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Copycat Chipotle Chicken

Making Chipotle’s famous chicken at home is so easy! All it takes is a delicious marinade that is bursting with flavor!

MAKE YOUR FAVORITE CHICKEN AT HOME

Copycat Chipotle chicken is an easy and delicious way to recreate the popular restaurant dish at home. With simple ingredients such as chicken thighs, chipotle peppers, garlic, chili powder and cumin, you can make a meal that tastes just like the one you know and love (for half the price!) Serve it with warm flour tortillas or over a bed of rice for a flavorful, filling dinner that the whole family will devour!

A plate with rice and Chipotle Chicken.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:  

What is chipotle in adobo sauce?

Chipotle in adobo sauce is a slightly spicy and smoky sauce made from dried, smoked jalapeño peppers, vinegar, garlic, and a mix of spices. It’s a staple in Mexican cooking and commonly used as an ingredient in marinades and sauces for tacos, enchiladas, burritos and more.

How spicy are chipotle peppers in adobo sauce?

Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce are mildly spicy, with notes of smoky flavor. The heat can vary depending on the type of chipotle pepper and the amount of vinegar used in the sauce, but typically it is medium-hot.

What can I substitute for the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce?

There really isn’t a substitute or it won’t be a copycat recipe anymore.

How many chipotle peppers do I need?

You can use however many you prefer. For reference, I bought a 7 ounce can of chipotles in adobo sauce. I removed 2 chipotle peppers and then used 2 tablespoons of the sauce for the recipe. You can refrigerate the leftover chipotle peppers in a ziploc bag if you prefer.

What if I can’t find ancho chili powder?

No worries! You can use regular chili powder if needed.

What other chicken can I use?

Don’t have chicken thighs? Try using butterflied boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead. Chicken thighs tend to work best for this recipe as that is what is used at Chipotle but use what you prefer!

Do I really have to marinade for 3 hours?

At a minimum – yes. This is the key to making Chipotle Chicken. They don’t rush the marinating process. This gives time for all the flavors to really infuse into the chicken so don’t marinate it for less than 3 hours or it won’t have the same flavor.

How to store leftovers?

Transfer leftovers to an airtight container and store them in the fridge for 3-4 days. Freeze for 2-3 months.

A plate with Chipotle Chicken over a bed of rice with beans.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (FULL RECIPE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST)

  • red onion
  • garlic cloves
  • chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • olive oil
  • ancho chili powder
  • ground cumin
  • dried oregano
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Red onion, garlic, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, olive oil, ancho chili powder, ground cumin, dried oregano, kosher salt, black pepper, and boneless, skinless chicken thighs.

HOW TO MAKE COPYCAT CHIPOTLE CHICKEN

Add all ingredients, besides the chicken thighs, to the bowl of a food processor.

Onions and a bunch of spices and herbs in a food processor.

Pulse for a few minutes until the mixture turns into a well-blended paste. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

A puree made from all the ingredients in chipotle chicken minus the chicken in a food processor.

Place chicken thighs in a large zip top plastic bag. Spoon the paste into the bag and toss to fully coat the chicken in the mixture. Marinate chicken in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.

Chicken in a adobo sauce in a ziplock bag.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add a little bit of olive oil to coat the bottom of your skillet. Once oil is hot, add the chicken thighs. Cook thighs until lightly charred on both sides for 15 to 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. Chicken is done when a thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.

A few pieces of copycat Chipotle Chicken.

Remove chicken to a cutting board. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes, covered with foil to keep warm, then slice into small pieces. Serve chipotle chicken on cilantro lime rice with beans and all the fixings.

Looking down on a close up plate of rice, beans, and copycat chipotle chicken.

CRAVING MORE RECIPES?

Chipotle chicken with beans, and rice on a plate.

Copycat Chipotle Chicken

Enjoy your favorite dish at home with this tasty Copycat Chipotle Chicken recipe. All your favorite flavors together!
5 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Copycat Chipotle Chicken
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Marinade Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 314kcal

Ingredients

  • ¼ of a red onion, cut into quarters
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce + 2 tablespoons of adobo sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for cooking
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients, besides the chicken thighs, to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse for a few minutes until the mixture turns into a well-blended paste. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Place chicken thighs in a large zip top plastic bag. Spoon the paste into the bag and toss to fully coat the chicken in the mixture. Marinate chicken in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add a little bit of olive oil to coat the bottom of your skillet. Once oil is hot, add the chicken thighs.
  • Cook thighs until lightly charred on both sides for 15 to 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. Chicken is done when a thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
  • Remove chicken to a cutting board. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes, covered with foil to keep warm, then slice into small pieces.
  • Serve chipotle chicken on cilantro lime rice with beans and all the fixings.

Notes

  • For this recipe, I bought a 7 ounce can of chipotles in adobo sauce. I removed 2 chipotle peppers and 2 tablespoons of the sauce.
  • If you can’t find ancho chili powder, regular chili powder would work too.
  • If you can’t find boneless, skinless thighs, you can use butterflied boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead.
  • Don’t skip the marinade time! This is the key to Chipotle’s famous chicken – it needs that marinating time to really infuse all the flavors into the meat! 

Nutrition

Calories: 314kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 49g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 145mg | Sodium: 480mg | Potassium: 894mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 479IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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4 Comments

  1. Can you clarify in the directions – is it a quarter of a red onion or a whole red onion cut into quarters? it looks like you’re using the whole onion in the video but the recipe says a 1/4 onion.

  2. 5 stars
    off the charts girl. made some Mexican rice with it and it was perfect. the seasonings were spot on.