Copycat Chipotle Chicken

I don’t know about you but I LOVE copycat recipes!

I mean, what’s not to love when you get to enjoy a delicious homemade version of your favorite restaurant dish at a fraction of the price that you can, if you wish, make in bulk or vary according to your preferences.

Chipotle Chicken cut up on a cutting board

This Copycat Chipotle Chicken is one such recipe. The restaurant-quality factor is attributed to marinating your chicken in a flavorful combination of sauce and seasoning, making the chicken breasts beautifully tender and moist. Perfect for tacos, burritos, salads or bowls!

cut up chicken on a cutting board and 2 soft shell tacos in a basket

So next time the family asks to make a trip to Chipotle, wow them instead with an even better homemade version to satisfy those Mexican-inspired food cravings!

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TIPS FOR MAKING COPYCAT CHIPOTLE CHICKEN

  • This dish has a good kick to it but without burning your mouth. If you want to downplay this spice then you can either use less of the can of chipotles in adobo sauce, marinate for less time ( i.e. 2 hours instead of overnight), or wipe off any extra marinade before grilling.
  • Save time for weeknight meals by marinating your chicken in the morning before the rest of the day unfolds and then it’ll be ready for you to grill for dinner.
  • While this recipe calls for only 3 hours of marinating, I suggest doing so overnight to maximize the flavor and tenderness of the chicken.

Copycat Chipotle Chicken

  1. Combine all ingredients except for the chicken in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Pulse several times to make a marinade paste.ingredients for marinade in mixer
  2. Place chicken breasts and marinade into a gallon size plastic bag and seal closed. Squish around the chicken and marinade so that all the chicken is fully coated. Refrigerate for a minimum of 3 hours.chicken and marinade in a large ziplock bag
  3. After chicken has marinated, pre-heat grill on high heat for 15 minutes. Remove chicken from marinade and discard bag. Place chicken on grill and cook on each side for 10-12 minutes or until chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F. Adjust grill heat while cooking to ensure that there is a little bit of char, but the meat does not burn or catch on fire.cooked chicken breasts on a cutting board
  4. Remove cooked chicken from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes. Chop into pieces and serve with tacos, rice bowls, salads, etc.chicken cut of on a cutting board

IS IT NECESSARY TO MARINATE THE CHICKEN FOR THAT LONG?

  • Yes, definitely. Don’t miss this step as it assists with great flavor as well as making the chicken breast meat tender and moist. Although the recipe calls for 2 hours of marinating, I actually prefer to do it overnight.

IS THIS CHIPOTLE CHICKEN SPICY?

  • No, it’s not super spicy. While it does have a slight kick to it, it isn’t spicy in the sense that you need to be prepared with a glass of milk while eating it!

HOW SHOULD I SERVE THIS COPYCAT CHIPOTLE CHICKEN?

  • There are so many dishes you can incorporate your Chipotle chicken into. Here are some great and tasty ideas:
    Burritos
    Tacos
    Enchiladas
    Quesadillas
    Taquitos
    Salads
    Bowls

WHAT OTHER METHODS OF COOKING CAN I USE?

  • While grilling your chicken is the best way to mimic this restaurant-style food, you do definitely have alternative cooking methods that you can use if you wish. Here are 3 alternative cooking methods you can use:
  • Slow Cooker: Cook chicken and all other ingredients on high for 3 hours or on low for 6 hours.
  • Stove Top: Make sure to cut your chicken into cubes prior to marinating. Then cook the chicken on the stovetop till cooked through.
  • Oven-Baked: Place the chicken breasts on a baking tray and roast at 400F for 20 minutes.

Other Copycat Recipes You’ll Love

two soft shell chicken tacos in a basket
5 from 103 votes

Copycat Chipotle Chicken

When the family asks to make a trip to Chipotle, wow them instead with this Copycat Chipotle Chicken recipe. Great for tacos, burritos or salads.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
marinated time 3 hours

Ingredients
 

  • 7 oz. Can chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • Juice of 2 limes about 1⁄4 cup
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 4-6 thin-sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients except for the chicken in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Pulse several times to make a marinade paste.
  • Place chicken breasts and marinade into a gallon size plastic bag and seal closed. Squish around the chicken and marinade so that all the chicken is fully coated. Refrigerate for a minimum of 3 hours.
  • After chicken has marinated, pre-heat grill on high heat for 15 minutes. Remove chicken from marinade and discard bag. Place chicken on grill and cook on each side for 10-12 minutes or until chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F. Adjust grill heat while cooking to ensure that there is a little bit of char, but the meat does not burn or catch on fire.
  • Remove cooked chicken from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes. Chop into pieces and serve with tacos, rice bowls, salads, etc.

Notes

Note: if you are sensitive to spice, I would suggest using less chipotles in adobo sauce. 

Nutrition

Calories: 151kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 423mg | Potassium: 438mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 43IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer: Family Fresh Meals is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

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62 Comments

  1. Can this be prepared and kept in freezer until ready to use? If so, how long in freezer?

    1. Yes. I would use within 3-4 months if frozen

  2. Does it matter which brand of chipotles in adobo sauce you use? This was my first time to use them, and it was VERY spicy. I’m wondering if that would make a difference?

    Other than the heat level, it was a delicious flavor!

    1. No, it shouldn’t matter, so maybe next time I would just reduce the amount you use. Glad you like it otherwise 🙂

    2. Me and my kids can’t do spicy either, but I wanted the chipotle adobo flavor! So, I tried using just the adobo sauce and discarded the chipotle peppers. It turned out great! I served it in a bowl with rice, black beans, corn, and tomatoes. My kids liked it and it had great flavor with a little bit of heat. No more plain boring chicken rice bowls – Yay!

  3. 5 stars
    My teenagers are Chipotle fanatics so I decided to try this recipe to save some $$, have supplies on hand at home and hopefully eliminate some of the processed foods and extra calories you get at a restaurant. This recipe was amazing and will now be part of our regular rotation. The leftover chicken is perfect for a salad or bowl the next day for lunch and tastes great cold, too! Thanks for this great recipe.

    1. Yay! So happy ya’ll love it!

  4. Maxine Cooper says:

    5 stars
    We loved it . It was a little hot for me but, everyone else thought it was fine.

  5. Desiree Cheatham says:

    When making this chipotle chicken marinate can I use lemon juice instead of lime juice

    1. I have only used lime, so I don’t know exactly how well that will turn out.

  6. Greg Spencer says:

    Mines marinating now and can’t wait. But if you cook thin sliced chicken breasts for 20-24 minutes I think you’ll just end up charcoal?

    1. Yes, you’ll need to adjust if you have super thin cut breasts. But the standard chicken breast, butterflied to be thinner will work out great.

      1. Will boneless skinless thighs work well for this ?

        1. Yes! Thighs also worked out great in this recipe too 🙂

      2. But the recipe card says specifically to use thin-sliced breasts. So why isn’t the cooking time given the correct time for thin-sliced breasts?

        1. This reader was concerned that her thinner chicken would be over-cooked. Regular chicken breast, butterflied to be thinner will work with the cooking times. I have tested the recipe may times, and haven’t had s problem with the thinner breast. But everyone’s grill, oven or pan cooking will vary a little bit.

  7. This is a horrible recipe! The chicken was so spicy that no one could eat it! I didn’t even marinate overnight! I had to throw away all the chicken! I’m sorry to leave a negative comment but Groceries are so expensive and I wasted a ton of money ‘

    1. I’m sorry the recipe was too spicy for you Melissa. I have added a note to the recipe card for those who are sensitive to spice to use less of the chipotles in adobo sauce.

    2. 5 stars
      She clearly states that it might be spicy for some people. You obviously have too much time on your hands to leave such a rude review. BTW I heard walmart is hiring. Just in case you need a hobby.

    3. Valeria Martinez says:

      Super weird but I tried this recipe twice and it was spicier when I did not marinate it versus when I let it marinate overnight. Thankfully I love spicy food but I recommend marinating overnight because for some reason it was less spicy that way!

  8. 5 stars
    So excited about this recipe. It’s super, super easy and albeit spicy, it can be easily be adjusted to taste. I didn’t marinate (no time). We had it as a bowl (because we burned the corn tortillas) with chipotle rice, pico, avocado, and shredded lettuce. My younger kiddos found it delicious, but definitely spicy so there were some comical trips for water😊. And perfect leftovers for my teenager’s lunch. Will 100% make again.

  9. Judy Grant says:

    5 stars
    This was “Excelente”! The whole family enjoyed it, even the culinary experts!

  10. What is the serving size for the nutrition information

    1. This make 8 servings, so I would divide the recipe into 8ths for exact serving size.