So you love Chipotle’s Chicken? Skip take out, because now you can make this copycat Chipotle Chicken recipe right in your own home. A few simple pantry staples are all you need to make a delicious, copycat marinade, let it hang out in the marinade for a couple hours and WOW!
This recipe is on repeat in our home! In fact, I generally double or triple the recipe marinade and freeze in the marinade for another meal.
You might enjoy this delicious copycat Chipotle chicken with my simple and easy guacamole (no extra charge), blender salsa, dribble on a little of this Creamy White Queso and of course cilantro lime rice!
My neighbor (hey, Caitlin!) recently gave this recipe a shout out and since our boys practically live at Chipotle, I thought I would give it a try.
It tastes like the real thing! I have made it over a dozen times, typically weekly, I’ve tweaked it a smidge to make it work best for our family.
Make a Chipotle Style Taco or Burrito Bar
Flour, Corn, Naked? White or brown rice — black or pinto beans? What type of meat? Oh Copycat Chipotle Chicken you say!
- Grab my copycat Cilantro Lime Rice recipe
- Warm some black or pinto beans (add a pinch of salt, a little cumin and a dash of cayenne pepper).
- Shredded lettuce, veggies, sour cream, cheese, guacamole and of course salsa — try my easy blender salsa
- Also try Barbacoa Beef, amazing!
- And you might as well go crazy and make these Slow Cooker Copycat Carnitas.
Chicken Breast or Chicken Thighs?
Chipotle restaurants use primarily chicken thighs, which are much more tender and juicy than breasts, however; we have made this both ways and both are quite delicious!
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Chicken breasts (about 2-2.5 lbs) or boneless thighs or combination
- kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Chipotle jalapeno powder (or use 2 teaspoons and omit regular chili powder)
- Chili powder | regular ol chili powder
- Cumin | adds that authentic flavor!
- Dried Oregano | not powdered
- White vinegar | Distilled or I have also used Apple Cider vinegar
- Garlic cloves, minced
- Vegetable oil (I used Avocado Oil and Grapeseed Oil)
Whisk together, pour the Chipotle chicken marinade over pounded chicken meat and allow it to hang out in the marinade for at least 4 hours, preferably 6 or more. Make sure you squish the marinade around in the freezer bag, distributing the marinade over the entire surface area of the chicken.
Make Ahead Freezer Instructions
Can I freeze the chicken in the marinade? Absolutely! In fact, I encourage it, make a mess once, eat two or three times I always say! As I mentioned above, this recipe is on repeat in our home, so I typically have one in the freezer ready to go.
Simply place your pounded chicken in a freezer ziplock baggie (you might want to write on it before you place your food in the baggie, no mystery meats here), pour the marinade over the chicken, squish to distribute marinade, squeeze as much air out as you can and freeze flat.
To prepare from frozen, allow to thaw in the refrigerator overnight (or on the counter for a couple of hours if you are comfortable with that). Squish the marinade around during the thawing process to ensure it’s touching all of the chicken. Then grill as above.
Recipe adapted from Dinner Then Dessert
That’s it! How will you use your Copycat Chipotle Chicken? In tacos, enchiladas, on a salad, in a bowl, in eggs (my oldest makes his omelet with it every time we make this recipe), nachos, quesadillas?
While you are thinking about it, Pin the recipe to your favorite board using the pin below! Then be sure to print the handy-dandy recipe below!
Sharing this week on Weekend Potluck!
More great Mexican Inspired recipes:
- Healthier Crack Salsa Chicken is a great make ahead chicken recipe to use in bowls, tacos, enchilada’s and more!
- Swap out the rice for this easy Spanish Mexican Rice
- Make some of these Baked Chicken and Veggie Quesadillas, so good!
- How about a healthy Hibiscus Margarita or this Hibiscus Mojito?
- Or these 4 ingredient Margarita’s
- Chicken Tortilla Soup is always a winner!
Like this recipe?
Don’t forget to give it a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️star rating in the recipe below!
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2.5 lbs) or boneless thighs or combination
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon chipotle jalapeno powder
- 1 teaspoon regular chili powder
- 1 teaspoon dried cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ cup distilled white vinegar
- 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used Avocado Oil and Grapeseed Oil)
- 2-3 tablespoons water
Pound chicken using mallet until even thickness, about a half inch thick. Tip | place chicken in freezer ziplock baggie or between two sheets of plastic wrap before pounding.
In a small mixing bowl, add all spices, garlic, oil, vinegar and water together, mixing well.
Pour over chicken placed in freezer bags or in baking dish, lifting and moving to make sure all chicken is covered in marinade. Best if marinated for 6 hours, but tastes decent at 3-4 hours too. If marinating in dish, be sure to occasionally turn the chicken.
Heat grill to medium heat and grill for 5-6 minutes per side until cooked through, if grilling thighs, and they are thin, reduce time to 3-5 minutes per side. Remove from grill, allow to rest 5 minutes covered before chopping into bite sized pieces.
Serve in tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas, salads, burrito, or make your own burrito bowl using Cilantro Lime Rice, heated canned black beans, guacamole (no $2 up charge here), salsa, cheese, sour cream -- you get the idea!
The original recipe from Dinner Then Dessert calls to add chopped chicken into a medium high heat pan with 2 tablespoons oil to heat and crisp after chopping. I have done it both ways, my family doesn't notice a difference, so I omit this step.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 231Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 77mgSodium: 398mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 22g
The nutritional information is estimated and may not be entirely accurate, at times it pulls information for suggestions and options which may increase calories, etc. Nutritional information will change based on used ingredients, quantities used, etc.