Ancho Chili Pork Belly Tacos

ancho chili crispy pork belly tacos

Can you imagine eating a bacon taco? How could that not be totally delicious? Pork belly tacos are just that, except a little bit more. Pork Belly is the part of the pig that bacon is made out of, but instead of being cured, you can cook it up raw, and let me tell you, it is a pretty great. The meat is so flavorful it really is the star of the taco. Keep the toppings nice and light to balance out and compliment the heavy flavors of the pork.

Now, I can tell you right now these aren’t your easy every day tacos. These tacos take some time. Not a lot of hands time, b but definitely some oven time. I promise you won’t regret it though. Look for pork belly at high end grocery stores like Whole Foods and other local high end grocers. You can even occasionally spot it at Costco.

Ancho chili crispy pork belly tacos with cilantro and avocado

Prep Time: 5 minutes 
Roast Time:  2 hours, 45 minutes
Yield: Serves 6 to 8


1 (2 lb) slab pork belly
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
12 oz. braising liquid*

12 crispy corn taco shells
2 avocados, diced
3 roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
3 limes, quartered


1. Lay the pork belly out on a cutting board fat side up. Score the fat by running a knife across the slab in parallel motions, about 1 inch apart. Do the same thing in the opposite direction, creating a diamond pattern over the meat.

2. In a small bowl, combine sugar, salt, ancho chili powder, and paprika. Rub the mixture over the fatty part of the pork belly, getting it in the score marks as well.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the pork belly on the rack of a roasting pan. Roast in the center of the oven for 90 minutes.

4. Pour the braising liquid* in the bottom of the roasting pan. Continue roasting for another 60 minutes.

5. Increase the heat to 500 degrees and roast approximately 15 minutes until skin crisps up and browns. Watch it carefully as actual time may vary based on your oven.

6. Let rest at least 20 minutes before slicing or dicing to serve on tacos.

7. Serve meat in taco shells topped with avocado, tomatoes, onion, and cilantro. Squeeze a little lime juice over before serving.

*Braising Liquid = I used rootbeer, but you could use beer or any other soda really.

Close up of ancho chili crispy pork belly taco