Copycat Chipotle Chicken Recipe
This copycat recipe for Chipotle chicken is spot-on, and arguably even better than the original! You will LOVE this marinade!
I’m back today with the recipe I promised you would complete the cilantro-lime rice that I shared yesterday…
A copycat recipe for Chipotle’s chicken!
When my husband suggested replica Chipotle burritos for lunch a couple of Saturdays ago, the chicken was an essential. While I will get either chicken or barbacoa in my burrito or tacos, my husband is a straight-up chicken burrito lover, so I knew that’s what I’d make for lunch. Another round of searching for the perfect Chipotle chicken recipe led me to this amazing marinade. When my husband smelled it, he said he wanted to just eat it by the spoonful. It’s seriously some amazing stuff!
The chicken can be marinated for just an hour, or up to one full day. Of course, the longer you let it stew in that marinade, the more the flavor is going to soak into that chicken.
You can choose to cook the chicken however you’d like – baked, grilled, sautéed – but I really, really recommend that you sauté in a pan, preferably a cast iron skillet if you have one. Doing so will guarantee a wonderfully crusted exterior, which is the creme de la creme of this chicken. If you’d prefer to use chicken breasts instead of thighs, you can do that too, but I highly recommend the dark meat, as it ensures chicken that is nice and juicy, and nowhere near dry, which is a potential pitfall of using chicken breasts.
So, how did this recipe fare? My husband declared it better than Chipotle, and my mom and father-in-law, neither of whom are huge fans of Mexican food, LOVED it. I’ll call that a massive success. We used the chicken to make burritos, and then I used leftovers to make my own burrito bowl the next day.
I’ve already made this Chipotle chicken again to have in the fridge for salads and wraps, and it is definitely on its way to becoming a weekly staple on our menu!
One year ago: My Favorite Guacamole Recipe
Four years ago: Mint Julep Jello Shots
Six years ago: Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread
Seven years ago: Three Cheese Beer Bread
Copycat Chipotle Chicken Recipe
- ½ (0.5) medium red onion, coarsely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons adobo sauce, from a small can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon salt
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) black pepper
- Water, as needed
- 3 to 4 pounds (1.36 kg) boneless skinless chicken thighs
- Make the Marinade: Place the onion, garlic, adobo sauce, olive oil, chile powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper into a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Pour the marinade into a 1-cup measuring cup and add enough water to reach to 1 cup.
- Using a fork, poke holes all over the chicken thighs and place in a resealable plastic bag. Pour the marinade over, seal, and use your hands to move the marinade around so that all of the chicken is evenly coated. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
- Cook the Chicken: Preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken to the pan and cook, turning occasionally, until completely cooked through, 165 to 175 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. (I recommend cooking in two batches and adding more olive oil in between, if needed). Remove the chicken to a large cutting board and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes. Slice or chop the chicken, as desired. Serve in a burrito, in a salad, or on its own!
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
My whole family loves this recipe, we make homemade copycat chipotle burrito bowls about 2x a month.
The one thing I am wondering is how you get the marinade off the chicken so it sears like your picture, without washing all the flavor off?
This is fantastic! The flavors are amazing! The whole family loves it.
Hi! We love this recipe! We’re having family over for the day after thanksgiving, and would love to make this. Using a skillet for that many people will be too complicated so I was thinking of cooking it in a crock pot- have you ever tried this and how long did you cook it? Thanks!
Love this recipe! We make burritos or burrito bowls with brown rice, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, sautéed onions & peppers, shredded cheese & lettuce.
So delicious! Thanks for the recipe!
I somehow MISSED the LIME RICE RECIPE?!! Please email me the recipe?!
THANK YOU 🙏🏻
I haven’t tried this yet, but if it’s as good as all of your others than it will be a great addition to the weekly menu at our home!!
I can’t wait to get some boneless , skinless chicken thighs!
I have used this recipe for multiple large events and it is easy and tastes delicious. I recommend it with no modifications. Super simple to make for our family dinners or grad parties.
Fantastic! I love how versatile this is. I marinated the chicken overnight, knowing we always have ingredients for Mexican style dishes, but no exact plan. We ended up adding it on top of rice, with choices for personal likes such as onions, cheese, salsa…Everyone was happy:) Super tasty recipe!
This has become a family favorite recipe in our house! I love it. Thanks so much for sharing!
Great recipe! I usually make something like this in the instant pot , but wanted a change. I decided to put lime juice instead of water, because I think it helps tenderize the meat. I like the skillet option , but I have a grill pan that works well. I don’t think it was too much salt since it is for 3-4 pounds of chicken. The servings shoud be 3.5 to 4 ounces per person so this serves way more than the recipe stated. (more like 12 servings). I always put leftover adobo sauce in a small zip lock and just break off a small piece when needed. I didn’t use all the marinade so I saved some and used some as a base for a yummy chipotle dip for chips or as a topping. Thanks for sharing!
I know this is not the intent of your recipe but do you think freezing the chicken and marinade together then thawing and cooking in a crock pot or instant pot would work? It looks delicious and I love making freezer packs for the crock pot for my son.
Hi Beth, Absolutely, that’s a great idea!
I replied to someone below with this comment too. Olive oil should not be used for frying or any high-heat cooking method. Vegetable oil or grapeseed oil is better because their smoke point is higher and the flavor doesn’t burn.
The comment here from the chipotle person made me chuckle, saying the restaurant just uses plain adobo sauce for the marinade..
Would love to make this but will it come out okay with less salt? I don’t know that I can bring myself to put a full Tablespoon of salt in anything. ??
Hi Lori, You can reduce the salt, but keep in mind that it’s for the marinade, and you won’t be eating all of that. The salt helps to tenderize the meat. Enjoy!
I made this last night for dinner and it is SO GOOD! Thank you for the recipe ❤️
Love this recipe. Thank you. The only thing I do different is I cook mines under the broiler. Much easier clean up.
Have you or anyone tried this with chicken breast instead of thighs?
Just wanted to drop a comment. I’ve made this recipe numerous times. My family has thoroughly enjoyed “Chipotle bowl night”. The only changes I did was increase the garlic because.. my family is preparing for the rise of the vampires – just a little joke- and chicken breast. I haven’t been to Chipotle in a while because this hits the spot.
I’ve made this recipe twice. The first time I thought it was good, but a little too salty for me. This time I used half the salt and it tastes very good!!! Doesn’t taste exactly like Chipotle; however, it is good enough if not better in some regards.
I think this marinade (along with your recipe for the rice taste just like the Chipotle burritos we love. We just kept wanting to eat this chicken… it was soooo good on it’s own We recreated the corn salsa on our own and it was just perfect with everything else.
While this is a good marinade, the end result didn’t taste much like Chipotle chicken to me.
As soon as I finished making the marinade I was surprised how much it smelled like a smoky BBQ sauce (from the adobo sauce, I’m sure). The final chicken also tastes somewhat smoky, which doesn’t jibe with the chicken at Chipotle, which to my palate doesn’t taste smoky (more garlic-y and salty, I think).
FYI I used chicken breast and marinated it for about 5 hours, then grilled it on a gas grill. It looked great and tasted good, but just not a match to Chipotle. The search continues…
I made this for dinner last night and received Amit of praise from husband and my 10 year old. Being quarantined, it was great tasting something so familiar and fun again! Thank you!
This is my GO TO chicken recipe for when I make Mexican food! As a former manager of Chipotle, I can say this is definitely better than the original. Our marinade was ONLY Adobo, and then adding salt while chicken was on the grill. The onion, garlic and oregano really give it a much more complex flavor! Never going back to Chipotle with this recipe. It’s super easy, and absolutely DELICIOUS! I’ll make the marinade and we will have left overs for to go bowls which my partner loves taking to work with him. I also sometimes use chicken breasts (which aren’t as juicy as thighs) but still work great with the marinade if I don’t have thighs on hand. Seriously best version of this recipe! Wonderful job! Would give more than 5 stars if I could :)
I’m so thrilled to hear this!! Thanks so much for sharing your feedback, xo!
Do you have other recipes since you worked at Chipotle?! Would love the rice and carnitas recipe too! Thanks!!
If I was going to use Chicken breasts how much should I use?
Hi Colleen, Same amount!
I am making this tonight and just made the marinade (with the addition of a splash of lime juice, black pepper, marjoram, and a shake of coriander) and it tastes AMAZING! Just like the flavor of Chipotle’s chicken wow. I also added more salt but I like my chicken really salty (and I know Chipotle adds a whole lot of salt to theirs!)
Delicious! I marinated the chicken for 2 days. My husband said it was the best taco he’s ever had!
Whenever I brown meat in a skillet, with olive oil, it sticks. Whats the secret to this browning ,without sticking?
Carol, use either vegetable oil or grape seed oil (it is flavorless but has a high smoke point). Olive oil has a low heat point and is not the optimal one to use for frying, and if you are frying at the proper temperature the oil isn’t adding any flavor.
I use olive oil or avocado oil and haven’t had an issue with it burning. You need to preheat your skillet first, then add your oil, then meat. (especially preheat if using cast iron)
For someone who’s cooking challenged, what’s the measurement of the onion and garlic in cups or fractions thereof after being coarsely chopped?
Has anyone tried to freeze the rest of the adobo sauce and peppers? Hate to let it go to waste!
I freeze the extra adobo and chipotle flattened out in a sandwich bag. Then when a recipe calls for it, I just break off what I need.
We made the extra sauce all the way through the recipe and froze it–just pulled it out of the freezer, defrosted, and marinated our chicken. It held up really well in the freezer.
I just made this and my Chipotle loving kids said it tastes just like Chipotle. They love it. Great recipe. It is so good!!!
My extremely picky daughter loved this chicken and wanted more. Third time making it today. Thanks so much for the recipe!
this looks so good, i can’t wait to try it! the picture of the burrito bowl looks amazing, too. what do you put in your burrito bowls?
Usually lettuce, chicken, white rice, black beans, salsa, shredded cheese, guac and sour cream :)
This chicken is fantastic, I’ve never eaten at Chipotle but doesn’t matter because now I don’t ever have to.
Second time making this. Seriously best chicken recipe for tacos.
This is delicious!! How do I make it into a salad dressing?? Would it work if I add some to olive oil? Any suggestions? Thank you!!
Best chipotle chicken marinade I’ve tried!
I find that it tastes like “Ken’s Steakhouse Fajita Grilling Sauce.” Does anybody else remember the Ken’s steakhouse fajita marinade?? I can’t seem to find any record on the internet that it ever existed! I remember trying to make a copycat version of it myself years ago, but I never came very close. This BEB recipe does it! I do bump up the cumin to 2 TB and use 1 1/2 red onions, and I puree it with an immersion blender.
The best!!!! After searching out a recipe for Chipotle Chicken, I used this one. The street tacos at my son’s 21st birthday party were a hit! So many compliments from our guests. My husband grilled the chicken out on the gas grill. We used breast meat- I filleted the pieces to make them more uniform in thickness. Grilled to internal temp of 160 degrees and they were perfect! I also pan cooked some leftover chicken and it was equally good. But when cooking for 75 guests, the outdoor grill made more sense because of its size. This is a recipe that I will use again and again! Thank you to brown eyed baker for a great recipe!
We make this a lot. It’s amazing. I’d really like to send it to my Google home to talk me through the recipe. I’ve noticed this might be the only recipe on your website I can’t send to Google home.
I tried this recipe for chicken tacos for a going away party. I wanted them to have a better flavor than taco seasoning. It was amazing. I did tenderize and dice up the chicken raw before putting it into a ziplock bag with the marinade (I did puree all the ingredients together). I only let it sit about 15 minutes as the pieces were small. I cooked in a preheated pan with the olive oil as stated just until the chicken was done. I did sprinkle a very small amount of taco seasoning on the chicken while it was cooking. This turned out so good. Just a hint of spice but not too hot for a crowd. Everyone raved over it and I will be putting this recipe in the “special” recipe book so as it will not get lost.
SO GOOD. Omg, I loved this so much. It’s absolutely delicious and easy to make. I pureed the onion and garlic mixture because I hate chunks and it turned out awesome. We made it in a pan, which was definitely the way to go. We also made the cilantro lime rice and that was a hit too! I love this website!
My VERY PICKY daughter loves this and begged me to make it again – which I’m doing tonight.
I am barely getting 2tbls of the adobo sauce from the small cans. Am I supposed to do something with the peppers in them? Like puree them in the sauce to get the 2tbls? This recipe is a hit and have made it a couple times but I am just stumped by my cans lack of available sauce.
I have the same problem trying to get enough liquid from the can of chipotle peppers. I add a small amount of water to the can and mix well. That gives me enough liquid for a couple of recipes. I also take one of the peppers, remove the seeds and add it to the blender. It gives a slight kick, but still not too hot for my three year old who loves this amazing chicken.
Thanks! Didn’t even think about adding some water to the can instead of at the end to make a full cup. It just threw me off when the directions say you can freeze the extra adobo sauce and I am like what extra sauce??
After buying a number of cans of chilis in adobo, and ending up throwing away the peppers just to use the sauce, which wasn’t quite enough, I ended up “faking” the adobo sauce. 2TB tomato paste, 2 TB apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1/16 tsp chipotle powder (optional.)
Hope that helps!
How spicy is this? I can’t have anything spicy but would love to make this. Any suggestions?
If you can handle the spiciness of the chicken at Chipotle, you can handle this!
I would love to make a huge batch of this for a party. What would be the easiest way of making a large batch? Could I could the night before and reheat in crock pot? Oven?? Any advice appreciated!
Would love to know the answer to this also! I’m thinking this would be awesome for my son’s graduation party!
Hi Andrea, Yes I think this would do really well cooking ahead and reheating/warming using either of those methods. Just make sure it’s covered in the oven so it doesn’t dry out!
Chicken was awesome! Love love loved it! Put it on the George foreman, turned out great! Will definetely be making it again!
I think it more flavor than Chipotle restaurant. My family asks for it a few times a week, but I make it like twice a month. I followed the recipe, didn’t add anything or put in any less. It’s really, really good.
We made your delicious recipe here along with your cilantro lime rice and decided it’s the perfect meal when we’re in the “Mexican food mood” !!
This IS better than the original! It’s all in letting it blacken a smidge in a cast iron pan! What is that that gets a little crisp? The Chipotle sauce? I want chicken to do that in other marinades!
Amazing! My family loved it…even my two young boys! 💕🙌🏻
I marinated the chicken in the morning and we grilled the chicken when we got home from hockey practice. I added about a tbsp of honey to the marinade and we used this chicken in burrito bowls. Wonderful recipe!
Wow, this was good! I made it the day before yesterday and served it with cilantro rice and pinto beans and cheese. My partner (who can be fussy) took about two bites before saying, “Oh yeah. This is a keeper.” I ate the leftovers over rice noodles today for lunch and loved it even more. This is seriously delicious stuff.
I made this for a mexican themed dinner that I hosted on Sunday evening and OMG it was a hit!!! Thank you for this awesome recipe, it is a keeper for sure!
We’ve been making this recipe once a week for the past several months. Thanks so much!
For others trying this recipe, I credit my husband with figuring out the following two tips that bring this recipe over the top for us: (1) using a food mallet to pound the chicken breasts to an even flatness approximately the length of a fingernail, and (2) grilling the chicken. Then we cube the chicken (versus slices) and it’s perfect for burrito bowls or salads.
My whole family enjoyed this chicken and I loved having it for leftovers. We used it for burrito bowls and tacos.
This is the same exact recipe as Megan from Culinary Hill, who’s recipe is it?
How many ounces of chicken would you consider to be 1 serving
MMMMmmmmazing! I was looking for cupcakes and found this recipe. I am so happy I was browsing! Thank you! I am spreading the word on my blog!
My chicken is marinating as I write. I am wondering, though, if I am to wipe or rinse the chicken before cooking? The marinade seems so thick. Do I cook it covered in the thickness? Or not?
If you want chipotle chicken, you should probably just go to chipotle. I was super excited to make this. Making the marinade was pretty involved and the water in the marinade doesn’t allow for the Browning i was hoping for . It was quite a bit of work without the payoff I was hoping for. Also it would be nice for a general ballpark on cook time for those of us without thermometers.
It sounds like you made it wrong.
I found this awesome recipe a few months ago, have been making it for the family about twice per month. It’s good.
I have tried a lot of Chipotle flavored Chicken recipes. This one is the best by far! My whole family, picky kids included, loved this one!
Your husband was right!!! I made this after being mad at a Chipotle the past three visits. My favorite chicken seems to be more dried out every time I order it.
I might never go again. Thanks so much for this recipe which I will probably make weekly!
Trying to cut back on my eating out at Chipotle and Google brought me to this recipe. Made it tonight and it was so delicious! Gonna try it with shrimp too!
This chicken is now the favorite food in my house. We all did different things with it- I made a bowl, my husband made tacos on corn tortillas and my son made a burrito. Husband and son are huge fans of the chicken at Chipotle; I have never had the chicken (I’m a barbacoa girl). They declared it to an unbelievably spot-on copycat. It is PERFECTION. My son, who asks for tacos every week, said he might never want beef tacos again :-) I can’t wait to make this for every guest we have over this summer :-) Thank you for an amazingly delicious recipe! *Off to check out your other Chipotle copycat recipes!
Excellent recipe good flavor and much more .!!!!! Thank you for posting 😋
Just finished making this and OMG! DELISH! I don’t own a cast iron skillet (altho…it’s quickly becoming 1st on my shopping list) so I just used a non-stick skillet. I followed the advice of making in 2 batches which allowed me to olive oil in between each batch…I also poured a TINY amount of marinade over the olive oil before adding the chicken…Easy to make! MAKES A TON too! SOOOO GOOD! Thanks again for another fab recipe!
I just made this yesterday and am cooking more as I’m typing. This is amazing! I used about 3.5 pounds of chicken thighs. I took half of that and cooked it on low in my crockpot. It was wonderful and shredded beautiful in about 6 hours. Today I am making it in the cast iron skillet. The rice was perfect as well and I just made it in my rice cooker! I cannot wait to serve this to guests and my children. This recipe is A+
Curious-I’m having a taco bar for my son’s graduation party. Do you think if I marinated, cooked and froze the chicken, then put it in a slow cooker it would still hold a lot of flavor and not be dry? It sounds like a fabulous recipe and I’m looking to serve something more flavorful than just plain chicken.
Hi Hilary, Congratulations to your son! I think that would work, but maybe have a little extra marinade to stir in the crock pot in case it needs a little moisture.
This chicken was good, but it definitely didn’t taste like Chipotle’s chicken.
The first time I made this I couldn’t find adobo sauce but it was still incredibly delicious. I still have not found chipotle peppers in adobo sauce but I DID find just adobo sauce. However, it comes in a jar with instructions to add 5 parts water or broth to the adobo sauce. I followed these directions and then measured the 2 Tbsp sauce from this mixture. I haven’t cooked the chicken yet but I feel like all I see and smell is the adobo sauce when I look at the marinade. Has anyone else used this kind of adobo sauce? I’m slightly concerned about how the chicken will turn out since the sight and smell is not appealing to me at all. I am making a ton of it for a wedding this weekend and don’t want to ruin it all if the adobo sauce is too overwhelming. I am going to cook a little bit and test it in case I need to make a new batch of marinade minus the adobo sauce. I’m just curious if anyone else has had experience with this version of the sauce?
This marinade/sauce is SO DELICIOUS!!! Thank you!
I did not plan ahead well, so instead of marinating the meat and then sauteing it, I made up the marinade, seared the chicken in oil, then covered it in the marinade and simmered in my braising pot for an hour or so (until it was done, according to a check of internal temperature.) Then I cut it up. So, it didn’t have that lovely charred exterior like yours (and like you get at Chipotle) but it was still delicious and perfect for our burritos! I also made a few substitutions ( smoked paprika instead of ancho chile powder, and a mixture of tomato sauce, spices, and apple cider vinegar instead of the adobo sauce) but the flavor was still spot-on.
I just found out a need to make this in two days for 35 teenagers. How many servings out of your receipe?
Hi Karen, About 6 servings if you’re talking teenagers! (if you check the recipe box above, the number of servings should always be listed there)
I was so happy to find this recipe. I love chipotle chicken burrito bowls! I do have a question though. Do u have to blend the ingredients in a food processor or blender? Neither of which i have. Or can I just mix them in a bowl?
It really is best to use a blender or food processor, but you can mix by hand if absolutely necessary, but you will have chunks of onion.
How much is a serving size? I’m planning on making this for meal prepping this week
Hi Denise, I guess a serving size is however much you want it to be? I think according to most packaging, a serving of meat is 3 to 4 ounces.
I made this recipe exactly as written, and it was perfect!! My husband requested ‘everyday for lunch please’ so now i make a big batch on sunday and make him lunches for the week :)
Could this be used over ground turkey for “taco meat”? I wanted to use chicken breast but currently don’t have any. Would it just be better to use normal “taco seasoning” instead of this marinade?
Hi Jess, It really depends on how you prefer your taco meat… using this marinade will make a “saucy” taco meat, while a seasoning packet won’t create a “sauce”. Totally your preference!
This recipe is quick and easy BUT, and this is a big one, the recipe calls for a TABLESPOON of salt. This is far too much salt. It ruined the dish and my family could barely eat it. So salty that all the other flavors (including the chicken) were drowned out. In the future I would only use a teaspoon.
I just made the Chipotle chicken & the cilant lime rice. It is ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!! Thank you😊😆😊
I don’t like super-spicy foods and this was great! But what would you add if you wanted a little more heat?
Hi Karen, So glad you enjoyed it! I would add a bit of cayenne if you’d like more heat, or you could chop up one of the chipotle peppers.
I made this tonight and it was Amazing!!!! Thank you!!!! I will be making this regularly!!!
Absolutely delicious! The whole family loved this chicken!
Great recipe! And I would suggest broth instead of water. 😋
Followed the instructions to a tee and it turned out horribly. I used every ingredient, marinated overnight and bought excellent chicken thighs to no avail. I’ve been saving this recipe for 9 months, hoping to use it and was sorely disappointed. It didn’t only turn out bad, it couldn’t be fixed. I had to throw it away. I’m definitely disappointed.
Hi Alyssa, I’m sorry that this didn’t work out for you. You didn’t mention what exactly what went wrong, though. I’d love to help you troubleshoot since all of the other reviews on this recipe were five stars!
The first time it took me a little while to get all of this ingredients right and put everything together. But now that I’ve got it down it doesn’t take long and it is awesome. It really tastes like Chipotle. I tested 5 different Chipotle with Adobe sauce and the best brand was definitely Costena. You only need 2 tablespoons so you have quite a bit left over. Instead of freezing it I used it to make salsa, adding jalapenos, onions and cilantro. Then I blended it in a food processor and canned it. I’m definitely making this recipe every time I have a craving for Chipotle.
That salso sounds good! Did you have an exact recipe? I can salsa, but haven’t come across one like you are describing.
Made this chicken last night and it was amazing!!!!! I’m so glad I came across this recipe. I will never use another one for taco Tuesday!!!! Made rice bowls and burritos with cilantro lime rice, black beans and all the fixings and it was delish!!!!
And I forgot to mention we grilled it and it was outstanding!!
Can you buy adobo sauce at a regular grocery store?
Hi Mare, Yes, I find the jar in the Mexican/Hispanic section of the store and it’s usually packaged as chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
Way better than Chipotle!
Awesome recipe! It was everything you described and your instructions were incredibly helpful. My most enjoyable braising, ever! My family all said it was better than chipotle. Thank you!
Great recipe. Out the box it’s kinda salty so I use a little less. It’s fantastic, and I actually can’t go to Chipotle anymore, because I don’t really like dark meat and I can use breast on this. Side note, I just marinated beef in this overnight, then put it in the slow cooker and drained the marinade into that and filled the rest with water. It tastes a lot like the barbacoa.
Hi Alanor, So awesome to hear how much you enjoyed this, and love the tip on the slow cooker barbacoa, I will definitely have to try that!
My chicken thighs are marinating now and we’re SO excited to cook them up tomorrow! Have you ever done these on the grill, and if so how do they compare to cooking in a skillet? My husband likes to BBQ everything lol, but we’re using these for meal prep (Chipotle style burrito bowls, of course!) and I want to make them as close to the original! Thanks :)
Hi Andrea, I’ve never grilled them, but I’m sure they would be delicious!
Made this last week and it was so wonderful! Thank you! Do you think it would be possible to make a double batch of the marinade and then freeze half of it for a later time?
Hi Lauren, Yes, absolutely! I do that all of the time, actually!
Oh my Wow! So I used both the chicken recipie and the Cilantro lime rice recipe. Both will forever be family favorites from here on. My kids never eat rice, ever, but they ate your recipe up. They even asked if we could have it for lunch tomorrow! This is not the first time I’ve tried Chipotle copy cat recipes, but it will be the last time I ever need to look for one because Yours is it. You have got a great recipie and I am sticking with it. Thank you so much! My husband and I have not gotten to go to Chipotle in a while because our kids can be so picky and now thanks to your recipes we know we dont have to but if we do go the kids will actually eat there. Also, I used to be in the military and I shared your recipe with all my mil friends and family so that they too can take full advantage of having Chipotle at home. Especially since sometimes we get stationed in places where there are no Chipotle restaurants to go to. Thanks a million! I have already printed the recipes and added them to my Family Favorites book so that I can always have them to refer to when we are all craving some Chipotle. 💖
Hi Bridgette, Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review; I’m so incredibly thrilled that you and your family enjoyed the recipes so much!
Where do you find adobe sauce in the grocery store. I have never heard of it.
I found mine over next to the salsas and canned peppers in the taco section of my store. It all depends on how your store is set up. It’s possibly in the International section or could also be near the pickles and Jalepenos in jars as well, again just depends on the store. Hope that helps!
Hi Gretchen, I find it in the International aisle of the grocery store, in the Hispanic section.
This chicken is amazing! I made the marinade in just a few minutes and let the chicken sit for about 5 hours. I followed the recipe exactly as listed and I couldn’t be happier, when I cook it’s usually pretty simple and this was great it was simple and then out perfect.
Made this tonight. Good flavor and not bad, but definitely not the caliber of Chipotle chicken. My quest for at home Chipotle chicken continues.
If your husband thought it was /better/ than chipotle, and your parents, neither of whom like chipotle, like the chicken … then how can this possibly be called a copycat recipe? It sounds like you made a version of your own..
Made this last week…it was phenomenal! Tasted just like chipotle! Whole family loved it!
I did this recipe and it was amazing! I do have a question: would it work to cook the chicken in a slow cooker? I know the crusty flavor bits wouldn’t be there; trying to cut down on time actually spent in the kitchen.
Yeah you would definitely miss the crusty exterior, but it would cook it for sure.
Wow! If anyone has any reservations about this recipe tasting like the real thing. Have no fear. It does. I made this for my daughter and her boyfriend last night. My daughter eats at Chipotle almost everyday. I’m not exaggerating either. She goes there so much that they even give it to her free sometimes or give her buy one get one free cards. My point is, if there is someone who might be an authority on how it should taste, she might be it. In fact she said it tasted even better. I also made the Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice recipe and she said that tasted spot on to the real thing. I bought chicken thighs with the skin and bone still in and just cut it out. It was 3.41 lbs. and by the time i removed the bone and skin I was afraid I might be a little lite on the meat so I added a couple of small chicken breasts. Turned out freakin’ awesome. My daughter has a problem with gluten, so it was great to have something so good that doesn’t bother her stomach. I also bought seasoned black beans (I like), Chopotle pinto beans (her boyfriend likes), monterey jack, sour cream, Chipotle salsa and lettuce to add to it.
I did find that with that much chicken that I’ll need to double the rice recipe. It didn’t make near enough.
When making the Chipotle chicken, how would I make for 70 people? Could I put on the grill for a few minutes to brown and than bake in oven? If I bake in oven should I cover with foil? Temp? Thanks for any input!
Hi Linda, You would just to increase all of the ingredients accordingly. You can grill the chicken totally, you wouldn’t need to transfer it. Or, you could bake it in the oven, as well. Any of those cooking methods would work.
This is by far the best chicken recipe I have ever made!! It is super easy to prepare and super easy to eat. My body builder boyfriend loves it so much I have to make it for him again (2 times in one week!!!) Thank you for this gem, I will now browse the rest of your recipes!
My husband is a serious Chipotle addict….as in once a week at least for lunch. I decided to make this for dinner with his family the other night. HUGE hit. Everyone loved it and it is SPOT ON Chipotle flavors. I was a little concerned about heat level with the adobo sauce, but it wasn’t too spicy at all. In fact, three kids wolfed down the chicken (ages 5, 5 and 2.5). I couldn’t find ancho chili powder, so I subbed regular, and I used pounded chicken breasts (just to even thickness). Man, it was SO GOOD. And this marinade was the perfect amount for 6 chicken breasts (3 lbs. total). I’ve been eating the leftovers for now 3 days and it’s just as good as the first day. I even made your version of Chipotle’s Cilantro Lime Rice. Another winner! This is going into my weekly rotation too…maybe I can keep the hubby home once a week for lunch now!
Hi Diane, Thanks so much for the comment, I’m thrilled your whole family enjoyed this!
Is there anyway you can add a feature that includes macros for you recipes?! Because all us diet freaks are all about the macros (carb, protein, fat content) these days. Similar to what skinnytaste.com has on the bottom of her website :)
Right now I’ve chosen not to include nutritional information, primarily because there can be quite a bit of variance depending on products used. If that changes in the future, I’ll be sure to let everyone know!
Love your recipes, but have to say every time you post a picture of your two sweet boys it brings a smile to my face. They are adorable. Thanks. Linda M
Aww thank you Linda!
I made this for Cinco de Mayo and it was fantastic! I made the whole recipe and then froze half the raw chicken and marinade, which I cooked yesterday. It was terrific and good to know it’s easy to make the big batch and freeze half for later :)
Should it be 1 teaspoon salt,vs 1 tablespoon?made this today and it was super salty!
Hi Nina, 1 tablespoon is the correct amount, but feel free to adjust to suit your taste.
Made this today with cilantro lime rice. It was delicious! Thanks for the great recipe!
My family has been making this for several months; it is one of our new favorites. But I now find myself with a huge number of chipotle peppers in my freezer. Do you have any recipes that use just the chipotles but not the adobo sauce? Could I puree them for this recipe or would it be too spicy? Or do they sell just the adobo sauce anywhere? Thanks!
Hi Anna, So happy to hear you’ve been enjoying this! These are two recipes that use just the chipotle peppers (and not the sauce):
My favorite queso: https://www.browneyedbaker.com/soft-pretzel-nuggets-with-spicy-cheese-dipping-sauce/
Crockpot brisket: https://www.browneyedbaker.com/slow-cooker-bbq-brisket/
Don’t forget my favorite soup of yours:
I marinated overnight last night and let me tell you my mouth is already watering! I agree with your husband, you COULD eat that marinade by the spoonful. I was prepping the marinade while I was making dinner last night and my boyfriend walked in and was bummed he would have to wait until tonight to see what I was doing! FYI I did use breasts instead and am going to try it in the slow cooker as shredded chicken to put in burrito bowls… I’ve never been a huge Chipotle fan but I am a fan of everything in this marinade and I think it’ll be great as a shredded chicken recipe for fajtas, tacos, and burrito bowls! I’ll have to let you know how it turns out <3
How did this work in the crock pot? I was thinking of making a meal prep freezer package of this chicken and marinade to be thawed and cooked in a crockpot.
I made this tonight! It was AH-MAZING!!!!!! I would recommend grilling (I smoked up my whole house, but that might be my ineptitude at the stove). It is the most seasoned, yummiest chicken I’ve ever made! It does taste like chipotle! Thank you!!
This was absolutely delicious, but I did substitute chicken breasts and grilled outside being careful to get a good sear and not let the chicken dry out! Thanks! My husband loved it, and now I have leftovers for salads and burrito bowls!
I’d like to make this for a large group, but would like to do it ahead of time if possible. Would it reheat well? Tips on the best way to warm it up again?
Hi Ali, It would be fine made ahead and reheated; it just won’t have that super crispy exterior, but I make this in big batches for us to have throughout the week and it tastes just fine heated up. I would probably just put it on a sheet pan, cover with foil and reheat in the oven.
OMG! This is THE BEST chicken! Followed recipe exactly as written and put on our grill. Flavor is amazing! Thanks!
Hi! Can I make this in the slow cooker? Thanks!
Hi Sally, You technically could, but you would really lose that crusty outside that pan-frying ensures. If that doesn’t bother you and you’re just looking for flavor, the slow cooker should work fine.
THIS IS DELICIOUS!!!!! I have a newfound obsession with Chipotle and wanted to try to make burrito bowls at home. I found this recipe and it was a HUGE hit. I marinated for about an hour, as I didn’t have a ton of time. I’m making this again for a party this weekend (thinking about doubling the recipe, so we have more leftovers! :-)), and plan to marinate for longer. SO YUMMY!!!
Great recipe ! Though I found it only slightly resembling THE Chipotli’s all my family loved it and said that it is a definite keeper recipe…not an easy task.
I did make one change, I used half thigh, half breast because we tend to be white meet eaters. The thighs kept the meat moist and wonderful.
I am planning to use this recipe times about five and serve at my New Years party as a buffet. I think the crowd will love it.
Made it and LOVED it. I didn’t add any water to the marinade, just used it in paste form. Fabulous.
Looks so good! Do you think this marinade would be good for fajitas? Thanks!
This looks delicious! Can anyone tell me if it is super spicy? I am planning on making a taco bar for my daughter’s birthday party this week so I’m concerned that this might be too spicy for kids. To be clear, these are 9 year olds and up, not picky 2 year olds. Thanks!
Hi Laura, Not super spicy at all! Of course everyone has a different tolerance level when it comes to spice, but I think this is quite mild.
Great! Thank you for replying! I look forward to trying it out this week!
This was great! I had to make a few changes, as I was working out of my fiancé’s kitchen. As I was cooking it, I gave him a little piece to try. He said, “This is what gets you a ring!” Lol. Needless to say, we loved this meal.
My daughter is an “expert” when it comes to Chipotle. She loves that restaurant. I made this chicken and it was delicious!!! The recipe made 6 large burritos, which would have cost me close to 50.00 easily. I made these delicious burritos for less than 20.00. Thanks for the delicious recipe.
The degree to which this marinade looks, smells, and tastes EXACTLY like Chipotle is actually a little scary.
I just finished making this recipe and it is FANTASTIC!! Thank you, this will definitely be added to my “go to recipe” file.
The only change I made was using the outdoor grill to cook the chicken. Thank you Michelle, another amazing recipe!
Made this tonight for Cinco de Mayo using chicken breast, regular chili powder, and used a nonstick pan. Despite all these changes, this chicken was fabulous! Thanks!
Just pulled these out of the pan! Didn’t have red onion so just used yellow, and also didn’t have ancho chile powder so used regular. Will look for some the next time I’m at the store. Smells wonderful!
This chicken looks so delicious. Chipotle isn’t my fav burrito place, but its definitely a great go to option for a quick meal!
Hey! What size cast iron skillet did you use?! I’m wondering how many batches it will be. I’m thinking of getting my first cast iron skillet, so if you have any recommendations on size/brand. Please let me know!
Hi Ria, I used my 12″ cast iron skillet for this and was able to do it in two batches. I use my 12″ and my 10″ skillets both very often. I have Lodge brand!
I made this tonight for our dinner but had to leave the the adobo out as it’s impossible to find in vietnam. We turned it into fajita’s and it was delicious. Will make again.
Oh my…paired with your rice recipe, this is going to be heaven! I love visiting your site…I know the recipes are always terrific. If you ever whip up the Chipotle salsa recipes, I hope you’ll share. Thanks!
Ok I love Chipotle THANK YOU!!! My question is what kind of cheese do they use???
Hi Amy, I looked this up as well! It’s Monterey Jack!
This looks really good wonder if you could use use chicken beast and then
“crockpot” it until it shreds… Thoughts ?
Hi Laura, It won’t be an exact replica, of course, but it would certainly work!
oooh! Thank you Michelle! I am making this ASAP!
This sounds amazing and has officially been put on the menu for this weekend! Quick question – how much did you trim your chicken thighs? They often have so much of the fat on them and trimming can often reduce them to smaller pieces. Just curious as I often use thighs in braises but not in pan-sear recipes :)
Hi Kristin, I didn’t really go crazy with trimming, if there was a big piece of fat hanging off, I took it off, but that was about it. Mine didn’t really have much fat on them other than those few pieces.