This easy Sheet Pan Nachos with Carnitas & Roasted Pineapple dish takes carnitas to the next level. Picture it now: a plate piled high with crispy nachos covered in perfectly melted cheese, tender pulled pork, juicy pineapple and not one but TWO dipping sauces that will cool your mouth off from the slight spice of the carnitas.
The grocery list.
For the carnitas.
- Butcherbox Boneless Pork Butt – Pork butt is perfect for tacos because the meat falls apart and becomes incredibly tender. Butcherbox meat is always of such a high quality and you can get an AMAZING variety of meats each month. I probably wouldn’t buy pork butt at the grocery store because I’m always overwhelmed by the meat fridges, but Butcherbox has a website that’s organized so you can easily pick what meats you want to receive.
- Canned crushed pineapple – You’ll cook this in the pressure cooker along with the pork, and it makes it sooo juicy and sweet.
- Pineapple juice – Adding liquid to your pressure cooker is what makes it work to cook the food faster than a normal pan. Also, the pineapple juice adds so much flavor to the pork butt.
- Siete Foods Carnitas Seasoning – There are so many different versions of carnitas seasoning you could use. This one is specifically for a slow cooker.
- Fresh pineapple
- Olive oil – The olive oil will prevent the pineapple from sticking to the skillet and will assist in the caramelization process of the pineapple.
- Ground cumin – Tastes amazing with pineapple!
- Salted tortilla chips – A good tortilla chip makes all the difference in your nachos. It’s really based on preference: some people like thick crunchy tortilla chips; personally, I prefer the chips linked. They’re thin, crispy and perfectly salted. Some people like chips with less salt, but I like ‘em nice and salty!
- Mexican blend shredded cheese – You can use pretty much any brand. I like using the Mexican blend because it has a subtle flavor that doesn’t clash with any of the nacho ingredients.
- Jalapeño – Add a little bit of spice!
- Radish – Not a crucial ingredient, but adds a lovely crunch as a topping!
For the guac.
- Avocados – Mash the avocados to your preferred consistency. Sometimes I like it chunky and roughly mash it with a fork, while other times I use an immersion blender to get really smooth guac.
- Lime juice – Lime juice is an essential ingredient in guacamole. Not only does it add an amazing sharp flavor, but it keeps the avocado from turning brown.
- Kosher salt – Avocados have such a subtle flavor, I think kosher salt helps bring out the flavor which is perfect for guacamole!
- Red onion – Adds crunch!
- Cilantro – The thing with cilantro is you either love it or you hate it. Personally, I love it. However, you don’t have to include it in your guac. You can also omit the red onion if you don’t like its strong taste. Mashed avocado with a little lime juice and salt is still a delicious guacamole!
For the sour cream dip.
- Sour cream – A great base for a creamy dip. If you’re in a pinch and don’t have any sour cream, you could use plain greek yogurt instead. It has a similar consistency and taste and is also a slightly healthier option.
- Taco seasoning – You can make your own very easily with a simple mix of spices. Search up a recipe online and it takes less than 5 minutes to prepare.
- Red salsa – I think what salsa you use depends on the recipe. For example, I sometimes like to use pineapple or mango salsa, but since this dish already has so much pineapple in it I would opt for a simpler salsa.
You will start off your Sheet Pan Nachos with Carnitas & Roasted Pineapple by making the pork butt. These instructions are for a pressure cooker to make the pork butt. BUT! If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can also use dutch oven pan and we’ve got you covered.
Dutch oven instructions (instead of slow cooker).
If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can use a dutch oven pan in the oven. This will cook the pork the same way because dutch oven pans distribute heat evenly. Your pork will have to cook for much longer in the dutch oven, so set aside time for your pork butt to cook so it is tender and breaks apart easily.
Place the pork butt, crushed pineapple, pineapple juice and carnitas seasoning in your dutch oven pan. Place the pan in an oven preheated to 350°F and allow it to cook for at least 3 hours. If you want pork that is tender and falls apart easily, it will likely need to stay in the oven for longer. I recommend putting it in the oven first thing in the morning and letting it cook all day.
To test if your pork is done, poke it with a fork. If the pork tender and can be broken apart easily, then it is ready to be shredded.
The pork butt first cook.
Into the bowl of a pressure cooker, add the pork butt, crushed pineapple, pineapple juice and carnitas seasoning. Cooking the pork butt with the crushed pineapple and juice will allow the meat to absorb the sweetness and will add a delectable flavor to it.
Close the lid of the pressure cooker and sent the knob to SEAL. A pressure cooker only works to cook food quickly if it is sealed properly. The way it works is the water inside the cooker boils into steam and because the pot is sealed tightly, the steam can’t escape. The trapped water molecules create pressure inside the pressure cooker, which allows the enclosed food to cook faster than it would in a normal pan.
Pressure cook on high for 45 minutes. When the cooking is done, allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes (you don’t have to do anything). After the 10 minutes is up, move the vent setting to VENT to release the remaining pressure. Once this process is complete, you can remove the lid.
Remove the pork from the pressure cooker and shred it. I find the easiest way to do this is using two forks and embedding them in the meat and then pulling them in opposite directions. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
The pork butt second cook.
For the next step in cooking the pork, you will use a cast iron skillet. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat on your stove. Add the shredded pork to the hot skillet, it will become deliciously crispy. Cook for 3-5 minutes until the pork is browned and crispy. Add your reserved cooking liquid from the pressure cooker and cook the pork for an additional 2 minutes. Remove the cast iron skillet from the heat.
In a separate skillet, add the olive oil and fresh pineapple. I LOVE cooked pineapple, it will become tender and caramelized after 5-7 minutes, and this will elevate the flavor. Add the ground cumin and toss to combine. Cook your pineapple for an additional 1 minute and then remove it from the heat.
Preheat the oven to broil. I like to use the “broil” setting on the oven when cooking nachos, rather than just simply baking them, because it perfectly melts the cheese and makes it crispy on the top later and melty and bubbly underneath.
On a large parchment-lined sheet pan, layer the nachos. Use parchment on your pan so the cheese doesn’t stick for an easier cleanup. Layer the nachos in the order of chips, cheese, meat and roasted pineapple and repeat until all the ingredients are laid out on the sheet pan. Add sliced jalapeños to the top.
Place your pan in the oven on a rack near the top under the broiler for 3-5 minutes. Keep an eye on your nachos because your chips can burn very easily. Once the cheese has melted, the nachos are ready to be taken out of the oven!
While your nachos are in the oven, prepare your dipping sauces, starting with the guacamole. You really can’t have nachos without guacamole. A lot of times, the nachos are just vessels for the guacamole (not in this case, though!). For the guac, start by mashing the avocados first to your preferred consistency. Next, add lime juice, red onion, cilantro and salt and mix so the ingredients are distributed evenly through the guacamole. Be sure to chop the red onion finely as it has a very strong flavor and usually tastes best when it is in small doses. Taste and add more salt as needed.
Next, prepare the sour cream dip. Combine the sour cream, taco seasoning and salsa and stir to combine.
Put each dipping sauce into separate bowls for easy dipping. I make sure to place spoons in the bowls so guests can scoop them on top of a plate of nachos if they choose to do so (a power move).
Top the finished Sheet Pan Carnitas & Roasted Pineapple Nachos with thinly sliced radish for a fresh and peppery pop of flavor and crunch alongside the two cooling dips.
Make ahead option.
This dish seems like a ton of work, but I promise it is easier and quicker than it looks and totally worth it. You do have to prepare a lot of individual things for this dish, but each of them is really pretty simple and then you just have to assemble your nachos using those things.
You can make the pork ahead of time and refrigerate it. However, when you are ready to cook your nachos, instead of broiling them I recommend cooking them at a lower heat at convection bake for a longer amount of time and on a middle rack. This will ensure that the cold pork heats thoroughly and will prevent the chips from burning. I still recommend keeping a close eye on your chips while they are in the oven because they can burn very quickly and easily.
You can also prepare the dipping sauces ahead of time but the guacamole will turn brown after at least a day. Lime juice will keep it green for a longer period of time but it will still turn brown eventually. However, it still tastes the same and has not gone bad! Avocados simply turn brown when they are exposed to oxygen.
Looking for more party dishes?
Here are a few to try:
Lastly, if you make this Sheet Pan Nachos with Carnitas & Roasted Pineapple recipe, be sure to leave a comment! Above all, I love to hear from ya’ll and do my best to respond to every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to snap a pic and tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of your dayyyummm good recreations is my favorite!
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Pork & Nachos
- 1 Butcherbox Boneless Pork Butt
- 1 can crushed pineapple
- 8 ounces pineapple juice
- 1 Siete Foods Carnitas Seasoning packet
- 2 cups fresh pineapple, diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- 12 ounces salted tortilla chips
- 8 ounces Mexican blend shredded cheese
- 1 jalapeno, sliced thin
- ¼ cup radish, sliced thin
Sour Cream Dip
- Into the bowl of a pressure cooker, add the pork butt, crushed pineapple, pineapple juice and carnitas seasoning. Close the lid of the pressure cooker and ensure the vent is set to SEAL. Pressure cook on high for 45 minutes. When the cooking is done, allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes (AKA do nothing). After 10 minutes, move the vent to VENT to release the remaining pressure. Once this is complete, remove the lid.
- Remove the pork from the pressure cooker and shred it. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
- Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the shredded pork to the hot skillet to crisp. Cook for 3-5 minutes until everything is browned and crispy. Add the reserved cooking liquid and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- In a separate skillet, add the olive oil and fresh pineapple. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until the pineapple is tender and caramelized. Add the ground cumin and toss to combine, cook for an additional 1 minute and then remove from the heat.
- Preheat the oven to broil.
- On a large parchment-lined sheet pan, layer the nachos. Chips, cheese, meat and roasted pineapple. Repeat until all the ingredients are laid out on the sheet pan. Add sliced jalapenos to the top and place under the broiler for 3-5 minutes. Watch carefully as to not burn the chips. Once the cheese is melted, it’s ready!
- While the nachos are in the oven, prepare your dipping sauces. For the guacamole, combine the prepared ingredients in a small bowl. Mash the avocados first and then add the remaining ingredients. Taste and add more salt as needed.
- For the sour cream dip, simply combine the sour cream, taco seasoning and salsa and stir to combine. Put each dipping sauce into separate bowls for easy dipping.
- Top the nachos with thinly sliced radish for a fresh and peppery pop of flavor alongside the two cooling dips.
Nutrition Information (pork only): serves 6 / 434 cals / 30g F /9g C / 40g P