Chicken Al Pastor

Irma | mycreativekneads
by Irma | mycreativekneads
8 Servings
5 hr 45 min

CHICKEN al PASTOR, is a very simple but delicious meal. Al pastor is a traditional Mexican dish made with seasoned & marinated pork cooked on a rotating spit layered with pineapple. It’s surprisingly easy to make at home & you can grill it or cook it in a pan. I’m using chicken thighs for this recipe and let me tell you, it explodes with smoky, tangy flavors from the combination of the peppers, seasonings, orange juice & the pineapple. The peppers that are used in this recipe are more for the flavor and color than they are for heat. If you want it spicy, I suggest adding chile de árbol peppers.

The recipe calls for achieote (annato seasoning - The key ingredient that gives al pastor its signature earthy flavor and bright red color). I highly recommend not omitting this, because you will not get the smoky flavor that you find in al pastor. You can find a seasoning or paste at your local Mexican, grocery stores.

Don’t be afraid by the list of the ingredients, there are many but most of them are spices. This recipe comes together very easily, and the most difficult part is waiting for the meat to marinate before cooking. I recommend you marinate the chicken no less than five hours, but the flavor intensifies more if you marinate it overnight. You can cook this over a charcoal barbecue grill which adds even more flavor to this dish or you can cook it in a pan over your stove top.

This is great in tacos, burritos & even salads, it’s delicious, give it a try. I used it to make tacos in my homemade tortillas.

Thank you for stopping by & for taking the time to read my recipe. If you’d like to see more of what I cook and love to do, please visit me at

Alright, let’s get cooking!

Recipe details
  • 8  Servings
  • Prep time: 5 Hours Cook time: 45 Minutes Total time: 5 hr 45 min
Show Nutrition Info
Hide Nutrition Info
For the chicken al pastor
  • 3.5 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 4 dried chile guajillos
  • 1 dried chile ancho
  • 1/4 white onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp cumin 
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp achieote (annato seasoning-The key ingredient that gives al pastor its signature earthy flavor and bright red color).
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • juice of one orange (approx. 1/3 cup)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple 
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • (opt. Sliced white onions, chopped cilantro, chili sauce & lime for garnish and toppings.)
For the chicken al pastor
Boil chilies until for approx. 20 min or until they soften up
Add chilies to blender (remove stems & seeds- I choose to leave the seeds in)
Add all ingredients 
Blend well 
Strain mixture, pour over chicken & marinate for 5 hrs or over night 
Grill until chicken internal temp is 165° F
Serve immediately in a taco or a salad bowl 😋
Garnish with sliced white onions, chopped cilantro, chili sauce & lime (opt.)