al pastor marinade

made with pineapple, orange juice, & chiles, al pastor is perfection when you’re craving sweet heat with some mexican flare. my al pastor marinade delivers all the flavor you expect when you bite into a piece of perfectly carmelly & crusty al pastor, using pantry ingredients i always have on hand. if you LOVE mexican food & you want to make something with MAJOR flavor without the MAJOR time commitment, this easy marinade is about to become your newest bff!made with pineapple, orange juice, & chiles, al pastor is perfection when you’re craving sweet heat with some mexican flare. if you want to make something with MAJOR flavor without the MAJOR time commitment, this al pastor marinade is about to become your newest bff! #playswellwithbutter #alpastor #alpastorrecipe #alpastormarinade #alpastortacos #grilledalpastsor #easymarinade #grillingrecipes #chickenmarinade #porkmarinade

pin this al pastor marinade recipe for later!!!

what is al pastor? it’s the perfect marinade for grilling season!

if you’ve ever had pastor-style street tacos, i know you’re jumping out of your seat right now. (i mean, i definitely am!)

carnitas & barbacoa seem to get all the love in the food blogging world (with good reason, for sure!), but al pastor is where it’s at, especially when it comes to grilling.

made with pineapple, orange juice, & chiles, al pastor is perfection when you’re craving sweet heat with some mexican flare. the pineapple & orange are absolutely key, as their citrus does triple duty by…

  1. tenderizing the meat, making this the perfect marinade to use on tougher cuts of meat that are a bit more budget-friendly – especially if you’re grilling for a crowd!
  2. adding that signature bright pop of flavor to every bite, helping to cut through both the richness of the meat & the spiciness in the marinade.
  3. giving the marinade natural sugars key for creating the perfect caramelized crust, also known as the addictively crispy bits that will have you diving into it bite after bite after bite…

an easy al pastor marinade recipe made from pantry ingredients!

if you LOVE mexican food & you want to make something with MAJOR flavor without the MAJOR time commitment, this marinade is about to become your newest bff.

while relatively simple to make, traditional al pastor marinade is made with whole chiles that i don’t always have on hand. my easy marinade delivers all the flavor you expect when you bite into a piece of perfectly carmelly & crusty al pastor, using pantry ingredients i always have on hand.

& i mean…does life get better than whipping together some majorly addictive tacos on a whim??

al pastor ingredients

made with pineapple, orange juice, & chiles, al pastor is perfection when you’re craving sweet heat with some mexican flare. if you want to make something with MAJOR flavor without the MAJOR time commitment, this al pastor marinade is about to become your newest bff! #playswellwithbutter #alpastor #alpastorrecipe #alpastormarinade #alpastortacos #grilledalpastsor #easymarinade #grillingrecipes #chickenmarinade #porkmarinade

pin this al pastor marinade recipe for later!!!

the perfect combination of all things spicy, sweet, & tangy! to make this marinade recipe, you’ll need…

  • fresh pineapple
  • fresh orange
  • garlic
  • chipotle peppers
  • apple cider vinegar
  • brown sugar
  • crushed red chili flakes
  • ground cumin
  • dried oregano

a couple of important disclaimers!:

  1. this is not your mama’s al pastor recipe! when i was creating this recipe, i really wanted to make something that had the balance of spicy + sweet + tangy flavor i know & love from traditional al pastor, simplifying it a little bit by using pantry ingredients i always have on hand. traditionally, it’s is made with whole dried chiles. they’re awesome, but they take a while to steep & reconstitute. plus, i don’t always have whole chiles on hand in my pantry. instead of using dried chiles, i use a combination of chipotle peppers (marinated dried jalapenos, they add great smoky heat) & crushed red chili flake. 
  2. proceed with caution when marinating with fresh pineapple! fresh pineapple contains an enzyme that is notorious for giving meat a mealy, mushy texture. this recipe is not the kind of marinade you want to let marinate for days, or even overnight. 2 hours is the sweet spot – because of the amount of acid in the marinade, it’ll still do a great job breaking down tougher meat. if you want to prep your marinade in advance, just store it in a jar or airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to get marinating!

how to use this al pastor recipe:made with pineapple, orange juice, & chiles, al pastor is perfection when you’re craving sweet heat with some mexican flare. if you want to make something with MAJOR flavor without the MAJOR time commitment, this al pastor marinade is about to become your newest bff! #playswellwithbutter #alpastor #alpastorrecipe #alpastormarinade #alpastortacos #grilledalpastsor #easymarinade #grillingrecipes #chickenmarinade #porkmarinade

pin this al pastor marinade recipe for later!!!

whip up some al pastor whenever you’re craving easy & fresh mexican this summer!

  • grilled pork chops or pork butt steaks
  • grilled chicken
  • grilled pork or chicken al pastor tacos
  • grilled al pastor burrito bowls
  • …the options are endless!!!

my current obsession is pork al pastor tacos. slice a small pork butt or shoulder into steaks, & marinate for no more than 2 hours. grill over medium-high heat until crispy & charred (the pork butt will stay so juicy too!). throw some of your leftover pineapple on the grill while you’re at it for grilled pineapple! chop everything into bite-sized pieces & serve on charred corn tortillas with some smashed avocdao – omg YUM. made with pineapple, orange juice, & chiles, al pastor is perfection when you’re craving sweet heat with some mexican flare. if you want to make something with MAJOR flavor without the MAJOR time commitment, this al pastor marinade is about to become your newest bff! #playswellwithbutter #alpastor #alpastorrecipe #alpastormarinade #alpastortacos #grilledalpastsor #easymarinade #grillingrecipes #chickenmarinade #porkmarinade

pin this al pastor marinade recipe for later!!!

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made with pineapple, orange juice, & chiles, al pastor is perfection when you’re craving sweet heat with some mexican flare. if you want to make something with MAJOR flavor without the MAJOR time commitment, this al pastor marinade is about to become your newest bff! #playswellwithbutter #alpastor #alpastorrecipe #alpastormarinade #alpastortacos #grilledalpastsor #easymarinade #grillingrecipes #chickenmarinade #porkmarinade

al pastor marinade


Description

Made with pineapple, orange juice, & chiles, al pastor is perfection when you’re craving sweet heat with some Mexican flare. My al pastor marinade delivers all the flavor you expect when you bite into a piece of perfectly carmelly & crusty al pastor, using pantry ingredients I always have on hand. if you LOVE Mexican food & you want to make something with MAJOR flavor without the MAJOR time commitment, this easy marinade is about to become your newest bff!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds meat or veggies of choice
  • 1 small yellow onion, roughly diced
  • ½ medium pineapple, cored, peeled & roughly diced (about 2 cups, see Recipe Notes!)
  • 1 medium orange, zested & juiced (about ½ cup juice)
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 23 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red chili flakes
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Blend the al pastor marinade: Add all listed marinade ingredients, less the crushed red chili flake, to the bowl of a food processor. Blend to combine, pureeing the pineapple & onion. Once pureed, stir in the crushed red chili flakes. Use immediately, or transfer to a jar or airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  2. Marinate: Pour the marinade over your meat or veggies of choice. Marinate for at least 1 hour and at most 2 hours. See Recipe Notes.
  3. Grill as desired. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Marinate with caution! All of the citrus & acid in al pastor marinade help make the meat so freakin’ delish, it also breaks down the proteins in the meat quickly. Fresh pineapple is notorious for giving meat a mushy, mealy texture if it marinates for too long. This al pastor marinade recipe should only be left to marinate for 2 hours, tops. You’ll still get tons of flavor, & you’ll protect the texture of your meat.
  • Reserve the remaining pineapple for serving over top your al pastor meat, tacos, or burrito bowls! Or, make a quick batch of grilled pineapple pico for extra wow-factor!
  • Category: sauces & condiments
  • Method: no-cook
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: al pastor, al pastor marinade, al pastor recipe

don’t forget to pin this al pastor marinade recipe for later!!!made with pineapple, orange juice, & chiles, al pastor is perfection when you’re craving sweet heat with some mexican flare. if you want to make something with MAJOR flavor without the MAJOR time commitment, this al pastor marinade is about to become your newest bff! #playswellwithbutter #alpastor #alpastorrecipe #alpastormarinade #alpastortacos #grilledalpastsor #easymarinade #grillingrecipes #chickenmarinade #porkmarinade

About jess

i help modern gals turn everyday moments into celebrations with recipes that are just as easy as they are elegant.

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