Homemade Tacos Al Pastor

Back when I was in college our Spanish professor took us to a hole-in-the-wall that was known for their tacos al pastor. They were some of the BEST tacos I’ve ever had. The combination of flavorful pork and fresh sweet pineapple was killer. I’ve craved them ever since! Finally a few weeks ago I decided it was time to make my own. Sure these aren’t slow roasted on a spit, but they’re pretty darn delicious!

Homemade Tacos Al Pastor

The overall flavor of the pork comes from its marinade. To make it, you’ll need a few types of dried chilies along with some garlic, red onion, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, pineapple juice and a variety of spices… oh, and of course, lots of fresh pineapple! Toss it all in a blender and let it go until it’s nice and smooth. Pour it over 2-3 pounds of sliced pork and chill it in a ziploc bag for at least four hours. I know that seems long, but overnight is even better- you want the pork to get tender and you definitely want it to be flavorful!

Homemade Tacos Al Pastor

Now comes the messy part. You’ll have to strain pork in a colander. The marinade with seep through the holes which will leave behind a much less saucy pork. That way when you go to sear it, the pork will actually get crisp instead of mushy. When the pork is cooked, heat up or fry some corn tortillas and then load ’em up! We garnished our with grilled pineapple, chopped cilantro, chopped red onion, and a few squirts of lime. They were sooo good!

Homemade Tacos Al Pastor

If you’re looking for a new recipe for taco tuesday you’ve gotta give this one a try! These pork tacos are tender, flavorful and piled with fresh ingredients. I know you’re going to love them!

Homemade Tacos Al Pastor
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
If you love sweet and spicy pork, you are going to fall in love with these homemade tacos al pastor! They're easy to make and packed full of flavor.
Yield: 6-8 servings
  • 3 dried guajillo chiles
  • 2 dried ancho chiles
  • 2 dried pasilla chilies
  • 2.5-3 lbs. pork loin roast
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • ½ red onion, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ c. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 c. pineapple juice*
  • 3 c. chopped fresh pineapple, divided
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. coriander
  • ¼ tsp. paprika
  • ⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil

  • Corn tortillas

  • Garnishes:
  • Chopped fresh pineapple
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Chopped red onion
  • Lime wedges
  1. In a medium size bowl, place the dried chilies along with a few cups of very hot water. Allow the chilies to soak until soft, about 5-10 minutes. When the chiles are tender, remove them, cut them open and scrape out the seeds.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the pork roast into thin bite-size pieces, removing any excess fat. Place into a large ziploc bag.
  3. In a blender, add the soaked chilies, garlic cloves, red onion, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, pineapple juice, 1½ cups chopped pineapple, oregano, cumin, coriander, paprika, cayenne and salt. Puree until smooth, then pour into the ziploc bag, zip and shake to coat. Refrigerate the pork for 4 hours, preferably overnight.
  4. After the pork has marinated, place it into a colander (sitting in the sink) and allow the mixture to drain (you want the pork to be coated but not super saucy).
  5. In a large skillet set over medium-heat, add ½ tablespoon of olive oil. Once hot, add half of the pork, cook for 3-4 minutes (or until thoroughly cooked), flipping half way through. Repeat with the remaining olive oil and pork.
  6. Serve in crispy or soft corn tortillas, garnish as desired.
*I used a can of Dole 100% pineapple juice and measured it out.
-The pork isn't super spicy, just flavorful. If you want extra heat, add an additional ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper.

Recipe source: adapted from A Spicy Perspective

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