Tantalizing Tacos Al Pastor: Grilled Pork Perfection

Nothing beats the smoky aroma of a freshly grilled pork taco al pastor. My mouth waters just thinking about it! I’ve been making this recipe for years, and each time it turns out even better than the last. I love the combination of succulent grilled pork, sweet pineapple, and spicy chilies that create the perfect…

Nothing beats the smoky aroma of a freshly grilled pork taco al pastor. My mouth waters just thinking about it! I’ve been making this recipe for years, and each time it turns out even better than the last. I love the combination of succulent grilled pork, sweet pineapple, and spicy chilies that create the perfect balance of flavors. Whether you’re a taco aficionado or just looking for a delicious meal, you won’t be disappointed with this recipe. So fire up the grill and get ready to enjoy a mouth-watering taco experience!

Grilled Pork Tacos al Pastor Recipe

Prep Time

20 mins

Cook Time

10-15 mins

Additional Time

5 mins

Total Time

35 mins


3 servings

Grilled Pork Tacos al Pastor


  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 pork tenderloins
  • 2 tablespoons of ancho chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons of dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pineapple, cored and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 3-4 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 6-8 small corn or flour tortillas
  • Fresh cilantro, diced onion, and diced avocado for garnish (optional)


  • Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, ancho chili powder, cumin, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper.
  • Rub the pork tenderloins with the spice mixture.
  • Place the pork tenderloins onto the preheated grill and cook for 10-15 minutes, flipping every few minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • While the pork is cooking, prepare the pineapple by coring and cutting it into bite-size pieces.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the pineapple pieces and lime juice.
  • Heat the tortillas on the grill or in a skillet for a few minutes until lightly charred and warmed through.
  • Once the pork is cooked, let it rest for a few minutes before slicing into thin strips.
  • To assemble the tacos, place a few slices of pork onto each tortilla and top with the pineapple-lime mixture, cilantro, diced onion, and diced avocado.
  • Serve the tacos warm with your favorite salsa or hot sauce, and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 350
  • Fat: 10g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.5g
  • Cholesterol: 75mg
  • Sodium: 370mg
  • Carbohydrates: 28g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 8g
  • Protein: 31g

What is the origin of pork tacos al pastor?

Pork tacos al pastor have their origins in the Mexican state of Puebla, where it is believed the dish was first created in the mid-20th century. The dish is said to have been inspired by traditional shawarma, a common Middle Eastern street food. Lebanese immigrants brought the shawarma to Mexico and adapted it to the local cuisine, creating pork tacos al pastor.

The dish is traditionally prepared with marinated pork that is cooked on a vertical spit, the same way shawarma is cooked. The pork is thinly sliced and served in a warm tortilla with onion, cilantro, and a variety of other toppings. It has become a popular street food in Mexico, as well as in many Mexican restaurants in the United States.

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The traditional marinade for pork tacos al pastor includes a variety of ingredients, including achiote paste, vinegar, orange juice, and chiles. The flavors of the dish are bold and savory, with a hint of sweetness from the orange juice.

Pork tacos al pastor are a delicious and flavorful dish that has become a staple of Mexican cuisine. The dish is believed to have originated in Puebla, Mexico, and is inspired by the traditional Middle Eastern street food known as shawarma. With its marinated pork, warm tortillas, and flavorful toppings, pork tacos al pastor are sure to be a hit at any gathering.

What are the benefits of grilling pork tacos?

Grilled Pork Tacos al Pastor offer a variety of health benefits, including:

  • High protein content – Pork contains more protein per ounce than beef or chicken, so a single taco can provide a substantial amount of protein.
  • Low fat content – Pork is naturally low in fat, making it a healthier option than other fattier meats.
  • Nutrient rich – Pork is rich in essential vitamins and minerals, such as iron, zinc, and B vitamins.
  • Variety of flavor – Grilling pork tacos al pastor allows you to experiment with different marinades, seasonings, and spices, which can add depth and complexity to the flavor of the tacos.
  • Easy to prepare – Grilling pork tacos al pastor is a quick and simple process that doesn’t require any complicated preparation or cooking methods.
  • Versatile – Pork tacos al pastor can be served as a main dish or as part of a larger meal, making them a great choice for entertaining guests.
  • Affordable – Pork is generally much less expensive than other types of meat, making it an economical choice for those watching their budgets.

What other types of tacos can be cooked in a similar manner?

Other types of tacos that can be cooked in a similar manner to Grilled Pork Tacos al Pastor include chicken, steak, and fish tacos. These classic tacos can be cooked on the grill, in a skillet, or in the oven. To ensure a flavorful and juicy taco, marinate the meat in a variety of spices and herbs prior to cooking. For chicken tacos, a combination of garlic, onion, cumin, chili powder, and paprika will provide a delicious flavor. For steak tacos, a combination of garlic, cayenne pepper, and Worcestershire sauce will give the steak a zesty kick. Lastly, for fish tacos, a combination of cumin, garlic, and lime juice will give the fish a bright and citrusy flavor. For the best results, cook the meat until it is lightly charred and tender. Once cooked, the tacos can be served with a variety of toppings such as shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, diced onions, cilantro, and your favorite salsa.

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What type of pork is best for making pork tacos al pastor?

When it comes to making tacos al pastor, the best type of pork to use is a pork shoulder or pork butt. This type of pork is slow cooked and well-marbled, making it ideal for preparing the flavorful filling of tacos al pastor.

Grilling the pork is the traditional method for making tacos al pastor. The pork is marinated in a mixture of chiles, spices, and pineapple juice, which adds sweetness and helps to tenderize the meat. After marinating, the pork is grilled on a spit or rotisserie until it is cooked through and has a slightly charred exterior.

When choosing pork for tacos al pastor, it is important to look for a cut that is not too lean. While leaner pork cuts can be used for tacos al pastor, the more marbling a cut has, the more flavor it will have and the more tender it will be. For this reason, pork shoulder and pork butt are the best choices for tacos al pastor.

When grilling pork for tacos al pastor, be sure to keep the heat low and cook the pork slowly. This will ensure the pork is cooked through without becoming dry or tough. Once the pork is cooked, it can be chopped or pulled and served in tacos with other classic toppings such as onions, cilantro, and salsa.

By choosing the right cut of pork, marinating it in flavor-packed ingredients, and grilling it slowly, your pork tacos al pastor will be tender, juicy, and full of flavor.

What other ingredients are needed to make pork tacos al pastor?

To make Pork Tacos al Pastor, you will need a few additional ingredients in addition to the grilled pork. These ingredients include diced pineapple, diced red onion, cilantro, lime juice, chopped garlic, chipotle peppers, and Mexican-style oregano.

The pineapple and onion add a sweetness and crunch to the tacos, and the cilantro and lime juice provide a bright flavor. The chopped garlic, chipotle peppers, and oregano give the tacos their distinctive smoky and spicy flavor.

The proportions of each ingredient will depend on personal preference, so you may want to experiment with different amounts until you find the perfect combination. Additionally, other ingredients such as cheese, salsa, and guacamole can be added to the tacos to give them more flavor.

Once all of the ingredients have been prepped, the pork can be placed in the taco shells and topped with the pineapple, onion, cilantro, and lime juice. The chipotle peppers, garlic, and oregano can then be mixed together and added to the tacos.

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Grilling the tacos over an open flame will give them a crunchy outer layer and ensure that all the ingredients are cooked through. Serve the tacos alongside a side of Mexican-style beans and rice for a delicious and authentic meal.

With a few additional ingredients, Pork Tacos al Pastor can be easily made at home. The combination of sweet and spicy flavors creates a delicious taco that is sure to be a hit among family and friends.

What are the best accompaniments for pork tacos al pastor?

The best accompaniments for Pork Tacos al Pastor are typically fresh vegetables, salsas, and condiments. The traditional ingredients of Pork Tacos al Pastor include marinated pork, onions, cilantro, pineapple, and spices. To make the tacos even more flavorful and enjoyable, adding a few additional accompaniments to the meal can really elevate the taste experience.

Fresh vegetables such as diced tomatoes, lettuce, bell peppers, jalapenos, and onions are excellent options for adding texture and flavor to the tacos. For those who like a bit of heat, adding jalapenos or a hot salsa would be a great accompaniment. Tomatillo salsa is a popular choice, as it brings a slightly acidic flavor that pairs well with the pork.

For those who want a bit of a creamy accompaniment, a dollop of Mexican crema or guacamole can be added to the tacos. Mexican crema is a thin, tangy cream sauce that is made with sour cream, lime juice, and seasonings. Guacamole, on the other hand, is a creamy avocado-based dip that can really bring out the flavor of the pork.

Finally, adding a few condiments such as cilantro, lime wedges, and hot sauce can really take the tacos to the next level. The cilantro adds a fresh, herbal flavor while the lime wedges provide a nice citrusy contrast. Hot sauce can be used to add a spicy kick to the tacos.

In conclusion, the best accompaniments for Pork Tacos al Pastor are typically fresh vegetables, salsas, and condiments. Adding these accompaniments can really elevate the flavor of the tacos and make them an even more enjoyable meal.

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