Chipotle chicken is a huge treat to make in your own home! This recipe results in tender, flavorful grilled chicken thighs to make restaurant quality burritos, bowls and quesadillas at home. This homemade version is healthy, easy and quick and can be made whenever you have a craving (which is especially handy when we’re stuck at home in a pandemic)!
Our family devours this Chipotle style chicken! Whether we serve it on rice in burrito bowls or between a couple of tortillas, everyone is always full and happy. To make the chicken extra flavorful, I highly suggest marinading for a full 24 hours.
Also, to get the most “copycat Chipotle” taste, be sure to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Thighs have often been shunned in the past, as the ugly stepsister of the chicken because of its higher fat content compared to chicken breast. But that’s unfortuate. Thighs have excellent flavor and remain incredibly juicy by comparison! Something else I love about chicken thighs? You can usually find them with an inexpensive price tag.
Another strong suggestion: do not substitute regular chile powder for ancho chile powder! If I have a hard time finding it my local grocery store, I have also ordered it from Amazon.
And finally, this recipe calls for the use of a food processor to blend the ingredients to a smooth liquid. If you don’t have one, an immersion blender works incredibly well.
One last suggestion: if you don’t think you’ll need four pounds of chicken thighs to feed your crew, split it into two batches. Freeze one batch in its marinade and toss the other in the refrigerator to marinate overnight. Then when you’re ready to make this recipe again, you’ll already have a batch ready to thaw and grill. You won’t regret that having it on hand!
Copycat Chipotle Chicken
- Food processor
- 1/2 medium red onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 tbsp adobe sauce
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp ancho chile powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp oregano
- 2 tsp salt
- 3-4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- Combine all ingredients except chicken in a food processor. Process until smooth. Pour mixture into one-cup measure and add water to reach one cup.
- Poke holes in chicken and place in plastic bag; pour marinade over and seal. Refrigerate at least one hour or overnight.
- Grill chicken approximately five minutes per side, until reaching an internal temperature of approximately 165°F. Remove from heat and tent with foil; let rest 10 minutes. Cut chicken into bites.
- Serve chicken in quesadillas, in burritos or on top of rice. Add additional toppings (cheese, peppers, salsa, black or brown beans, sour cream…) as desired.
Recipe adapted from Culinary Hill
Looking for other family friendly dinner recipes?
Try my super simple recipe for beef roast!