Ground Pork Tacos

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These Ground Pork Tacos start with warmed tortillas filled with a carnita-inspired ground pork mixture and are then loaded up with your favorite taco toppings. Add a lime crema on top for the perfect finishing touch!

Try some of our other favorite taco recipes next, like these Shrimp Tacos, Chicken Tacos, or Beef Tacos

Three Ground Pork Tacos

Ground Pork Tacos

My whole family loves pork carnitas, but sometimes the craving strikes and we don’t have the hours to wait for an entire pork shoulder or butt to cook. While pork carnitas are easy to make and quick to assemble, the pork itself does take a while to cook (even in a pressure cooker!).

So I decided to take the concept of pork carnitas and apply it to create an easy 30-minute dinner recipe — carnita-inspired ground pork tacos! I’ve borrowed flavors from traditional pork carnitas by using similar Mexican seasonings and pairing fresh citrus with the ground pork.

Below I’ll break down each component of these tacos from the tortillas to the ground pork filling to the toppings and finally the crema! Let’s get started!

Process shots of sautéing the onions, garlic, jalapeño and seasonings.


  • Tortillas: You can use corn or flour tortillas.We like Street-sized flour tortillas best. Char or warm the tortillas to add even more flavor.
  • Ground Pork: When browning the pork, let it cook without touching in the skillet for a bit; we want to avoid stirring too much at the start, so it can get a nice brown crust. Browning equals flavor, so the more browning, the more flavorful the pork will be.
  • Onion, Garlic, Jalapeño: Save time by chopping them together in a food processor. Adjust the amount of jalapeño to control the spice level.
  • Seasonings: Add more or less depending on what you like.
  • Orange and Lime Juice: These juices make the meat taste fresh and a bit tangy. For stronger citrus-flavored ground pork tacos, add in the zest of the oranges and limes before juicing.

How To Make Ground Pork Tacos

  1. Cook Pork: Brown the pork in a pan. Add onions, garlic, jalapeño, and spices. Cook until it smells good. Let the pork get a bit crispy for more flavor.
  2. Make Lime Crema: Mix sour cream, heavy cream, lime juice, and garlic powder. Add salt and pepper to taste. Taste and adjust the lime for extra zing.
  3. Warm Tortillas: Heat tortillas in a pan or over an open flame until they are a bit brown. Keep them warm under a cloth until ready to serve.
  4. Assemble Tacos: Put pork in tortillas, then top with lime crema, avocado, cilantro, pickled onions, and cheese. Add the toppings right before eating so everything stays fresh.

Process shots of browning the pork, making the lime crema and assembling the tacos.

Ground Pork Taco Toppings

Our favorite toppings for these tacos are quick pickled onions, thinly sliced jalapeños, ripe avocado, and lots of the lime crema. Here are details:

  • Quick pickled onions or regular (raw) red onions
  • Cheese: think Monterey jack and/or Cotija cheese
  • Thinly sliced cabbage 
  • Coarsely chopped cilantro
  • Ripe avocado or guacamole
  • Pico de gallo or diced cherry tomatoes
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Lots of lime crema (more on this below)


  If you’d like to add quick pickled red onions to top these tacos with, you’ll need:

  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon white granulated sugar

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the red onion, red wine vinegar, salt and sugar. Toss to coat. Leave at room temperature and toss every 5 minutes or so, while preparing the rest of the meal.

Lime crema

This sauce is light and fresh-tasting; it provides a nice cooling contrast to the pork. It’s very mild and intended to add a nice complementary flavor (not a strong or overpowering flavor) in these ground pork tacos.

  • Lite or low-fat sour cream works well here if you’re looking for a lighter option.
  • Use fresh minced garlic instead of garlic powder for a more strong garlic flavor.
  • For a stronger citrus flavor, add in more lime zest.

Three Ground Pork Tacos


  • Storing: Keep lime crema, pickled onions, pork, and any other fresh toppings in separate airtight containers in the fridge. Use within 1 week for best quality.
  • Freezing: Cool the cooked pork mixture and place it in a freezer-safe bag or container. Freeze tortillas separately. Both can be stored for up to 3 months.

More pork recipes

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Ground Pork Tacos

5 from 7 votes
These Ground Pork Tacos start with warmed tortillas filled with a carnita-inspired ground pork mixture and are then loaded up with your favorite taco toppings. Add a lime crema on top for the perfect finishing touch!
Print Recipe

Ground Pork Tacos

5 from 7 votes
These Ground Pork Tacos start with warmed tortillas filled with a carnita-inspired ground pork mixture and are then loaded up with your favorite taco toppings. Add a lime crema on top for the perfect finishing touch!
Course Dinner, lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword ground pork tacos
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Chelsea Lords
Calories 615kcal
Cost $8.52



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 and 1/2 cups finely diced red onion (1 medium onion)
  • 2 tablespoons EACH: minced garlic & finely diced jalapeño (~4 cloves & 1 pepper)
  • 2 teaspoons EACH: dried oregano, ground cumin, ground chili powder, garlic powder
  • fine sea salt and cracked pepper
  • 1 and 1/2 pounds ground pork
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 12 (6-inch) soft flour tortillas (or corn tortillas)

Toppings of choice: ripe avocado, cilantro, lime wedges, red onions or pickled onions (see below), Cotija or Monterey jack cheese (~1 cup), lime crema (see below)

    Lime Crema

    • 1/2 cup sour cream (lite/low-fat works!)
    • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
    • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice + 1/2 teaspoon zest
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

    OPTIONAL: Quick "Pickled" Onion

    • 1/2 large red onion thinly sliced (~1 cup)
    • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons white granulated sugar


    • OPTIONAL: QUICK "PICKLED" RED ONION: In a medium-sized bowl, combine the thinly sliced red onion, red wine vinegar, and sugar. Season to taste with salt; I add 1/2 teaspoon. Toss to coat; leave at room temperature and toss every 5 minutes or so while preparing the rest of the meal.
    • LIME CREMA: In a small bowl, combine all the crema ingredients and season to taste with salt and pepper; I add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Stir and then place in the fridge until ready to use.
    • PORK MIXTURE: In a large, cast iron skillet, add the olive oil and heat to medium high. Add in the onion and sauté for about 5 minutes or until turning golden. Add in the garlic and jalapeños and cook for another 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add in the seasonings and salt and pepper to taste (I add 1 and 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper). Sauté for 1 more minute or until fragrant. Nothing should be burning/overly browning; reduce heat if necessary (nonstick skillet will take longer because it doesn't hold heat the same). Press spiced veggies to the side of the pan leaving room for the pork.
    • PORK MIX, CONTINUED: Add the ground pork to the center of the pan. Let stand for about 30 seconds to a minute and then flip; we want to brown it as much as possible (color = flavor!) Continue to cook and break up the pork with a wooden spoon until the pork is nicely browned. Drain off any fat. Add in the orange juice and lime juice, and cook, stirring constantly until the juices are absorbed into the pork and it's nicely coated and browned. Remove from heat and adjust seasonings to personal preference, adding additional salt if needed.
    • TORTILLAS: See Note 1 for preparing the tortillas. I typically char them over a gas flame on my stovetop, but any method works.
    • ASSEMBLY: Place generous spoonfuls of pork into warmed tortillas. Add your favorite toppings: cheese, avocado, cilantro, pickled red onions, and lots of lime crema are our must-haves! Serve with lime wedges on the side and enjoy immediately.


    Recipe Notes

    Note 1: Spray both sides of the tortillas with olive oil cooking spray and char the tortillas directly over the gas flames for a few seconds. Use tongs to flip until tortillas are lightly charred and soft. Immediately fold the tortilla in half (so it will fold into a taco nicely later) and place it under a towel to keep warm. Alternatively, warm tortillas in a large skillet over medium heat (in batches so the skillet isn't over-filled). Flip to warm each side, remove from heat, fold in half, and place under a towel to keep warm.

    Nutrition Facts

    Calories: 615kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 99mg | Sodium: 496mg | Potassium: 591mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 280IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 123mg | Iron: 3mg

    We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.


    I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.

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    Recipe Rating


    1. 5 stars
      Really e!asy and different enough from ground beef or chicken to make it extra. Love the fresh, cool crema with the spicy pork mix. So good!

    2. 5 stars
      Loved this! The pickled onions are a MUST in my opinion, and lots of them!

      I’m dairy intolerant so I used coconut yogurt with a dab of mayonnaise for the base of the lime sauce.

      This recipe has been put in the repeat rotation! This is now my 3rd time making it 😉 AND it’s kid approved in our house!

    3. 5 stars
      I had all the ingredients for this recipe except for fresh jalapeños but I used pickled instead. This was so easy and absolutely delish. I think the key is to use a cast iron pan to get a bit of a crisp on the pork. This recipe is a keeper!

      1. 5 stars
        I had to make a couple substitutions based on what I had in the kitchen (plain Greek yogurt for sour cream, coconut milk for heavy cream, and diced chiles for jalapeños) but it turned out delicious. I love the way all the flavors work together with the onions and crema.

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