Hi! My name is Sara and I am the face behind Real Balanced. I'm so happy to have you here and to share my favorite low-carb, keto, paleo, and low-FODMAP recipes! Learn more about me here.

Pressure Cooker Low-FODMAP Citrus Carnitas

Pressure Cooker Low-FODMAP Citrus Carnitas


Finding a carnitas recipe sans onions or garlic is difficult. The high-in-fructans vegetable and spice cause digestive troubles for those who need to avoid foods high in FODMAPs due to various gastrointestinal problems.

A Brief Background on FODMAPs

FODMAP is an acronym that stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols, short-chained carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed by our bodies. These types of carbohydrates can cause all sorts of digestive problems for those with sensitive GI systems. When consuming foods high in a specific FODMAP, the food passes through our stomach and small intestine and is either fermented by colonic bacteria releasing gas or expelled together with fluid. Not great for those with IBS, SIBO, and a myriad of other stomach problems.

After I personally eliminated FODMAPs from my diet, many of my symptoms decreased or altogether disappeared. Since that time, I've been able to slowly reintroduce many moderate- and high-FODMAP foods back into my diet, garlic and onions being the exception. Gotta heal that dang gut of mine. In the meantime, I just continue to cook without these two ingredients and do my best to avoid them when we go out to eat.

Do you follow a low-FODMAP diet? If so, check out some of my other low-FODMAP recipes here.

Pressure Cooker/Instant Pot

How on earth did I ever live without my Instant Pot? I use this thing so often that I feel like I wash it twice a day. It cuts cook time by like 7459347935633% AND it doesn't heat the house up, which is especially awesome when warm weather hits. Plus, unlike a slow cooker, you don't have to leave your Instant Pot on all day since pressure cookers can cook everything in basically less than an hour instead of 4, 8, 16, or even 24 hours for some slow cooker recipes.

If you don't have some sort of pressure cooker, such as the Instant Pot, I can't recommend one enough. Already have one? Buy one for someone else. Spread the convenience of these little pieces of appliance glory.

Citrus Carnitas

For several months, I've been playing around with a recipe for low-FODMAP carnitas in my Instant Pot. I knew I wanted the meat to be tender, yet crispy, and that another depth of flavor needed to be composed since garlic and onions were not optional ingredients. After some time, I finally cracked the code!

Pineapple, orange zest, and orange juice. Oh YES.

This recipe is...........good. Really good. As in, I may or may not have eaten three helpings in one sitting....

Serve up in a big ol' bowl! Garnish with lime wedges and fresh cilantro, and dig in!

Diets This Recipe Is Compliant With

This recipe is low-FODMAP, low-carb, keto, Whole30 compliant, paleo, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click one of the product links, I’ll receive a commission. Don't worry, you won't be charged anything extra. This just helps keep the lights on.


Prep time: 10 mins
Total time: 1 hour, 15 mins
Serves: 6


3 lbs boneless pork shoulder
1 tbsp pink Himalayan coarse salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp oregano
20 oz. fresh pineapple, sliced
2 large navel oranges
2 bay leaves
2-3 tbsp pork lard
Fresh cilantro
1 lime, cut into wedges


Instant Pot


  1. With a sharp serrated knife, cut pork shoulder into 2 inch pieces and place in large bowl.
  2. In bowl of cut pork, add sea salt, cumin, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, and oregano. Stir until well-combined.
  3. With a vegetable peeler, peel skin from both oranges and place in bowl of seasoned pork. Juice bald oranges into bowl.
  4. Pour mixture into pressure cooker insert, add bay leaves and sliced pineapple, and seal.
  5. On the manual setting, set timer to 35 minutes.
  6. After 35 minutes, allow pressure cooker to naturally depressurize for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, turn valve to finish depressurization.
  7. With a tongs, move meat from pressure cooker insert to a large plate or bowl (do not pour liquid from insert out!). Using two forks, shred meat and pieces of orange zest.
  8. In a large pan on the stovetop, melt pork lard over medium heat.
  9. Add shredded pork to hot pan and allow meat to crisp up, about 10 minutes. Add additional salt as necessary.
  10. After pork has reached your desired level of crispiness (is that a word?), remove from heat and pour 1/4 cup of liquid from pressure cooker insert into pan.
  11. Serve immediately with cooked pineapple (or discard pineapple for low-carb) and garnish with fresh cilantro and lime wedges.
  12. Enjoy!
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