If you're craving Spanish food and missing holiday tapas meals don't worry! You can make this easy pinchos morunos recipe at home. These Spanish pork skewers are marinated and then griddled, grilled or baked to make a delicious healthy pork kebab that's great by itself as main meal or as part of a tapas meal.
What are Pinchos Morunos?
In Spain pinchos means 'skewers' and morunos means 'moorish'. So, pinchos morunos means litterally moorish skewers or kebabs. In Spain, they are made with pork, although in North Africa where they originate, they would be made with lamb.
Little skewers of marinated meat are a very popular tapas dish in Spain and this is one of the most well-known. I know, you've looked at the picture and are thinking: Those are not little skewers of meat! That is not a tapa!
I have to admit that when I make these at home I prefer to serve them as part of a main meal. Plus, I don't have any small skewers!
What ingredients do you need for pinchos morunos?
To make these Spanish pork kebabs you'll need:
- Pork - I use pork tenderloin as it's a very tender meat, great for soaking up the flavours in the marinade and ideal for cooking quickly under the grill or even on the bbq
- Spices - I make a blend using smoked paprika, coriander, cumin, chilli powder and saffron
- Herbs - I use dried oregano and dried parsley. If you have fresh herbs you could use them instead. Just use a tablespoon of finely diced herbs or blitz the marinade in a food processor before coating the pork in it.
- Garlic - I use fresh garlic but you could replace it with a paste or even garlic powder.
- Lemon juice - I use freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Olive oil - I use a good quality olive oil for the marinade.
How to make pinchos morunos
Do check out the full recipe card further down the post for more details. If you are organised and have time then it is best to start the marinade for the pork the day before you plan to cook the pork. This gives it more time for the flavours to get into the pork skewers and helps the pork to be more tender when it is cooked.
To make the marinade combine all the ingredients. Then dice the pork into pieces no more than 1cm thick. Stir the pork into the marinade and refrigerate, ideally for 24 hours but for at least 4 hours.
Thread the pork onto skewers and cook them on a griddle pan, on the bbq or under the grill. If using wooden skewers then soak them in water before threading the pork on.
The pinchos morunos should take about 15 minutes to cook in a griddle pan or under the grill. If you bake them in the oven they might need 20 minutes.
How to serve pinchos morunos
You can serve pinchos morunos as part of a tapas meal or make them into a main meal.
As Part of a Tapas Meal
If you do have small skewers then these Spanish pork skewers make a great tapas recipe. You could serve them with olives, Spanish chicken kebabs, Spanish omelette, Spanish bean salad and some lovely crusty bread.
As a Main Meal
As I said earlier, I usually serve these as a main meal and find they are great with wraps or pitta bread and salad. My kids love them with chips too.
I've also served them with Spanish rice and spinach leaves as a side dish. The recipe makes plenty and there is usually enough for leftovers for lunch the next day!
Can you adapt the recipe?
Yes of course! I am always in favour of adapting recipes to suit your needs. For example, if you don't eat pork, you can make these with chicken instead.
You can also use the marinade on halloumi or on vegetables. It's delicious on a whole roasted cauliflower.
If you don't have all theh spices then miss out the one you don't have. It might not be exactly the same but it will still taste good. I don't always use saffron as it's quite expensive and I don't use it in many other recipes so it is something I often miss out.
If you prefer kebabs with a bit more heat then add more chilli powder.
What can you do with the leftovers?
Any leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. I often eat any leftover pork with a salad but you can also put it in sandwiches.
Pinchos Morunos (Spanish Pork Skewers)
- 400 g pork tenderloin diced into pieces about 1cm thick
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 pinch saffron
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 1 lemon Juiced
- 4 tablespoon olive oil
- In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients except the pork. Taste and adjust anything if necessary.
- Add the pork and stir well so the marinate coats all the pieces of meat. Put in the fridge for at least 4 hours. I prefer to start marinating the meat the day before.
- Before cooking, thread the meat onto skewers. If using wooden skewers, soak them in water before threading the meat on. Then cook on a griddle pan, grill, or in the oven.
- Serve as a main meal or as part of a selection of tapas.
More recipes you might like
If you like pork recipes then why not try my jasmine tea marinated pork?
Or if you are looking for Spanish recipes then how about this Spanish omelette with chorizo?
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This looks wonderful and I love the spice mix!!
Well the fact that they are big only doubles the pleasure when you eat them! They look very juicy, spicy and delicious, so big is an advantage rather than a disadvantage here Corina!
I've loved every Spanish food I have tasted. Really everything from tapas to the main dishes. This looks really good. I'd love to put it on my weekend menu. Thanks for sharing!
Looks great corina:) I often buy a piece of pork tenderloin and it lasts for 2 or 3 meals...so I need things I can do with it! here's another one!!!
If there's one cuisine I rarely cook, it's Spanish...no idea why. I really need to delve into tapas more. This sounds great!
I love the sound of this dish! I also like to order my favourite dish and devour it 🙂
I'm glad you made pinchos morunos in the end! I like croquettes, but this is something new for me , and it reminds me of my favourite satay!
Mmmm...delicious. Skewers were on my mind for dinner, I will post the recipe tonight.
And Croquetas, I am salivating now.
I look forward to reading your recipe - I'll check back tomorrow. You know, I'm now thinking I should try and make those croquetas soon.