Chipotle's Chicken Al Pastor Recipe

Elevate your culinary adventure with our Chipotle Chicken Al Pastor recipe. Smoky, savory, and irresistibly delicious – a taste of Mexico in every bite!

Chipotle Chicken Al Pastor

    Chipotle Chicken Al Pastor

  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Servings: 6
  • Calories: 350 calories

Chipotle Chicken Al Pastor is a tantalizing dish that seamlessly blends the smoky essence of chipotle peppers with the traditional flavors of Al Pastor, a popular Mexican street food.

This recipe begins with succulent boneless chicken thighs, marinated in a harmonious mixture of pineapple juice, adobo sauce, garlic, achiote paste, and a medley of spices. The marinade not only infuses the chicken with a robust taste but also tenderizes it, ensuring a mouthwatering result.

Grilled to perfection, the chipotle-marinated chicken develops a smoky char that adds depth to every bite. What distinguishes Al Pastor is the sweet and tangy touch of pineapple, and in this rendition, pineapple slices are grilled alongside the chicken, imparting a caramelized sweetness that complements the smokiness impeccably.

Assembled on corn tortillas, the Chipotle Chicken Al Pastor tacos are a symphony of flavors and textures. The tender chicken, smoky from the grill, pairs harmoniously with the juicy bursts of grilled pineapple. Garnished with fresh cilantro, diced onions, and a squeeze of lime, each taco is a sensory delight, offering a balance of savory, spicy, and sweet notes.

This recipe transcends the ordinary, bringing the vibrant and authentic taste of Mexican street food to your table.


Embark on a flavor-packed journey with our Chipotle Chicken Al Pastor recipe! Discover the art of grilling perfection with smoky chipotle, succulent chicken, and caramelized pineapple. Unleash a fiesta of Mexican delights in every bite!


  • 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 3 tbsp adobo sauce (from canned chipotle peppers)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp achiote paste
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pineapple slices for grilling
  • Corn tortillas, cilantro, diced onions, and lime for serving

Method Instructions

  1. In a bowl, mix pineapple juice, adobo sauce, minced garlic, achiote paste, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper to create the marinade.
  2. Place chicken thighs in a zip-top bag or shallow dish. Pour 2/3 of the marinade over the chicken, reserving the rest for basting. Seal or cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
  3. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
  4. Thread marinated chicken thighs onto skewers or place them directly on the grill. Grill each side until fully cooked, approximately 5-7 minutes per side, basting with the reserved marinade during grilling.
  5. In the last few minutes of grilling, add pineapple slices to caramelize and develop a smoky flavor.
  6. Once the chicken is cooked through and has a nice char, remove from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes.
  7. Assemble tacos by placing grilled chicken and pineapple on corn tortillas. Garnish with chopped cilantro, diced onions, and a squeeze of lime.
  8. Serve immediately and enjoy the authentic flavors of Chipotle Chicken Al Pastor!

This Chipotle Chicken Al Pastor recipe brings together the rich flavors of chipotle-marinated chicken, grilled to perfection, and served with a delightful combination of pineapple, cilantro, and onions. It's a savory and slightly spicy dish that captures the essence of authentic Mexican cuisine. Enjoy!

Recipe Video

Chipotle Chicken Al Pastor

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Recipe Tags: Chipotle Chicken Al Pastor, Chipotle Chicken Al Pastor Recipe, Recipe


Serve Chipotle Chicken Al Pastor by assembling flavorful tacos for a delightful dining experience. Here's a step-by-step guide:

  • Tortillas: Warm corn tortillas on a griddle or in the oven until they are pliable and slightly toasted. This enhances their flavor and makes them more flexible for wrapping.
  • Chipotle Chicken: Remove the grilled chipotle chicken from skewers or the grill. Shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces using two forks.
  • Assembly: Place a generous portion of the shredded chipotle chicken onto each tortilla. Ensure an even distribution for a well-balanced taco.
  • Grilled Pineapple: Add a couple of grilled pineapple slices to each taco. The caramelized sweetness of the pineapple complements the smokiness of the chicken.
  • Garnishes: Sprinkle finely chopped fresh cilantro and diced onions over the tacos. These add a burst of freshness and texture.
  • Lime Wedges: Serve lime wedges on the side. Squeezing lime juice over the tacos just before eating enhances the flavors and provides a zesty kick.
  • Sides (Optional): Accompany the tacos with traditional Mexican sides like salsa, guacamole, or a refreshing pico de gallo for an extra layer of flavor.
  • Serve Immediately: Chipotle Chicken Al Pastor tacos are best enjoyed immediately while the chicken is still warm and the flavors are vibrant.


  1. Marinating Time: For optimal flavor, allow the chicken to marinate for at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight. This enhances the absorption of the marinade, resulting in a more flavorful and tender dish.
  2. Grilling Technique: Grill the marinated chicken over medium-high heat. This ensures a nice char on the outside while keeping the inside juicy. Basting with the reserved marinade during grilling adds extra layers of flavor.
  3. Achiote Paste: Achiote paste is a key ingredient providing a reddish color and earthy taste. If unavailable, you can substitute with paprika for a similar hue and mild smokiness.
  4. Pineapple Selection: Choose ripe, sweet pineapples for grilling. The caramelization during grilling enhances the sweetness, balancing the smoky and savory elements of the dish.
  5. Tortilla Warmth: Warm the corn tortillas just before serving. You can do this on a griddle, in the oven, or briefly in a microwave. Warm tortillas are more pliable and enjoyable.
  6. Customization: Set up a taco bar with additional toppings like sour cream, cheese, or avocado for guests to customize their Chipotle Chicken Al Pastor tacos according to their preferences.
  7. Serving Accompaniments: Serve the tacos with lime wedges for a zesty kick. Consider pairing the dish with Mexican rice, black beans, or a light side salad to create a well-rounded meal.
  8. Safety Precautions: Ensure the chicken reaches a safe internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) during grilling to guarantee it's fully cooked.

Ingredient Substitutes

If you're looking for ingredient substitutes for Chipotle Chicken Al Pastor, here are some options:

  1. Chicken Thighs: If you prefer a different protein or don't have chicken thighs, you can use boneless chicken breasts or even pork for a traditional Al Pastor flavor.
  2. Adobo Sauce: In case you don't have adobo sauce from canned chipotle peppers, you can mix 1 tablespoon of tomato paste with 1 teaspoon of chipotle powder and a dash of vinegar for a smoky substitute.
  3. Achiote Paste: If achiote paste is not available, a mixture of paprika, cumin, and a pinch of turmeric can provide a similar color and flavor profile.
  4. Pineapple Juice: Freshly squeezed orange juice can be a substitute for pineapple juice. It adds a citrusy sweetness that complements the dish.
  5. Corn Tortillas: If corn tortillas are unavailable, you can use flour tortillas. Keep in mind that the flavor and texture will be different, but it can still be a tasty alternative.
  6. Grilled Pineapple: If grilling pineapple is not feasible, you can use canned pineapple slices. Pat them dry before adding to the tacos to reduce excess moisture.
  7. Cilantro and Onions: These are traditional toppings, but feel free to customize with your favorite taco toppings like shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, or cheese.


As your culinary journey concludes, savor the memories of Chipotle Chicken Al Pastor—a symphony of flavors that brought the vibrant streets of Mexico to your table. Buen provecho!

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