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Swapping out the meat and going vegetarian with these Mushroom Al Pastor Tacos with Garlic Lime Special Sauce. Best for when you’re craving hearty Mexican, but want to keep things healthy. Sesame chipotle pineapple sauce, tossed with a mix of cremini and shiitake mushrooms (in place of pork), stuffed into charred tortillas and topped with the most addicting “special” sauce…that just so happens to be way healthier than the original. The perfect weeknight taco that’s made in just about 30 minutes too. These are quick, simple, healthy, and so delicious.

overhead photo of Mushroom Al Pastor Tacos with Garlic Lime Special Sauce

These are not your average Tuesday night tacos. And they’re definitely not your traditional al pastor style taco. But hear me out, because these tacos are so good.

Growing up we’d have traditional ground beef tacos at least twice a week. It was a dinner that my dad could easily put together and knew that everyone would love. Even to this day, we all still love tacos.

But then who doesn’t love a taco? I’ve made plenty over the years and have more taco recipes than I care to count up. But yet I still have endless ideas for tacos. Crazy right?

Anyway, when it comes to a vegetarian taco, I’ve always enjoyed using mushrooms. I know cauliflower is very popular right now, but in an effort to sweeten things up I thought I’d share this easy mushroom al pastor taco recipe. It’s one of my current favorite recipes. And while my brothers will be rolling their eyes at these, I’m all for them. They’re meaty – yet meat-free, spicy, sweet, and beyond good.

And the special sauce? Addicting.

chipotle pineapple sauce in blender

The story on al pastor style tacos.

As I said, these are not traditional al pastor tacos. For one, they’re vegetarian, and tacos al pastor are most commonly made with marinated grilled pork.

Traditional al pastor tacos were created after Lebanese immigrants in Mexico introduced middle eastern lamb shawarma to the region. The tacos combine traditional middle eastern spices with spices used in central Mexico. Eventually, the lamb was replaced with marinated pork. I never knew all this until I did a little research. I love that they’re a mash-up of two of my favorite cuisines.

The meat is marinated in spices, pineapple, chipotle or other dried chilies, and vinegar. It’s then grilled and served in warmed tortillas. Toppings can vary, but they are most often topped with grilled onion, pineapple, cilantro, and cheese.

So that’s the story behind traditional al pastor tacos. Now, let’s talk about these mushroom al pastor tacos, which are truly just as delicious, but minus the meat.

Mushroom Al Pastor mixture in skillet

Here are the Details.

Start out by making the chipotle pineapple sauce. It’s a simple mix of chipotle peppers, pineapple, garlic, and spices. I added sesame seeds for additional flavor, which actually ties in more of the middle eastern inspiration.

Basically you can think of this sauce as homemade enchilada sauce with the addition of pineapple. The sauce is mixed in the blender and is super easy to put together. And? It’s probably one of my very favorite sauces. You only need about half of the sauce for the tacos, the other half you can save for serving.

Once the sauce is made, sauté the mushrooms with the onions, stir in the sauce and additional pineapple chunks, and simply cook a few minutes more. You now have mushroom al pastor. As the sauce cooks, it begins to caramelize over the mushrooms. It’s sweet, spicy, a touch smoky, and truly so delicious. You don’t even realize you’re eating all vegetables! The mushrooms have such a meaty flavor that you really don’t miss the meat.

overhead close up photo of Mushroom Al Pastor Tacos with Garlic Lime Special Sauce

While the mushrooms are cooking, mix up the special sauce. While this sauce is simple, it’s also addictingly good. It’s creamy, heavy on the lime, a touch garlicky, and a little salty. It’s a simple mix of plain yogurt, lime juice, and garlic, and a little sea salt to finish it off.

OK. Now for serving. Here is how I layer these up. Charred corn tortillas, avocado mashed with lime juice, then the mushroom al pastor, special sauce, feta cheese, and plenty of fresh cilantro. And lastly…serve alongside the remaining chipotle pineapple sauce for an extra saucy taco.

The best.

These take only about thirty minutes from start to finish. They use just one blender and one skillet. All-around, these are pretty quick and simple to make. Great for a weeknight taco night, but equally as great on Saturday with friends!

Looking for other tacos?

I have a lot of taco recipes on HBH, but here are a few of my favorites.

20 Minute Caribbean Shrimp Tacos with Roasted Jalapeño Pineapple Salsa Verde

Instant Pot BBQ Beer Pulled Chicken Tacos

Asada Mushroom Tacos with Lime Smashed Avocado

overhead photo of Mushroom Al Pastor Tacos with Garlic Lime Special Sauce

If you make these mushroom al pastor tacos, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Mushroom Al Pastor Tacos with Garlic Lime Special Sauce

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories Per Serving: 350 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Garlic Lime Special Sauce

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice + 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 1 clove garlic, grated (use 2 if you love garlic)

Instructions

  • 1. Make the chipotle pineapple sauce. In a blender or food processor combine the garlic, chili powder, paprika, chipotle chilies, 1/3 cup water, vinegar, 1 cup of the pineapple chunks, and a pinch of salt. Blend until completely smooth. Stir in the sesame seed.
    2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the cremini mushrooms, onions, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, until the mushrooms begin crisping on the edges. Add the shiitake mushrooms, and continue to cook another 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, stir in about 1/2 of chipotle pineapple sauce and the remaining 1 cup of pineapple chunks. Simmer for 5-8 minutes or until the sauce has reduced and coats the mushrooms, there will still be sauce left in the pan. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro.
    3. To make the special sauce. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, adding 1-2 tablespoons water if needed to thin the sauce. Taste and season with salt.
    4. Stuff the mashed avocado (if using), the mushrooms, and pineapple into the warmed tortillas. Top with additional chipotle pineapple sauce, special sauce, cilantro, and cheese. Enjoy!

horizontal photo of Mushroom Al Pastor Tacos with Garlic Lime Special Sauce

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Comments

    1. Hey Cheryl,
      Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try, I am so glad it was enjoyed. Have a great Wednesday! xTieghan

  1. 4 stars
    Great flavors, awesome alternative! Way too much spice with the chili powder. I would say you can skip it altogether 🙂

    1. Hey Zach,
      Awesome, I love to hear that the recipe was enjoyed and thanks so much for giving it a try! xTieghan

  2. 5 stars
    Fan of this one! Trying to eat more plant based (ha, not entirely likely) and this was super tasty. Will be making more!

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve made this several times now for different groups of friends. Several friends have told me that they have dreams about these mushroom tacos and can’t stop thinking about them. Iconic taco vibes.

    I like to make the sauce in a big batch and freeze half of it to use for next time.

    Also the mushrooms are better if you make them ahead, then reheat just before serving.
    i also once tried subbing mango for pineapple, which actually worked pretty well.

    1. Hey James,
      I think pork shoulder would work well here. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  4. 5 stars
    BIG flavor! Love these tacos. Added black beans for more protein and used one roasted poblano and 2 tbsp tomato paste in place of chipotles in adobo. Definitely will be making 1595727 more times.

  5. 5 stars
    Delicious! It is pretty spicy FYI to all those who may not like as much spice. I on the other hand love a good cry and nose run, so bring it on!

  6. 5 stars
    The sauce might just be called a salsa, really. Its a great base, I improvised a bit. I used 1.5 dried ancho chiles instead of chipotles, added a tiny bit of tomato juice to make up for the adobo tomato flavor, paste would have been better. It needed a little richness, I added a pinch of cinnamon to help simulate the exotic flavor of al pastor. Roasted some carrots and sweet potato for the base instead of the mushrooms. Certainly enough salsa for trying with mushrooms and other items later. Everyone liked the secret sauce, I usually don’t like sour cream on al pastor, but the lime made it appropriate. Thanks for posting this!

    1. Hi David! Thank you for trying this recipe and sharing your version of it! I am really glad this turned out so well for you! xTieghan

  7. 5 stars
    Slightly smoky and sweet/tart. Great veggie rendition of Al Pastor.
    I really like spice so the two Chipotle peppers were great for me (I might even try 3 next time…)
    Very simple to make for a quick meal
    I just used all Baby Bella mushrooms since that’s what I had in the house

    Next time I’ll also add some pepita seeds on top for a bit of texture

  8. 5 stars
    This is a great dish. My only comment would be that the mushrooms are VERY spicy (at least for me). I didn’t want to knock off a star because my spice tolerance is a bit lower than someone who might enjoy spicy foods a lot. I think I would cut back on the chili pepper big time, as I find the adobo chilies are fairly spicy in themselves. If you keep with the spice levels, make sure you pair it with the greek yogurt sauce, as it helps to cool this dish down. Very tasty though, adjust spice accordingly.

    1. Hi Sher! I am so glad this turned out so well for you! And I hope you love it even more with less spice! xTieghan

  9. 5 stars
    You really have a knack for creating sauces that make every recipe unique and delicious! All of your dressings/sauces/dips are so, so good (the chipotle sesame sauce for your broccoli cheese quesadillas are a personal fave). These tacos were no exception and are definitely going in our dinner rotation. Thank you for sharing!

  10. 5 stars
    Made this recipe for my family, who typically are not very adventurous with their flavours. It was a hit! I am newly vegetarian, so I have been trying out more of the vegetarian recipes on here and I have yet to be disappointed. It was really nice not having a meat-based taco. Also, I had a LOT of extra pineapple sauce, so I think you could cut down on that, but I served it alongside in a small pitcher and people poured that over the tacos along with the lime sauce. It was really yummy! I also found this was not quite enough for 4 people, so next time I would add lots more mushrooms. Will definitely make this again, especially for entertaining!

    1. I am really glad this recipe turned out so well for you all Leah! It is the best when a recipe is a hit with the whole family! Thank you for trying this! xTieghan

  11. 5 stars
    I made this and some chicken tacos for cinco de Mayo – we are trying to eat less meat and I was skeptical of these but they were delicious and we both loved them more than the chicken, Will be totally making them again! Thank you Tieghan!

  12. Hello! Love your recipes and hoping to cook this this week, just wondering if canned pineapple or frozen pineapple can be used instead of fresh?
    Thank you

  13. 5 stars
    Tieghan, made this recipe last night – we got a pineapple in our “ugly vegetables” box. The dinner was an absolute winner! My carnivorous husband and teenage daughter devoured this. Thank you for bringing us some cheer during this difficult time. Will definitely make it again.

    1. That is so amazing Lori!! I hope you continue to enjoy my site and recipes! Thank you for trying this! xTieghan

  14. Great flavors but my mushroom onion mixture turned out runny. How do you get the mushrooms to “Crisp”? Both the onion and mushroom leave so much water.

    1. Hi Amy,
      I would recommend sautéing these longer until all of the liquid is dissolved. Please let me know how else I can help. xTieghan

    1. Hi Keya! I would say 2-3 days disassembled. I hope you love this! Please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  15. 5 stars
    These tacos are delicious and a great vegetarian option. I used cotija cheese because I had some on hand. I plan to use the left over sauce on shrimp or chicken later this week. Thank you for the inspiration.

  16. Looks great!!! Can’t wait to try it! Is there anything I can use instead of chipotle peppers??… can’t find them in Greece!!

    1. Hi Theofano! You can use chili flakes or a pinch of cayenne pepper. I would add 1/4 cup of water as well. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you!! xTieghan

  17. 5 stars
    Just made this, saw recipe and went to the grocery for a couple things i needed. I really like plant based meals and love mushrooms. I didn’t read carefully and added all the pineapple to the sauce, so I have more volume sauce the should have had. But It is great. The sauce is pretty spicy ( I am just getting so I can eat spicier things and enjoy them) so I only used a bit of it in my mushroom onion mixture as I really didn’t have quite that amount of shiitake mushrooms as called for. Maybe 1/3 generous cup worth of sauce added to the mushroom and onions. The sauces are easy to make. I always “skinny” a recipe as I am calorie conscious, so I don’t use any oil, and use nonfat yogurts -things like that but it doesn’t hurt the recipe to us at all. Any suggestions for use of left over sauce? I may try to freeze it? I see recipe for Cauliflower Al Pastor, so I can do that. Maybe sauce with some addition to braise chicken or ? Great vegetarian recipe with flavors that complement. Thank you

    1. Hi Frances! The sauce freezes wonderfully or you can use and toss with shredded chicken for tacos, or cauliflower. Really whatever you are feeling. You can use the sauce as enchilada sauce too! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I am so glad you love this recipe! Thank you!! xTieghan

  18. 4 stars
    I made this tonight and it was a great vegetarian recipe! SO much flavor! It has a fair amount of heat, I think next time I’ll add less chili powder, but it’s delicious, and the special sauce cools it down, along with avocado and we had some oxaca cheese. Warmed up this winter night, for sure!

    1. Hi Lauren! I am really glad these turned out so well for you! I hope you enjoy them even more with less heat! Thank you! xTieghan

  19. I have everything needed to make this . Just wanted clarification on amount of Chile powder. Is 2 Tablespoons correct? Sounds like quite a lot

    1. Hi Toni! Yes, it is 2 tablespoons, but please feel free to start with 1 tbs and add more to your taste. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you!! xTieghan