A Spicy Perspective

Homemade Salsa Al Pastor

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This fresh simple Homemade Salsa Al Pastor recipe is a unique flavor-packed salsa that will take any Mexican recipe to the next level. Try it with Carne Asada or Carnitas Tacos!

Salsa Al Pastor Recipe #ASpicyPerspective #whole30 #paleo #vegan #glutenfree
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Homemade Salsa Recipe

My family loves salsa. In fact, my daughter Ava and I commonly state that chips and salsa are our kryptonite. 

We can’t seem to stay away from it.

And I believe the more you love something, the more you can’t stand to experience it in a mediocre form. It’s utterly heart-wrenching, to take a bite of a salsa you think is going to be amazing, then to be sorely disappointed.

 Am I right?

Zesty Salsa Al Pastor Recipe #ASpicyPerspective #whole30 #paleo #vegan #glutenfree

Well, to spur on our grand affection for salsa we’ve shared some of our favorite salsa recipes here on A Spicy Perspective. (Recipe Links Below)

However, I have a new favorite to offer up today, Salsa Al Pastor.

Homemade Salsa Al Pastor Recipe #ASpicyPerspective #whole30 #paleo #vegan #glutenfree

Homemade Salsa Al Pastor?

Salsa what?

Ok… Have you ever ordered Tacos Al Pastor at a Mexican restaurant?

They are tacos prepared in a similar style to Shawarma, a middle eastern barbecue, brought to Mexico by immigrants. 

The unique flavors and cooking style has become a beloved fusion-food staple in Mexico and across Mexican restaurant menus worldwide.

Making Salsa Al Pastor Recipe #ASpicyPerspective #whole30 #paleo #vegan #glutenfree

Our Accidental Salsa Al Pastor

The last time I made Tacos Al Pastor for my family, I had some leftover marinade in the fridge. 

My kids asked if it was salsa and before I had time to answer, they were dipping up the marinade with chips, stating this was possibly my best homemade salsa yet!

Of course then I had to taste it with tortilla chips. 

How To: Salsa Al Pastor Recipe #ASpicyPerspective #whole30 #paleo #vegan #glutenfree

Fresh Salsa Recipe

The intense flavor combination that makes Al Pastor chicken and pork so delicious, tastes fabulous on its own… And with chips!

So, I whipped up a slightly altered version of my original marinade , with a better texture for salsa.

This homemade salsa variation is rich and perky, with deep smoky notes from three types of dried chiles, and the sweet tangy taste of pineapple.

How To Make Salsa Al Pastor Recipe #ASpicyPerspective #whole30 #paleo #vegan #glutenfree

How To Make Homemade Salsa Al Pastor

  1. To make this simple salsa recipe, you must first reconstitute dried chiles. Place the chiles in hot water to soften. Then reserve a little bit of the chile water for the salsa. 
  2. Then puree the chiles in a food processor until smooth.
  3. Add fresh pineapple, onions, tomatoes, herbs, and spices. Then puree again, until the salsa is as smooth or chunky as you like it.

Wasn’t That Easy? Get The Full (Printable) Salsa Al Pastor Recipe Below!

Perfect Salsa Al Pastor Recipe #ASpicyPerspective #whole30 #paleo #vegan #glutenfree

More Fresh Homemade Salsa Recipes

Smoky Salsa Al Pastor Recipe #ASpicyPerspective #whole30 #paleo #vegan #glutenfree

Salsa Al Pastor Recipe #ASpicyPerspective #whole30 #paleo #vegan #glutenfree
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Homemade Salsa Al Pastor

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
This fresh simple Homemade Salsa Al Pastor recipe is a unique flavor-packed salsa that will take any Mexican recipe to the next level. 
Servings: 16



  • Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Place the 4 dried chiles in a large bowl. Pour boiling water over the top. Cover chiles with a small plate, to push the chiles down into the water. Steep for at least 10 minutes.
  • Remove the chiles from the hot water. Remove the stems and seeds. Then place the chile peppers in a food processor. 
  • Add 1/2 cup of the chile water to the food processor. Add all remaining ingredients. (Leave the sugar out, if you are unsure whether you want to add it.)
  • Pulse the salsa ingredients until mostly smooth. Taste, then add salt, pepper, and sugar as needed.


Like chunkier salsa? You can puree the chiles and spices, then chop the pineapple, onion, and tomatoes, and mix them in by hand. 


Serving: 2tablespoons, Calories: 20kcal, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 0g, Fat: 0g, Saturated Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 76mg, Potassium: 73mg, Fiber: 0g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 175IU, Vitamin C: 10.1mg, Calcium: 8mg, Iron: 0.2mg
Course: Appetizer, Condiment
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Sommer Collier

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11 comments on “Homemade Salsa Al Pastor”

  1. Oh, Sommer, Sweetie,’Out of the mouth of babes… ,’ I’m so glad you listened to your mini you’s! I’m infamous among family and friends for doing different types of salsa. I was pineapple salsa before pineapple salsa was cool😆I made this for Mexican Night, and my family deemed this as the best salsa…ever! I must say , I DO agree with them 💯%.So easy to make and the peppers pop! Thank you for this wonderful recipe. You outdid yourself as usual! 

  2. Just made this. Used three of each pepper, plus a little more cilantro. I expected a little more heat with the chipotle in Adobe, but it’s very good. Next time I’ll add a little cayenne and perhaps a fresh habanero. And there definitely be a next time! 

  3. Sommer, you are absolutely right: the best homemade salsa EVER. I make a lot of salsa. I’ve also made some with dried chilies. This combination is PHENOMENAL! Thanks for the recipe!

  4. great recipe, great walk-through too, thank you, love the flavors in this recipe

  5. This was absolutely amazing! Can’t wait to make it again!

  6. Such a unique and delicious salsa recipe! I want it with all my Mexican dishes now.

  7. I can’t wait to try this recipe this weekend with the tacos al pastor that we were already planning to make! Quick question regarding the salsa recipe… is this one of those recipes that needs to be made fresh just before serving? Or is this one of those recipes that gets better as it hangs out in the fridge for a few days?

  8. Now you’ve created a salsa that can double as a marinade! It’s really delicious and next time I’ll make a double batch and serve up some tacos, too.

  9. The flavors in this are great! Can’t wait to make it for Cinco de Mayo.

  10. What an awesome homemade salsa! Yum