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.


  • Tomatillo Salsa:

  • 1 1/2 lbs tomatillos

  • 1/2 cup onions, minced

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

  • 1 serrano chile

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Pumpkin al Pastor Taco Filling:

  • 6 cups pumpkin flesh, peeled and cut into 1/2” cubes

  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 2 tablespoon Taco Elixir spice mix

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 

  • For the Tacos al Pastor:

  • 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


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.


Bring a pot of water to a boil. Peel the papery tomatillo skins from the outside of the tomatillo. Put the tomatillos into the pot and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from the water when they are boiled and transfer to a food processor along with the onion, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, and serrano chile.. Process until the salsa is chunky and well combined. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. 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. 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 medium heat and place the tortillas in the skillet until lightly cooked on both sides. Cover the cooked tortillas in a clean cloth to keep them hot while you finish warming the rest of the tortillas. 

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

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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