, you’ll need to prepare a few components ahead of time, like the carnitas and spicy verde sauce. Once those ingredients are ready, you’ll simply build the burrito filling on the stove, warm the tortillas, fold the burritos, and then top with sauce and cheese! Easy-peasy.
Here’s how to make a carnitas burrito at home:
- Start by preparing the slow cooker carnitas and spicy verde sauce ahead of time. Make sure to save some of the reduced carnitas juices you’ll use for the verde sauce, and set them aside for adding into the burrito filling.
- Next, make the burrito filling. Sauté diced onion and jalapeno in oil over medium heat until softened, then add the carnitas and cook for just a few minutes to lightly crisp and warm through. Stir in the cooked brown rice and refried beans, then season with juice from half a lime and a splash of the reduced carnitas juices. Finally, stir in the shredded cheese until melted and set aside.
- Finally, warm the tortillas so they become pliable and assemble the burritos. Spoon some of the filling into the center of each tortilla, and roughly shape it into a log. Fold opposite sides of the tortilla in towards the center (on the short sides of the filling “log”), then roll the burrito in the other direction to close, tucking the far side in with your pinky fingers.
- Place the burritos seam-side down on a plate and top with a generous amount of spicy verde sauce. Finish with crumbled queso fresco and serve with a side of rice and beans.
Note: These pork carnitas burritos taste most like the restaurant ones when the verde sauce is freshly made and hot! We recommend making the verde sauce about an hour before you want to eat dinner, so that you can make the burritos while the sauce finishes on the stove and have everything ready at the same time.
Carnitas Burrito Serving Suggestions
Most restaurants serve wet burritos with a side of rice and refried beans. Since you’ll need these ingredients for your burrito filling anyways, plate any extra rice and beans alongside your burrito for serving! You can stir some lime juice and chopped cilantro into the rice to make an easy cilantro lime rice, and top the beans with a bit of the crumbled queso fresco.
Burritos also go great with some freshly made guacamole (try our recipe here!). Add a scoop of guac right on your plate, nestled between the rice and beans, or serve it on the side with tortilla chips. You can also serve these carnitas burritos with chips and salsa, pico de gallo, sour cream, our black bean corn salsa, or any of your other favorite dips!
And of course, don’t forget the margaritas 🙂
Storing & Reheating Leftovers
In case you end up with leftover burritos, you can store them in the fridge and reheat later on for an easy and delicious meal! We recommend storing them without verde sauce or queso fresco on top – they will reheat much better this way. They’ll stay fresh in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
To reheat leftover carnitas burritos, you can either place them in an oven-safe baking dish covered with foil, or wrap them individually in foil, and heat in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 20 to 30 minutes. Then, once they’re warm, top with salsa verde and queso fresco.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Carnitas and verde sauce are the perfect pairing – juicy, zesty, tangy, savory, and a little spicy – that make for a well-balanced, crowd-pleasing dish when served inside a delicious burrito.
This restaurant style carnitas burrito may take a lot of work between prepping the slow cooker carnitas, making a spicy salsa verde from scratch, and putting it all together with care. But there’s nothing better than enjoying every bite of all your hard work around the dinner table with friends and family!
That’s why these carnitas burritos are perfect for dinner parties and celebrations like a Cinco de Mayo feast. You can easily scale the recipe to make a whole batch of burritos at once, while making it extra worth the effort of prepping the pork and verde sauce.
Go ahead and try our restaurant style pork carnitas burrito recipe next time you’re craving a tasty Mexican dinner and don’t forget to rate, comment, and share if you love it. Enjoy!
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Restaurant Style Pork Carnitas Burrito
- 1 tbsp avocado oil or vegetable oil
- ¼ cup red onion diced
- 1 jalapeno diced
- 2 cups slow cooker carnitas approximately 3/4 lbs
- 1 cup brown rice cooked
- ¾ cup refried beans
- ½ lime juiced
- 1 tbsp reduced carnitas juices
- ½ cup Mexican-blend cheese shredded
- 3 14-inch flour tortillas Sonoran style
- 1½ cups spicy verde sauce
- Queso fresco optional garnish
- First, make the burrito filling. Heat avocado oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add diced onion and jalapeno and cook until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Next, add pulled carnitas to the pan and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until carnitas are lightly crisped and warmed through.
- Stir in the rice and beans, then add lime juice and a splash of the reduced carnitas juices (about 1 tablespoon). Stir to combine and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes until warmed through.
- Finally, lower heat and stir in the shredded cheese until melted. Then remove from heat and set aside.
- Next, warm the tortillas in the microwave between two dampened sheets of paper towels, for about 15 seconds per tortilla. Then transfer tortillas to a plate for wrapping the burritos.
- Assemble the burritos. Spoon about a quarter of the filling into the center of each tortilla and shape it into a log. Fold opposite sides of the tortilla in towards the center (on the short sides of the filling "log"), then roll the burrito in the other direction to close, tucking the far side in with your pinky fingers.
- Plate the burritos seam side-down and top with a generous helping of spicy verde sauce. Garnish with queso fresco and serve hot with a side of rice and beans, or chips, salsa, and guacamole!
If you have any questions regarding the information presented in this post, please refer to our Nutrition Disclaimer here.
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