Instant Pot Chicken al Pastor Tacos

March 22, 2022

Instant Pot Chicken al Pastor Tacos are a cheater easy version of your favorite al pastor slow cooked meat with all the chilies and pineapple. Tender shredded chicken in a guajillo chili pepper and pineapple sauce.

Instant Pot Chicken al Pastor Tacos | Sarcastic Cooking

What can I say?

We are on a taco kick these days!

Taco night is the one night of the week everybody eats the same thing… more or less.

Andy is team hard shell or nacho with shredded cheese, salsa, and either some well hidden shredded chicken or a frozen chicken product.

al pastor marinade ingredients | sarcastic cooking

Jack is only frozen chicken nuggest/tenders and  nachos, I mean tortilla chips. Plain.

Mike is team anything spicy.

I like all things Mexican food.

I still think fondly back to my Mexi-Christmas Fiesta from a few years ago.

This recipe came together on a whim.

I had some water boiling and always stash some dried chilies in my pantry.

al pastor marinade chilies | sarcastic cooking

May I recommend you do the same.

Aldi and Meijer sell dried guajillo and ancho chilies.

That is where all that smoky slightly spicy flavor in this chicken comes from.

I asked on Instagram if you guys wanted me to share the recipe.

Lo and behold, it was a resounding yes!

al pastor chicken ingredients | sarcastic cooking

I started using the dried chilies more frequently when I discovered Rick Martinez.

His recipes are so bright and full of flavor.

Most often I have the ingredients on hand already at home.

Here is what you need to make these tacos:

  • dried guajillo chilies
  • dried ancho chilies
  • fresh ornage juice
  • garlic cloves
  • half an onion
  • ground cumin
  • salt & pepper
  • honey
  • pineapple
  • chicken

Naturally, once the Instant Pot chicken al pastor tacos meat are cooked, you’ll need some sort of vehicle for the meat.

Pressure Cooker Shredded Chicken al Pastor | Sarcastic Cooking

Regular old tortillas, nachos, burrito tortillas, or in a burrito bowl.

The meal is pretty much hands off while the chilies steep and the meat cooks. 

You can also throw this all in the slow cooker. Prep the chili sauce the day/night before and then toss it in the slow cooker the morning you want to have this for dinner.

I know it isn’t the traditional spit cooked meat with the caramelized edges, but it is good none the less.

Chicken al Pastor Tacos | Sarcastic Cooking

Don’t worry, after I get my pizza oven, next on my list is a spit for the grill or oven.

In the meantime, enjoy this recipe.

Instant Pot Chicken al Pastor Tacos | Sarcastic Cooking

Instant Pot Chicken al Pastor Tacos

Yield: Serves 4-6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Shredded chicken cooked in the pressure cooker or slow cooker in a smoky, sweet, spicy chili and pineapple sauce.


  • 5 dried guajillo chilies
  • 2 dried ancho chilies
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • juice from 1/2 an orange
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup diced pineapple
  • 1 1/2 - 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs


  1. Add the water to a small saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil over medium/high heat. While it comes to a boil, remove the stems and seeds from the dried chilies. It is ok if some of the chilies break apart.
  2. Once the water is boiling, remove saucepan from the heat. Add the chilies to the water and let them sit and reconstitute for about 10 minutes.
  3. When the chilies are tender and plump, transfer them along with 1 cup of the chili water to a food processor. Add the garlic, onion, cumin, salt, pepper, orange juice, and honey. Pulse until the sauce is pureed. Add a little more of the reserved chili water if needed.
  4. Add the chicken to the Instant Pot or Slow Cooker. Pour the chili marinade on top of the chicken. Add in the pineapple. Secure the lid with the steam vent in the sealed position. Secure the slow cooker lid.
  5. For the Instant Pot, set the pressure to high and adjust the time until the display reads 40 minutes. For the slow cooker set it to either high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
  6. Once the chicken is done cooking and the timer sounds, release pressure and/or remove the lid. Shred the chicken and then press keep warm for the slow cooker until the sauce thickens, about 5-10 minutes. For the pressure cooker, press saute for about 5-10 minutes until the sauce thickens.
  7. Serve the chicken al pastor on tortillas with all your favorite taco toppings.
Slow Cooker / Instant Pot Shredded Chicken al Pastor Tacos | Sarcastic Cooking

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