Skinny Slow Cooker Pernil (Puerto Rican Pork)

Skinny Slow Cooker Pernil (Puerto Rican Pork)

Pork shoulder marinated overnight in garlic, citrus juices, cumin and oregano and slow cooked all day in the crock pot. Trust me, when you walk in the door from wherever you are all day you’re going to be happy you made this!

Pernil is a typical dish I grew up eating, it’s popular in the Latin Caribbean islands such as Puerto Rico and Cuba, served with rice and beans during the holidays or whenever there’s a reason to celebrate. My husband loves pernil, especially my cousin Katia’s recipe. I had tons of success lightening up her recipe, against my husband’s wishes, and to further make life easier I opted to use my crock pot.

A typical Pernil recipe is slow roasted in the oven with a huge slab of fat on top, which gets crispy as it cooks. My lightened version, I use a boneless shoulder blade roast, trimmed of all the fat. This easy enough to make as a weeknight meal.

I season the pork the night before and refrigerate it in the crock pot. Then when I wake up the next morning, I take it out and plug it in and come home to an amazing smelling dish. I usually serve it over brown rice and make a quick slaw of cabbage, red onion and bell pepper with olive oil and vinegar or lime juice.

Leftovers are great for tacos, salads, Cuban sandwiches, you name it!

Skinny Slow Cooker Pernil (Puerto Rican Pork)

Skinny Slow Cooked Pernil (Puerto Rican Pork)
Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 3 oz pork • Points +: 5 pts • Smart Points: 6
Calories: 212.5 • Fat: 6.5 g • Protein: 35 g • Carb: 2 g • Fiber: 0 g • Sugar: 1 g
Choles: 105 mg • Sodium: 574 mg



  • 3 lb boneless pork shoulder blade roast, lean, all fat removed
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp coarse salt
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp crushed black pepper
  • 3 oranges, juice of (1/2 cup)
  • 2 limes, juice of



Using a sharp knife, cut slits into the pork and stuff holes with half of the crushed garlic. Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over pork. Place in the ceramic part of the crock pot, cover and refrigerate, turning pork occasionally so the marinade covers all of pork.

The next day, remove the crock pot and cook on low, 8 hours.

After 8 hours, remove pork and shred using two forks. Remove liquid from crock pot and add pork back to crock. Add about 1 cup of the liquid back and adjust salt, pepper and cumin (you will probably need to add more). Let it cook another 15-30 minutes.

Skinny Slow Cooker Pernil (Puerto Rican Pork)