Al Pastor Marinade Recipe(Marinate and Celebrate)

al pastor marinade recipe
4.50 from 2 votes
Special Al Pastor Marinade Recipe
Savor the simplicity of oven-baked al pastor by marinating pork with achiote and spices. Skewer pork and pineapple, bake until charred, and assemble on tortillas with toppings for a tasty meal.

This Al Pastor Marinade brings tasty and authentic smoky flavors for those famous Al Pastor Tacos and more. Packed with deliciousness, this marinade mixes dried peppers, orange juice, garlic, herbs, and a bit of pineapple for sweetness.

Tacos Al Pastor is my top choice, especially since it’s tough to find good ones where I live now. That’s why I make them at home – homemade is just better, right? While my hubby loves Creamy Tacos, this and Buffalo Chicken Sliders are my go-to favorites!

Believed to have originated in Central Mexico, particularly in the lively city of Puebla, this flavorful marinade has roots in Lebanese immigrants’ influence during the early 20th century. They brought their cherished shawarma, and as it blended with local Mexican cuisine, the al pastor marinade became a mouthwatering fusion of flavors.

What is Al Pastor?

If you’re new to al pastor, prepare for a delightful experience! Traditionally, al pastor marries pork in a tasty chile mix and cooks it on a rotating stick. The pork gets beautifully charred as it turns and is then sliced and served in a tortilla. It might sound like shawarma, and that’s because it has roots in lamb shawarma brought to Mexico by Lebanese immigrants in the 19th century. Pretty interesting, right?

Since I often daydream about them, I really wanted to recreate the fantastic flavors of tacos al pastor using what I have at home. The key? A top-notch al pastor marinade. That’s how I came up with this simple al pastor marinade recipe. Made with chiles, orange juice, and achiote paste, it’s earthy, smoky, citrusy, and absolutely delicious!

Overview: How To Make Al Pastor Marinade?

al pastor marinade recipe

To make this mouth-watering al pastor meal, lay the pork shoulder in a big dish after slicing it into 1-centimeter (¼ in) pieces. Blend together the achiote paste, garlic powder, oregano, cumin, vinegar, pineapple juice, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Coat the pork slices evenly with the marinade and set aside to marinate for at least two hours or up to three days in the fridge.

Prepare a baking sheet and set the oven to 350°F, or 180°C, before you begin cooking. Thread pork pieces onto a wooden skewer, then alternate pineapple slices with pork. Top with a final pineapple slice. To achieve a little charred and deeply red pork, bake for approximately 1½ hours. Carve thin slices of pork and roasted pineapple after they have rested for 10 minutes.

After you lay out the tortillas, top with the pork, pineapple, onion, cilantro, salsa, and cubed avocado. This tasty and filling dish is best enjoyed with lime wedges and once you are done enjoying Al Pastor Marinade you can also go for our Chicken Kabobs which i think you will definitely love.

al pastor marinade recipe

Special Al Pastor Marinade Recipe

Savor the simplicity of oven-baked al pastor by marinating pork with achiote and spices. Skewer pork and pineapple, bake until charred, and assemble on tortillas with toppings for a tasty meal.
4.50 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Marinating time: 2 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Calories: 400kcal
Author: Anne Carter
Servings: 10


  • Cutting Board and Knife
  • Large Dish or Bowl
  • Medium bowl
  • Wooden Skewer
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Baking sheet
  • Refrigerator
  • Oven


  • 1 centimeter Pork Shoulder
  • 2 tbsp Achiote Paste
  • 1 tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 2 tbsp Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Pineapple Juice
  • Sliced pineapple
  • Tortillas
  • Sliced Onion
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Salsa
  • Diced Avacado
  • Lime Wedges


  • Slice pork shoulder into 1-centimeter (¼ in) slices and place in a large dish.
  • In a medium bowl, mix achiote paste, chili powder, garlic powder, oregano, cumin, salt, pepper, vinegar, and pineapple juice until smooth.
  • Pour marinade over pork slices, toss to coat, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 hours to 3 days.
  • Place pineapple slices on the baking sheet. Skewer them with a wooden skewer through the middle.
  • Thread pork slices onto the skewer, leaving a 1-inch gap at the top. Add another pineapple slice on top.
  • Bake for approximately 1½ hours until pork is slightly charred and deep red.
  • Rest meat for 10 minutes, then carve thin slices of pork and roasted pineapple.
  • On tortillas, place pork, pineapple, onion, cilantro, salsa, and diced avocado.
  • Serve assembled tacos with lime wedges.


I recommend making the marinade when you’re meal prepping for the week ahead of time if you want to marinate something later on.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 400kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 800mg | Potassium: 500mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 500IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 3mg
Keyword al pastor marinade recipe, authentic al pastor marinade recipe, easy al pastor marinade recipe

Marination Secrets

Al pastor calls for this traditional adobo sauce, which is perfect for marinating meat. But you can use it the same way to marinate chicken.

This sauce adds the perfect amount of heat and spice to any marinade, whether it’s for chicken, pig, beef, or veggies. The chipotle’s smokey flavor gives it depth, and the orange juice gives it a zesty, invigorating acidity. A sweetness complements the pungent garlic, creating a delectable combination of flavors.

The marinade is easy to apply; just coat your meat or vegetables of choice and set aside. Allow the flavors to combine and intensify for at least an hour; however, if you possess additional time, marinating your meal overnight will elevate it to a whole new level while rendering it incredibly delicate. After that, get your oven or grill ready for a delectable explosion!

What To Serve With al Pastor Marinade?

Can We Store Al Pastor Marinade for Further Consumption?

al pastor marinade recipe

Yes, It is possible to save Al Pastor marinade for later use, giving you the flexibility to savor the unique flavors whenever it suits you best. Once the marinade is ready, move it into a refrigerator-safe container and seal it. You can keep the marinade in the fridge for up to five days.

This amount of time guarantees that the flavors combine and the ingredients stay fresh, resulting in a rich flavor profile. To keep the marinade fresh, always use an airtight, clean container. Give the marinade a brisk toss to reunite any separated ingredients before using it. Al Pastor marinade is a handy alternative for quick and delectable dinners whenever the craving strikes because it lets you plan ahead.

Storing And Managing Leftovers

  1. Cooling Down: After preparing the Al Pastor marinated pork, allow them to cool to room temperature. This step is essential to prevent excess moisture buildup in the storage container.
  2. Packaging: Place the pork in an airtight container or wrap them individually in plastic wrap. Ensure that each taco is well-sealed to maintain freshness.
  3. Refrigeration: Store the wrapped or containerized tacos in the refrigerator. The cold temperature helps slow down the growth of bacteria and preserves the flavors.
  4. Labeling: If you’re preparing multiple batches or storing different pork variations, consider labeling the container with the date to keep track of freshness.
  5. Reheating: When you’re ready to enjoy the stored pork tacos, gently reheat them in an oven or on a skillet. This will help restore their texture and bring back the flavors.
  6. Toppings and Sides: If your tacos include toppings or sides (such as salsa, guacamole, or lettuce), consider storing these separately to maintain their freshness. Add them to the tacos just before serving.
  7. Quality Check: Before consuming, check the tacos for any signs of spoilage. If they look and smell good, they are likely safe to eat.

REMEMBER: Always follow basic hygiene practices to keep your meals delicious and risk-free.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q:1 Can I use a different cut of pork?

A. Yes, you can try different cuts, but the shoulder is ideal for its tenderness and ability to absorb flavors.

Q:2 Can I grill the Al Pastor instead of baking?

A. Absolutely! Grilling adds a smoky dimension. Grill over medium heat, turning until charred and cooked through.

Q:3 Can I marinate the pork for less than 2 hours?

A. While 2 hours is recommended for optimal flavor absorption, you can marinate the pork for a shorter time. However, a longer marination allows the flavors to intensify.

Q:4 Are there vegetarian alternatives for this recipe?

A. Substitute pork with tofu or cauliflower for a delicious vegetarian twist, adjusting cooking times accordingly.

Q:5 Can I use store-bought pineapple juice?

A. Yes, store-bought pineapple juice works well. Ensure it’s 100% juice for authentic flavor.

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