• 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp each smoked paprika and ground cumin
  • 500g pack lean pork mince
  • 300ml passata
  • 5 tbsp barbecue sauce
  • 400g can black bean, drained
  • small bunch coriander, chopped
  • 8 taco shells
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled and sliced
  • ½ iceberg lettuce, finely shredded
  • soured cream, to serve (optional)


  • STEP 1

    Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and cook for 5 mins until softened. Sprinkle over the spices and cook for 1 min more. Add the mince, breaking it up with the back of a wooden spoon, and stir until cooked through.

  • STEP 2

    Stir the passata and barbecue sauce into the pan along with 4 tbsp water. Increase the heat and allow the sauce to bubble and reduce until it clings to the meat. Add the beans, season and cook for a further 2 mins, then stir in the coriander. Heat the tacos following pack instructions.

  • STEP 3

    Use the pork and bean mix to fill the tacos, top with slices of avocado, shredded iceberg lettuce and a dollop of soured cream, if you like.

What cut of meat is best for pork tacos?

A range of cuts are often used – if you want to make slow cooker tacos, then pork shoulder is the best cut, or try pork belly for a crispy filling. We’ve gone for lean pork mince as it is quick and easy to cook, plus it has plenty of flavour. It’s also low in fat compared to the other cuts.

Tips for making the pork mince filling

  • We’ve combined lean pork mince with a can of black beans for extra texture. If you don’t have black beans, you could use red kidney beans, aduki beans or pinto beans.
  • When you first add the mince to the pan some water will usually be released from the pork. Once this has evaporated, the mince will start to brown slightly. At this stage, stir it every 1-2 minutes until lightly browned all over and all the liquid has evaporated (this step should take about 10 mins). Once the mince is browned and there’s no pink left you can add the passata.
  • Barbecue sauce gives a smoky flavour boost along with smoked paprika and ground cumin spices. You could also add other spices such as chilli powder, chilli flakes or ground coriander. Garlic powder and dried oregano will also add extra flavour.
  • Make sure to reduce the sauce enough so that it clings to the meat, otherwise the tacos will be soggy. If using a wide, shallow pan this stage can take just 2-3 minutes, but it might take longer in a smaller pan so keep going until it’s thick and rich in consistency.
  • To get some more veggies into the filling you can add a sliced pepper along with the onions or a small can of drained sweetcorn when you add the passata.

Tips for assembling the tacos

  • If you want crunchy taco shells, preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4, place the taco shells on a baking tray, open-end-down, and heat for 3-4 minutes or until warm and crisp. Lots of taco shells can also be crisped up in the microwave for 1 minute, but check the pack instructions to be sure.
  • To prepare the avocado, use a small, sharp knife to run a blade all the way around the avocado, from top to bottom. Make sure you cut until the blade meets the stone. Twist the two halves in opposite directions to separate them. To remove the stone, ease it out with a spoon. You can slice the flesh while it’s still in the skin then use a spoon to scoop out the slices. Avocado flesh discolours rapidly on exposure to the air so, if doing in advance, squeeze over some lime or lemon juice to prevent this.

What other toppings can I serve with pork tacos?

We’ve added slices of fresh avocado, crispy iceberg lettuce and a dollop of soured cream, but there are lots of other delicious toppings you could add to perk up your tacos. Try some or all of the following:

Serve with fresh, colourful salsas like our tomatillo salsa or pico de gallo with added jalapeño peppers for some heat.

Add a punchy red cabbage and pickled chilli slaw or curtido, a Mexican-style, fat-free slaw for extra crunch.

Grated cheddar cheese adds an extra touch of indulgence and is a favourite with children.

Or try some cool, creamy guacamole like our best ever chunky guacamole.

You can also serve some lime wedges, sliced red or green chillies or jalapeño peppers and/or some extra coriander leaves. Arrange in small dishes and let everyone help themselves.

Which barbecue sauce is best for the pork filling?

You can use any barbecue sauce you like for this. Buy a readymade classic barbecue sauce or, if you like it hot, go for a hot barbecue sauce. You can even make your own if you like using our recipe for Texas BBQ sauce.

Can the pork taco filling be made in advance?

Yes. The pork and bean mince filling can be made up to two days in advance and stored, covered, in the fridge.

Can these pork tacos be frozen?

Only the pork and bean mince filling can be frozen, not the taco shells or garnishes. Freeze the mince filling for up to three months. Defrost in the fridge overnight before reheating either in the microwave or on the hob, stirring once or twice, until piping hot all the way through. You may need to add a splash of water if reheating it on the hob to stop it drying out.

What can I do with leftover filling?

Reheat and serve with a bowl of tortilla crisps to scoop it up. Use as a topping for jacket potatoes or baked sweet potatoes, or serve on top of quick cook polenta, quinoa or rice.

What other tacos can I make?

You can fill tacos with almost any meat, fish or vegetables you like.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, May 2012


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