How to Make Chipotle's Chicken Al Pastor

How to Make Chipotle's Chicken Al Pastor

With a few steps and common ingredients you can easily make Chipotle's Chicken Al Pastor right in your own kitchen. Our detailed instructions and useful tips will help you become an expert at recreating the flavors of Chipotle's Chicken Al Pastor in a jiffy.


To make Chipotle's Chicken Al Pastor, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Step-by-Step Instructions on Making Chipotle's Chicken Al Pastor

  1. In a blender or food processor, combine the chipotle peppers, pineapple juice, apple cider vinegar, vegetable oil, honey, cumin, dried oregano, smoked paprika, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.
  2. Blend until smooth and well combined.
  3. Place the chicken thighs in a large bowl or resealable plastic bag and pour the marinade over them.
  4. Ensure that all the chicken is well coated.
  5. Cover the bowl or seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight for the best results.
  6. This allows the flavors to penetrate the chicken and infuse it with deliciousness.
  7. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. If you don't have a grill, you can also use a grill pan or a regular skillet.
  8. Remove the chicken from the marinade, allowing any excess marinade to drip off. Discard the remaining marinade.
  9. Place the chicken on the preheated grill and cook for about 4-5 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).
  10. Cooking times may vary depending on the thickness of the chicken thighs.
  11. Once the chicken is cooked through, transfer it to a cutting board and let it rest for a few minutes.
  12. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in tender and juicy meat.
  13. Slice the chicken into thin strips or bite-sized pieces.
  14. Serve the chicken al pastor chipotle in warm tortillas or crusty bread rolls.
  15. Top with fresh cilantro, diced onions, and a squeeze of lime for an authentic Mexican experience.

Tips for Marinating the Chicken

  • For maximum flavor, marinate the chicken for at least 2 hours or overnight. The longer the chicken marinates, the more flavorful it will be.
  • If you prefer a milder spice level, you can reduce the number of chipotle peppers in the marinade.
  • Make sure to coat the chicken evenly with the marinade to ensure that every bite is bursting with flavor.

Alternative Ingredients for Chicken Al Pastor Chipotle

  • If you don't have chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, you can use chipotle powder or chipotle hot sauce as a substitute. Start with a small amount and adjust to your desired level of spiciness.
  • Pineapple juice can be replaced with orange juice or lime juice for a tangy twist.

Serving Suggestions and Sides for Chicken Al Pastor Chipotle

Here are some ideas for serving suggestions and sides:

  • Traditional Tacos
  • Tortas
  • Rice and Beans
  • Pair the dish with grilled veggies such as bell peppers, zucchini, and onions
  • Add a side of elote for a combination.

Variations of Chicken Al Pastor Chipotle

  • For an extra burst of sweetness, you can add chunks of fresh pineapple to the marinade or grill pineapple slices alongside the chicken.
  • Enhance the tanginess of the marinade by adding a splash of lime or orange juice.
  • Incorporate fresh herbs like cilantro, mint, or parsley into the marinade for a vibrant and aromatic twist.
  • If you love heat, you can increase the amount of chipotle peppers or add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the marinade.
  • For a more intense smoky flavor, you can grill the chicken over charcoal or wood chips instead of using a gas grill.

Buen provecho!