You are 20 minutes from crazy good tacos loaded with rich flavors made from pantry staples.
This post was sponsored by Missouri Pork to help inspire your ideas for quick dinners. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
Tacos are always a hit in my house, and this recipe is one of those quick ones that comes together in under 30 minutes and uses up pantry staples that I keep on hand all of the time.
I thawed a pound of ground pork, pulled out the tortillas, and raided the veggie drawer for a meal filled with my love language. These are one of the best ways to get tacos on the table quick and satisfy everyone’s Tuesday or otherwise cravings!
Ground pork tacos.
Easier than homemade carnitas (But really, you should add those to the list too), using ground pork makes for quick taco filling by simply browning it in a skillet. Carnitas can take hours, so this minimizes time spent while maximizing robust herbs and spices.
Carnitas are usually shredded pork from a slow-cooked shoulder, or slow smoked pork shoulder, before the meat is then crisped again for filling. Ground pork, luckily, also is often ground from the shoulder as well, with a good fat ratio for texture.
We’re just shortcutting the whole low and slow process a bit, skipping the marinade and letting the ground pork become enlivened in one skillet.
Unlike sausage, using ground pork in this lets us control the herbs, spices, and salt to build our tacos truly our way.
Girl Carnivore Tip: For ground pork, like all ground meat, you want to make sure it is cooked thoroughly to an internal temperature of 160 as per USDA guidelines.
Subbing pork for beef.
Ground pork is a perfect substitute for any recipe calling for ground beef. Grond pork, usually comes with about 15% fat, like 85% lean ground beef. The fat adds flavor and the pork is a more mild overall flavor, allowing it to absorb and mingle with the herbs and spices you use to really build in the depth of flavors.
What you need:
- 1.5 pounds of pork per 5 people, that’s a healthy 3 tacos each.
- Orange juice (or pineapple juice)
And a skillet. Well, ok, a cutting board, knife and probably at least one dish towel too, but really – this one is so quick and easy filled with from the pantry staples!
Not feeling like making your own taco seasoning?
No worries! I use pre-made mixes all of the time and keep a stash in my pantry for childhood nostalgia (promise to keep that tween us). Use your favorite taco blend and add in a mix of water and orange juice to equal the liquid required according to the packaged directions.
Fun garnishes to dress up your homemade tacos
Cilantro, homemade pico de gallo, Avocado, and of course, cotija come in at the top of my must have’s when serving tacos, but if you happen to have these fun ingredients on hand they can really freshen up the whole shebang.
- Pickled jalapenos
- Mango salsa
Serve these with rice and beans. Because tacos are lonely without them. And no one wants lonely tacos.
Quick Ground Pork Tacos
- 10-12″ Cast Iron Skillet or other oven safe skillet
For the ground pork:
- 1 tablespoon oil
- ¼ onion chopped
- 1 lb Ground Pork
- 1 teaspoon taco seasoning
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 garlic clove minced
- ⅓ cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
For the tacos shells:
- Oil for frying
- 12 corn tortillas
For the tacos:
- 1 cup red or green cabbage shredded
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 3 Scallions chopped
- 3 radishes sliced thin
- 2 limes cut into wedges
- ¼ cup cotija or queso fresco crumbled
- 2 avocados pitted and sliced
- 1 to mato chopped
Cook the ground pork:
- Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the cooking oil and onion.
- Sautee the onion, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.
- Add the ground pork and cook through, breaking up as needed to ensure even browning, about 10 minutes.
- Add the salt, taco seasoning and minced garlic to the pork and stir to coat.
- Reduce the heat to low and add the orange juice.
- Let the meat simmer 5 minutes longer, stirring as needed while the juice thickens and to ensure the pork is cooked through.
Fry the tortillas:
- Meanwhile, in a high sides heavy bottom skillet or Dutch oven, add 1” of oil, leaving at least 1 ½” clearance from the top of the oil to the skillet rim.
- Let the oil heat, over medium heat until it’s 350 degrees.
- Carefully with long tongs, place one tortilla in at a time, quickly frying to a light golden brown. As the tortilla fries, fold in half and frying a little longer.
- Pull the tortilla when it is lightly golden, as it will cook longer as it rests.
- Place on a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle with a little salt.
- Repeat for the remaining tortilla shells until all are fried.
Assemble the tacos:
- Toss the cabbage in the teaspoon of olive oil.
- Arrange all of the toppings out for assembly.
- Start the tacos with a sprinkle of cotija in each shell, topped with the cooked ground pork, and pick and choose your favorite toppings, like the cabbage, scallions, sliced radishes, and chopped tomatoes.
- Squeeze fresh lime juice over top, if desired, and enjoy.