Recipes

Pumpkin Tacos al Pastor

Serves 3-4

| Prep Time: 1 hour

| Cook Time: 20 mins

| Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

You may need: Dried Garlic Powder

Discover The Recipe

Pumpkin is an ingredient we wait for all year, so why not try it in tacos? This recipe for Pumpkin Tacos al Pastor is a unique use for this comforting and delicious fall staple! Pumpkin is both meaty in texture, creamy and mild in flavor and able to take on a wide range of flavors. Its slightly sweet flavor profile is actually quite balanced with spicy Mexican ingredients!

Mexican Tacos al Pastor are usually made with pork shoulder that has been marinated in a tangy combination of pineapple and Mexican spices. Then the meat is usually grilled or cooked on a spit. In this recipe, we have replaced the pork shoulder with sugar pumpkin for a vegan Pumpkin Tacos al Pastor. It’s super easy to season with Mexican spices by using our delicious Taco Elixir spice blend. This mix has the perfect balance of fragrant Mexican spices and a touch of heat! Use this all-purpose blend to make fajitas, enchiladas, tostadas or anywhere you want a blast of flavor.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs tomatillos, husks removed

  • 1/2 cup onions, minced

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves

  • 1 Tbsp lime juice

  • 1 serrano chili (for spicy heat; optional; jalapeño OK)

  • Salt and pepper to taste (optional)

  • 6 cups pumpkin flesh, peeled and cut into 1/2” cubes (or butternut squash cubes)

  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice

  • 1 tsp sea salt

  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

  • 2 Tbsp Piquant Post Taco Elixir spice mix

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil 

  • 6-8 (4”) corn tortillas

  • 1 (15oz) can of black beans, drained

  • 1 avocado, cut into slices

  • 1/4 cup coconut yogurt

  • 6-8 sprigs of cilantro

  • 1/4 cup purple cabbage, thinly sliced

  • 1 lime cut into wedges

Notes

The easiest way to peel a whole pumpkin (which is not something you do everyday!) is to cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and then place the pumpkin half cut side down and use a sharp knife to carefully cut off the skin. Using a peeler to get the skin off can be difficult! We use our knife to carefully cut along the curve of the pumpkin. 

Fresh chopped pineapple would also be a lovely complement to this dish if you wish! Throw some into the salsa for a sweet addition!

If you can’t get pumpkin, feel free to use butternut squash. Save time by buying pre-cut squash available in nearly every supermarket.

Butternut squash is very easy to peel because the surface is very smooth, so feel free to buy a whole squash, peel, and slice in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to remove the seeds then cut into bite sized cubes.

Instructions

Toss the cut pumpkin flesh with the pineapple juice, sea salt, black pepper, Taco Elixir spice mix, and olive oil until well combined. Allow to marinate for 1 hour (set aside). Bring a pot of water to a boil. Peel the papery tomatillo husks from the outside of the tomatillo. Put the tomatillos into the pot and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from the water and transfer to a food processor along with the rest of the salsa ingredients. Process until the salsa is chunky and well combined.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Spread the pumpkin onto a sheet pan and roast for 20 minutes or until browned and tender.

To prepare the tortillas, heat a skillet over Med heat and heat the tortillas in the skillet until lightly cooked on both sides (~2-3 mins). Wrap the cooked tortillas in a clean cloth while you finish warming the rest of the tortillas.

To build the tacos, take a tortilla and add some black beans, the pumpkin filling and a few slices of avocado. Garnish each taco with coconut yogurt, tomatillo salsa, cilantro, and purple cabbage. Serve with fresh lime.

Alternatives & Substitutions

  • You can use either flour or corn tortillas for these, but we prefer corn tortillas because they are naturally gluten-free and have such a great flavor and texture. 

  • If you don’t like your food very spicy, leave out the fresh chili from the salsa! You’ll find that the seasoned pumpkin is not very spicy at all!

  • If you prefer more traditional Mexican dishes with meat, try using Taco Elixir to make our Chicken Tinga Tostadas, Perfect Beef Tacos, or our delicious Easy Steak Fajitas recipes.

  • Or, try making gameday chicken nachos for a great finger food meal. 

  • Be sure to leave comments and feedback on your meals and experiments in the comments for others to read.

  • Post pictures of your masterpiece meal on social media and tag us. We repost!

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