Copycat Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowl Recipe
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So you love Chipotle’s Chicken? Skip take out, because now you can make this Copycat Chipotle Chicken Burrito 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! Make a copycat chipotle burrito bowl or traditional burrito.
This Copycat Chipotle chicken 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.
Enjoy this delicious copycat Chipotle chicken for a busy weeknight meal, or to whip up for a team feed and don’t forget dessert! Try my Fried Ice Cream Cake for a crowd or this Air Fryer Fried Ice Cream for a more traditional dessert.
Why you will love Copycat Chipotle Chicken
- Instead of heading to your nearest Chipotle restaurant for one more night of fast food, bring the whole family around the table with some hot, crispy tortilla chips and this amazing copycat Chipotle chicken recipe.
- 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.
- EASY | Takes less than 15 minutes to put this recipe altogether.
If you enjoy this delicious copycat Chipotle chicken recipe, you might want to try my Copycat Chipotle Carnitas, or these amazing Shish Kebabs.
Make a Copycat Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowls Bar
You know the drill, answer a few questions while they build your gigantic burrito or bowl. Flour, Corn, Bowl? White or brown rice — black or pinto beans? What type of meat? What’s your order?
My own chicken burrito bowl sounds like this; white rice, black beans, chicken, cheese, sour cream, fresh pico de gallo, peppers and red onion and yes, guacamole (even at $2 extra!) and I always get a side fo corn salsa because my hubby and I split our burrito.
- Grab my copycat Cilantro Lime Rice recipe, delicious fluffy rice recipe
- Warm some black beans or pinto beans (add a pinch of salt, a little cumin and a dash of cayenne pepper)
- Shredded romaine lettuce, fajita veggies, sour cream, Monterey jack cheese, guacamole and of course salsa, and you might want my queso too!
- Also try Barbacoa Beef, it’s amazing!
- Add your own homemade Chipotle Corn Salsa!
- Make available flour tortillas, medium bowls and be sure to put all of your own favorite burrito bowl ingredients.
Chicken Breast or Chicken Thighs?
Chipotle restaurants use primarily chicken thighs, which are much more tender and juicy than chicken breasts, however; we have made this both ways and both are quite delicious! Use one or the other, or combine.
Simple Copycat Chipotle Chicken Marinade Ingredients
- Kosher salt & black pepper
- Chipotle jalapeno powder | You can also use ancho chili powder
- Spices | Chili powder, Cumin, and Dried Oregano
- White vinegar | Distilled or I have also used Apple Cider vinegar
- Lime Juice | Just a squeeze from a half of lime, use the rest to serve with the chicken
- Garlic cloves | minced
- Vegetable oil (I used Avocado Oil and Grapeseed Oil)
To start, place chicken in a a freezer baggie or between two pieces of plastic wrap on a cutting board. Using a meat mallet, pound the chicken until they are all about the same thickness, about half inch.
In a small bowl add the rest of the ingredients and whisk together.
I use a baggie, but you can also place in a casserole dish, combine the marinade with chicken and coat. Allow to hang out in the fridge 4-6 hours, longer is better.
Heat grill to medium-high heat, allow to heat up for 5-10 minutes. Then reduce to medium heat and grill chicken for 5-6 minutes per side, until cooked through.
Always allow chicken to rest on a plate covered for 5 minutes before chopping into bite sized pieces.
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.
Variations & Substitutions
- Replace Chipotle chili powder and chili powder, you can use chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (also called chipotle chiles) , replace with 2 tablespoons adobo sauce (see notes) and 2 tablespoons ancho chile powder or 1 ounce dried ancho chiles, soaked, omit the vinegar. Add chili peppers and other marinade ingredients to a food processor, combine and use marinade as planned.
- Instead of grilling outside, use a grill pan.
- Try making some Cilantro Lime Brown Rice instead
Recipe adapted from Dinner Then Dessert
Frequently Asked Questions
Not in an overwhelming way. I am a professed spice wimp, so if I can eat, anyone can eat it! The flavors are pleasing and so delicious!
Chipotle uses a blend of milder Monterey Jack cheese and sharper white cheddar cheese, my favorite on our copycat Chipotle chicken, but you can use any cheese.
According to my research, both options are healthy. Chipotle grills their chicken while Viva uses a Peruvian rotisserie. Both are lean and use clean ingredients, so take your pick! Viva chicken is a fast growing chain mostly in North and South Carolina, with a new location in St. George, Utah!
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. The marinated chicken will keep refrigerated up to 3 days in the fridge, frozen for up to 3 months.
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!
Love it? Pin it!
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 or this even better Chicken Poblano soup
- Don’t forget this authentic Colorado Pork Green Chile
- Chile Relleno Casserole (one of my most popular recipes)
For our family, this is the perfect meal; it’s also great for meal prep!
Like this recipe?
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About Kathleen Pope
Recipe Innovator | Food Photographer | Food Writer
Hi, I’m Kathleen Pope. Here at The Fresh Cooky you will find easy, mostly from-scratch, trusted recipes for all occasions. From speedy dinners to tasty desserts, with easy step-by-step instructions. I am here to help teach you how to make mouthwatering recipes without spending hours in the kitchen. Read more about Kathleen here.
I have made this recipe several times and its absolutely amazing for burritos …. I butterfly my chicken breast versus pounding them.
Thank you Grace!! Butterflying is way easier than pounding! Great idea!
Absolutely delicious and will be my new go to for chicken burritos or tacos.
Thank you Grace! That made my day! It’s my boys FAVORITE meal!
This is really a spot on flavor for chipotle chicken we were amazing and will make this recipe often!
Loved this bowl! Never had the original dish so cannot comment on how similar it is, but it is really tasty for sure! Perfect combination of all my favourite things! Will definitely be making it again!
So glad you enjoyed it, it has amazing flavor!
Delicious! Instead of a grill, I just use my very well seasoned cast iron skillet to cook the chicken.
Perfect! You can use a grill pan too if you had one!
Better than the original! SO good!
Thanks so much!
Super easy and so flavorful! I served it with some cilantro rice – perfect combo!
Love it Cynthia!
This recipe is my current go-to! It’s easy, healthy, and tastes just like Chipotle Restaurant!
Love this recipe! Making a double batch tonight! Thanks Kathleen!
YAY! Thank you for sharing that Becky, I make double batches weekly, starting to think we should move so we can raise chickens! Have a great day! Kathleen
I haven’t really been wanting to pick up takeout these days, just to err on the side of caution, so I’ve been making ALL the things at home myself. This really satisfied a craving I was having!
We love Chipotle and this is just like that only better! Five stars – excellent meal!
I had every thing that I needed for this recipe! I loved how easy it is.Marinating the chicken makes such a difference! This is going to be a regular in our house.
Made this for lunch yesterday and made a big batch so we ended up eating it for dinner too!
HOORAY! Love hearing this!
Fabulous! The marinate gives this dish a perfect amount of flavor. I made my bowl with salad and my husband had his as written.
I’m smiling at the prefixing of the name of this recipe in you calling it as Copycat? Thank you for keeping positive amidst this downtime. My girls will love this recipe and I’m going to put them along to make this for a week day dinner. Thank you!
Stay safe 😊
Hello! So glad you are doing well and I am glad that you might enjoy this with your girls! You be safe as well! Kathleen
This chipotle chicken sounds right up my family’s taste buds!! Definitely pinning!!
My family loves their food, and since we aren’t going out at all, now I can make this at home. Thanks so much for the recipe.
thanks Debi, AND I hope you love it!
Thanks for filling my menu plan for the next week! My guys will love this for dinner. Take care, my friend.
Haha! Hopefully you will too! Glad I could help! Be well my friend!