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How to Make Gringas

Gringas are a popular Mexican dish similar to tacos but with a distinct preparation. They consist of flour tortillas filled with spit-grilled pastor-style meat (usually pork marinated in adobo spices), melted cheese, and sometimes pineapple.

Texture-wise, gringas feature a combination of textures. The flour tortillas are typically soft and slightly chewy, acting as a base for the fillings. The meat, often pork, is thinly sliced and cooked on a vertical spit, resulting in tender and flavorful meat with crispy edges. Melted cheese adds a creamy and gooey texture, complementing the meat’s flavors.

The dish is assembled by heating the flour tortillas on a griddle or skillet, then layering them with the grilled pastor-style meat and melted cheese. Some versions also include a slice of pineapple, which adds a sweet and tangy element to the savory flavors.

Once assembled, gringas are folded in half, similar to a quesadilla, and grilled or toasted briefly on the griddle to melt the cheese further and create a golden-brown exterior.

Gringas are often served with accompanying condiments such as salsa, guacamole, or pico de gallo for added flavor. They are commonly found in taquerias or street food stalls throughout Mexico, offering a savory, cheesy, and slightly tangy taste with a medley of textures that make them a favorite among food enthusiasts.

Key Takeaways

  • Who this dish appeals to: Those with a taste for fusion cuisine, individuals seeking a mouthwatering blend of flavors, street food enthusiasts.
  • Estimated duration: A culinary delight that takes approximately 1-1.5 hours, including preparation and cooking.
  • Nutrition facts: A protein-packed dish featuring the goodness of marinated pork and melted cheese.

About this Recipe

Gringas showcase the creativity of Mexican street food, combining elements from different culinary traditions. This recipe provides a foundation for crafting these flavorful delights.


For Al Pastor Marinated Pork:

  • 2 pounds pork shoulder, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup white onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons achiote paste
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar

For Gringas:

  • 8 flour tortillas
  • 2 cups Oaxaca cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple, diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges


Preparing Al Pastor Marinated Pork:

  1. Marinate Pork:
  • In a blender, combine pineapple juice, chopped white onion, minced garlic, achiote paste, dried oregano, ground cumin, smoked paprika, salt, black pepper, and white vinegar.
  • Blend until you have a smooth marinade.
  • Place sliced pork in a large bowl and pour the marinade over it. Ensure the pork is well-coated.
  • Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
  1. Cook Al Pastor Pork:
  • Heat a skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat.
  • Cook the marinated pork slices until they are cooked through and slightly caramelized, approximately 5-7 minutes.

Assembling Gringas:

  1. Warm Tortillas:
  • Heat the flour tortillas in a dry skillet or on a griddle until they are warm and pliable.
  1. Add Al Pastor and Cheese:
  • On each tortilla, place a portion of the cooked Al Pastor pork.
  • Sprinkle shredded Oaxaca cheese over the pork.
  1. Melt and Garnish:
  • Fold the tortilla in half, covering the filling, and press gently.
  • Cook on the skillet until the cheese is melted and the tortilla has a golden-brown color.
  1. Top and Serve:
  • Top the Gringas with diced fresh pineapple and chopped cilantro.
  • Serve hot with lime wedges on the side.

Serving Suggestions

  • Pair with a side of salsa verde or pico de gallo for an extra burst of flavor.
  • Serve with Mexican rice and beans for a complete meal.
  • Enjoy with a cold horchata or your favorite Mexican beverage.

Storage Options

Any leftover Al Pastor pork can be refrigerated for up to three days. Reheat in a skillet or microwave before using. Assembled Gringas are best enjoyed fresh but can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and reheated in a skillet.

Ingredient Substitutes

  • Oaxaca Cheese: Substitute with shredded mozzarella or Monterey Jack if Oaxaca cheese is not available.
  • Achiote Paste: If achiote paste is unavailable, you can use achiote powder or a combination of paprika and annatto.

Alternatives to this Dish

Experiment with different toppings such as pickled red onions, guacamole, or a drizzle of chipotle mayo to customize your Gringas.


Gringas offer a delightful blend of flavors, combining the richness of Al Pastor-marinated pork with the gooey goodness of melted cheese. Whether enjoyed as a snack or a meal, this fusion dish is a testament to the culinary creativity that defines Mexican street food. ¬°Buen provecho!