Chipotle Mexican Grill is one of my favorite fast-food chains for a quick bite. I can't get enough of their tacos, burritos and fresh guacamole. They offer a ton of different fillings and sides to choose from, which are all delicious and can sometimes make it hard to pick just a few. One filling I always have from Chipotle in my tacos or burrito is their marinated chicken. It's always packed with flavor and Chipotle's chicken is never dry. But since I can't always get to Chipotle when I have a craving, I've been looking for a copycat Chipotle chicken recipe.

Clearly, the folks at Chipotle know what they're doing, so here's how to make chicken like Chipotle.

How to Make Copycat Chipotle Chicken

For this copycat Chipotle chicken recipe, you'll want to make sure to give the chicken enough time marinate so all the flavors get soaked into the chicken. At least an hour will do, but overnight is even better. One of my favorite tricks is to marinate the chicken in a large ziplock bag. It makes for easy cleanup and your bowl won't get contaminated by the raw chicken.

Let's dive into this copycat Chipotle chicken recipe. We recommend using boneless skinless chicken thighs since they have higher fat content and the meat stays super moist, but if you prefer skinless chicken breasts, that works, too.

In a food processor or blender, place the red onion, garlic, adobo sauce, olive oil, ancho chili powder, ground cumin, oregano, salt, and black pepper and blend until smooth. The adobo sauce is a very important ingredient in this recipe because it adds an amazing smoky flavor to the marinade; if you can't find it by itself, use the adobo sauce that comes with a can of chipotle peppers. Place chicken into a resealable plastic bag, pour the marinade over, seal the bag and move the marinade all over the chicken until covered. Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Once it's time to cook the chicken, you'll have a few options to choose from. You could either grill, bake or sauté the chicken. However, for best results, we recommend sautéing in a heavy-duty pan like a cast-iron skillet. The chicken will get a nice, dark sear on each side by sautéing over medium-high heat.

Make sure your pan is nice and hot and coated with olive oil. Sear chicken on both sides until cooked through-the internal temperature should read about 165-170 degrees F. Allow it to rest on a cutting board for at least 10 minutes. This will help the juices stay inside the meat, keeping it moist and flavorful. Once the chicken has rested, chop it into small pieces and it's ready to serve.

The marinade for this copycat Chipotle chicken is one to keep on hand. Use it to fill a chicken burrito bowl, fajitas or tacos. Or you serve it alongside some veggies, black beans, corn salsa and cilantro lime rice for a healthy option.

Watch: The 10 Best Fried Chicken Joints in Texas

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Copycat Chipotle Chicken 

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 15 minutes

servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 Tbsp Adobo sauce from a can
  • 1 chipotle chipotle peppers, from a can packed in adobo sauce
  • 2 Tbsp ancho chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 lbs boneless chicken thighs

Instructions

In a food processor or blender, place the red onion, garlic, adobo sauce, olive oil, ancho chili powder, ground cumin, oregano, salt, and black pepper and blend until smooth.

Place chicken into a resealable plastic bag, pour the marinade over, seal the bag and move the marinade all over the chicken until covered. Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Make sure your pan is nice and hot and coated with olive oil. Sear chicken on both sides until cooked through-the internal temperature should read about 165-170 degrees F. Allow it to rest on a cutting board for at least 10 minutes. This will help the juices stay inside the meat, keeping it moist and flavorful. Once the chicken has rested, chop it into small pieces and it's ready to serve.

Nutrition Facts
Copycat Chipotle Chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories 381 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g 32%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 192mg 64%
Sodium 255mg 11%
Potassium 116mg 3%
Total Carbohydrates 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 1g
Protein 45g 90%
Vitamin A 6%
Vitamin C 5%
Calcium 3%
Iron 5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.