Mushroom Carnitas Tacos

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Mushroom Carnitas – have you even heard of something so incredible! This fully vegetarian version of carnitas is amazing. Crispy mushrooms with onions, a magical green sauce that you’ll want to drink and charred flour tortillas!! Get ready!

Mushroom Carnitas Taco from (@whatsgabycookin)

Ok so let’s talk about carnitas. Typically carnitas are made by braising or simmering pork in oil or lard until tender and then crisped up under a broiler. We’ve eaten soooo many carnitas tacos in our day. And recently we’ve been on a mushroom kick so low and behold…. mushroom carnitas. Rather than braising the mushrooms in lard, we roast them with onions at high heat until they get crispy and delicious just like carnitas. OMG you guys.

Mushroom Carnitas Taco from (@whatsgabycookin)

Once the ‘shrooms are ready, then it all about that magical green sauce. It’s honestly the best sauce we’ve ever put here on WGC. It gives the basil vinaigrette a run for it’s money. Homemade creamy green hot sauce without any cream. It’s just emulsified roasted peppers and oil. PROMISE me you’ll try it. We’ve been eating it on everything for the past few months and I’m HOOKED.

Mushroom Carnitas Taco from (@whatsgabycookin)
Mushroom Carnitas Taco from (@whatsgabycookin)

Mushroom Carnitas with Magical Green Sauce

5 from 10 votes
Imagine your favorite crispy carnitas but made with mushrooms! Vegetarians rejoice – this is bananas good!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican, Tex Mex, Southwestern
Servings 4 people


For the Magical Green Sauce

  • 1/2 pounds fresh jalapeños, stems removed (you can remove seeds if you want less heat)
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3/4 cup grapeseed oil (or canola oil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

For the Mushroom Carnitas

  • 2 pounds king oyster mushrooms, wiped clean
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 orange, juiced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Flour tortillas for serving
  • chopped onion, cilantro, magical green sauce and a squeeze of fresh lime for garnish


For the Magical Green Sauce

  • Place the peppers, onion and garlic in a medium saucepan and just enough water to cover. Place over medium high heat and bring to a simmer, reduce heat to maintain a simmer for about 15 minutes or until peppers pierce easily with a knife, soft not mushy. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid and allow to cool 15 min.
  • Put everything into a blender along with the salt, vinegar and begin to blend until smooth, adding in a little reserved cooking water if needed.
  • With the blender on medium low slowly pour in the oil in a steady stream. Continue to blend until the mixture is light and creamy.
  • Remove from the blender, allow to cool and place in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week. (Makes 2 cups)

For the Mushroom Carnitas

  • Preheat the oven to 400 F and spray two baking sheets with cooking spray
  • Shred the mushrooms by removing the cap with a sharp knife and slice thin, with a fork shred the stem of the mushroom into strips of varied sizes, some thin, some thick.
  • In a medium bowl combine dry spices, Worcestershire, orange juice, salt and 4 tablespoons olive oil. Add in the shredded mushrooms and toss to coat, let marinate 15-20 min while the oven comes to temperature
  • Place the mushrooms onto the baking sheet with the chopped onions and roast in the oven about 30-40 minutes until crispy and golden, stirring every 10 minutes. Check the mushrooms every 5 minutes starting at the 30 minute mark, once they are golden and crispy, they are done. Remove from oven and set aside.
  • Add lime juice and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  • Serve in warm charred tortillas with chopped onion, cilantro, limes and magical green sauce.


    1. 5 stars
      I made it! Delicious!!! I had to go with sliced portabella mushrooms since my market didn’t have the other kind but it didn’t matter–so good!

  1. sounds really good! just making sure, use the mushroom caps and stems? caps slice and stems shred?it wasn’t totally clear, i really an excited to try this recipe though!

  2. Hi Gaby, is the Green Sauce “hot”? Not sure about the jalapeños …for my taste buds…could I substitute something else?

  3. I love this idea!!!! I’m not a huge fan of pork, but I love how flavorful carnitas are. And, I looooooooooove mushrooms. Like, seriously love. So combining these two sounds perfect!!!! Definitely trying this recipe the next time my husband is out of town, haha (he hates mushrooms). Thanks for sharing!

    1. I have made this recipe 5 times now and no matter what strategy I have, the mushrooms never seems to get crispy likes mentioned in the recipe. Even when all liquid is drained I do not have luck. Any suggestions? Thank you.

    2. you could try doing them on a drying rack nestled within the baking sheet so that there is air circulating around the entire mushroom

  4. Definitely trying this. Cooked (& loved) my way through your last cookbook. Over a year ago we eliminated meat (& most dairy). The only meat I miss is carnitas and salmon. This looks amazing and can’t wait to try.

  5. 5 stars
    This was soooooo delicious!!!! I’ll definitely make it again!!!!
    One problem …. I bought all the ingredients to make this; but there was nothing in the actual cooking instructions about when/where to add the Worcestershire sauce. I didn’t even realize I didn’t use it, until after it was all done cooking.
    I imagine it was suppose to be part of the marinade?
    Let me know, so when I make it again, I can add it in – thanks!!!

  6. yesterday i made the magical green sauce. curious as to why it requires so much oil? i ended up using 1/2 C rather than the 3/4C…i thought maybe it was a misprint:)

    1. That’s just the ratio I loved best! You can certainly use less and it will be more potent! But I also like to keep it stocked in the fridge at all times to drizzle on basically everything under the sun so more is more 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    Made with portobellos and Criminis, otherwise followed the recipe exactly. Was a big hit with the famIly! Thanks for another great veggie recipe!

    1. ah!! it must have gotten deleted by accident! will repost ASAP when I get back to my computer

  8. 5 stars
    Love making this magical green sauce and having it on hand at all times! Cannot recommend this recipe enough!

  9. 5 stars
    Amazing!!! I would just do 25 min in the oven. The mushrooms really cook down. I love the sauce so much.

  10. This looks delicious! I’m so excited to try it. Question: what do you do with the 2 cups of finely chopped yellow onion in the carnitas ingredient list? Is that for garnish or does it go on the sheet pan to roast with the mushrooms? Thanks so much for posting so many great veggie recipes!

  11. Do the carnitas freeze well? It’s just me so I’d like to make a big batch so I can portion out and freeze for easy meals later.

  12. 5 stars
    The most delicious recipe I’ve made ever. It’s so easy and so delicious. The sauce is everything!!! Does it really only last 7 days in the fridge? Curious because I made a full batch and don’t know if I’ll be able to consume it all in a week

  13. What can you substitute for jalapeños, if anything? those are pretty hard to find where I am

  14. 5 stars
    This was amazing! The magical green sauce is incredible. I left all the jalapeno seeds in as recommended and it’s definitely spicy, but so flavorful, easy to make and delicious. I’ve used the sauce on breakfast burritos and other things as a hot sauce- I wish I could keep this in the fridge all the time. The mushroom “carnitas” are also great- I used cremini mushrooms since it’s all I could find and the whole taco came together so well. Perfect vegetarian recipe- non-vegetarian boyfriend loved this as well.

  15. 5 stars
    This was phenomenal!!! Just perfect. Next time I will make sauce (which was also amazing) earlier or day ahead and give myself more time to prep mushrooms. It took awhile, but mine were small so maybe that had something to do with it. Perfect balance of flavor. Thanks Gaby!

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