Al Pastor Spicy Pork Taco Bowls

A healthier take on the al pastor tacos inspired this easy weeknight taco bowl made with spicy pork.

al pastor taco bowl

Usually, to make al pastor tacos you need to marinade the meat over several days and then spit-grill the pork like shawarma. This method is direct influence of Lebanese merchants who settled in Mexico in the early 1900s.

This recipe is the quick-fire version of the real thing, though just as delicious for an easy weeknight meal.

Healthier al pastor taco bowl

You don’t need a spit to make this authentic-tasting al pastor tacos recipe. Grilling the pork over low heat gives the marinade time to caramelize. Then toss it in a bowl, for an easy weeknight  warm protein bowls.   

What Does Tacos Al Pastor Mean?

 If you’re not familiar with al pastor, it’s a spicy pork dish from central Mexico inspired by Lebanese immigrants,  usually served as a taco topped with pineapple, raw onion and cilantro.

Al Pastor translates from Spanish to “shepherd style”, meaning its a crisp-thin shavings of a vertical split-roasted pork marinaded in Lebanese herbs and indigenous Mexican flavors.

Here is what you need to make the spicy pork taco bowls recipe:

Ingredients (scroll down for the recipe)
  • boneless pork loin
  • white onion
  • pineapple
  • orange juice
  • white vinegar
  • ancho chile powder 
  • garlic cloves
  • chipotle in adobo
  • salt
  • oregano

For serving

  • leafy greens
  • white onion
  • rice ( you can even use cauliflower rice to save on carb calories!)
  • fresh chopped cilantro
  • pineapple
  •  avocado
  • olive oil
  •  lime

easy recipe to make al pastor at home

What Cut of Meat is Used for Al Pastor Tacos?

Normally, al pastor tacos are made with boneless pork shoulder sliced super, super thin. If you are lucky enough to live near a Mexican meat market, you can probably find it right at the meat counter.
But, for these taco bowls recipe we are using pork loin. Loin is a more lean part of the pork so it doesn’t require as long of a cook time, which works in favor for this quick taco bowl recipe. 

al pastor or spicy taco in a healthy bowl for lunch


Other Posts You May Like

Crock Pot Pork Carnitas Tacos

Spicy Fish Taco Recipe

Mexican Street Style Corn Salad Recipe

Fast & Easy Lunch Bowl Recipe 

easy weeknight meal for al pastor tacos

Does Al Pastor Have Pineapple?

Traditionally, al pastor tacos are topped with pineapple, cilantro and onion. Sometimes, the strips of pork are also layered with onion and pineapple on the spit. The pineapple really enhances the flavor of the dish, and provides a deliciously sweet balance to the spicy al pastor marinade.
Personally, I love adding pineapple to savory dishes.

Is Al Pastor the Same as Adobada?

In Spanish, adobada means “marinated.” Sometimes, adobada  is spelled adovada. Either way, the word refers to pork that is marinated in red chili sauce, vinegar and oregano, not unlike al pastor spicy pork taco bowls recipe.
Sometimes al pastor tacos are called Adobada tacos. Adobada and al pastor are generally the same. In Southern Mexico these pork tacos are called al pastor, while in Northern region of Mexico they are called Adobada.

Print  Spicy Pork Taco Bowls Recipe


al pastor tacos bowl

Al Pastor Taco Bowls Recipe


  • 2 lbs

    boneless pork loin

  • 1

    white onion, chopped 

  • 1 cup

    pineapple, peeled cored and cubed

  • ½

    cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup

    white vinegar

  • 2 tbsp

    ancho chili powder 

  • 4

    garlic cloves, minced

  • 1

    chipotle in adobo

  • 1/2 tsp


  • 1 tsp oregano

For Serving as a Bowl

  • 2 cups

    leafy greens

  • 2 cups rice
  • 1/2 cup

    fresh chopped cilantro

  • 1 cup

    pineapple, peeled cored and cubed

  • 3 avocado, sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 limes, wedges


  • Slice pork into thin slices. Place in a large mixing bowl or resealable plastic bag.
  • Add the roughly chopped onion into a blender along with 1 cup of the cubed pineapple. Add in orange juice, white vinegar, chipotle, chili powder, garlic, salt, and oregano. Puree until smooth.
  • Pour marinade over pork. Refrigerate and let marinate. Ideally, at least 4 hours or as long as possible.Heat a skillet or grill to high heat. 
  • Heat a skillet or grill to high heat. Working in small batches, sear each slice of pork until cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes. Roughly chop the cooked pork.
  • Serve meat up hot on a warmed bed of rice add greens, freshly chopped cilantro, remaining pineapple chunks, sliced white onion, avocado and a lime wedge.

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spicy taco al pastor bowls

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  • Reply Easy Crispy Pork Carnitas Tacos Recipe | Besos, Alina June 11, 2020 at 7:25 AM

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