This Copycat Chipotle Chicken recipe will be a favorite in your home after you make it for the first time. It’s my healthy version of the classic restaurant marinade and it’s delicious on the grill, in the oven, or in the Instant Pot or any other pressure cooker.
Making Chipotle chicken at home is quick and easy with this delicious recipe. Chipotle copycat chicken will quickly become a house staple…the leftovers make a great topping for salads or sandwiches throughout the week too.
You know I love to meal prep so this recipe is fantastic for me. I love when I can make a double batch of something for dinner and have lunches and snacks for the rest of the week. It saves me time and money and makes life a whole lot easier overall.
You can make this chicken on the grill, in a slow cooker, or even in a pressure cooker. If you’re cooking this for meal prep, add it to burrito bowls, salads, or tacos!
What is a chipotle pepper?
I hadn’t heard of chipotle peppers until I moved to Arizona, so I understand this question. A chipotle pepper is actually a jalapeno pepper that has been smoked. For this recipe, I use chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, which literally means marinade in Spanish.
The adobo sauce is made from vinegar, salt, paprika, and garlic. Because of the added salt in the adobo, I consider the salt in the recipe optional and rarely use it.
The amount of heat you’d like in this marinade has everything to do with how many full peppers you add to it. While the adobo sauce is spicy, it’s nothing compared to the actual chipotle peppers. If by chance this recipe isn’t spicy enough for you even after adding the can of chipotle peppers, try adding some chile powder.
Looking for my glass meal prep containers? You can find them in my Amazon store!
What is Chipotle’s chicken recipe?
I did some testing and some investigating, and my healthy version of this recipe includes:
- chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (purchased in a can)
- black pepper
- Mexican oregano
- red onion
- olive oil
- chicken breasts or chicken thighs
How to make Copycat Chipotle Chicken:
1.Add peppers and sauce, onion, garlic, pepper, cumin, oregano, salt, red onion, and olive oil into blender or food processor. Puree until smooth.
2. Cover the chicken in the Chipotle chicken marinade, either in a bowl or in a resealable plastic bag. Refrigerate for at least one hour (or you can leave it on overnight).
3. After your chicken is done marinating it’s time to cook! See below for directions for several cooking methods.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade and cook on and indoor or outdoor grill over medium heat.
- Grill chicken until internal temperature reaches 165º.
- If using a skillet, preheat oil to medium high heat. Place a foil-wrapped brick on top of chicken to press it flat so that it cooks evenly.
- If cooking this chicken in an Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker, you can add 1 to 1 1/2 cups cup broth (depending on the size of your cooker) with the chicken breasts and cook on your meat/poultry or manual setting. The meat/poultry setting should set your timer for 12 minutes on high pressure, then let allow the pressure to naturally release so the chicken doesn’t become tough.
- If your chicken is not cooked enough after 12 minutes, set your pot to sauté until it it’s 165 degrees.
Pro Prep Tips:
- After cooking, slice and refreeze in small containers or bags for salads, burritos, and tacos!
- If you’d rather skip the spice completely, smoked paprika can give you a similar flavor for this recipe but I have to mention that I highly recommend at least some of the adobo sauce that comes in the can.
- I love to freeze this chicken and marinade (together!) in a Ziplock bag so it’s easy to thaw and marinate at the same time.
What can I use this chipotle pepper marinade for?
I’ve used this marinade for so many things–not just chicken! My husband loves it on wings, and I’ve marinated chicken thighs and pork with it. I’ve had readers rave about using it with steak, too!
Are you looking for more Chipotle copycat recipes?
I’ve pulled together a few for you–and they’re all a little healthier than the restaurant versions:
- Copycat Cilantro Lime Rice from Shugary Sweets (here’s a cauliflower rice version!)
- Copycat Corn Salsa from Making Thyme for Health
- Chipotle Guacamole from Dinner then Dessert
- Copycat Pico de Gallo from Confessions of a Fit Foodie
- Chipotle Honey Vinaigrette from Once Upon a Chef
- Copycat Sofritas from Eating Bird Food
- Chipotle Barbacoa from Wholesome Yum
- Copycat Carnitas from Culinary Hill
What’s the nutrition and diet information for this recipe?
21 Day Fix:
I count just a teaspoon for this on the 21 Day Fix. If you’d like a free marinade, replace the olive oil in this recipe with low sodium chicken broth. This will not impact the flavor.
This is a delicious recipe to add to your Plate It portions for lunch or dinner!
As written, this recipe is 3 FSP per serving. Replacing the olive oil with chicken broth, which will not impact the flavor, cuts it down to 1 FSP per serving!
Trim Healthy Mama:
THM S recipe but you’ll need to use MCT or coconut oil in place of olive oil, however that amount of MCT oil is a lot, so a combo of the two might be best.
Copycat Chipotle Chicken Marinade
Chipotle Chicken Ingredients:
- 7 ounce chipotle pepper in adobo sauce discard chipotle pepper, skim out seeds
- 1 Teaspoon black pepper
- 2 Teaspoons cumin powder
- 2 Tablespoons Mexican oregano
- 6 cloves garlic
- 2 Teaspoons salt optional
- 1 Red onion quartered
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 Pounds chicken breasts boneless skinless
Chipotle Copycat Chicken Directions:
- Add all of the ingredients aside from the chicken in blender or food processor. Puree until smooth.
- Cover chicken in the marinade. Refrigerate for at least one hour or up to overnight. I also love freezing this marinade with the chicken so it thaws and marinates at the same time.
- After your chicken is done marinating, it's time to cook! You can grill on medium high heat on an indoor grill where the chicken can be pressed flat.
- If using a skillet, heat oil to medium high. Place a foil-wrapped brick on top of chicken to press it flat.
- If using an outdoor grill, cook over charcoal to get the best flavors. Again, use a foil wrapped brick to press chicken flat.