Tacos Al Pastor recipe containing pork, pineapple, onion and coriander

Tacos al pastor

  • serves 6-8
  • Easy

This dish was developed by Lebanese immigrants in Mexico who combined the cooking style of shawarma with Mexican ingredients such as achiote and chillies. It’s usually cooked on a spit but this is a simplified version, which is very easy to make at home


Try tacos al pastor, then check out our pork tacos, steak tacos, chicken tacos and more tacos recipes.



  • boneless pork shoulder 1.5kg, skin and large pieces of fat removed, meat cut into ½cm-thick slices
  • pineapple 1, cut into 1cm slices
  • red onion 1 large, cut into thick slices
  • coriander a handful of leaves


  • achiote paste 50g, see notes below
  • fresh orange juice 50ml
  • guajillo chillies 4, stems removed, see notes below
  • chipotle chilli 1, stem removed
  • garlic 4 cloves
  • dried oregano 1 heaped tsp
  • ground cumin 1 heaped tsp
  • ground cloves ¼ tsp
  • pineapple juice 100ml
  • white wine vinegar 60ml
  • fine sea salt 2 tsp
  • caster sugar 2 tsp


  • corn tortillas and lime wedges


  • Step 1

    For the marinade, crumble the achiote into the orange juice and leave for 5 minutes.

  • Step 2

    In a dry pan over a medium heat, fry the chillies for 3-4 minutes or until charred, then add to a food processor with the achiote and orange juice, and the remaining marinade ingredients. Whizz to combine, then pour all over the meat. Cover and chill overnight or for at least 4 hours.

  • Step 3

    Prepare the BBQ for direct cooking by spreading the coals in an even layer. Brush the pineapple and onion with a little oil, and cook for a few minutes, turning once, until charred. Dice, season and mix with the coriander.

  • Step 4

    Grill the pork for 4-5 minutes on each side, turning, until the outside is charred but the meat on the inside is cooked through. (Alternatively, heat the grill to high and grill for 5 minutes each side, or until charred and cooked through.) Rest for 5 minutes under foil, then chop into small pieces, serving with the onion and pineapple, tortillas and lime wedges for squeezing over.

Achiote paste is made from annatto seeds and has an earthy, peppery flavour. Guajillo chilli is dried mirasol chilli – it has aromatic sweetness with mild heat. Buy them from Mexican grocers or on amazon.co.uk.

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Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 412
  • Fat 23.1g
  • Saturates 7g
  • Carbs 15.5g
  • Sugars 12.6g
  • Fibre 2.3g
  • Protein 34.4g
  • Salt 1.9g