This chipotle chicken recipe is slathered in zesty chipotle sauce and it’s so easy, you’ll have it on the table in practically no time. Big chipotle flavor!
I’ve been on a huge chipotle kick lately. Can’t you tell? I just last week posted my Creamy Chipotle Sauce Recipe, which really emphasizes the zesty, tangy chipotle flavor. Talk about delicious.
Now here I am cooking up this super-fast, super easy chipotle chicken recipe that majorly focuses on the chipotle. What can I say? I’m a zesty spicy food lover! I’m a total chilihead! I do LOVE my chipotle, and you know, when I cook with them, I want to SERIOUSLY cook with them!
None of this “1 teaspoon chipotle sauce” stuff. If we’re cooking with chipotles, let’s do this! Right? I’m sure you agree.
Like this recipe. I’m calling it “Quick and Easy Chipotle Chicken” because, well, yeah, it’s quick and it’s easy. The title really says it all.
It isn’t TOO dissimilar from the restaurant chain chipotle chicken, but this one is much better, IMO, because we’re making it at home in our own kitchens, but also because it really is filled with all that chipotle flavor we so crave.
I can’t really emphasize how EASY this is. Please note, though. There IS marinating time. Prep time is practically nothing, but you need at least 1 hour to let the flavors settle into the chicken. It’s best if you do this overnight, so a good plan is to get your chicken marinating the night before you want to make it.
Another plan is to whip this together in the morning then cook it up when you get home from work.
Let’s talk about how we make this, then, shall we?
Chipotle Chicken Ingredients
- Chicken. I am using 2 6-ounce chicken breasts for this recipe, though chicken thighs are great as well. You can easily upscale the recipe, also.
- Chipotle Sauce. Use 4 tablespoons chipotle sauce, though you can use more.
- Citrus. Use 1 tablespoon lime juice. Lemon juice is a good substitute.
- Chipotle Powder. Use 1 tablespoon chipotle powder for extra chipotle flavor. Your favorite chili powder blend is a good substitute, as is ancho chili powder.
- Extra Seasonings. I use 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon cumin and salt to taste
- Olive Oil. 1 tablespoon olive oil for cooking.
How to Make Quick and Easy Chipotle Chicken - The Recipe Method
Prepare the Chicken. First, add the chicken to a wide flat bowl or to a resealable plastic bag. This is great for any cut of chicken - chicken breast, chicken thighs, chicken wings, bone-in or boneless. I'm using chicken breasts for this recipe.
Make the Spicy Marinade. Whisk together chipotle sauce, lime juice, chipotle powder, garlic powder, onion, powder, cumin and salt. This is your chipotle chicken marinade. Pour the mixture over the chicken and rub it into the meat.
Marinate the Chicken. Next, cover the chicken and let it marinate for at least one hour. Overnight it better. If you're in a time crunch, you'll still get some flavor infusion from a 30 minute marinade.
Cook the Chicken. When you’re ready to cook the chicken, heat a large pan or your grill to medium-high heat and grill the chicken up in a bit of olive oil until it is cooked through, 7-8 minutes per side, usually about 15 minutes total for chicken breast. Cook until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Remove the chicken and slice on a cutting board.
Boom! Done! Chipotle chicken is hot and ready to serve, my friends. Looks great, doesn't it? Super as, as mentioned.
Recipe Tips & Notes
- Chipotle Sauce. You will usually find canned chipotle sauce in the Mexican or International section of your local grocery store. You may find chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, which is great for this recipe. Just stir them up or process them in a food processor to make them more of sauce. So good.
- Chipotle Peppers. You can use dried chipotle peppers with this recipe as well. Simply rehydrate them in hot water until softened, then remove the stems and seeds, if desired. Then, process them with the chipotle sauce. Extra chipotle flavor! Ancho chilies are great here, too.
- Slow Cooker Chipotle Chicken. If you're looking for a slow cooker version of this recipe, check out my Chicken Tinga Recipe, which is essentially slow cooker chipotle chicken. An absolute favorite.
Serving It Up
You can just slice and serve up this wonderful chipotle chicken meal or chop it up and serve it with tortillas and toppings for some outstanding chipotle chicken tacos or burrito bowls. I served ours over a bit of cauliflower rice, another recipe I’ve fallen in love with.
Check out this one: Cajun Cauliflower Rice. SO. GOOD! Seriously. I also had a side of this for extra chipotle sauciness - Creamy Chipotle Sauce Recipe. Yeah!
This recipe is super versatile, so you can serve it with a side of veggies, over mashed potatoes, really however you enjoy serving chicken breast.
I do hope you enjoy the recipe, my friends! Let me know how it turns out for you! I love this stuff.
Check this out, too – Chipotle Recipes at Chili Pepper Madness. See? Told you I was a fanatic. – Mike H.
Try Some of My Other Popular Chicken Dishes
- Nashville Hot Chicken
- Chicken Tinga (Shredded Chipotle Chicken)
- Grilled Harissa Chicken Legs
- Korean Chicken
- Chicken Vindaloo
- Dragon Chicken
- Blackened Chicken
- Bang Bang Chicken
- Chicken Enchiladas Verdes with Cheese
- The Juiciest Shredded Chicken
- Juicy Jalapeno Chicken with Cheese
- Chipotle Chili
If you try this recipe, please let us know! Leave a comment, rate it and tag a photo #ChiliPepperMadness on Instagram so we can take a look. I always love to see all of your spicy inspirations.
Quick and Easy Chipotle Chicken Recipe
- 2 6- ounce chicken breasts
- 4 tablespoons chipotle sauce
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon chipotle powder use chili powder as a substitute
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Add the chicken to a wide flat bowl or to a sealable plastic bag.
- Whisk together the chipotle sauce, lime juice, chipotle powder, garlic powder, onion, powder, cumin and salt. Pour over the chicken. Be sure to rub the sauce into the chicken.
- Cover, then refrigerate and marinade at least 1 hour. You can marinade overnight for more chipotle flavor.
- When you’re ready to cook, heat a large pan or your grill to medium-high heat. Add the olive oil.
- Cook the chicken breasts about 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium. Flip the chicken and continue to cook another 7-8 minutes, or until it is cooked through. It should measure 165 degrees F. internally.
- Let the breasts rest for 5 minutes, then slice and serve.
NOTE: This recipe was updated on 7/15/20 to include new information. It was originally published on 4/6/18.
Denise Ford says
Hi, Mike! I hope you won't mind a couple of questions about your Quick and Easy Chipotle Chicken recipe. Are the 4 tablespoons chipotle sauce from a can of chipotle chilis in adobo? Or is chipotle sauce a separate recipe on you website? I have dried chipotle peppers, can I grind them in a spice mill to make a tablespoon of powder. Or could I rehydrate the dried chilis and measure out a tablespoon?? I hope these questions aren't annoying. I am very interested in trying your recipe!
Mike Hultquist says
No problem, Denise. I address this in the notes. "You will usually find canned chipotle sauce in the Mexican or International section of your local grocery store. You may find chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, which is great for this recipe. Just stir them up or process them in a food processor to make them more of sauce. So good." Also, you can use some of your powder to taste, but would need to add in tomato sauce to round it out. I would just use the chipotles in adobo sauce. I hope this helps.
Fantastic and SO easy!! I marinated chicken thighs for 48 hours, then indirect heat on the grill. Wow!!! I was a little confused about exactly what chipotle sauce was until I read through your article above the recipe. I always puree my chipotles in adobo sauce before using, so that's what I used as chipotle sauce (and I might have added just a wee bit more than the recipe called for, lol). Thank you again for a stellar recipe!!!
Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says
Awesome, Jazz! Super happy you enjoyed it!!
Pat C says
Delicious! My 2 year old daughter had 3 helpings... she loves spicy food!
Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says
That's GREAT, Pat! Glad to hear she enjoyed it. A young chilihead! =)
It is fantastically delicious!!