This quick and easy chipotle chicken recipe is made with boneless chicken thighs (or breasts), delicious for homemade burrito bowls, tacos, quesadillas, and more.
This Chipotle Chicken recipe is a delightful combination of smoke, spicy and savory flavors. Whether you cook them in a skillet, on a grill or grill pan, or in the air fryer, the result will be juicy and delicious. If you’re craving a homemade version of the popular food chain restaurant, you’ll love this quick recipe that doesn’t require any marinating time. Turn it into a burrito bowl or burrito with my copycat cilantro lime rice, guacamole and pico de gallo. Or use it for taco night, over salad or quesadillas. My family devours them!
Why This Recipe Works
- Quick: It takes only a few minutes to make the rub, and there’s no need to wait for the chicken to marinate. Season and cook it right away – it’ll be ready in about 15 minutes.
- Juicy Chicken: Chicken thighs are a tasty cut of meat that can be prepared in various ways.
- Flavorful: The chipotle in adobo sauce and ancho chile powder pack this dish with bold flavors.
- Easy: This chipotle chicken recipe uses a few pantry ingredients and requires almost no chopping.
- Gluten-free: Perfect for gluten-free and dairy-free dietary restrictions.
Chipotle Chicken Ingredients
- Chicken: Trim the fat off boneless, skinless chicken thighs.
- Garlic: Mince or crush two garlic cloves.
- Chipotle in Adobo Sauce: You’ll only need one tablespoon of the sauce. Freeze the rest in an ice cube tray and then transfer to a zip-locked bag for later use.
- Seasoning: Ancho chile powder, ground cumin, dried oregano, salt, pepper
How to Make Chipotle Chicken
- Season Chicken: Season the thighs with salt and pepper on both sides. Combine the garlic, chipotle in adobo sauce, ancho chile powder, cumin, and oregano in a bowl. Rub the spice mixture evenly over the chicken and let them sit for a few minutes. You can cook them right away or refrigerate as long as overnight for more flavor.
- Skillet: Preheat a large skillet or griddle over medium-high heat and spray with oil. Cook the thighs for about six minutes on each side.
- Grill: Preheat your grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Grease the grill grates with oil and cook on each side for six to eight minutes.
- Air Fryer: Preheat the air fryer to 400°F and cook the chicken for 14 to 15 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- How do you know when chicken is done? No matter which method you choose, the chicken is ready whenever it’s browned on the outside, and the internal temperature is 165°F when checked with a meat thermometer.
- Serving: Once cooked, transfer the meat to a plate and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing. This step prevents the juices from running out of the chicken.
Copycat Chipotle Chicken Bowl
When I order from Chipotle, I always get the chicken bowl, but it’s so easy to make at home. Here is a list of ingredients and toppings you can mix and match from to build your own Chipotle Chicken Bowl:
1. Start with a Base:
2. Add Protein:
3. Add Beans:
4. Finish with Toppings:
How to Store Chipotle Chicken
Meal prep chipotle chicken thighs and have easy meals for half the week. Leftovers will hold in the fridge for up to four days and in the freezer for three months. Reheat it in the microwave until warm, and serve in tacos, quesadillas, burrito bowls, taco salads, and more.
- Chicken: If you prefer white meat, use chicken breasts.
- Ancho Chile Powder: If you don’t have ancho, swap it for regular chili powder.
More Chicken Thigh Recipes You’ll Love
- Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
- Crock Pot Chicken a la Criolla
- Yogurt-Marinated Chicken
- Sticky Tamarind Chicken with Crisp Lettuce
- Air Fryer Asian-Glazed Chicken Thighs
Chipotle Chicken Recipe
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat (about 8 thighs)
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
- 1/2 to 1 tablespoon chipotle in adobo sauce, from 1 can, you can freeze the rest for future use
- 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Season Chicken: Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper on both sides.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the minced garlic, chipotle in adobo sauce, ancho chile powder, ground cumin, and dried oregano. Rub the spice mixture evenly over the chicken thighs, making sure they are thoroughly coated. Let them sit a few minutes to let the flavor set in. You can cook right away or refrigerate as long as overnight, the longer the more flavorful!
- Preheat a large skillet or griddle over medium-high heat and spray with oil.
- Place the chicken thighs in the skillet and cook for about 6 minutes per side or until browned on the outside and the inside reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
- Remove the chicken from the skillet and let it rest for a few minutes before serving. This will help the juices redistribute for maximum flavor. Slice it up and serve in tacos, rice bowls, burritos, etc.
Grill or Grill Pan Method:
- Preheat your grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Grease the grill grates or grill pan with oil to prevent sticking.
- Place the chicken thighs on the grill or grill pan and cook for approximately 6-8 minutes per side, or until they are fully cooked and reach an internal temperature of 165°F.
- Once cooked, remove the chicken from the heat and let it rest for a few minutes before serving. Resting allows the flavors to meld together and the juices to redistribute. Slice it up and serve in tacos, rice bowls, etc.
Air Fryer Method:
- Preheat your air fryer to 400°F. Place the seasoned chicken thighs in a single layer in batches as needed in the air fryer basket.
- Cook the chicken for 14-15 minutes, flipping them halfway through to ensure even cooking. Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer to confirm it has reached 165°F.
- Once cooked, transfer the chicken thighs to a plate and let them rest for a few minutes before serving. This step ensures that the chicken remains juicy and flavorful. Slice it up and serve in tacos, rice bowls, etc.