Easy homemade Cochinita Pibil to discover Mexico

This simple recipe is an adaptation of the pre-hispanic dish from the Yucatán Peninsula that is so popular in numerous Mexican restaurants when ordering tacos. Our method and ingredients try to adapt the original dish to more accessible tools and ingredients, since the tradicional preparation includes the use of a traditional oven (pib), banana leafs and bitter oranges.

A mexican taco with cochinita pibil, a tortilla and pickled onion

Easy homemade Cochinita Pibil

Taste Evocations
A very simple recipe. You will only need a piece of pork and the right spices for the marinade.
If you end up with some cochinita leftovers and want to do something different than tacos, you can prepare Spanish croquettes (croquetas) following our recipe here.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Marinade 4 hrs
Total Time 8 hrs 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4 people


  • 750 g pork loin or another lean part (like the upper section of the leg)
  • 120 mL lime juice
  • 70 mL orange juice
  • 100 g achiote paste
  • 8 g cumin seeds or ground cumin
  • 8 g coriander seeds or ground coriander seeds
  • 5 g dried cilantro leaves
  • 4 cloves
  • 300 mL water or more to ensure the meat stays juicy
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Coat with salt and peper the pork uniformly and place in a deep tray. Toast the cumin and coriander sedes lightly in a pan.
  • To prepare the marinade; in a tall glass (like those used with hand blenders), add the fruit juices, achiote paste, toast spices and garlic cloves. Blend until getting a homogeneous mixture.
  • Pour the marinade in the tray with the meat, covering all the surface of the pork with some liquid. Let it sit in the fridge for at least 4h up to a day.
    Cochinita pibil pork marinate with aciote, lime, orange and spices for the Mexican recipe
  • Once the marinating time is over, preheat the oven at 160°C /320 F and add water to the mixture.
  • Cover the tray with two layers of aluminium foil and place in the oven for 4 hours. This time measurement will depend on your oven, but the meat should be tender and easy to separate. If that is not the case, keep for longer making sure there is enough water (otherwise, add a bit more).
  • When the pork is fully cooked, shred it with the help of two forks and mix it with the cooking liquid left in the tray.
    And that’s it! You can use this recipe for traditional tacos with the tortilla, salsa and pickled onions; in croquettes, burritos…possibilities are endless!


  • If the pork part you are going to use has a considerable amount of fat, try to remove as much fat as possible before starting the recipe, trying to make sure it stays as intact as feasible.
  • Be careful when using the achiote paste. It can stain since it is actually a natural pigment.
  • If you can get 200 mL of bitter orange juice, skip the lime and orange juices.
Keyword achiote, cochinita pibil, easy, homemade, pork, tacos, traditional

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