Al Pastor Chicken Tacos

Tacos al pastor or adobada tacos, as they are known in the north of the country, are some of the most popular tacos in Mexico. Famously cooked in a shawarma style cone and served with little pineapple pieces. These are traditional street tacos at their best! The secret is in the adobo, made with annatto (achiote)  paste and spices that gives a beautiful orange colour and a lovely flavour. Even when these tacos are usually made with pork, we have gone for chicken to give them a little twist! 





Al Pastor / Adobada Chicken Tacos

-corn tortillas

-½ pineapple

-1kg chicken 

-2 tbsp achiote paste (about 30g)

-2 guajillo chillies

-2 garlic cloves

-1 tbsp oregano

-½ tbsp ground cumin

-½ tbsp salt

-½ tbsp black pepper

-¼ cup white vinegar

-¼ cup pineapple or orange juice

-vegetable oil


To Serve

-white onion, diced

-coriander, roughly chopped

-lime wedges


-salsas such as this beautiful Fake Avocado Salsa featured here. 

1 Start by making the adobo. Clean the guajillo chillies and remove the stem and seeds. Place them in a bowl and cover them with boiling water for 10 minutes.

2 Add to a blender the rehydrated guajillos, achiote paste, garlic, oregano, cumin, salt, pepper, vinegar and pineapple juice. You can use the juice from the pineapple you’ll use for the tacos or if like in our case, the pineapple is not too juicy, change it for orange juice. Blend everything together until smooth.

3 We used chicken breast for this recipe. Butterfly them until they are evenly thin and place them in a bowl. Add the marinade and leave it inside the fridge for at least 1 hour. 

4 Cut the pineapple into thin slices and grill them on both sides. Cut them in little chunks to add to your tacos later on. 

5 Using the same grill pan, add a drizzle of oil and bring up the heat to medium-high. Once hot, grill the chicken pieces until thoroughly cooked and have nice grill marks on both sides. Remove the chicken from the pan and leave it to rest for 5 minutes before slicing it into strips. You can then serve or return to the pan to fry a little bit more if you like the ends to be nice and burnt. 

6 Warm up corn tortillas and keep them hot wrapped in a tea towel or one of our lovely tortilla warmers.

7 Serve your tacos with plenty of chicken, sprinkle onion and coriander on top and add your favourite salsa and freshly squeezed lime juice. 



  • This adobo or pastor marinade can be used with pork, fish or veggies! All the flavour is in the sauce so use whatever protein you want to it. 
  • Tacos are traditional for al pastor but you can also make this into a meal. Serve with rice, beans or roasted vegetables. 


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