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Tacos al Pastor

4 Servings

1 hour

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We combine tender broiled pork, spicy chilies and the subtle smokiness of charred pineapple in this take on tacos al pastor. The dish is from Mexico but has Levantine roots, stemming from the 19th century when Lebanese immigrants arrived, bringing their tradition of vertical spits for roasting lamb shawarma. Not finding much lamb, cooks switched to pork and instead of sandwiching the meat in flatbread, they used tortillas. Subsequent generations added pineapple and dried chilies. For everyday ease, we use pork tenderloin that has been pounded, briefly marinated and broiled. Chopped pineapple, also broiled, and fresh finely chopped white onion completes the tacos. For some extra color and crunch, offer finely shredded red cabbage for sprinkling. To simplify prep, you can buy fresh pineapple that has already been peeled, cored and sliced.




Don’t substitute regular chili powder for the ancho chili powder. If you can’t find ancho chili powder, pulverize whole ancho chilies (stemmed, seeded and torn) in a spice grinder.

1 hour


  • 1

    medium pineapple, peeled

  • ¼

    cup grapeseed or other neutral oil, plus more for baking sheet


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September 2, 2023
I've made this many times in the past an have played around with other proteins, even tofu. Was there once a version of this recipe that called for grilled/broiled onions as well? Why have you omitted this?
Hildy A.
July 13, 2023
delicious and simple
we used about half the chipotle as my husband doesn't do heat well. Also added pickled onions. Absolutely delicious.
John M.
April 13, 2023
Easy & Delicious!
The only change I made from the original recipe was using 2 chipotle chiles instead of 4, along with a generous tbsp. of adobo sauce. That made this plenty spicy for us. The pineapple puree is just amazing, and along with the broiled pineapple pieces w/cilantro & lime juice salsa, made some of the best tacos I've ever eaten. I'll definitely be making this one again and again. Thanks, Milk Street team!
Nichole B.

These are excellent! Slightly spicy for the kids...consider backing off the chipotle to 3.

Denise K.

I aleays remove the seeds and ribs to take away that super spicy heat

Susanna B.

Could you do this recipe on the grill instead of under the broiler? Any tips for that approach?

Janelle C.

Hi Susanna,

There is a grilled version of this recipe which you'll find using the following link:

The Milk Street Team

Jeff H.

Made these last night - have to say these are some of the best tacos I've ever had. They were both easy and delicious - will be making them again very soon.

Margaret R.

Can you substitute the pork with another type of meat ?

Rose M.

Very spicy but not unpleasantly. I forgot to get Adobo chili so I used regular chili and used a teaspoon less of it and cumin. They are some of the best tacos I've ever had. Forgot to put the red cabbage shown in the photo (but not mentioned in the recipe) on the tacos.

Dennis Alden D.

Very good tacos. I only had the option of broiling at 3" or 5", not the 4" recommended. I went with 5" since pork can overcook so easily. Unfortunately, the pineapple and onion got somewhat soft by the time it started charring. I think that the closer rack setting of 3" would probably get the char without over-softening the salsa ingredients. I'll just need to watch it more carefully.

Jocelyn M.

I've had bad experiences with getting off textured pork when marinating with pineapple. I've been told that using canned pineapple avoids this as the enzymes are broken down by the canning process. Was the pork affected by the fresh pineapple?

Allen H.

OMG, I have been waiting my entire life for tacos that taste this good. Kudos to all concerned.