Vegan AL Pastor: A Spicy, Savory Feast for Your Palate

by Luna johnsonJune 8, 2023
Vegan AL Pastor

Plant-based diets have become increasingly popular, and as a result, vegan takes on traditional dishes have been created. The Vegan AL Pastor is an example of this, which swaps out pork for plant-based proteins such as jackfruit, mushrooms, and seitan. The flavors of the original dish remain, thanks to the use of seasonings and spices. Both vegans and non-vegans can enjoy this vegan version of the classic AL Pastor. In this article, we'll review the history, the ingredients, and how to make this delicious dish.

Table Of Contents

What is Vegan AL Pastor?

AL Pastor is a classic Mexican dish that typically contains marinated pork cooked on a vertical rotisserie, similar to shawarma or gyros. It is thought to be derived from Lebanese cuisine introduced to Mexico by Lebanese immigrants. Vegan AL Pastor, in contrast, replaces meat with plant-based proteins, making it ideal for vegans and vegetarians.

A Brief History

AL Pastor originated in Mexico City in the 1960s when Lebanese immigrants introduced their culinary traditions to the local cuisine. The traditional AL Pastor was made with marinated pork, but over time, variations with chicken, beef, and now plant-based proteins have become popular.

Commonly used Ingredients

  • Plant-based protein (e.g., seitan, tempeh, jackfruit)
  • Pineapple juice
  • Achiote paste
  • Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Lime juice
  • Cumin
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Salt and pepper

Marinating the Protein

  • To infuse the plant-based protein with the savory and spicy flavors of AL Pastor, it is essential to marinate it properly. Here's a step-by-step guide to marinating the protein:
  • Whisk together the pineapple juice, achiote paste, chipotle peppers, garlic, onion, lime juice, cumin, oregano, paprika, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor to make a flavorful marinade. 
  • Place the plant-based protein in a bowl or zip-lock bag, then pour the marinade over it, making sure it is fully covered.
  • Let it sit in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or overnight to let the flavors mingle.

Preparing the Toppings

Vegan AL Pastor is typically served with various toppings that complement the flavors of the dish. Some popular toppings include slices of pineapple, cilantro, diced onion, diced jalapeño, limes, and a special AL pastor seasoning made with a blend of chili peppers and spices.

  • Begin by heating a skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat and cook the marinated protein until it is slightly crisp and slightly charred. 
  • At the same time, warm up the tortillas on a different pan. 
  • When the protein is cooked, cut it into thin bite-sized pieces. 
  • Place the pieces in a tortilla and add pineapple, cilantro, onion, and any other toppings. 
  • Squeeze some lime juice and add salsa or hot sauce to finish.
  • Roll the tortilla tightly to form a delicious Vegan AL Pastor taco.

Cooking Methods:

There are various methods to cook Vegan AL Pastor, depending on your preference and available equipment. Some common methods include grilling, pan-frying, or baking the marinated protein. Each method offers a slightly different texture and taste profile.

Serving Suggestions:

Vegan AL Pastor tacos are the star of the show, but you can elevate your meal by serving them with:

  • Mexican rice
  • Refried beans
  • Grilled vegetables
  • Fresh salad
  • Homemade tortilla chips and salsa

AL pastor spices are a Mexican-style spice blend that is typically used to marinate pork for tacos al pastor. The blend typically includes a combination of chiles, garlic, oregano, and other spices that give it a smoky, spicy flavor.


Vegan AL Pastor is a spicy and savory delight that showcases the versatility of plant-based cuisine. By incorporating traditional flavors and cooking techniques, this dish Vegan AL Pastor is a spicy and savory delight that showcases the versatility of plant-based cuisine. So, gather your ingredients, marinate your protein, and get ready to indulge in a mouthwatering feast for your palate.

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