Tacos al Pastor Recipe – Easy authentic tacos recipe with soft or crunchy tortillas. These spicy pork tacos bring home the flavor of central Mexico with fresh ingredients on top!

Easy Tacos al Pastor Recipe on plate

An authentic Tacos al Pastor Recipe with a crunchy twist! I’m serving my all-time favorite taco filling with crunchy taco shells and fresh pineapple today. It’s a fun way to freshen up this classic recipe.

Tacos al Pastor. Spicy chile marinated pork cooked on a spit over the fire, then shaved into crispy bits of porky perfection. Well, that’s not exactly how we’re preparing it today. But I can assure you, the famed tacos al pastor flavor will shine through with zesty boldness.

You may remember, this fall our family spend some time in Mexico over Thanksgiving break.

While most American families were enjoying their roasted turkey, cornbread stuffing, and gravy, we were feasting on grilled Caribbean lobster, tamales, and tacos al pastor.

Make Your Own Tacos al Pastor Recipe assembled on plate

I have eaten more than my fair share of tacos over the years. I’ve been on taco tours in various US cities and, sort of, created my own taco tour while we were in Mexico. Of all the tacos I love and crave, Tacos al Pastor is at the top of the list.

Why?

A special chile blend and rotisserie style cooking is what makes a Tacos al Pastor Recipe so unique. From my understanding, the pit-grilled cooking method was introduced by Middle Eastern immigrants and has been used in central Mexico ever since. The beloved Tacos al Pastor can now be found all over Mexico and in taco shops worldwide.

If you want to make them at home, but don’t have an outdoor rotisserie, don’t worry.

I’ve found you can use a traditional al pastor marinade on sliced pork, then sear it in a hot skillet to achieve a similar “crispy yet juicy” quality.

Making Tacos al Pastor marinade

What Ingredients You Will Need

  • Pork Loin Roast (or boneless pork shoulder roast)
  • Dried Guajillo Chiles – substitute anaheims or new mexico chiles
  • Dried Ancho Chiles
  • Canned Chipotle Chiles in Adobo Sauce
  • Cloves Garlic – (large) peeled
  • Onion – peeled and roughly chopped
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Pineapple Juice
  • Chopped Fresh Pineapple – divided
  • Mexican Oregano – I used fresh oregano, but if you can only find dried oregano, that is fine
  • Ground Cumin
  • Salt
  • Achiote Paste – optional (provide a vibrant red color)
  • Old El Paso Super Stuffer Crunchy Tortilla Shells – or 2 packages of Flour Tortillas for soft tacos
  • Pico de Gallo
  • Fresh Lime Wedges
  • Old El Paso Taco Sauce
  • Olive Oil
  • Cilantro – used as a garnish
How To Make Tacos al Pastor - marinate in bag

How To Make Tacos Al Pastor

Place the dried chiles in a bowl of boiling water and place a small plate over the top to submerge the chiles. Allow them to soak and soften for at least 10 minutes. Then scoop them out of the water, and remove the stems and seeds.

While the chiles are soaking, slice the pork roast into thin bite-size pieces. Place all the pork in a large zip bag.

Add the dried chiles, chipotle chiles, garlic, onion, vinegar, juice, 1 cup chopped pineapple, oregano, cumin, salt, and achiote into the blender. Puree until smooth, then pour over the pork, zip the bag, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. The longer the better.

Once the pork has marinated, place a colander in the sink and pour the pork into the colander to drain. You want it to be well-coated, but eliminate excess moisture for searing. Do not rinse it. Shake a little and drain.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, drizzle a little olive oil in the pan, then add a quarter of the pork. Arrange the pork in a single layer, covering the bottom of the pan. Sear for 1-2 minutes, then flip and cook another 1-2 minutes. Remove from the skillet and repeat with the remaining pork. Keep the cooked pork covered with aluminum foil in a large bowl.

To Serve this Dish: Fill crunchy or soft flour tortillas with pork, pico de gallo, and fresh chopped pineapple. Serve with a lime wedge and taco sauce if desired. Squeeze that lime juice over the tacos for an enhanced flavor.

Soft Tortilla vs. Crunchy Taco Shells

Traditionally, soft corn tortillas are used for a Tacos al Pastor Recipe, but I’m not a big fan of soft corn tortillas unless they are homemade. I find they often have a slightly funky aroma – That’s because soft corn tortillas turn rancid very quickly. I don’t trust them, unless made from scratch on the day I’m serving them.

So today I’m serving Tacos al Pastor in my favorite crunchy taco shells, Old El Paso Super Stuffers.

These larger-than-average crunchy corn taco shells have been fried to golden perfection. The shells are thinner than regular store-bought shells, so they don’t seem tough, yet are strong enough to hold up to wet fillings. They provide a light corn flavor and fabulous crunch to any taco recipe.

The other way I like to serve Tacos al Pastor is gringo-style in flash-fried puffy flour tortillas.

Whether you prefer soft pillowy flour tortillas or crunchy corn shells, fill them with the seared pork and fresh cool toppings, for a flavor and texture fiesta in your mouth.

Awesome Tacos al Pastor Recipe #tacos #mexican

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do leftovers last? 

You can store all the different parts of this taco in their own airtight containers for 3 to 5 days. The hard taco shells can be stored at room temperature for up to a week. 

What other toppings can I add to these tacos?

You can add salsa, sour cream, avocado or guacamole, shredded cheese, or red pepper flakes.

Tacos al Pastor Recipe #tacos #mexican

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Tacos al Pastor
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Tacos al Pastor

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 16 minutes
Total Time: 46 minutes
Easy authentic Tacos al Pastor Recipe with soft or crunchy tortillas. These spicy pork tacos bring home the flavor of central Mexico with fresh ingredients on top!
Servings: 20 tacos

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Place the dried chiles in a bowl of boiling water and place a small plate over the top to submerge the chiles. Allow them to soak and soften for at least 10 minutes. Then scoop them out of the water, and remove the stems and seeds.
  • While the chiles are soaking, slice the pork roast into thin bite-size pieces. Place all the pork in a large zip bag.
  • Add the dried chiles, chipotle chiles, garlic, onion, vinegar, juice, 1 cup chopped pineapple, oregano, cumin, salt and acchiote into the blender. Puree until smooth, then pour over the pork, zip the bag, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. The longer the better.
  • Once the pork has marinated, place a colander in the sink and pour the pork into the colander to drain. You want it to be well-coated, but eliminate excess moisture for searing. Do not rinse it. Shake a little and drain.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-heat. Once hot, drizzle a little olive oil in the pan, then add a quarter of the pork. Arrange the pork in a single layer, covering the bottom of the pan. Sear for 1-2 minutes, then flip and cook another 1-2 minutes. Remove from the skillet and repeat with the remaining pork. Keep the cooked pork covered with foil.
  • To Serve: Fill crunchy or soft flour tortillas with pork, pico de gallo, and fresh chopped pineapple. Serve with a lime wedge and taco sauce if desired.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g, Calories: 94kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 29mg, Sodium: 493mg, Potassium: 233mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 245IU, Vitamin C: 12.8mg, Calcium: 12mg, Iron: 0.5mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Sommer Collier
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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Old El Paso. All opinions are my own.

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