Tacos al Pastor

in Cinco de Mayo, Mexican & TexMex, On the grill, Pineapple, Pork, Tacos, Enchiladas & Quesadillas

A long while back, one of my favorite food bloggers mentioned that she was making Tacos al Pastor for dinner. Chili-marinated pork served with grilled pineapple. Pork. Chilies. Pineapple. Yum.

So my brain processed that information and came to the only logical conclusion: Must. Make. Now.

The only experience I had with Tacos al Pastor left something – a lot – to be desired. My parents have been going to the same little Mexican restaurant in Humble (the H is silent!) since I was… born? I remember getting excited about the mexican candy they would bring to the kids after dinner. We still take my dad there every year for Father’s Day, his birthday, and now the occasional “thanks for babysitting” dinner. Margaritas are cheap, the queso is good, and they keep your chips and salsa topped off. But the Tacos al pastor? Greasy and salty.

These tacos are most definitely not salty or greasy. They are a nice departure from our standard chicken taco night with a great balance of savory, spice, and sweetness. And the recipe makes a generous amount of pineapple salsa so grab a bag of tortilla chips!

Tacos al Pastor with Pineapple Salsa

Juicy pork tacos with pineapple salsa.


  • 1 medium red onion, halved
  • 1 pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chile powder
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 large chipotle chiles + 2 tsp adobo sauce (from canned chipotles)
  • ~3 lb boneless pork loin, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • Tortillas
  • 1 large handful fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 large jalapenos, chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced


  1. Coarsely chop 1 onion half. Coarsely chop 2 pineapple rounds.
  2. Place chopped onion and chopped pineapple in blender. Add orange juice and next 7 ingredients; puree marinade until smooth.
  3. Place pork in large resealable plastic bag.
  4. Add marinade and seal bag, releasing excess air. Turn to coat. Chill 30 minutes. (Pineapple has an enzyme that makes meat mushy. Too long in the marinade = mushy pork.)
  5. Chop remaining pineapple into small cubes. Toss with chopped jalapenos, cilantro, and lime juice. Salt to taste. Chill until ready to serve.
  6. Heat grill to medium high. Grill pork with some marinade still clinging until slightly charred and cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes per side, basting with sauce when you flipping the rounds.
  7. Transfer pork to work surface and chop or shred. Serve on tortillas topped with a generous scoop of pineapple salsa.


Yields: 8 servings

Adapted from Bon Appetit

Estimated time: 1 hour

3 comments… add one
  • This is one of my favorite things torta style at a local Mexican deli. I’m so excited to try it at home! Along with their fabulous Elote (http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/mexican-corn-on-the-cob-elote/Detail.aspx).

  • I’ve seen this on the menu for years but never tried them. This inspires me.

    p.s. I made your Eggs in Purgatory the other night. My husband wasn’t planning to come home for dinner but when I told him what I was making, he changed his plans. We loved it even though I was a bit heavy handed with the red pepper flakes. I’ll know for next time.

  • Why does it seem like your recipe is so much simpler than mine, and yet it looks just as delicious?! It must be my inate ability to make everything more complicated than it needs to be.

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