A traditional roasted Cuban Mojo Marinated pork recipe that is very simple, yet packed with tons of flavor! There is nothing to this pork except an amazing marinade, but it is honestly some of the best meat I’ve ever put in my mouth. Just look at that crust! Originally published April 9, 2015.

closeup of sliced cuban mojo marinated pork (lechon asado).
Table of Contents
  1. Mojo Pork Recipe Ingredients
  2. How to make Cuban Mojo Pork
  3. Tips for Mojo Pork
  4. How to serve roasted Mojo Pork
  5. Storing Cuban Pork
  6. Cuban Pork Recipe FAQs
  7. More great meat recipes to try!
  8. Cuban Mojo Pork Recipe

Today I was craving a snack, so naturally I grabbed a banana and the jar of Biscoff sitting in our cupboard. The banana-Biscoff dip is a habit I’ve been nursing for a while now, and I don’t think it’s heading out anytime soon.

Then I opened the jar and IT WAS EMPTY. Not even last-tiny-bit-scrape-able. This was no crap job, that jar was CLEAN. I’m the only one in the house with a Biscoff habit, so there is no question about culpability here. Past-Karen scraped that jar clean, and then she put it back in my cupboard. It’s like she’s trying to torture me. Oh, hi Future-Karen, you wanted a snack? TOO BAD.

Have you guys seen the movie Chef? It’s about a guy who opens a food truck and drives across the country selling Cuban sandwiches and it helps him win at life. Whatever, all I know is that by the end of the movie I NEEDED a Cubano, more than anything ever.

But first things first: the pork. This pork, you guys. I would climb mountains and cross rivers for this pork. The crust alone is enough to make a man weep.

Mojo Pork Recipe Ingredients

Here’s a quick list of the ingredients so you can see whether or not you’ll need to go shopping for them. See the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and instructions!

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Orange zest
  • Orange juice
  • Lime juice
  • Cilantro
  • Mint leaves
  • Minced oregano (fresh or dried)
  • Ground cumin
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • Pork shoulder (boneless or bone-in will work)

How to make Cuban Mojo Pork

Here’s a quick overview of how to make this Cuban Mojo Pork (just a summary – full instructions in the recipe card below!).

  1. Marinate the pork in olive oil, orange zest, orange and lime juice, chopped cilantro and mint, minced garlic, oregano, and cumin. Allow it to marinate for a few hours or overnight in the fridge.
  2. Season pork with salt and pepper. Roast it at 425ºF until browned, then turn the temperature down and cook at 375ºF for another 90 minutes or so.
  3. Remove pork from the oven, cover with foil, and let the pork rest for 20 minutes.
Sliced lechon asado with fresh cilantro and an orange slice.
Fresh mint leaves in a white measuring cup.

Check out the meat before and after cooking. It’s so beautiful!

cuban mojo marinated pork roast (lechon asado) before and after roasting.

In Cuba they have sour oranges. I’d never heard of them or tried one, but using sour oranges is how to make a true Mojo sauce. The best substitute is a combination of orange and lime, which is what I’ve done here. I’m not complaining. The result is incredible.

Cuban mojo marinated pork closeup.

Tips for Mojo Pork

Here are a few of my best tips and tricks for the best Roasted Cuban Mojo Pork! 

  • Bone-in or boneless: Feel free to use either! The recipe calls for boneless, but I’ve grabbed bone-in before and it has turned out great (really, even juicier).
  • Make time for the marinade. Marinating the pork for enough time is the key to a tender texture and great flavor. Don’t ruin the party! Give those amazing flavors at least a few hours to get acquainted, but ideally let them marinate overnight. 
  • Cook at high heat, then low heat. Starting the pork at 425ºF gets the exterior nice and crispy. Finishing the roast at a lower temperature gives the pork time to cook all the way through without drying out. Check the temp. Use a meat thermometer to verify that the internal temperature of your pork is 160ºF before you take it out of the oven. 
  • Let it rest. Give the pork 20 minutes to rest before you slice into it. Cut into it too soon, and all the moisture and flavor will seep out. Nooooooo
  • Slice against the grain.  Cutting it against the grain makes for tender meat in every bite.

How to serve roasted Mojo Pork

I used this pork to fill Cuban sandwiches, coming to the blog next week. (UPDATED: Cubanos in the house.) The recipe for the pork and the sandwiches are both from the chef they hired for the movie. Cool right?

cubano sandwiches made with roasted Cuban Mojo pork, pickles, mustard, ham, and swiss.

Storing Cuban Pork

Leftover Mojo pork will last in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 3-4 months. Keep it whole as slices tend to dry out more.

To reheat, thaw the pork overnight in the fridge if frozen. Wrap your pork (whole or sliced) in foil and warm for 10-20 minutes in a 375 degree oven. If you’re in a hurry, you can microwave slices on a plate, covered by a paper towel, in 30-second intervals until it’s warm. 

Cuban Pork Recipe FAQs

What does Mojo Pork taste like?

Mojo pork has a unique fresh, citrusy, garlicky flavor. It’s made using a combination of fresh herbs, seasonings, orange juice and zest, and lime juice. It’s so tender, incredibly juicy, and SO GOOD! 

Where does Mojo Pork come from?

Mojo pork is a type of pork roast that originated in Cuba, inspired by mojo sauces of the Canary Islands. It’s tender and juicy thanks to a flavorful marinade and roasting to perfection. 

What is mojo sauce made of?

Mojo sauce is made with citrus juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano, mint, and cumin. Everyone’s recipe is a little different, but those are the essential components. It’s simple but packs a serious flavor punch! 

roasted cuban mojo pork (lechon asado) on a fork closeup.

This post has affiliate links. Thanks for your support!

Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram


Cuban Mojo Pork

4.71 from 196 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 2 hours
Resting Time: 20 minutes
Total: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings
A traditional Cuban roasted pork recipe that is very simple, yet packed with tons of flavor! There is nothing to this pork except an amazing marinade, but it is honestly some of the best meat I’ve ever put in my mouth. Just look at that crust!


  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 3/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced oregano, 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 3 & 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, in one piece*


  • If you have a food processor: Add the orange juice, cilantro leaves, mint leaves, and smashed (not minced) garlic cloves, and pulse until everything is finely chopped. Add this mixture to a ziplock bag, along with the rest of the oil, zest, lime juice, oregano, and cumin.
  • If you don’t have a food processor: In a large ziplock bag, combine olive oil, orange zest, orange juice, lime juice, chopped cilantro, chopped mint, minced garlic, oregano, and cumin. Shake it around a bit to mix it up, then add the pork shoulder.
  • Place the zipped up bag in a baking dish, and put it in the fridge overnight, or several hours at least.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place a wire rack (I used a cooling rack) over a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Place the pork on the rack and discard the marinade. Salt and pepper the pork well.
  • Roast the pork for 30 minutes. It should be lightly browned.
  • Turn the oven down to 375 degrees F. Roast for another 1 hour and 20-30 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 160.
  • Transfer to a cutting board, cover with aluminum foil and let rest at least 20 minutes.
  • Carve against the grain and serve.


*I accidentally grabbed a bone-in pork shoulder. Worked great!
Source: People.com, who published the recipe from the chef who cooked for the movie “Chef.”


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 607kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 61g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 24g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 159mg | Sodium: 148mg | Potassium: 1151mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 359IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 4mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Cuban
Calories: 607
Keyword: Mojo marinated, pork
Did you make this? I’d love to see it!Mention @thefoodcharlatan or tag #thefoodcharlatan!

Categorized as , , , , , , , , ,

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

You May Also Like…


  1. What cut of pork would you recommend if the pork shoulder isn’t an option? I goggled that and was told I could use pork butt roast…will it alter the outcome? I’m marinating now to cook tomorrow.

    1. Hi Georgie! Pork butt is a good substitute for pork shoulder. They’re both from the shoulder and are good for slow cooking. Enjoy!

      1. 5 stars
        I made it yesterday…marinated the night before..it was delicious! I saved the marinade and boiled it to be used as a sauce for the top…will def make again!

  2. Ok, hands down probably some of the best pork I ever had—my single and only complaint is the part about discarding the marinade—nooooo!!! So much flavor, time and effort wasted. I used it to boil rice and heated the other part of it over a skillet adding a little cornstarch to thicken slightly into a chimichurri type sauce. Ate the pork, rice, and sauce on tacos with a little mozzarella and candied jalepeños. Will absolutely be making again!!!!!

  3. 5 stars
    This was a hit! I let it marinade for 2 days (not on purpose) life got busy. It was so tender and juicy. I will be making this again soon. We are thinking of try it with lamb and smoke it in a china box. Mahalo :)

    1. Hi Pam! We haven’t tried this one in the smoker yet, but if you give it a try, come back and let us know how it turns out!

    1. Hi Leanne! The most amazing way to serve this pork is in Cuban sandwiches, called Cubanos. If you just want to serve the meat without putting it in a sandwich, there are so many good options: Spanish or Mexican rice, black beans, corn on the cob, or even tostones (fried green plantains). I hope you enjoy it – come back and let us know what you served it with!

    1. hi Ash! I haven’t tried that. You would definitely want to use a much lower cooking time, but I’m not sure what it would be. Use a meat thermometer!

  4. I wasn’t paying attention to sizes when I did my grocery order and ended up with a 9 pound 😳 bone in shoulder. How long should I cook one that size using this recipe? Wanting to make sure I plan plenty of time to have it done by dinner

    1. Hi Morgan! I would follow the oven-roasting instructions on this Pulled Pork recipe! Cut the pork shoulder before you marinate it. do the 30 minutes at high heat, then lower and it should take a few hours. Use a meat thermometer! Enjoy!

  5. 5 stars
    (Forgot to leave my five star rating in the original comment) Just tried this recipe tonight. Oh. My. Gosh. It turned out perfectly, tastes exquisite. So juicy and so much flavor. Followed all the steps to a t. Perfection.

    1. So glad to hear you loved it Renee!! Thanks for taking the time to come and tell us how it turned out (and leave a 5 star rating) :-)

    1. Hi Johnnie! You can use a bottle of Mojo sauce for the recipe, cooking the pork shoulder with the same method described here, but the flavors won’t be as fresh and intense. At least once, you’ve got to make it from scratch!

  6. 1 star
    My pork was not tender at all following this recipe. I marinated it over night. I did give up and added it to a slow cooker afterwards to get it to be closer to edible. By doing so it was not as flavorful as I had hoped based on the ingredients. I will not be trying this again.

    1. So sorry to hear this didn’t turn out for you Jamie! If the pork isn’t cooked long enough, it will remain tough, even if it’s been marinated overnight. It’s always frustrating when your meat doesn’t cook as quickly as you’d hoped, I’ve definitely been there. I hope your next pork shoulder turns out perfectly!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.