These Al Pastor Little Smokies bring a Mexican twist to a much-loved appetizer in the Midwest. No BBQ sauce or grape jelly is needed for these sweet and tangy Al Pastor Little Smokies! Chipotle en adobo, achiote powder, and pineapple chunks bring classic al pastor flavors, making this ‘Lil Smokie appetizer a tasty upgrade to a familiar recipe.
If you’re looking for a unique little smokie recipe, you’ve found it! Set aside the BBQ sauce and grape jelly and pick up some chipotle en adobo and pineapple! These Al Pastor Little Smokies are the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. The inclusion of achiote powder (if you’re unfamiliar with this ingredient, I’ve got you below) adds a lovely pepperiness that you can just detect with each bite - and is a key ingredient in classic Al Pastor recipes. Everyone’s gonna love this unique little smokie recipe, should you decide to share that is!
The perfect bite is skewering a little smokie and a pineapple chunk and popping it straight into your mouth. You are so very welcome for that suggestion.
I suppose I’ve raved about these unique Al Pastor Little Smokies enough - let’s get to making them!
How to Make Al Pastor Little Smokies - Ingredients
For this Pineapple Little Smokie recipe, you will need the following ingredients:
- little smokies
- dried Mexican oregano
- achiote (annato) powder*
- chipotle chiles en adobo
- light brown sugar
- Worcestershire sauce
- garlic powder
- chicken stock
- pineapple chunks (fresh or canned)
See recipe card for ingredient quantities. Double or triple the recipe if you’re serving a larger crowd.
How to Make Al Pastor Little Smokies - Instructions
I like to whip up my lil smokies on the stovetop, then transfer to a slow cooker for serving purposes.
Add all ingredients except the lil smokies and pineapple to a saucepan and simmer over medium-low for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Strain the juice from the pineapple chunks and add to the pan along with the lit’l smokies (including any juice from the package).
Continue to simmer for 20 minutes, covered, stirring occasionally.
If serving, add to a slow cooker set to low. Cover until ready to serve!
Note: You can blend up the chipotle chile pepper before adding, or remove it before serving so someone doesn’t accidentally get a mouthful of spicy pepper.
Need some substitutions for this sweet and spicy Little Smokie recipe? Try these in a pinch.
- Mexican oregano - use regular oregano in equal amounts
- Achiote (annato) powder* - use paprika in equal amounts
- Light brown sugar - use a drizzle of honey or agave nectar instead
- Chicken stock - use vegetable stock or beef stock in equal amounts
For stovetop cooking, 2-quart saucepan.
For serving, put the Pineapple Little Smokies in a slow cooker to keep ‘em warm.
Storage & Reheating
Store leftover Al Pastor Little Smokies in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat on the stovetop over medium-low heating, covered and stirring occasionally until heated through. Reheat in the slow cooker over High until heated through.
Achiote powder is made from ground annatto seeds. It has a mildly nutty, earthy, and slightly sweet peppery flavor. According to Wikipedia, “annatto has been traditionally used as both a coloring and flavoring agent in various cuisines from Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Philippines.” It’s what gives meat that lovely red hue in traditional Al Pastor recipes.
If you are having a hard time finding achiote powder or don’t want to purchase it for this recipe, you can use paprika instead. Paprika is mild, earthy, and slightly smoky, and is really the closest substitute to achiote powder even though it’s milder in flavor. , and a bright red-orange color. Although it is made from peppers, it typically isn’t spicy. You can substitute paprika for achiote powder in a 1:1 ratio in this Al Pastor Little Smokie recipe.
You bet! Little smokies come pre-cooked. Just heat and eat!
I like to initially heat up little smokies over the stovetop first as this allows for more control over the resulting sauce consistency, then transfer to a slow cooker for serving. For reheating, doing so on the stovetop or in a slow cooker are my recommendation.
What to Make with Little Smokies
If you’re looking for other appetizers that go with these delightful Al Pastor cocktail weenies, try these!
Or maybe you want to pair these sweet and spicy cocktail weenies with something a little more substantial, like:
Al Pastor Little Smokies with Pineapple
- 1 saucepan
- 1 14-ounce package little smokies
- ½ cup ketchup
- 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon achiote (annato) powder*
- 2 tablespoons chipotle chile in adobo sauce (plus 1 chipotle chile packed in adobo sauce)
- 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 1 ½ cups pineapple chunks (fresh or canned)
- I like to whip up my lil smokies on the stovetop, then transfer to a slow cooker for serving purposes.
- Add all ingredients except the lil smokies and pineapple to a saucepan and simmer over medium-low for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.½ cup ketchup, 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano, 1 teaspoon cumin , ½ teaspoon achiote (annato) powder*, 2 tablespoons chipotle chile in adobo sauce, 2 teaspoons light brown sugar, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, ½ cup chicken stock
- Strain the juice from the pineapple chunks, and save for another use.1 ½ cups pineapple chunks
- Add the lit’l smokies (including any juice from the package) and strained pineapple chunks to the pan.1 14-ounce package little smokies, 1 ½ cups pineapple chunks
- Continue to simmer for 20 minutes, covered, stirring occasionally.
- If serving, add to a slow cooker set to low. Cover until ready to serve!
- Note: You can blend up the chipotle chile pepper before adding, or remove it before serving so someone doesn’t accidentally get a mouthful of spicy pepper.