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Picante Pork Taco Appetizer


If you’re looking for a fun and easy snack recipe for your Super Bowl party, you’ve got to try these bite size “tacos”.  Rather than going the American route of beef with taco seasoning, cheddar cheese and lettuce, I’m tapping into my memories of Mexico.  This easy pulled pork recipe uses picante sauce and chipotle chiles in adobo, then cooks overnight in the crockpot so that you don’t have to worry about it.

I’ve really been missing Mexican food.  Eric and I have a $50 a month eating out/entertainment budget that was used up this month on my fancy birthday dinner.  The first of a new month is quickly approaching, so we can finally stop by the little Mexican deli near our house for some authentic (and cheap!) tacos.  In the meantime, I decided to use my craving to create a new Super Bowl recipe because (although I love watching football) my favorite part is the food!

This recipe ends up being really affordable thanks to getting a nice pork loin roast on sale.  I bought it the day before its sell by date so it cost me a dollar less per pound.  Also, most of the ingredients I use in this recipe (picante sauce, tortilla chips, avocados) are on sale this time of year because of the Super Bowl.


I originally had planned to make my own sauce of peppers, onion and tomatoes to cook the meat in, but I came home on Wednesday to find a package on my doorstep.  Not expecting anything, I gasped in delight.  “Is it food?” I wondered.  I always hope it’s food (or some expensive piece of camera or kitchen equipment I can’t afford that some nice company is giving me for free, but usually it’s food).

In the box were two little bottles of Pace Picante sauce.  I forgot that Foodbuzz had e-mailed me a while ago offering to send me some.  Woo-hoo!  I still gave the pork a little rub down with some salt and spices, then mixed a can of chipotle chiles in adobe into the picante sauce.  If you don’t like spicy, you can skip the chipotle chiles, but we love the heat!  If you went with the chiles and find the meat is too hot for you, tone the finished taco bites down with a little sour cream and fresh queso.


For topping these game day snacks, I made a very simple fresh salsa.  I didn’t use any jalapenos or salt in the salsa because the meat is already salty and spicy.  You could use any of your favorite fresh salsa recipes, I think next time I might try some mango salsa.

Another nice thing about this snack recipe is that you can make everything a few days in advance.  I have plenty of leftover meat that I’ll refrigerate until game day.  I’ll probably make the salsa again on Friday and refrigerate it as well.  The reason is, starting Friday night, Eric and I are going to have a group of teenagers staying at our house.


When we bought our house and saw how big the living room was, we knew we wanted to have lots of people over.  Our first chance was my birthday party.  Now the real test of our hospitality is a weekend of teenagers staying up late and sharing one bathroom!  Our church’s Student Ministries is doing their winter retreat in homes and at the church.  It really lowers the cost for students if they don’t go out of town.  They’re bringing in a guest speaker and guest discussion leaders for each home.  Students go to the church to hear bands and the speaker, then return to the homes to discuss what they’re learning.  The weekend also includes several service projects in the community.

Eric and I are SO excited for this event, we’ve been looking forward to it for months!  We know it will be a ton of fun, but we also anticipate being exhausted by the end of the retreat (which lets out just before the Super Bowl).  We’ll be heading to Eric’s parents to hang out and maybe watch the game (but skip the commercials which seem to get raunchier each year).  I plan to bring a bag of chips, the pork and the salsa and say, “Have at it!”.  If anyone is unsure of what to do, I’ll bookmark this post on my phone and let them look at the pictures to assemble their own taco bites!

Yes, I’ve got it all planned out.  I will be able to just lay back, relax, and hopefully not snore so no one notices I’m napping!


Picante Pork Mini Taco Recipe

makes 50-60


2-2.5 lb pork loin roast
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 cup (8 oz) picante sauce
1 7oz can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1 cup water
3 medium sized tomatoes, finely chopped
1/2 English cucumber, finely chopped
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 avocado, finely chopped
juice of two limes
1/2 tsp lime zest
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp sugar
1 bag tortilla chips
(Optional) sour cream and queso fresco


Use a steak or paring knife to stab the pork loin all over.  Mix together kosher salt, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and onion powder then rub all over the pork.  Place pork in crockpot.  Mix together picante sauce and chipotle chiles with adobo sauce and pour over the pork.  Add water to the crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours.

Remove the chipotle chiles (save for another use) and use two forks to shred the pork. (You can shred the pork anywhere from 6-8 hours from starting the cooking process) and stir the shredded pork to get it well coated in the sauce.  Continue to cook or heat on warm until most of the liquid is gone.

In a large bowl mix together tomatoes, cucumber, onion and avocado.  In a smaller bowl use a fork to whisk together lime juice, lime zest, cilantro and sugar.  Toss the dressing with the chopped vegetables.

Top each tortilla chip with a TBS of shredded pork and a tsp of salsa.  (Optional: Drizzle with sour cream and sprinkle with queso fresco if desired.)

Approximate cost/serving: The whole thing came out to about $13.50 for me.  That’s just 22 cents per taco bite.  You’ll probably have leftover meat as well which drops the price even more.

Gluten Free: Make sure your tortilla chips are corn chips w/out gluten.

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Nutritional and cost information is for estimating purposes only, and subject to variations due to region, seasonality, and product availability.

9 thoughts on “Picante Pork Taco Appetizer”

  1. Thanks everyone! This pork has been our best friend for the past week. Nachos, burritos, quesadillas, we’ve had it in everything and loved it.


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