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Published May 5, 2023. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This delicious Mexican Tacos al Pastor recipe with marinated roasted al pastor meat in a corn tortilla is served with pineapple, onion, and cilantro. Tacos al pastor is hands down my favorite taco, and once you make them, I think they’ll be yours also.
Tacos al Pastor
Tacos al pastor consists of roasted al pastor meat that is thinly sliced and served on a corn tortilla with garnishes of onion, pineapple, and cilantro. This extremely popular taco is commonly served at restaurants or street carts across Mexico and the United States.
Pastor translates to “shepherd,” meaning a cooking style adapted from Lamb Shawarma preparations created by Lebanese immigrants living in Mexico. Their middle eastern cooking method used spice and herbs to marinate the meat, then placed it on a vertical spit and roasted it. This method was then used to create the meat used in tacos al pastor.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Al Pastor – You will need thinly sliced al pastor meat to make these tacos al pastor.
- Tortillas – Corn tortillas are the authentic classic tortilla to use.
- Cilantro – Fresh chopped cilantro is used as a garnish for the tacos.
- Pineapple – I like to use slightly caramelized fresh pineapple as a garnish.
- Onion – You can use a red, white, sweet, or yellow onion.
How to Make Tacos Al Pastor
Marinate and roast the al pastor meat.
Heat the corn tortillas until they are warm and steaming.
Cook the sliced pineapple on a pan under the broiler on high for 3 to 4 minutes per side or directly on a hot grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until lightly charred. Medium dice them.
Thinly slice the cooked al pastor meat into a heated corn tortilla. You can use two shells if you’d like.
Next, generously garnish with diced red onions, cilantro, and pineapple.
Serve the tacos al pastor with lime slices.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: These tacos are meant to be eaten as soon as assembled. However, keep the meat warm and all the ingredients separate up to 30 minutes before serving.
How to Store: Cover all the ingredients separately and keep them in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. These will not freeze well.
How to Reheat: Heat the desired amount of al pastor meat in a medium-sized pan with 2 to 3 tablespoons of water and heat over low heat until warm.
Chef Notes + Tips
- You can use fresh uncooked pineapple as well.
- Flour tortillas can be used instead of corn, but it is not traditional.
- Feel free to double up on the tortillas if you see they are tearing.
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Tacos Al Pastor Recipe
- Marinate and roast the al pastor meat.
- Heat the corn tortillas over a grill, open flame, or in a large pan over medium heat for 20 to 30 seconds per side or until they are warm and steaming. Cover them with a towel to keep them warm.
- Cook the sliced pineapple on a pan under the broiler on high for 3 to 4 minutes per side or directly on a hot grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until lightly charred. Medium dice them.
- Thinly slice the cooked al pastor meat onto a heated corn tortilla. You can use two shells if you’d like.
- Next, generously garnish with diced red onions, cilantro, and pineapple. Repeat the process until all the ingredients are used evenly.
- Serve the tacos al pastor with lime slices.