Grilled Pork and Pineapple Tacos
This Grilled Pork and Pineapple Tacos recipe a much easier twist on tacos al pastor. It promises to be your next taco night hit!
Tacos, tacos, tacos. Our family goes crazZzZzy for tacos!
We eat tacos, or some rendition of tacos, at least once a week. So of course, I’m always looking for ways to keep the mealtime excitement going strong when it comes to this fun and flavorful meal.
These Grilled Pork and Pineapple Tacos were an instant hit with our family this summer. The recipe is a flavor riff on tacos al pastor, where pork, pineapple, and onion are prepared shawarma-style using a spit. This recipe is SO MUCH quicker and easier to put together – I promise – relying on the extra flavor brought out by the char of the grill.
* This is a sponsored post, created in partnership with the National Pork Board.
Grilling is a way of life for our family. It helps us to eat in a delicious and healthy way, giving extra flavor and texture to every meat, fruit, and veggie we place on its searing hot grates.
You’ll often find pork on our grill. Saucy barbecued ribs and smoked pork butt are a special treat, while bone-in pork chops and pork loins make more regular appearances.
In this recipe, I used Smithfield® lean and tender pork loin (purchased from our local Walmart), but not in the traditional way where the loin is left whole. Instead I slice the loin into mini steaks, season them well with a flavorful chili mixture on both sides, and then grill both sides. This method seasons and grills more overall surface area of the pork, adding an extra punch of flavor and texture. Just take care to not overcook it, or you’ll lose the tender, juicy quality the pork loin is famous for.
As recommended by the National Pork Board: Cook pork chops, loin roasts, and pork tenderloin to an internal temperature between 145°F and 160°F, followed by a three-minute rest. For ground pork, always cook to an internal temperature of 160°F. For ribs, cook until tender.
Pork and pineapple were just meant to be together, a long-time favorite flavor combo of mine. And with some red onion, made sweet and tender from the heat of the grill, these grilled pork and pineapple tacos are perfection.
I dressed the tacos very simply with fresh tomatoes and cilantro, plus creamy guacamole and a squeeze of fresh lime – and that’s really all they need.
Grilled Pork and Pineapple Tacos
- 1.5 lbs. Smithfield® pork tenderloin sliced 1/2″ thick into “mini steaks”
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. ancho chili powder
- ½ tsp. chipotle powder
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
- ½ tsp. dried oregano
- ¼ tsp. onion powder
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- ¼ tsp. kosher salt
- big pinch ground cloves
- olive oil
- 1 small to medium fresh pineapple outer skin and core removed, with flesh cut into thin vertical spears
- 1 medium red onion sliced into 3 to 4 rings (leaving the rings connected)
- 12 to 16 medium flour tortillas
- small tomatoes sliced in half
- chopped fresh cilantro
- fresh lime wedges
- Place sliced pork on a large rimmed pan. Brush both sides of each pork slice very lightly with olive oil and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cumin, ancho chili powder, chipotle chili powder, garlic powder, oregano, onion powder, black pepper, salt, and cloves. Sprinkle spice mixture evenly onto both sides of each piece of pork, using all of the spice mixture.
- Place pineapple spears on a separate rimmed pan, along with the onion slices. Brush both sides of the onion slices very lightly with olive oil and then sprinkle fairly generously with black pepper and salt.
- Heat grill to medium-high heat. Make sure grates are scrubbed clean and then oiled. (To oil the grates, add some canola oil to a small bowl. Then fold a heavy paper towel a few times to make a smaller square. With a tongs, grasp the folded paper towel and dip it into the oil until the paper towel is drenched. Then run the paper towel over the grates, repeating until all grill grates are thoroughly oiled.)
- First grill the tortillas, laying them right on the hot grates. It shouldn’t take very long to get a nice char. Then flip and grill the second side. Take care to not let the tortillas char too much, or they will get brittle and not be as easy to fold for tacos. Remove from grill.
- Oil grates again. Then place pineapple spears onto the hot grates. Grill for 1 to 3 minutes per side, or until charred to your liking. I recommend keeping a thin metal spatula at your side, should any of the spears want to stick. This tool will help you "scrape up" the pineapple from the grates, preserving that beautiful char. Tongs are also great, for quick flipping. Remove pineapple from grill. Once they have cooled a bit, chop spears into 1/2 " pieces.
- Oil grates again. Place onion slices onto the hot grates. Grill for 1 to 3 minutes per side, or until charred to your liking. Again, the thin metal spatula and tongs can be your friends here. Remove onion slices from grill. Once they have cooled a bit, chop slices into 1/2" pieces.
- Oil grates again. Place pork slices onto hot grates. The pork is thin, so won’t take long to cook. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side, until nicely charred and an internal temperature between 145°F and 160°F is achieved. Do not overcook, or the juicy tenderness will be lost. Remove pork from grill and let sit for 3 minutes. Then place pork on a cutting board and slice each piece into thin strips.
- For taco assembly, offer tortillas, pork, pineapple, onion, tomatoes, cilantro, guacamole, and lime wedges to make tacos as you please.
Here are a few more grilled pork recipes for you:
- Grilled Chili Lime Pork Tenderloin
- Asian Pork Tenderloin Salad
- Grilled Charmoula Pork Kebabs with Yogurt Mint Sauce
- Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Peach Glaze and Orange-Habanero Mojo
And for more recipe inspiration and grilling tips and tricks, check out the links below – follow the National Pork Board, Smithfield, and Walmart.
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by the National Pork Board. Thank you for supporting us and the brands we so carefully choose to work with. All opinions expressed are our own.