We Tried That: Chipotle Chicken al Pastor Is Packed Full of Heat, but Is It Too Much?

Chipotle previously had Chicken al Pastor on its menu before it was brought back again in 2024.

Chrissy Bobic - Author

Mar. 13 2024, Published 9:22 a.m. ET

Chipotle Chicken al Pastor
Source: Chipotle

Some Chipotle menu items are just too good for the fast food chain to not bring back from time to time. In March 2024, that dish is Chicken al Pastor, and we tried it to see if it's still as tasty as dedicated Chipotle patrons remember. For those who aren't familiar with the dish, Chicken al Pastor is made with adobo chicken, morita peppers, and ground achiote, with a splash of pineapple and fresh lime and cilantro.

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The heat is the real deal, but I'm not here to harp too much on that part of the beloved Chipotle menu item, because let's face it, we all have vastly different palates. If you're wondering how long the Chicken al Pastor is here, however, and where you can get it, like, right now, we have some details for you.

Chicken al Pastor quesadilla cut in half
Source: Distractify
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We tried Chipotle's Chicken al Pastor.

My Chicken al Pastor had plenty of heat, but it was also so flavorful that I almost forgot that my mouth was slightly on fire. Seriously, I went back for bite and after bite, and adding some sour cream certainly helped cool things down a bit. But, beyond the heat, I could taste faint pineapple and slightly crunchy peppers. The result is a spicy, but flavorful combination. And it's no wonder people wanted this menu item back after it left Chipotle in 2023.

According to Chipotle's Vice President of Culinary Nevielle Panthaky in the press release, "The rich flavor of our Chicken al Pastor shines in the fan favorite bowl. Each ingredient layers for the perfectly balanced bite with the right level of sweetness, acidity, and heat. It is simple, flavorful, unbelievably delicious, and has everything you crave."

I should also note that my meal wasn't a bowl, but instead a bulging quesadilla of some kind that was more than filling.

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How long is Chicken al Pastor at Chipotle?

According to the press release, Chipotle's Chicken al Pastor is only here "for a limited time." Does that mean it won't ever come back after it leaves menus again? Probably not. But should you still try to hurry up and order it while you can? Um, obviously. You can get the dish as an entree with beans and sour cream, and trust me when I say you'll need both to cut some of the heat.

However, if heat is what you want, then you probably already know that you'll be ordering Chicken al Pastor without any concerns for sweating through your eyes. Wait, that's just me? OK, but seriously. Even for someone who can be a bit of wimp when it comes to heat, I couldn't put down the Chicken al Pastor, and you can order it now at Chipotle locations nationwide.

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