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Carnitas Mac and Cheese

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 5 reviews
  • Author: Cookies & Cups
  • Prep Time: 35 mins
  • Cook Time: 5 hrs 20 mins
  • Total Time: 5 hrs 55 mins
  • Yield: serves 8
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American


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! Try this Mexican mac and cheese, and you’ll never go back to a regular pasta dish.




  • 45 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
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 4 cups warmed milk (not boiling)
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, plus 3/4 – 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 9×13 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 3/4-1 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 3/4 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.


  • Serving Size: 1 bowl
  • Calories: 529
  • Sugar: 14.2 g
  • Sodium: 1730 mg
  • Fat: 23.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 54.1 g
  • Protein: 26.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 67 mg
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