Heart-Healthy Instant Pot Pork Carnitas

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I’m always on the lookout for heart-healthy recipes that are easy to make and yield leftovers…and nutritionist Dana White’s Sweet and Spicy Pork Carnitas recipe, from her Healthy Instant Pot cookbook, really delivers.

It may not be the most appealing photo (because of course I forgot to take a shot of the finished meal) but here’s an off-center pic I took in the early stages of cooking, showing 1 tenderloin cut into 3 pieces, topped with sliced red onion.

This recipe produces a full flavor, meaty, satisfying dinner with only 1 gram of saturated fat per serving.  And plenty of leftovers, even if you cut the recipe in half like I did. A few notes and tips from my experience:

  • I stirred in baby spinach in the last five minutes of cooking to add a green vegetable and some color.
  • If, like me, you don’t care for smoky flavors, just substitute regular paprika for smoked paprika.  You can then add in a bit of chili powder if you want a bit of kick.
  • If you do cut an instant-pot recipe in half (i.e. in this recipe using 1 tenderloin not two) do NOT cut the liquid / other ingredients in half or you’ll get the dreaded ‘burn’ error.  For this recipe, I used just one tenderloin but the full amount of the rest of the ingredients.
  • For dinner, I made and served this over farro (Trader Joe’s has a 10-minute farro) because it’s protein and fiber-rich.  You could serve over brown rice as well. Or, of course, wrapped inside tortillas, as it’s a carnitas recipe.
  • For lunches, I turned the ample leftovers into carnitas by tucking the pork and spinach inside tortillas.

I always have success with Dana White‘s recipes. Check out more of her instant pot recipes here:


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