Cheesy Tacos Al Pastor Recipe

Sweet and smoky al pastor tacos smothered in Jarlsberg cheese because cheesy al pastor tacos are life!

True story, I sometimes get intense taco cravings. Case in point, Mike and I were in Charlottetown, the tiny capital of Prince Edward Island (a food paradise if ever there was one) when the taco craving struck. We were walking downtown, towards the pier, when we spotted a cute little wooden structure, with inviting chains of string lights hung over their outdoor patio. They even had a cute signboard outside that said, “Yesterday I wanted tacos. Now I’m eating tacos. Follow your dreams.” Who am I if not a dream follower?

Cheesy Tacos Al Pastor Recipe - Cheesy Tacos Al Pastor Recipe -

Cheesy Tacos Al Pastor Recipe -

Cheesy Tacos Al Pastor Recipe -

Cheesy Tacos Al Pastor Recipe -

Thing is, we were on our way to another dream of mine: lobster dinner, PEI style! But, the siren song of tacos called and somehow we ended up eating tacos, in PEI, at a place that probably has no right to make tacos, let alone sell them in a specialized store. Spoiler alert: they were bad. We ended up eating a lobster dinner afterwards, to drown our sorrows. The lobster dinner was amazing. So, lesson learned, don’t always give into your taco cravings. And…also, maybe don’t always follow your dreams?!

Cheesy Tacos Al Pastor Recipe - Cheesy Tacos Al Pastor Recipe -

But, if you are dreaming of tacos, I have just the thing for you: these cheesy tacos al pastor! Al pastor tacos are one of my favorites. If I see them, I absolutely have to get them, especially if they’re from a truck, on a vertical spit, with a roasted pineapple on top. Sweet, smokey, savory, and so good! Al pastor is kind of easy to make at home, if you’re not set on having an absolutely authentic experience. I don’t know too many people who have a vertical spit grill at home (I really do want one though!) so I adapted the traditional al pastor into an oven, then stove top method. The oven does the low and slow braising, then the stove top crisps up the edges and melts the cheese.

Cheesy Tacos Al Pastor Recipe -

Cheesy Tacos Al Pastor Recipe -

Cheesy Tacos Al Pastor Recipe -

Cheese is something else that isn’t traditional with al pastor, but creamy, nutty, melty Jarlsberg goes with just about everything, so I did it and made cheesy tacos al pastor. I was so excited when I layered on the shredded Jarlsberg, put the lid on and waited for the melting magic to happen. Melty Jarlsberg is so stringy and so good. I just love the way it melts. I served these up taco party style. I absolutely love at the table taco parties where everyone can make their own tacos, to their own tastes. Everything is optional except the cheese, because Jarlsberg :)

Cheesy Tacos Al Pastor Recipe -

Cheesy Tacos Al Pastor Recipe -

Cheesy Tacos Al Pastor Recipe -

Cheesy Tacos Al Pastor Recipe -

Cheesy Tacos Al Pastor Recipe
serves 4

Al Pastor

  • 1 lb pork butt
  • 1 package achiote (3.5 oz)
  • 1 can chipotle chiles en adobo (7.5 oz)
  • 1/4 cup oil


  • oil
  • 1-2 cups shredded Jarlsberg cheese
  • warmed tortilla shells
  • diced onion
  • chopped cilantro
  • pineapple chunks
  • lime wedges
  • hot sauce

This will make more sauce than you need. It freezes wonderfully.

In a blender, combine the achiote paste, chilies, canning sauce, oil and 3/4 cups water. Blend until smooth. Slice the pork at 1/4 inch intervals, but not all the way through, like you are making a hasselback potato, but with pork. Place the pork in a snug, oven proof dish and add a generous amount of the al pastor marinade all over the pork, being sure to get into all the cuts. Marinate for at least an hour.

Heat the oven to 250°F. Place the pork, uncovered, in the oven and slow roast for 2 hours. Remove, slice thinly and chop into bite size pieces.

Heat up a skillet over medium high heat and add enough oil to coat. When hot, add the cut al pastor meat in an even layer to char up the bottom bits. Let cook, until crispy, about 2-3 minutes. Layer on the shredded cheese and cover with a lid, letting the cheese melt, about 1 minute. Remove the lid and enjoy cheesy al pastor in warmed tortilla shells with onion, cilantro, pineapples, limes and hot sauce. Enjoy!

This post was sponsored by Jarlsberg. Thanks for supporting I am a Food Blog!

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  1. GARY says:

    Al Pastor are my favorites…I’m going to my local Mexican market and making these tonight…with fresh, hand made tortillas…eat your heart out…lol

  2. Lara says:

    Tacos El Pastor are my favourite, and living in Britain, they are almost impossible to get here, so I shall definitely be trying this recipe out myself. Not sure what pork butt is though- do you know what part of the pig that is? I’m guessing it’s not literally the arse :)

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi lara,
      pork butt is the same as pork shoulder :) so excited that you’ll get to have al pastor in britain!!

      1. Lara says:

        Thank you for the clarification.
        I’m making these for friends on Saturday now I know what to ask for at the butchers:)

  3. how have i never had Al Pastor tacos??? they sound ridic!!

    Making these tacos ASAP!

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