The most delicious chicken tacos al pastor with juicy pineapple and a tangy chipotle marinade. This sheet pan taco recipe is quick, easy and will have dinner on the table in under an hour!
When it comes to tacos…more is MORE! Check out: Carne Asada Tacos (Street Taco Style!) as well as Chipotle Shrimp Tacos with Jalapeño Slaw and Avocado Crema to take Taco Tuesday to the next level!
**Sheet Pan Chicken Tacos al Pastor has been the most popular recipe here at Craving California for a long time! I’m so glad that so many people have found and loved this one. This post has been updated with fresh photos, a step by step video tutorial and extra tips and tricks. The actual recipe, ingredients, measurements and cook time have not been changed.**
These super-simple sheet tray chicken tacos are inspired by my favorite taco truck in Los Angeles, Leo’s. I have been going to Leo’s for years, they make the best spicy, juicy tacos al pastor.
Traditionally tacos al pastor are made up of thin slices of pork that has been slow-roasted on a vertical spit (like Middle Eastern kebab). The pork is marinated in a combination of different spices, dried chilis, and pineapple. The tacos are made fresh to order and served in warm corn tortillas. There’s really nothing quite like it!
This sheet-pan version is designed to replicate the flavors of traditional tacos al pastor while still being manageable to make at home, even on a busy weeknight. It’s as simple as marinating the chicken, tossing it on a baking tray with fresh pineapple and popping it in the oven. While the chickens in the oven gather your toppings and warm the tortillas. Start to finish this recipe is ready in less than 45 minutes!
Ingredients You’ll Need:
Here’s what you need to make Sheet Pan Chicken Tacos al Pastor: boneless, skinless chicken thighs, pineapple (fresh is best but frozen/canned works too), canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, tomato paste, honey, garlic, corn tortillas, cilantro, onion and limes and radish slices for serving.
Let’s talk salsa! You can certainly go the store-bought route but if have the time homemade salsa is always worth the effort. My favorite street-taco style salsa is this Creamy Avocado Salsa. It’s tangy, creamy and not too spicy. A classic Tomatillo Salsa is also a great option as well as this fresh and mild Heirloom Tomato Pico de Gallo.
How to Make Chicken Tacos Al Pastor:
Step 1. Marinate the Chicken
Whisk together the marinade ingredients and then toss with the chicken until evenly coated. Let sit for at least ten minutes or up to 12 hours in the refrigerator.
Step 2. Bake
Arrange the marinated chicken and pineapple on the sheet pan. Cook for 25 minutes, flipping halfway through. For extra caramelization broil for an additional 5 minutes.
Step 3. Assemble and Serve
Roughly chop the chicken and pineapple. Serve with warm corn tortillas, cilantro and onion, salsa and lime wedges.
FAQs and Recipe Tips and Tricks:
Al Pastor translates to “shepherd style” a reference to the Lebanese immigrants that came to Mexico and brought with them lamb shawarma–cooked on a vertical spit. Traditionally, tacos al pastor are made up of thin slices of pork shoulder, marinated in a combination of different spices and dried chilis, then slow-roasted on a rotating spit with fresh pineapple at the top. Tacos al pastor are often referred to colloquially as “al pastor” or even just “pastor”.
Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce are smoked jalapeños rehydrated and canned in a sweet and tangy purée of tomato, vinegar, garlic, and some other spices. They are absolutely delicious and add a ton of flavor to many different Mexican salsa and marinades.
Check Out More Delicious Mexican Recipes:
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Sheet Pan Chicken Tacos Al Pastor
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 heaping cup fresh pineapple chunks
- 1 large chipotle chile in adobo, plus 2 tbsp. adobo sauce chopped
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 4 cloves garlic grated
- 1/4 c honey
- 1 tbsp salt
- Creamy Avocado Salsa
- 12 tortillas corn or flour
- 1 bunch cilantro roughly chopped
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 3-4 radishes thinly sliced
- 3-4 juicy limes
- Preheat the oven to 425. In a large bowl whisk together the marinade ingredients. Toss the chicken with the marinade until it is evenly coated. Let marinate for at least ten minutes or up to 24 hours in the refridgerator.
- Arrange the marinated chicken on a sheet tray. Scatter the pineapple slices over the chicken. Bake for 25 minutes, turning halfway through. After 25 minutes turn the oven to broil and broil for five minutes or until the chicken and pineapple are caramelized and slightly charred. Take the sheet pan out of the oven and squeeze the juice of two limes over the chicken and pineapple.
- Roughly chop the chicken then serve with warm tortillas, salsa, extra lime wedges, radish slices, onions, and cilantro. Enjoy immediately!
- Chicken Thighs: Dark meat chicken thighs stay juicier than chicken breasts. But if you’re “anti-thigh” you can certainly use white meat. You may need to adjust the cooking time.
- Pineapple: Fresh is best, but canned will work too.
- Chipotles in Adobo: Smoked jalapeños rehydrated and canned in a sweet and tangy purée of tomato, vinegar, garlic, and some other spices. These peppers are super spicy but combined with honey and tomato paste their heat is perfectly mellowed.
- Cilantro and Onions: Chopped cilantro and onions are a staple at the taco truck and one my favorite topping!
- Tortillas: Flour or corn, either work. When buying corn tortillas look for ones that are soft and pliable. I heat them up under a damp paper towel in the microwave.
- Creamy Avocado Salsa: This salsa recipe is so easy to make and lasts in the fridge for up to a week! If you don’t have the time to make fresh salsa store-bought is fine. I do suggest going with a fresh tomatillo salsa for the best flavor!