Vegan Carnitas Tacos With Guajillo Jam

January 13, 2022
6 Ratings
Photo by MJ Kroeger
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 2 hours
  • Serves 4 to 6
Test Kitchen Notes

For more Sweet Heat with Rick Martinez, check out all of the videos in the series here. —The Editors

What You'll Need
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Vegan Carnitas Tacos With Guajillo Jam
  • Chickpea & Mushroom Carnitas Tacos
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed, drained, and patted very dry
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 pounds mixed mushrooms, such as crimini, shiitake, maitake, and/or oyster, trimmed and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 large scallions or spring onions, white and green parts separated, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Charred corn tortillas, lime wedges, sliced avocado, chopped parsley, and shredded red cabbage (for serving)
  • Guajillo Jam
  • 4 ounces chiles guajillos, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 chiles cascabel or chiles de árbol, stemmed and seeded
  • 1/2 white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from about 1 large orange)
  • 6 tablespoons raw or demerara sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 wide strip orange zest
  1. Chickpea & Mushroom Carnitas Tacos
  2. Heat 6 tablespoons oil in a large heavy skillet over high heat. Add chickpeas to skillet and fry, stirring frequently, until golden and crispy, 15 to 20 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chickpeas to a paper towel lined large bowl to drain; season generously with salt and pepper. Remove paper towels and discard; Set drained chickpeas aside.
  3. In the same skillet, reduce heat to medium-high and cook half of mushrooms, undisturbed, until browned underneath, 3 to 4 minutes. Toss and continue to cook, tossing occasionally, until browned on both sides and tender, 4 to 5 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl with chickpeas. Repeat with 3 tablespoons oil, remaining mushrooms, and salt and pepper.
  4. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the same skillet over medium-high and cook white parts of scallion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and toss occasionally, until just beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to bowl with chickpeas and mushrooms and toss to combine.
  5. Serve carnitas with tortillas, reserved scallion greens, parsley, limes, avocado, guajillo jam, and cabbage.
  1. Guajillo Jam
  2. Make the guajillo jam: Add chiles guajillos, chiles cascabeles, onion, garlic, vinegar, orange juice, sugar, salt, peppercorn, oregano, and cloves to the jar of a blender and puree until smooth. Transfer chile puree and 1 cup water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-low heat. Cook until chiles are tender and liquid is syrupy, 50 to 60 minutes. Add orange zest and let cool; orange flavor will permeate as it sits.
  3. Jam can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Alek Meyer
    Alek Meyer
  • cindy
  • Diane Hardin
    Diane Hardin
  • Lori
Rick Martinez

Recipe by: Rick Martinez

Rick Martinez is currently living his dream—cooking, eating and enjoying the Mexican Pacific coast in Mazatlán. He is finishing his first cookbook, Under the Papaya Tree, food from the seven regions of Mexico and loved traveling the country so much, he decided to buy a house on the beach. He is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit, New York Times and hosts live, weekly cooking classes for Food Network Kitchens. Earlier this year, he was nominated for a James Beard Award for “How to win the Cookie Swap” in Bon Appétit’s holiday issue.

10 Reviews

cindy June 16, 2022
Made this yesterday. LOVED the filling. I felt like the jam could use more heat! Maybe leave in some of the seeds.
Alek M. April 13, 2022
I'll admit that I'm not actually the one who did the cooking this time (sadly I'm temporarily banned from the kitchen while recovering from surgery), but my partner made these tacos for dinner tonight and they were amazing. They've instantly become one of my favorite meals! I'm pretty certain that I'll be asking for a repeat on my birthday.
Diane H. January 19, 2022
I've only made the jam so far -- I'll confess I added a touch of cumin because I was craving it but the recipe is also perfect as written -- not too sweet, perfectly salted, perfectly acidic. I had some on buttered tortillas and it was amazing. I'll be making the "carnitas" tomorrow!
Diane H. January 21, 2022
oh wow! the fried garbanzos and mushrooms and scallions really make a delicious filling! my housemate & I both love this; thanks so much for this recipe!!! we're both addicted to the guajillo jam.
Lori January 18, 2022
I've never made mushrooms this delicious at home, and I was vegetarian for a good decade! The size and timing to cook them really were the magic, along with the jam recipe. I made some substitutions in peppers to use what I had on hand for the jam (used some fresh peppers, since I didn't have any chiles de árbol) and it was still great.
dorit.nelson January 18, 2022
Delicious! It was easy to make and assemble. At the very least, I’d recommend making that jam - it is so tasty!
cassandra January 17, 2022
Quick question about the guajillo jam: are the guajillos and cascabels or arbols dried or fresh? Hoping dried because I have some in the pantry.
Diane H. January 19, 2022
I'm obviously not Rick, but I can tell you that those terms are for the dried version of those chiles. they have different names when they are fresh (except maybe for arbol -- it won't matter if they're dried or fresh in this case, but most people get them dried).
cassandra January 20, 2022
Thank you Diane! I should have thought to check that, as I knew some chiles have different names when dried. Makes sense when a food culture needs to differentiate. Also, I like your idea of adding a little cumin to the jam. Thanks again.
Diane H. January 20, 2022
sure! Rick's recipes are always fantastic, but this jam is a whole new level of goodness, IMO.