Tender pork tenderloin, Hatch green chile and bell peppers, and a fresh corn and black bean salsa make these fajita-style Pork Tenderloin Tacos with Corn and Black Bean Salsa extra special. They come together quickly, they're super healthy, and full of south-of-the-border flavor!
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks - About Pork Tenderloin Tacos
If you have followed me for any length of time, you know we LOVE TACOS at Andersen casa. When I recently posted the recipe for a grilled corn and black bean salsa with Hatch green chile I pondered what type of taco would make it sing. Pork tenderloin was calling my name!
So, pork pairs really well with Hatch chile... (Have you seen my slow cooker pork and Hatch chile recipe?) My wheels were spinning. We're adding Hatch green chile strips, bell pepper strips, and thin-sliced onions. They remind me of fajitas, though they're really tacos!
Lastly, I have to talk about my dry Mexican mole spice blend. I use it in so many of my recipes, and my husband loves it as a rub when he smokes a pork loin. It is comprised of cumin, cocoa powder, ancho powder, and cinnamon. I keep a jar of it mixed up in my kitchen. If you're not ready "to commit," I will also provide amounts for just tonight!
📋 Ingredients for Pork Loin Tacos
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- pork - I specify pork tenderloin because it's TENDER. However, you can use boneless chops or loin, just keep in mind it will have a chewier texture. If you choose pork loin or chops, consider getting it partially frozen (I do this for stir-fries), and thin-slice it with a really sharp knife. Chicken, beef, and even shrimp are good options as well!
- chile - Hatch green chile has been an obsession for me since we moved to Las Cruces, New Mexico in 1993. We moved to Texas in 2015, so it's not as easy to get. I do order from The Hatch Chile Store a couple of times per year, and sometimes a visit back is well-planned and I get to bring some home. Otherwise, I substitute roasted poblano chiles. They're different but still good!
- bell peppers - I love colorful food, so I choose red, yellow, or orange since I'm also using a green chile. 😀
- spices - I specify my Mexican mole spice blend (because it's amazing!). I keep a jar on hand, and use it in to add bold flavor to lamb tacos, stews and soups, even dry-rub a chicken... If you're not ready to commit, I give the amounts of each spice for this recipe - ancho chile powder, cumin, cinnamon, unsweetened cocoa.
- salsa - I created these pork fajita tacos to go with my grilled corn and black bean salsa. You may substitute your favorite salsa. Mango salsa, citrus salsa, and salsa verde are alse good options!
- tortillas - While flour tortillas are more typical for fajitas, use corn if you prefer. I actually prefer the taste and texture of corn tortillas, but flour can be over-stuffed which works well for photos.
🔪 How to Make Pork Tenderloin Tacos on the Stove
- In a sauté pan over medium high heat, brown the pork tenderloin in a bit of olive oil with the spices and garlic.
- When the pork tenderloin is browned - no blood present - remove to a bowl and tent with foil to keep warm while the vegetables are prepared.
- Start with the onions - You can (and should) use the pan you used for the pork tenderloin. Wipe it clean with a paper towel if you need to. Add a drizzle of olive oil and the thin-sliced onions. Sauté until they're limp.
- Sauté the bell pepper strips with the onions until they begin to soften. Lift one with a pair of tongs, and it should bend. It doesn't need to be browned.
- Finally add in the Hatch green chile, or whatever green chile strips you're using. If they're roasted, they need only 1 to 2 minutes to heat them through!
- Heat the tortillas (either corn or flour) by your favorite method. My favorite is a cast iron skillet or comal and a dry pan over high heat. Keep an eye on them, and don't burn them! Stack them in a tortilla warmer.
- Serve your pork fajita tacos - Your 3 major components are the spiced pork tenderloin, sautéed onions, bell peppers, and Hatch green chile. Stuff those tortillas to the max and enjoy!
Why use pork tenderloin?
I specify pork tenderloin because it's TENDER. However, you can use boneless chops or loin, just keep in mind it will have a chewier texture. Chicken, beef, and even shrimp are good options as well!
What other kinds of green chile can I use?
While my love of Hatch green chile is always front and center in my recipe posts that use green chile, you do have other options if you can't get them, or (perish the thought!) don't like them. We love the roasted green chile flavor. You can roast poblano chiles and the flavor profile will be similar. If spicy heat is an issue, roast an Anaheim chile or even a green bell pepper.
Is this recipe good leftover?
Yes, with a caveat: Store and reheat the cooked pork and veggies in one container apart from the corn and black bean salsa. The pork and veggies are good for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator, but the salsa is best used the next day.
What's the best way to warm tortillas?
If I'm only doing a few (for my husband and me), I like to use a cast iron skillet or a comal over high heat on the stove. I also like my tortilla warmer with a slightly damp paper towel in the microwave for 45 seconds for 6 tortillas. You can also use an ovenproof tortilla warmer in the oven.
How can I make this taco recipe "family friendly?"
If you're cooking for young children, or people that don't like spicy food, you have a couple of options:
- Keep in mind Hatch green chile comes in varying degrees of heat. You can get heat levels from "mild" to "XXX hot." Your choice will affect the entire dish. Anaheim chiles have a very similar flavor, but no heat, so that's another option.
- Reducing the amount of green chile will reduce the heat level.
- Cook the bell pepper and onion separately from the green chile, and let people put their own tacos together from toppings bowls.
- If you want the flavor of the green chile but not the heat, try roasting Anaheim chiles. They're genetically similar to Hatch green chile, but do not have the heat.
I keep this spice blend on my counter, and use it often. It's cumin and unsweetened cocoa powder (2 parts each) to ancho chile powder and cinnamon (1 part each). Of course the ancho is spicy and can be adjusted to taste!
🧂 Useful Stuff
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I think we eat tacos 2-3 times per month (if not more). They're so easy to put together, to customize, and always a family-pleaser. I hope you'll give these fajita style tacos a try!
Pork Tenderloin Tacos with Hatch Chile
- 1 pound pork tenderloin - sliced thin
- 1 tablespoon Mexican mole spice blend - see Notes below
- 1 teaspoon garlic - minced (about 3 cloves)
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper
- 1 onion - sliced thin
- 1 bell pepper - sliced thin
- 3 Hatch green chiles - stems and seeds removed, sliced thin (see Tips in post)
- grilled corn and black bean salsa - see Ingredients in post for substitutions
- tortillas - corn or flour
- Make the salsa. Roast chiles if you need to. Thin slice the pork, the onion, and the bell peppers.
- Add a drizzle of olive oil to the pan over medium-high heat, followed by the pork, the spice blend, and the garlic. Saute until lightly browned, and all red is gone. Do not dry it out. Season with salt and pepper. Remove to a bowl and cover with foil to stay warm.
- Wipe the pan if you need to. Add an additional drizzle of olive oil, and the onions. Saute until soft but not brown (4 to 5 minutes). Add the bell pepper (2 to 3 minutes), and continue to cook until they're soft. Finally, add the green chile strips. Heat everything through (1 to 2 minutes).
- Warm the tortillas. If I'm only doing a few, I usually heat them on a hot cast iron skillet or comal. To each tortillas, add a few pieces of pork tenderloin, some veggies, and salsa. Serve with cilantro and lime wedges. Enjoy!
NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.
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