Cochinita Pibil

Make this delicious, juicy & healthy Cochinita Pibil! A traditional Mexican pulled pork dish from the state of Yucatan and a favorite of many Mexican food lovers.

3 cochinita pibil tacos on a green title table with salsas on small bowls
Delicious tacos de Cochinita Pibil with Mexican Pickled onions

The traditional way of making Cochinita Pibil is by cooking in the ground a marinated pig wrapped in banana leaves. It cooks for hours until it’s well done. The end result is pork that just melts in your mouth.

But Who has time for that?!! Plus finding banana leaves is impossible for most people.

The solution my friends is using the slow cooker method! The end result is still the same: shredded pork that is delicious and melts in your mouth. Yum!

A taco made with cochinita pibil topped with red pickled onions
This Cochinita Pibil is very juice and delicious!

Ingredients for Cochinita Pibil

The main flavor for this dish is Achiote (Annato in English) and can be found in latin grocery stores or if you don’t have one near by you can buy it on amazon.

Achiote looks spicy due to the red color but its looks are deceiving! It’s not spicy at all, just flavorful!

Next ingredient is pork hence the name “Cochinita” which means little pig in English. However, if you don’t like to eat pork, you can make it with lean chicken as well.

Other ingredients are a coke and a beer (you’ll be amazed how great these two go together!), a little vinegar & beef bullion. That’s it! Nothing complicated as you can see.

Using a coke & a beer is part of our traditional family recipe. My sister Brenda makes THE BEST cochinita pibil and used to always asked her the ratio of each ingredient to make it perfectly juicy. I finally mastered it!

Ingredients: lean pork cut in chunks, vinegar, an achiote bar, a coke and one beer bottle

How to cook Cochinita Pibil in crockpot

Don’t we all love slow cookers since we can set dinner and forget about it? The preparation for this recipe is super easy:

In a small bowl, dissolve the achiote in vinegar. I use a fork to break it down. Then add the beef bullion to the achiote/vinegar mix to dissolve that as well.

Place the pork, achiote mix, beer and soda in the crockpot. Mix and incorporate all ingredients well.

Cook for 4 hours on high and 8 hours on low.

The pork is ready when it shreds easily. Remove a few pieces of pork at a time and shred with two forks in a bowl.

You can do this step in the crockpot as well but I prefer to do it in a bowl so you don’t risk scratching the crockpot.

Return shredded pork to the crockpot and cook for 30 more minutes. This will ensure all of the meet is infused with the achiote perfectly.

That’s it my friends! Easy peasy right? Now you’re ready to make some amazing tacos, tostadas or tortas!

three tacos made with cochinita pibil topped with red pickled onions
A delicious Cochinita Pibil recipe

Essential pairings

There are a few must have items when eating Cochinita Pibil. They add the perfect layers of flavor and will elevate your taste buds to the max

  1. Mexican Pickled Onions add a perfect crush and citrus flavor to your tacos.
  2. A good red salsa like this Chile de arbol salsa.
  3. And fresh lime juice…I can’t forget to list the lime juice!
  4. Horchata is also a good pairing since it balances well with the spices

If you like this recipe, you’ll also enjoy these Mexican dishes!

did you make this Cochinita Pibil?!? i’d love to know how it turned out! leave a comment and a rating below? thank you!

3 tacos of cochinita pibil topped with red pickled onions and limes on the side

Cochinita Pibil

Servings 10 4 oz servings
Ana Frias
4.95 from 20 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 4 hrs 45 mins
This Healthy Crockpot Cochinita Pibil recipe is a perfect easy, filling weeknight dinner. Made in the slow cooker with only a few ingredients, it’s low in fat, packed with protein and loaded with flavor!

Equipment

  • Slow cooker
10 4 oz servings

Ingredients
  

  • 3.5 oz achiote bar annato condiment found in the hispanic section of grocery stores
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cube of beef bouillon
  • 2 lbs of boneless lean pork loin roast. Cubed into beef stew size and fat trimmed off
  • 12 oz can of coke
  • 1 12 oz lite beer bottle (any brand will do) See the notes if you don't want to use beer.
  • salt & pepper to taste if needed

Instructions
 

  • In a small bowl, dissolve the achiote & beef bullion in the vinegar. Use a fork to break it down. 
  • Place the pork, achiote mix, beer and soda in the crockpot. Mix and incorporate all ingredients well.
  • Cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
  • The pork is ready when it shreds easily. Remove a few pieces of pork at a time and shred with two forks in a bowl. You can do this step in the crockpot as well but I prefer to do it in a bowl so you don’t risk scratching the crockpot.
  • Return shredded pork to the crockpot and cook for 30 more minutes. This will ensure all of the meet is infused with the achiote perfectly.
  • Serve on tacos or tortas

*Ana’s Notes:

Serve with the following toppings:
  1. Mexican Pickled Onions add a perfect crush and citrus flavor to your tacos
  2. A good red salsa like this Chile de arbol salsa.

ADD YOUR OWN PRIVATE NOTES

Whenever you come back to this recipe, you’ll be able to see your notes.

NUTRITION

Serving: 4ounces | Calories: 149kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 681mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g

The nutritional information and US conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this data. If this is important to you, please verify with your favourite nutrition calculator and/or unit conversion tool.

This recipe was originally published in August 2010 and it has been updated to include new photos and more instructions. Buen Provecho! 

3 tacos of cochinita pibil topped with red pickled onions and limes on the side
Make Cochinita Pibil slow cooker

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Recipe Rating




27 Comments

  1. Hello
    I would like to make this but is there something else I could use that is not beer? I know the alcohol cooks out but wondered if it is extremely important in this recipe?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Laura! I’m glad you’re going to give this a try! You can substitute the beer with another coke (a lot of my family just uses coke) or you can do 1 cup of orange juice. Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Enjoy!

  2. Wowie zowie! Another winner, Ana!
    Banana leaves are abundant here in Thailand! Would love to try this!
    Amazing!

  3. 5 stars
    This took some getting used to on my palate but once I put it all together with all the pairings noted in the recipe that did it! Nice change of pace from traditional chicken and beef tacos.

  4. 5 stars
    That looks mouthwatering. My friend love Mexican foods and I am sure he will love this. Definitely going to recommend him this dish.

  5. 5 stars
    This recipe looks amazing, the pickles sound delicious and I love a recipe with coke in it!! Can’t wait to give this a go, thanks!

  6. 5 stars
    This pulled pork taco recipe looks absolutely amazing! I love how easy this is to make and it’s perfect for weeknights!

  7. 5 stars
    Made it yesterday! I cant believe how easy it was to make. I actually bought the achiote on Amazon since we dont have a Latin store close by. I’m making it again for Cinco De Mayo!

  8. 5 stars
    Have you ever made this in a slow cooker? I’m thinking of doing so, but liquid amounts would need to be adjusted.

    If I’m doing pulled pork, I just run the meat with salt and pepper and put it into the crock, with a little liquid smoke, that’s all. Then let it slowly cook.