Chicken Al Pastor


This chicken al pastor features almost-charred pineapple and toasty spicy chicken that is incredibly tender and juicy! Serve with of white onion and fresh cilantro.

close up on three tortillas topped with chicken al pastor
Cook Time:
1 hrs 30 mins
Active Time:
30 mins
Marinate Time:
8 hrs
Stand Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
10 hrs 10 mins
20 tacos


  • 4 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded

  • 2 tablespoons achiote paste

  • 6 large cloves garlic, peeled

  • 1 (7 ounce) can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, drained

  • 1 ⅓ cups finely chopped onion, divided

  • cup orange juice

  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin

  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 3 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut in half

  • 8 (12-inch) jumbo wooden skewers

  • 1 large fresh pineapple - peeled, cored, and sliced

  • 20 (6 inch) corn tortillas

  • ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add dried chiles; cook, turning occasionally, until toasted and blistered in spots, 3 to 5 minutes. Add 1 cup water to just cover the chiles, and bring to a simmer over medium-high. Cover and cook, undisturbed, until softened, about 5 minutes. Drain well.

  2. Combine chiles, achiote, garlic, chipotles, 2/3 cup onion, orange juice, vinegar, oil, cumin, brown sugar, and salt in a blender; process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Reserve 1/2 cup marinade, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.

  3. Place remaining marinade in a shallow dish or large resealable plastic bag, add chicken; toss to evenly coat. Cover chicken with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours. Place wooden skewers in a shallow dish; cover with water by 1 inch. Let stand at room temperature while chicken marinates.

  4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Position oven rack 8 inches away from heating element. Line a small roasting pan or 13- x 9-inch baking dish with aluminum foil.

  5. Thread 1 pineapple slice onto 2 skewers, being sure to pierce through the center core, (skewers will be about 1 inch apart), leaving a 1 1/2-inch space from end of skewer. Thread 5 to 6 pieces of marinated chicken, stacking on top of pineapple; thread 1 pineapple slice. Repeat process, ending with pineapple slice, until all chicken pieces and pineapple slices are used, making 4 stacks total. Brush with any remaining marinade from chicken. Place stacked skewers in the prepared pan, resting skewer ends on edge of pan so that the chicken doesn't touch the bottom of the pan.

  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Flip skewers over, brush with reserved 1/2 cup marinade. Bake until chicken is no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, about 30 minutes longer. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 160 degrees F (71 degrees C). Increase oven temperature to broil; broil until browned and crispy, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip, and broil until browned and crispy, 3 to 5 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C) F. Let stand 10 minutes.

  7. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over high heat. Working two at a time, add tortillas; cook, turning once, until heated and browning in some spots, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Remove chicken and pineapple from skewers, place on cutting board, roughly chop. Divide chicken and pineapple between heated tortillas; top with remaining onion and cilantro.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

324 Calories
10g Fat
31g Carbs
28g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 10
Calories 324
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 113mg 38%
Sodium 422mg 18%
Total Carbohydrate 31g 11%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Protein 28g
Potassium 603mg 13%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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