Go Back
+ servings
Pernil Recipe
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Pernil Recipe (Puerto Rican Roast Pork)

This Puerto Rican pernil recipe is a holiday favorite with seasoned pork shoulder or leg cooked low and slow until perfectly tender. It's so easy to make and HUGE on flavor.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time3 hrs 20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Puerto Rican
Keyword: Christmas, holiday, pork, pork shoulder, roast, spicy
Servings: 6
Calories: 448kcal



  • 3 tablespoons sofrito
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup olive oil


  • 4-6 pound pork shoulder bone-in, skin on – Or you can use boneless – see recipe notes
  • 4 cloves garlic sliced
  • ¼ cup achiote oil optional



  • Combine the sofrito, oregano, garlic powder, coriander, onion powder, cumin and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Stir in the olive oil and mix well. Set aside for now.


  • Cut various slits into the pork and stuff the garlic slices into them. I like to make long slices along every side, making this part easier.
  • Rub down the pork shoulder with the prepared marinade. Get it under the skin (if using skin on) and into the slices. Rub it down nicely. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Overnight is better for more flavor penetration.
  • Heat oven to 275 degrees F.
  • Transfer the pork shoulder to a baking dish or Dutch oven. Reserve any leftover marinade.
  • Bake the pork shoulder for 2 hours. If using skin on, the skin will start to crisp up.
  • Raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Brush the pork shoulder (pernil) with the reserved marinade and optional achiote oil (if using).
  • Bake for 1 hour or longer, until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 185 degrees F when measured with a meat thermometer. If cooking with skin-on, the skin should be nice and crispy.
  • Remove from heat and rest 20 minutes.
  • Carve and serve.


Calories: 448kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 124mg | Sodium: 143mg | Potassium: 687mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 39IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 3mg