Carnitas Mac and Cheese

Carnitas Mac and Cheese...simple Slow Cooker Carnitas mixed in to a creamy cheesy Mac and Cheese!

I love this Pork Carnitas Mac and Cheese…it’s a simple slow cooker Pork Carnitas recipe mixed into a creamy, slightly spicy mac and cheese!

Have I got a dinner idea for you…

I’m not going to pretend it can be made in 30 minutes. It can’t.

But I will tell you, it’s not hard, it just takes a bit of time. And when there are Carnitas involved, I highly suggest going the extra mile.

I adore Mac and Cheese. I mean, duh. But the addition of pulled pork with a bit of spice sends this dish over the top.

Pork Carnitas Mac and Cheese...simple slow cooker Pork Carnitas mixed into a creamy, slightly spicy mac and cheese!

The Carnitas portion of this recipe is made in the crock pot, which DEFINITELY simplifies things. AND you can easily do this a day ahead…

Just make a simple dry rub for the pork…


Chop up some goodies to throw in the slow cooker with the meat…


Put it all in there, cover it and go about your day. It will be ready in a few hours…when the meat shreds easily.


When you’re ready to prepare the mac and cheese grab some cheddar cheese…


…and don’t hate me, but Velveeta. Sometimes you just have to go there.

It’s just so dang creamy!!!!


Drain a can of Ro-Tel tomatoes to throw in the cheese sauce you’re gonna make for the pasta.


Once you have your cheese sauce done, mix it with some pasta and scoop in some Carnitas. You can honestly add as many or as little pork as you would like! There’s no right or wrong here folks.

And then of course top it all off with more cheese.


Bake it until it’s all bubbly and gorgeous!!!

Carnitas Mac and Cheese...simple Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas mixed in to a creamy cheesy Mac and Cheese!

You guys are going to love this, from the slow cooker Carnitas, to the creamy mac and cheese…it’s perfection!

Pork Carnitas Mac and Cheese...simple slow cooker Pork Carnitas mixed into a creamy, slightly spicy mac and cheese!


5.0 from 1 reviews
Carnitas Mac and Cheese
Serves: serves 8
  • 4-5 pound Pork Shoulder
  • 1 Tbsp Cumin
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 2 tsp Ground Coriander
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 medium oranges (I used 4 mini)
Mac and Cheese
  • 12 ounces of Rotini pasta
  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • ⅓ cup flour
  • 4 cups warmed milk (not boiling)
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, plus ¾ - 1 cup for sprinkling on top
  • 8 oz Velveeta processed cheese, cubed
  • 1 can Rotel, drained well
  1. Trim excess fat from the Pork Shoulder and place in you slow cooker.
  2. Combine Cumin, Salt, Pepper, Chili Powder and Coriander in a small bowl. Rub this dry mixture all over the pork.
  3. Add onions, jalapeno and garlic to the slow cooker. Half the oranges and squeeze the juice onto the pork. Place the orange rinds in the slow cooker as well to add flavor. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-5 hours until pork is tender.
  4. When pork is done remove from slow cooker and remove the onions, oranges, garlic and jalapenos, so all you have remaining is liquid. Place the pork back in the liquid and shred. Turn slow cooker to warm and cover while you make your mac and cheese. You can also do this step up to a few days ahead.
Mac and Cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 375*
  2. Butter a 9x13 baking dish and set aside.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook Rotini according to package directions.
  4. Meanwhile while pasta is cooking in a large skillet melt 6 Tbsp butter over medium heat. Once butter is melted whisk in your flour creating a pasta and cook for 1 more minute. Slowly add warmed milk to butter and milk, whisking constantly. Add cayenne pepper. Allow mixture to come to a boil and thicken slightly. Once mixture is thickened slightly add in 2 cups grated cheese and cubed Velveeta, stirring until cheese is melted.
  5. Drain pasta well and place back in large pot. Pour the cheese mixture over the cooked pasta. Stir in your drained Rotel until combined.
  6. With a slotted spoon add in pork to the mac and cheese, draining the liquid before adding to the pasta. Add as much or as little pork as you would like.
  7. Transfer mac and cheese to the prepared dish, sprinkle remaining ¾-1 cup grated cheese on top and bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes until bubbly.
  8. Serve warm
This recipe will leave you with a bit of pork leftover. I used about ¾ of the pork in my mac and cheese, as we like it with a lot of meat, but please add as much or as little to the pasta as you would like.


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21 Comments on "Carnitas Mac and Cheese"


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Annie @ Annie
January 15, 2015 11:38 am

Oh my goodness, this looks insanely delicious and so worth the extra time with the slow cooker!

Kimberly | Chic & Sugar
January 15, 2015 12:25 pm

Two of my favorite dishes combined into one! Slow cooking ahead of time is definitely the way to go. I may have to try this for dinner this weekend.

January 15, 2015 12:56 pm

Dude. I have not regretted this low carb diet once until now. It’s Rotel dip plus carnitas plus pasta. I’m dying.

bridget {bake at 350}
January 15, 2015 3:07 pm

Oh. My. GOSH.

Jacqueline @ Go Go Go Gourmet
January 15, 2015 3:27 pm

I LOVE this idea. Whenever I make mine, I always have a ton of leftovers that I get tired of eating! I’ll definitely have to try this one out soon (especially since we all know that Velveeta + Rotel is incredible).

amanda @ fake ginger
January 15, 2015 10:56 pm

I have carnitas on the meal plan for this week but was gonna do lettuce wraps. Nope, going for the velveeta now. This looks amazing!

Michelle @ Modern Acupuncture
January 16, 2015 11:34 am

Just looking at this mac and cheese is making my Friday better. So cheesy, and the addition of carnitas? How do you think of these things? I think I actually said the same thing about your cookies baked with cookies inside. And that is why I love your website!

Jess Knight
January 16, 2015 11:52 am

OoOo this makes my mouth water. I love a good mac ‘n’ cheese! Pinned this recipe!

January 16, 2015 7:26 pm

It looks great, but I have a question. What is actually in Rotel? I’m in Canada and I’m pretty sure we don’t have it. Any ideas for substitutions?

January 17, 2015 8:24 am

Any suggestions on substitutions for the Velveeta? White cheddar? Co-jack?

It sounds delicious!

Sommer @aspicyperspective
January 17, 2015 9:34 am

Definitely worth the extra time in the slow cooker! Love this mac and cheese recipe!

January 17, 2015 5:56 pm

This is rocking my world, what a creative combo!!!

Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch
January 19, 2015 2:13 pm

This is calling me! It seriously looks like comfort food of the best kind! Love it!

Laura @ Laura
January 21, 2015 4:21 pm

My mind is blown!!

Tonya K
Tonya K
February 9, 2015 10:31 am

Made the meat for this this weekend (had to alter dinner plans due to last minute company) and used for enchiladas. Made McCormick enchilada sauce and then poured the juice from the meat into the sauce. Everyone raved about how wonderful it was. Can’t wait to try as the mac n cheese! Will be making this meat on a regular basis for mac n cheese, enchiladas, tacos and more. Would also make an incredible stuffed potato!! Oh the options! I would give it more than 5 stars if I could