Easy Cochinita Pibil

To make this cochinita pibil recipe in about 20 minutes, simmer citrus juice and achiote seasoning along with a refrigerated, pre-cooked pork roast in a Dutch oven. Stuff the tender pork inside corn tortillas for a handheld meal that tastes like it came from your favorite Mexican restaurant.

Easy Cochinita Pibil
Photo: Blaine Moats
Prep Time:
20 mins
Chill Time:
4 hrs
Slow Cook Time:
8 hrs
Total Time:
20 mins
6 cups


  • 1 3 pound boneless pork shoulder roast

  • 1 recipe Achiote Seasoning

  • 1 large red onion, cut into thin wedges

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 bay leaf

  • ½ cup grapefruit juice

  • ¼ cup orange juice

  • ¼ cup lime juice

  • 16 6-inch corn tortillas

  • 3 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • Cebollas Encurtidas

  • Crumbled queso fresco

  • Chiltomate Sauce (optional)

Achiote Seasoning

  • 3 tablespoon ground annatto

  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano or oregano, crushed

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice

Chiltomate Sauce

  • 1 14.5 ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained

  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar

  • ½ teaspoon bottled habanero chili sauce

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Cebollas Encurtidas

  • 1 red onion, cut into 1/2-inch slices

  • ¼ cup grapefruit juice

  • 2 tablespoon orange juice

  • 2 tablespoon lime juice

  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano, crushed

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper


  1. Trim fat from roast. Sprinkle Achiote Seasoning evenly over all sides of roast; rub in with your fingers. Place roast in a large resealable plastic bag. Chill in the refrigerator for 4 to 24 hours.

  2. In a 4- to 5-quart slow cooker combine onion, garlic, and bay leaf. Place roast on top of onion mixture. Pour grapefruit, orange, and lime juices over roast. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours.

  3. Heat an 8-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Brush tortillas lightly with oil. Heat tortillas in skillet, one at a time, about 1 minute or until softened, turning once halfway through heating time. Wrap tortillas in foil to keep warm.

  4. Remove pork from cooker. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Using two forks, pull meat apart into shreds; place shredded meat in a large bowl. Discard bay leaf. Using a slotted spoon, remove onions from cooker; add to meat. Add enough of the cooking liquid to moisten meat; toss to combine. Serve meat mixture with tortillas, Cebollas Encurtidas, and queso fresco. If desired, serve with Chiltomate Sauce.

Achiote Seasoning

  1. In a small bowl combine all ingredients. Store in an airtight container.

Chiltomate Sauce

  1. In a blender or food processor combine tomatoes, vinegar, chili sauce, and salt. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Transfer mixture to a medium saucepan. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 to 8 minutes or until sauce is desired consistency.

Cebollas Encurtidas

  1. Preheat broiler. On a 15x10x1-inch baking pan, place red onion slices. Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until onions are charred and tender, turning once halfway through broiling time. When cool enough to handle, separate onions into rings, discarding any large dry blackened pieces.

  2. In a medium bowl combine onion, grapefruit juice, orange juice, lime juice, salt, oregano, garlic, and pepper. Cover and chill at least 2 hours before serving.

Fresh or Fast:

Fresh: Make as directed. Fast: In a Dutch oven combine one 17-ounce package refrigerated cooked pork roast au jus, the Achiote Seasoning, 1/4 cup grapefruit juice, 2 tablespoons orange juice, and 2 tablespoons lime juice. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Makes 1-1/2 cups.

Pibil-Stuffed Peppers:

Prepare Easy Cochinita Pibil as directed. Preheat oven to 425°F. Place 8 large Anaheim and/or banana chile peppers on a foil-lined baking sheet. Roast about 20 minutes or until skins are charred. Bring foil up around peppers and fold edges together to enclose. Let peppers stand for 20 to 30 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Using a sharp knife, loosen edges of skins; gently pull off skins in strips and discard.* Slit one side of each pepper and remove seeds and veins. Preheat oven to 350°F. Stuff peppers with 1-1/2 cups of the Easy Cochinita Pibil (3 tablespoons per pepper). Place stuffed peppers in a 3-quart rectangular baking dish. Spoon Chiltomate Sauce over peppers. Bake in the 350°F oven about 15 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with queso fresco. Serve with Cebollas Encurtidas and Mexican crema. Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition Facts per serving Pibil-Stuffed Peppers: 180 calories, 10 g protein, 11 g carb., 11 g total fat (6g sat. fat), 46 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 14% Vitamin A, 112% Vitamin C, 486 mg sodium, 9% calcium, 7% iron.


Because chile peppers contain volatile oils that can burn your skin and eyes, avoid direct contact with them as much as possible. When working with chile peppers, wear plastic or rubber gloves. If your bare hands do touch the peppers, wash your hands and nails well with soap and warm water.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

442 Calories
23g Fat
31g Carbs
28g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 442
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 23g 29%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 84mg 28%
Sodium 500mg 22%
Total Carbohydrate 31g 11%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 28g
Vitamin C 20.1mg 100%
Calcium 131.3mg 10%
Iron 2.3mg 13%
Potassium 658mg 14%
Folate, total 20.2mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.9mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.6mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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