Ground Beef Tacos, Al Pastor-Style

These ground beef tacos are cooked al pastor -style with pineapple juice and fresh pineapple. Grated cheese is folded in at end for a tangy, spicy, cheesy filling. Serve with corn or flour tortillas and all the fixings for an easy weeknight meal!

Do you have a dish you love but just can’t get ever get right when you try to make it at home? I consider myself a pretty competent cook, but every time I’ve tried to make enchiladas, it’s been a disaster.

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Al pastor style beef taco with toppings

The principal issue is the tortillas. The corn tortillas I get at my grocery store never seem to be pliable enough to fold around the filling without breaking apart. By the time I get the pan into the oven it’s just pieces of soggy tortilla floating in a puddle of sauce and filling and covered with cheese. Tasty but not exactly picture-perfect. Next time, I’ll try these tips from Bon Appétit. If you’re an enchilada master, please tell me your secrets, I’m all ears!

Overhead view of a ground beef taco, al pastor style with avocado and chopped red onion on the side

Anyway, I gave it another shot a couple of weeks ago with a recipe from the new Half-Baked Harvest book. I wish I could say I finally conquered the enchilada, but nope. Through no fault of the recipe, of course, just my bad enchilada juju!

They were a delicious mess. In fact I loved the filling so much that I decided to adapt it and make it again, but this time I employed the far less problematic vehicle of a taco.

The filling for these ground beef tacos is “al pastor”-style in that the meat is cooked with pineapple, but made with ground beef rather than pork. It is sweet, spicy and tangy. With lots of grated cheese mixed and melted into it, it is super delicious stuffed into a corn or flour tortilla.

Collage of process shots for making ground beef tacos al pastor style

I love Mexican food year-round of course, but I crave it most in the spring. Not just because of Cinqo de Mayo, but because after a long, painful winter, fun festive food served family-style is exactly what feels good to me. In the case of these ground beef tacos, it doesn’t hurt that they’re easy to make and take no time to whip up, so I can be outside enjoying the day as much as possible.

If you’re craving Mexican food as much as we are, here are some more Mexican and Tex-Mex favorites!

Chicken tacos with cilantro-lime slaw

Chicken tortilla soup

Chicken quesadillas

Enjoy xx

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Products I used to make these ground beef tacos, al pastor -style

Al pastor style beef taco with toppings
5 from 5 votes
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Ground Beef Tacos, al pastor -style

These ground beef tacos are cooked al pastor -style with pineapple juice and fresh pineapple. Grated cheese is folded in at end for a tangy, spicy, cheesy filling. Serve with corn or flour tortillas and all the fixings for an easy weeknight meal!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword al pastor, ground beef, tacos
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Ann

Ingredients

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 chipotle peppers canned in adobo
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1.5 cups fresh pineapple chunks divided
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 yellow onion thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeno seeded and minced
  • kosher salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
  • 1.5 cups cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1.5 cups monterey jack cheese shredded
  • 12 small corn or flour tortillas warmed

For serving

  • chopped red onion
  • cilantro
  • avocado

Instructions

  1. In a blender or food processor, place the garlic, chili powder, paprika, chipotle pepper, pineapple juice, vinegar and 1/2 cup of the pineapple chunks. Puree until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.

  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the onion and beef and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon until the meat is no longer pink, about 10 minutes.

  3. Bring the heat down to low and add the pineapple sauce, remaining cup of pineapple chunks ( I like to dice these a bit smaller), and jalapeno. Simmer for about 10 minutes until the sauce is reduced and coats the beef. Taste and season with salt if desired.

  4. Remove from heat and fold in the shredded cheese and cilantro. Serve with the warmed tortillas and toppings.

Recipe Notes

Filling adapted from the Half-Baked Harvest Cookbook



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