Grilled Pork Carnitas Tacos

These Grilled Pork Tenderloin Carnitas Tacos are about to become your new go-to recipe for a quick and delicious meal.

Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a cooking novice, this dish is a breeze to whip up and promises to satisfy your taco cravings.

Join me on a culinary journey as we explore the simple steps to create these mouthwatering tacos that effortlessly blend bold flavors and convenience.

Picture this: sizzling, juicy pork tenderloin strips, perfectly seasoned and grilled to perfection, nestled in warm tortillas and adorned with vibrant toppings.

Get ready to elevate your taco game with this easy-to-follow recipe that’s sure to impress family and friends alike!

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Pork carnitas have their roots in Mexican cuisine.

The word “carnitas” translates to “little meats” in Spanish.

This traditional Mexican dish involves slow-cooking pork until it becomes tender and is typically characterized by its crispy and flavorful exterior.

Carnitas are often associated with the state of Michoacán in Mexico, where they have been a culinary tradition for centuries.

Ingredients in This Grilled Pork Carnitas Tacos Recipe

Let’s round up the stars of our show – the ingredients that will transform your kitchen into a taco haven!

Grab a small pork tenderloin, about 1 to 1.5 pounds

You’ll let it soak up the flavors from a zesty marinade. For the marinade you’ll need a splash of olive oil, a couple of minced garlic cloves for that aromatic kick, and a trio of spices: cumin, oregano, and chili powder.

Don’t forget salt and pepper! They’re the unsung heroes enhancing every bite.

To bring it all together, a generous squeeze of lime juice will add that perfect citrusy zing.

For the taco assembly, stock up on your favorite tortillas – corn or flour, your choice.

Top it all off with fresh cilantro, diced onions, salsa or pico de gallo, and lime wedges to add that extra burst of flavor.

With this lineup, we’re ready to dive into making these incredible Grilled Pork Tenderloin Carnitas Tacos!

Substitute Ingredients You Can Use in this Recipe

Can’t find a pork tenderloin in your kitchen arsenal? No worries, we’ve got some flexible alternatives to keep the taco train rolling. Swap out the tenderloin for boneless pork loin or even boneless pork shoulder if that’s what’s on hand.

Olive oil running low? Any neutral cooking oil will step in nicely.

Garlic cloves playing hide and seek? Powdered garlic is a trusty substitute.

Cumin, oregano, and chili powder decided to take a vacation? Taco seasoning can fill in admirably.

And if lime isn’t in your fruit bowl, a splash of apple cider vinegar or orange juice can lend that tangy touch.

Tortilla preferences vary, so whether it’s corn or flour, just grab what you love.

Feel free to play mix and match with toppings – avocado, shredded cheese, or sour cream can add their own flair to these tacos.

The kitchen is your canvas, so let your creativity shine!

Instructions for Making Grilled Pork Tenderloin Carnitas Tacos

Alright, let’s dive into the juicy details of crafting these Grilled Pork Carnitas Tacos – a journey to taco perfection that’s easier than you might think!

Grilling the Pork

Start off by giving your small pork tenderloin some love.

Mix up a flavor-packed marinade by combining olive oil, minced garlic, ground cumin, dried oregano, chili powder, salt, and pepper.

Squeeze in the vibrant essence of a lime to elevate the flavors.

Coat the tenderloin generously with this aromatic mix, letting it marinate for at least 30 minutes, or, for an extra flavor punch, let it chill in the fridge for a few hours.

Once your pork has soaked in all that goodness, fire up the grill to medium-high heat.

Place the marinated tenderloin on the grates and let it sizzle away for about 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally until it hits that perfect internal temperature of 145°F (63°C).

Let it rest for a few minutes – anticipation is part of the flavor game.

Assemble the Tacos

Now, the grand reveal – slice that tenderloin into thin, succulent strips.

Warm your tortillas on the grill or in a skillet, then lay out the canvas for your taco masterpiece.

Arrange those pork slices on the tortillas, generously piling on the goodness.

Top it all off with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro and a small handful of diced or sliced white onions.

If you like you can add a generous dollop of your favorite salsa or pico de gallo.

Don’t forget a final touch of freshness with a squeeze of lime juice!

Congratulations, you’ve just created a symphony of flavors with these Grilled Pork Carnitas Tacos.

Now, dive in and savor every bite of this quick and delicious taco adventure!

Tips and Tricks for Making the Grilled Pork Carnitas Tacos

Ready to take your Grilled Pork Tenderloin Carnitas Tacos to the next level? Here are some tried-and-true tips to ensure your taco-making adventure goes off without a hitch.

First and foremost, patience is key when marinating the pork. Let it soak up all those fantastic flavors for at least 30 minutes – or, better yet, give it an overnight stint in the fridge for an extra flavor boost.

When it comes to grilling, aim for that medium-high heat sweet spot. This ensures a perfect sear on the outside while keeping the inside tender and juicy. And don’t rush the resting phase after grilling; it allows the juices to redistribute, making each bite as succulent as can be.

Feel free to get creative with the toppings. While cilantro, onions, and salsa are classics, throw in some sliced avocado, shredded cheese, or a dollop of sour cream to make it your own.

Tacos are all about personalization!

Don’t limit yourself to tortillas either. Try out different types – corn, flour, or even lettuce wraps for a low-carb twist.

The world is your taco shell, lol!

Lastly, don’t be shy with the lime. A generous squeeze of fresh lime juice adds that burst of citrusy goodness that takes these tacos from great to unforgettable.

Storing and Reheating Pork Carnitas Tacos

Got some taco treasures left over? No worries – let’s talk about how to store and revive those Grilled Pork Carnitas Tacos for round two of deliciousness.

For storage, the name of the game is airtight containers.

Once the tacos have cooled down, carefully dismantle them, storing the pork, tortillas, and toppings separately. This helps to preserve their individual textures and flavors.

Pop the pork into a container, making sure to include any juicy goodness.

The tortillas and toppings get their own separate homes. Seal those containers tight and stow them in the fridge.

Reheating the Tacos!

Now, when the taco craving strikes again (and it will), it’s time to bring those leftovers back to life.

For the pork, a quick spin in the microwave or a gentle reheating on the stove does the trick.

Add a splash of water to keep things moist if needed.

Tortillas can be warmed up in a dry skillet or wrapped in a damp paper towel and microwaved for that fresh-off-the-grill feel.

 As for toppings, keep them cool and crisp – they’re ready to roll as is.

With these simple storage and reheating tricks, you’ll be enjoying round two of your Grilled Pork Tenderloin Carnitas Tacos in no time.

Leftovers never tasted so good!

Using Leftovers to Make Pork Carnitas Nachos!

Get ready for the ultimate microwave nacho experience that’s both quick and satisfying!

Here’s what you need: a bag of your favorite tortilla chips, a generous handful of shredded cheese (cheddar or a Monterey Jack blend works wonders), some leftover pork carnitas meat, a jar of your go-to salsa, and a dollop of street corn dip.

Now, let’s dive into the easy steps.

Making the Nachos!

Grab a microwave-safe plate and layer it up with those crispy tortilla chips.

Sprinkle on that cheese – the more, the merrier.

Toss on your savory leftover pork carnitas for that unbeatable flavor.

Pop the plate in the microwave. Nuke it until the cheese is gooey and bubbly.

Then top it off with spoonfuls of salsa and street corn dip. Get my Easy Street Corn Dip recipe here!!!

And there you have it – a quick and tasty nacho delight that’s ready to devour. Customize with your favorite toppings and dig in while it’s warm and cheesy!

Wondering What to Pair with Grilled Pork Carnitas Tacos?

Pairing your Grilled Pork Tenderloin Carnitas Tacos with the perfect sides can take your meal to new heights.

Start by serving up a side of Mexican rice, its fluffy grains and savory flavors making it the ideal companion to your flavorful tacos. Or try my Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe to go along with this easy taco recipe!

For a dose of creaminess, whip up some guacamole – the cool and creamy texture contrasts beautifully with the crispy edges of the pork.

Don’t forget about beans! Whether it’s refried beans or black beans, they add a hearty and protein-packed element to the meal.

Warm up some tortilla chips for that satisfying crunch! And consider a zesty corn and black bean salsa for a refreshing kick.

To complete the feast, offer a refreshing side salad with a lime vinaigrette, adding a crisp and citrusy contrast.

And for those looking to spice things up, a side of pickled jalapeños or a spicy slaw can add an extra layer of heat to the party.

Beverages to Serve

Quench your thirst and elevate the taco experience with the perfect lineup of drinks to complement your Grilled Pork Tenderloin Carnitas Tacos!

Start with a classic: a refreshing pitcher of homemade Agua Fresca. Whether it’s watermelon, pineapple, or cucumber, these fruity concoctions add a cool and sweet contrast to the savory flavors of the tacos.

For those looking to kick it up a notch, consider serving a pitcher of classic Margaritas or a non-alcoholic version like Virgin Mojitos. The citrusy notes will dance alongside the zesty pork, creating a harmonious flavor symphony.

For a more laid-back vibe, go with a Mexican soda or a cold bottle of Horchata – the cinnamon-infused rice drink that brings a touch of sweetness to the table.

And, of course, never underestimate the power of a well-chilled cerveza! Whether you prefer a light lager or a more robust ale, beer and tacos have been a timeless duo forever!!

Whatever your beverage preference, these drink pairings will ensure your Grilled Pork Carnitas Tacos experience is nothing short of a fiesta!

If you enjoyed this recipe check out my Chicken Quesadilla Recipe or my Shrimp Taco Recipe too!

Buen provecho!

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Grilled Pork Carnitas Tacos

These Grilled Pork Tenderloin Carnitas Tacos are about to become your new go-to recipe for a quick and delicious meal. Made with tender pork tenderloin, these tacos practically melt in your mouth!!
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: cinco de maya recipe, easy meal recipe, easy taco recipe, grilled pork, mexican recipe, pork tacos, street tacos
Servings: 12 tacos
Calories: 91kcal

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  • For the Grilled Pork Tenderloin:
  • 1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • For the Tacos:
  • Corn or flour tortillas
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Diced onions
  • Salsa or pico de gallo
  • Lime wedges


  • Prepare the Pork Tenderloin:
  • In a bowl, combine olive oil, minced garlic, cumin, oregano, chili powder, salt, pepper, and lime juice to create a marinade.
  • Rub the marinade over the pork tenderloin, ensuring it’s well-coated. Let it marinate for at least 30 minutes, or refrigerate for a few hours for better flavor.
  • Grill the Pork Tenderloin:
  • Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Grill the marinated pork tenderloin for about 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally, until it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C).
  • Allow the pork to rest for a few minutes before slicing it into thin strips.
  • Assemble the Tacos:
  • Warm the tortillas on the grill or in a dry skillet.
  • Place slices of grilled pork tenderloin on each tortilla.
  • Top with chopped cilantro, diced onions, salsa, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
  • Serve and Enjoy:
  • Serve the pork tenderloin tacos immediately, and enjoy the fantastic flavors!
  • Feel free to customize your tacos with additional toppings to suit your preferences. This recipe provides a quick and delicious way to enjoy pork carnitas tacos using a small grilled pork tenderloin. Enjoy your meal!

Your Own Private Notes


Calories: 91kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.3g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 33mg | Potassium: 231mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 0.02g | Vitamin A: 53IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @lakegirlquilts or tag #lakegirlquilts!

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