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Vegan Tacos al Pastor

  • Author: Chuck Underwood
  • Prep Time: 90 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 10-12 tacos 1x
  • Category: Main, Soy Curls
  • Method: Stovetop, Blender
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Diet: Vegan


One bite of these flavorful Vegan Tacos al Pastor will make you think you are sitting in a Taqueria somewhere in Mexico! Muy delicioso!


Units Scale


  • 3 guajillo chile pods
  • 2 ancho chile pods
  • water to cover
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp Mexican cinnamon (canela)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 (3.5 oz pkg) achiote paste
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple
  • 1 small orange
  • 1/4 tsp whole peppercorns
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 chipotle pepper with 1 tsp adobo (opt.)


  • 8-10 corn tortillas
  • 4 oz. soy curls
  • 1 cup diced pineapple for garnish
  • 1 cup salsa verse (or salsa of choice)
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro, chopped fine
  • 1/2 jalapeno, diced (opt.)
  • 1 c. water


  1. Remove seeds and stems from chiles
  2. Lay flat in a skillet over med heat and toast until fragrant (1 min)
  3. Add chiles to a bowl and cover with hot water to rehydrate for 15 min
  4. Add garlic (with the skins) to the skillet and roast until slightly blackened (5 min).  Allow to cool then remove the skins. 
  5. In a spice grinder, grind the cinnamon, cumin, oregano, peppercorns, cloves, and onion powder together.  
  6. Drain chiles and reserve 1 cup of the water
  7. Add chiles, roasted garlic, and the ground spice blend with just enough water to puree until it is smooth.  Add additional chile soaking water if needed to get the puree smooth.  
  8. Add pineapple, peeled orange, vinegar, salt, and 1/2 of the package of achiote.  Puree until smooth. 
  9. Crumble soy curls (if you want smaller pieces) into a casserole dish and add the marinade.  Mix well. 
  10. Allow to marinate for 2 hours. 
  11. Meanwhile add diced onion, cilantro, and jalapeños to a bowl and mix.  Set aside. 
  12. Add chopped pineapple to another bowl.  Set aside
  13. After 2 hours (or when soy curls have softened) scrape soy curls and marinade into a skillet, add 1 cup of water, mix well and heat until bubbly.  The sauce will be thick.  
  14. Continue to heat until warmed through and the soy curls are soft. 
  15. Spoon into heated tortillas and top with the onion/cilantro relish.  Add pineapple and salsa verde and enjoy!


  • Fresh pineapple is best.  I bought a small one and have leftover pineapple to snack on. 
  • Ancho chiles are milder than Guajillos.  To tone down the heat of the sauce, use 5 Anchos instead of Guajillos. 
  • Also, skip the jalapeños and chipotle if you don't like heat. 
  • I used a store-bought jar of Salsa Verde
  • Achiote is a paste made from Annatto Seeds and is pretty popular in Mexican cuisine.  It's what gives the marinade its rusty red color.  It comes in a 3.5 oz. package and I found it in the Mexican aisle of my local Walmart.  It is also available on Amazon.
  • Regular cinnamon sticks can be used but I found the Mexican version at Walmart (because I was trying to be authentic)
  • For the orange, I used a little Cutie. 

Keywords: Vegan tacos al pastor