Copycat Chipotle Chicken Recipe

I’m team Chipotle, and I’m also one of those people that has ordered the exact same bowl for the passed 10 years (thank you for your menu’s consistency). So, when I first got into the world of recipe writing, I wondered what I could create that would be as satisfying as the Chipotle chicken recipe – and guess what? I came up short. There’s nothing quite as perfect as a chicken bowl with white cilantro lime rice, black beans, pico de gallo, shredded cheese, lettuce, and a side of guac. Now that you know my go-to order, I feel like I can let you in on a secret. Instead of trying to create something better or different than Chipotle’s chicken, I decided to copy it. Here’s a look at an easy-to-make, delicious copycat Chipotle Chicken Recipe.

Copycat Chipotle Chicken Recipe

Whether you’re looking to replicate a Chipotle chicken burrito or you just want a simple, tasty chicken recipe to add to your repetoire, this recipe is super versatile. You can toss your chicken in or on a burrito bowl, tacos, nachos, or a salad, or eat it on its own with some veggies on the side.

Serves Prep Time Cook Time Total Time
6-8 15 min 10 min 2 hr 25min

Chipotle Chicken


  • 3 chicken breasts , boneless skinless
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 cup distilled vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 cloves minced garlic (approximately 4 teaspoons)
  • 4 tbsp. vegetable oil

You will also need:

  • Meat tenderizer mallet
  • Cutting board
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Gallon-sized Ziplock bag


There are multiple ways to cook your Copycat Chipotle Chicken. In this recipe, the closest way to get your chicken to replicate the taste and texture of Chipotle’s chicken, you’ll want to cook it on a grill (or a griddle if you’re like me and live in the northern midwest – AKA only 6 months of good weather all year). The following directions will apply to grilling your chicken, but if you’d prefer to cook it in a crockpot, pressure cooker, oven, or stovetop, we’ve got instructions for that, too!

  1. Place chicken breasts on a sturdy cutting board and pound with a meat tenderizer mallet until all breasts are half an inch thick.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, combine remaining ingredients – salt, ground black pepper, chili powder, dried oregano, cumin, distilled vinegar, water, garlic, and vegetable oil.
  3. Add liquid mix and boneless, skinless chicken to a Ziplock bag. Marinate for at least two hours. You’ll get the best results if you marinate the chicken longer (up to 24 hours), but I also realize not all of us have an entire day to spare or the patience to wait that long.
  4. After the chicken has been marinated, remove from the bag and place on a clean cutting board. Discard the rest of the marinade.
  5. Heat the grill or griddle on medium heat until cooked all the way through (165 F degrees on the inside), 5-7 minutes on each side.
  6. Chop the chicken into small, bite-sized piece and serve!
  7. Refrigerate leftovers and eat within three days for maximum freshness.

Other Ways To Cook Copycat Chipotle Chicken

If you do not want to grill your chicken, there are few other options.

Crockpot – No need to marinate or tenderize the chicken if you plan to use a crockpot. There will be plenty of time for the chicken to absorb all the flavors! Combine all ingredients listed above in crockpot and cook on low heat for six hours.

Pressure Cooker – You can still marinate the chicken prior to using a pressure cooker, but you’ll want to save the marinade to add to the pot with the chicken. Once all ingredients are in the pot, select your appliance’s “poultry” setting (usually 15 minutes on high).

Oven – You can also bake the chicken in an oven set to 350 degrees for 25 minutes, flipping the chicken over about halfway through.

Stove – Cooking on a stovetop will get you the closest results to grilling your chicken. Some readers even prefer this method. Marinate as directed. Add two tablespoons of oil to a large pan, and heat stovetop to medium.


Per serving

Calories 134
Total Fat 10.1 g
Sodium 603 mg
Carbs 1.7 g
Sugars 0.1 g
Protein 9.4 g

See more Chipotle nutritional information.


  • If you prefer to use chicken thighs instead of breasts, you can.
  • The beauty of a copycat recipe is that you can customize it however you want. If the restaurant’s chicken is too spicy for you, cut back on the amount of cumin and chili powder. And if you want an extra kick, you can add more of those spices, as well as some cayenne pepper to taste. I won’t be offended if you change up this recipe to suit your tastebuds – just let me know what you did in the comments below so I can share with other readers!

Chipotle Chicken FAQs

We’ve done our best to offer you a recipe that’s as close to the ingredients Chipotle uses, but we still get a lot of questions about what goes into the chicken. Here’s a look at some frequently asked questions about the Chipotle Chicken recipe.

  1. What kind of chicken does Chipotle use?

Chipotle is extremely transparent about the ingredients they use in their foods. For their chicken, the restaurant uses a spicy chipotle pepper adobo marinade, as well as “Responsibly Raised” chicken. This means the chicken Chipotle uses were on a vegetarian diet with absolutely no antibiotics.

  1. Does Chipotle use chicken breast or chicken thighs?

Chipotle uses chicken thighs for their seasoned chicken. However, our recipe calls for boneless skinless chicken because it is the preference when cooking at home.

  1. Does Chipotle use chipotle peppers?

Yes, Chipotle uses Chipotle peppers, or chili peppers to give the chicken, Barbacoa, steak, beans, and vinagrette that signature kick. According to the restaurant’s website, the chili peppers are dried and smoked over pecan wood.

Pair your Chipotle Chicken with our copycat Chipotle Rice Recipe!

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