I know, I know…pumpkin spiced everything is popping up. Well, it’s with good reason! Pumpkin goes so well with all types of food dishes because it really can be so versatile. These Healthy Instant Pot Pumpkin Carnitas are a must make, especially during this time of year. Luckily pumpkin puree can be found all year long so go ahead and give this dish a try…anytime!
Minimal Clean Up with the Instant Pot
I made this dish in the Instant Pot but it can be made the traditional way as well. The Instant Pot just makes things so easy that it’s hard to want to make them the traditional way. This recipe took about an hour from start to finish, the carnitas were perfectly cooked, and the pumpkin flavor was delicious. Let’s give Taco Tuesday a little twist with this recipe.
For your ingredients all you really need is the pork (I used pork tenderloin but you can use whichever cut you’d like), pumpkin puree, pancake syrup (can sub for regular maple syrup or honey), and some spices. I used pumpkin pie spice, a little curry, and a dash of salt and pepper.
You’re going to want to mix all of the ingredients for the marinade/sauce first. Put the pumpkin puree, syrup, and spices in a dish and mix well. Set that aside and set your Instant Pot to the high “saute” setting and let the surface get hot. Once the surface is hot enough, spray the bottom with cooking spray or coat with olive oil and sear the pork tenderloin until evenly browned on all sides. This usually takes about 3 minutes per side. Once the tenderloin is seared on all sides, add the marinade, cover the instant pot with the lid and turn it to high pressure for 30 minutes. Once it is finished cooking, let the instant pot release the pressure on it’s own for about 15 minutes and then use the manual release to let the rest of the pressure out. Remove the lid, pull the meat out of the Instant Pot, place it on a pre-lined baking sheet and shred the meat. Place the shredded carnitas in the oven on the broil setting for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, toss the carnitas with a little of the marinade and broil for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve!Print
Healthy Instant Pot Pumpkin Carnitas
Healthy and delicious pumpkin carnitas made in under an hour.
1 2-3 lb pork tenderloin
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp pumpkin spice
1 tsp curry powder
1/4 cup Maple Grove SF maple syrup (can sub 1/4 cup regular maple syrup or 2 tbsp honey)
salt and pepper to taste
- Turn Instant Pot to Saute setting and allow to heat up
- While the Instant Pot is heating up, whisk together all of your ingredients to make the pumpkin sauce and set aside
- Spray the Instant Pot with cooking spray or coat bottom with oil
- Sear pork on all sides, about 3 minutes each side
- Once pork is seared add sauce, set the Instant Pot to High Pressure for 30 minutes
- While the pork is cooking in the Instant Pot, line a baking sheet with foil and set the oven to broil
- When the Instant Pot hits the 30 minutes, allow it to auto release for 15 minutes. Remove lid and place your pork on the lined baking sheet. Shred the Pork and place in the oven for 5 minutes or until you see the tops start to brown.
- While the pork is in the oven, set the Instant Pot back to the Saute mode and allow the sauce to reduce for about 4-5 minutes.
- Once the tops of the pork have browned, remove from oven, toss in about 1/4 to 1/2 sauce and place back in oven to broil for an additional 5 minutes.
- Remove from oven and serve.
Any type of pork can be used for this recipe but I like to use this particular cut to keep the fat content down. While the pork is on high pressure in the instant pot I like to take that time to prepare any sides or garnishes that I am going to serve with the pork.
The pork can also be marinated in the sauce ahead of time if desired and time permits.
Looking for some more great dinner ideas? Check out these recipes!