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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.

Copycat Chicken Burrito bowl in cast iron pan with cilantro lime rice and all the toppings.

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.

Juicy tender, chipotle chicken diced and in a burrito bowl.

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.
Copycat chipotle chicken burrito bowl with chips in a cast iron pan.

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

Instructions

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.

Process shots for Chipotle chicken marinade, top to bottom, left to right. Spices with chipotle powder, chili powder, salt, oregano, cumin and pepper; second is a small bowl of minced garlic being tossed into the spice bowl, 3 pouring oil into bowl of spices, 4 is pouring vinegar into bowl of oil and spices with whisk.

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.

Four process shots of marinade mixture for Chipotle Chicken. Left to right, top to bottom; marinade in white bowl with mini whisk, marinade being poured over raw chicken breasts, marinade and chicken in plastic baggie with wooden mallet on top for flattening chicken, final is of a ziplock baggie with Chipotle marinade and raw chicken in baggie with written directions to Grill Chipotle chicken for 4-6 minutes per side.

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.

Pro Tip

Always allow chicken to rest on a plate covered for 5 minutes before chopping into bite sized pieces.

Four process shots for Chipotle Chicken: Left to right, top to bottom. Pulling chicken breast from marinade with tongs; 2. pouring marinade over top of grilling chicken; 3 grilled chicken breasts on grill with fire below; 4 chopped chipotle chicken in white dish with wooden spoon. Recipe via thefreshcooky.com

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.

Ziplock baggie with writing that says, "Chipotle Chicken, Grill 4-6 minutes per side" filled with chipotle chicken marinade and raw chicken breasts. Recipe on thefreshcooky.com

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

Is Chipotle Chicken Spicy?

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!

What kind of cheese does Chipotle use?

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.

What’s healthier Viva Chicken or Chipotle?

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!

Pinterest Image with the fresh cooky watermark and website. Image of a cast iron gratin baker with cilantro lime rice, chipotle chicken, avocado chunks, black beans, salsa, sour cream, lettuce shreds and a sprinkles of cilantro with tortilla chips in the background.

Storage

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!

Pin for easy Chipotle chicken recipe copycat, with image of chopped chicken in bowl with cilantro lime rice and toppings.

More great Mexican Inspired recipes:

For our family, this is the perfect meal; it’s also great for meal prep!

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27 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    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!

  2. 5 stars
    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!

  3. 5 stars
    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.

  4. 5 stars
    Fabulous! The marinate gives this dish a perfect amount of flavor. I made my bowl with salad and my husband had his as written.

  5. Kathleen

    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 😊