Tacos Al Pastor

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Recipe: #31861

April 25, 2019

"These pineapple and pork tacos are the original fusion food - a cross between Middle Eastern shawarma and the guajillo-rubbed grilled pork served by Mexican street vendors. The pork needs to marinate four hours."

Original is 7 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (346.1 g)
  • Calories 438.5
  • Total Fat - 16.7 g
  • Saturated Fat - 5.8 g
  • Cholesterol - 129.5 mg
  • Sodium - 867.1 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 26.6 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 3 g
  • Sugars - 15.8 g
  • Protein - 44.5 g
  • Calcium - 46.1 mg
  • Iron - 1.9 mg
  • Vitamin C - 13.2 mg
  • Thiamin - 1 mg

Step by Step Method

Step 1

Coarsely chop 1 onion half. Coarsely chop 2 pineapple rounds, discarding core; cover and chill remaining pineapple. Place chopped onion and chopped pineapple in blender. Add orange juice and next 7 ingredients; puree marinade until smooth. Place pork in large resealable plastic bag. Add marinade and seal bag, releasing excess air. Turn to coat. Chill at least 4 hours and up to 1 day.

Step 2

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill remaining pineapple until warm and slightly charred, 4 to 6 minutes per side. Grill pork with some marinade still clinging until slightly charred and cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer pineapple and pork to work surface; chop pineapple into 1/2-inch cubes, discarding cores. Chop pork. Transfer to platter; toss to combine.

Step 3

Meanwhile, finely chop remaining onion half and place in medium bowl. Add cilantro; toss to combine. Grill tortillas until warm and slightly charred, about 10 seconds per side.

Step 4

Serve pork-pineapple mixture with onion-cilantro relish, Smoky Two-Chile Salsa (separate recipe posted on this site), and lime wedges.


No special items needed.

Editorial Notes

The ingredient tips, suggestions, variations, facts, questions and answers below are not edits to the original author's recipe. They are not meant to imply any change would improve the recipe. They're offered for convenience, alternative ideas, and points of interest. If you have any comments about them, please post in the Help & Ideas forum.

  • Make sure to use fresh orange juice and not from concentrate.
  • If you can't find guajillo chile powder, you can substitute ancho chile powder.

  • Substitute pork loin with chicken breast - This substitution is beneficial for those who are looking for a leaner option, as chicken breast is typically lower in fat than pork loin.
  • Substitute guajillo chile powder with ancho chile powder - This substitution is beneficial for those who are looking for a milder flavor, as ancho chile powder has a milder flavor than guajillo chile powder.

Vegetarian Tacos Al Pastor Replace the pork with a plant-based protein such as grilled tofu or tempeh. Instead of grilling the pineapple, sauté it in a skillet with a little oil until it is soft and caramelized. Omit the Smoky Two-Chile Salsa and replace it with a vegan-friendly salsa of your choice.

Mexican Street Corn Salad - A perfect accompaniment to Tacos Al Pastor, this salad combines charred corn, mayo, queso fresco, and a sprinkle of chili powder for a sweet and spicy side dish. The creamy mayo balances out the heat of the chilies in the tacos, while the freshness of the corn adds a nice crunch.

Spicy Refried Beans - This flavorful side dish is a great accompaniment to Tacos Al Pastor. The rich and creamy beans provide a nice contrast to the spicy chilies in the tacos, while the addition of jalapenos give it a nice kick. The beans also help to round out the meal with a hearty and filling side dish.


Q: How long does the pork need to marinate?

A: The pork needs to marinate for at least 4 hours and up to 1 day.

Q: What temperature should the pork be cooked to?

A: The pork should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C). Allow the pork to rest for 3 minutes before serving.

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Fun facts:

Tacos Al Pastor is a popular Mexican dish that was created in the 1950s by Lebanese immigrants who brought their shawarma-making skills to Mexico. The combination of Mexican and Middle Eastern flavors made it an instant hit!

Tacos Al Pastor has been featured in several celebrity cooking shows, including the popular Netflix series, ‘Taco Chronicles’, which showcased the dish in its first season.