Chipotle Skillet Chicken

The day has finally come that I share this gem of a recipe with ya. What’s that you ask? I call it… Chipotle Skillet Chicken! And it’s gonna make your homemade burrito bowl dreams come true.

Don’t let the name of it sway ya, it’s not really all that spicy at all. But it is inspired by the chicken that you get in the burritos, burrito bowls, and tacos at Chipotle Mexican Grill. Have you been to Chipotle? If so, you should be really, really excited, because it’s a pretty insane match… It might even be better than the original! Haven’t been to Chipotle? No need to go now, you’ll love this.

You want a little back story? sure ya do! Alrighty, so I think most of ya know that I live in a lil town, out in the country. The nearest neighbors are a mile away, we don’t have many fun places to eat in my town… yada yada, so on and so forth. I always get a little jealous of people who live in places that have awesome stuff like Target and Chipotle Mexican Grill, among a million other things. But then I think about it and I’m like “Well, I probably wouldn’t be as creative in the kitchen if I could just walk out the door and grab delicious take out at any ol’ given time. I actually had Chipotle for the first time in January of this year. Since then I’ve basically had a one track, burrito bowl lovin’ mind.

Okay, so back to the chicken. You’re gonna love it! You will never need Chipotle takeout in your life again. It’s not completely necessary to put this chicken in a bowl- you can use it in tacos, salads, etc. But this recipe couldn’t be any easier! The most important part is allowing enough time for the chicken to marinate. Typically, on the night before I plan to make it for dinner, I make the marinade and then throw the chicken in all together, but you can also do it the morning of. You really need it to marinate for at least 8 hours, but I have had GREAT results after marinating for 16+ hours.

The biggest difference between this chicken and the kind from the restaurant is that I use chicken breasts instead of thighs. I made it with thighs a couple of times, and it’s delicious! But in order to knock off some calories and points, I decided to use chicken breast instead. The marinade helps it stay super tender and juicy after cooking, so you don’t need to worry about it drying out. Now, I didn’t sneak into Chipotle and steal the recipe. I didn’t even apply to work there and then work for a few weeks only to find out their secret to the best dang chicken I’ve ever had, and then quit. (Trust me, I thought about it though!) One day back in January I just packed up Pepper, and we up and drove 75ish miles, once a week, for a few weeks straight, and ate a lot of Chipotle chicken to really get those different flavors down. Seriously you say? Yeah, seriously. The things I do for this food blog! I’ve been tweaking this recipe for almost two months. I am super excited about it and I am pretty impressed by how much it tastes just like the real deal. Truth be told, I think I like it even better!

Now let’s get in the kitchen and make some of the best dang chicken ever!

Cut up half a red onion into large chunks.

Do the same with 4 cloves of garlic.

You’ll need these!!! Grab one pepper outa there and two tablespoons of the adobo sauce that they are packed in. You can find these cans of Chipotle Peppers ANYWHERE! Just look in the Latin Foods section in your local market. It doesn’t matter the brand. There will probably be 4-5 different brands. I grab whichever is closest to my hand.

Throw the onion, garlic, adobo sauce, chipotle pepper, 2 tbs kosher salt, 2.5 tsp cumin, 2 tsp oregano, 1 tbs olive oil and juice of 1 lime into a blender (or food processor).

Add one cup’a water.

Blend, baby, blend!

Now, you’ll need two pounds of chicken. It’ll be 3-4 breasts depending on size. Now grab a ziplock baggie and add the chicken breast.  Be sure to cut your chicken breasts in half It just helps the cooking process when you throw’m on the skillet later.

 

*Note: You can use up to 3.5 lbs of chicken for this marinade, but you’ll need to use a little more oil when cooking all of it because you’ll have to cook it in a few batches. 

Pour in the marinade. After making sure the bag is tightly closed, use your hands to knead the marinade and chicken together for a minute or two. Now refrigerate for at least 8-16 hours. (Put the bag in a bowl just in case- the last thing you’ll want to do is clean up raw chicken juice and marinade all over your fridge… trust me!)

Now we’re gonna turn the clock forward until our chicken is done marinating. In a large 12 inch skillet, add 1/2 tbs vegetable oil and bring up to medium heat. Add the chicken to the hot skillet. Cook for about 5-6 minutes on each side. Temp to 160, remove from the pan, and let it rest for 8-10 minutes. You’ll need to make chicken in two batches. Be sure not to overcrowd the pan!

Don’t worry if it gets a lil black & burnt around the edges… is that the professional term?  I personally don’t call this burnt. I call it FLAVOR!

I think I’ll just let the pictures do the talking here…

and here….

and here too!

Okay, now dice it up into small pieces.

Okay, just ONE more thing! It’s kind of important, I promise. After you’ve diced up the chicken, throw it right back into the skillet, and cook for just a couple more minutes over medium heat. Let it all mingle together with the leftover chicken bits, and it will soak up more of that amazing flavor crusted on the skillet. This last step really does matter!

Okay, now you’ve got the third component of the Chicken Burrito Bowls. How happy are you!? I’m so excited guys, you’re gonna love it!!

It’s easy peasy, and oh-so-delicious.

Let me know how it goes if ya make it!

With love from my kitchen to yours, 

Star

5 from 24 votes
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Skillet Chipotle Chicken

a tender, juicy, skillet chicken breast packed full of Mexican flavors.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 5
Author Star

Ingredients

  • 1/2 large red onion cut into large chunks
  • 4 cloves garlic cut into large peices
  • 1 medium chipotle pepper (canned) can can be found in the latin foods section in any store (Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce)
  • 2 tbs Adobo Sauce from same can as chipotle pepper above
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2.5 tsp cumin
  • 2 tbs kosher salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbs vegetable oil (divided-for cooking)
  • 2 lbs chicken breast trimmed and cut in half to make thinner
  • juice from one lime

Instructions

For the Chipotle Marinade:

  1. Be sure to start to marinate chicken for at least 8 hours before cooking. In a blender (or food processor) Add onion, garlic, adobo sauce, chipotle pepper, olive oil, cumin, oregano, kosher salt, juice of one lime, and water. Blend together well. Marinate for at least 8 hours. (Can be marinated for up to 24 hours)

For the Skillet Chipotle Chicken:

  1. After the chicken has marinated, heat a large 12 inch skillet with 1/2 tbs of vegetable oil over medium heat. Add pieces of chicken to the hot skillet. Cook 5-6 minutes on each side or until the chicken temps at 160 degrees. Remove from skillet, set on cutting board, and let it rest for 8-10 minutes. Repeat once more adding second batch of chicken and another 1/2 tbs of vegetable oil. 

  2. When the chicken is cool enough dice it into small pieces and add back to the skillet where you cooked the chicken. Let it cook, stirring together with all the crusty chicken bits in the skillet over medium heat for a few more minutes. Serve and enjoy! 

Recipe Notes

Yields: 25 ounces (about 5 cups) cooked chicken

Serving size: 1 cup (5oz) 

1 Freestyle Smart Point (calculated with Weight Watchers Recipe Builder)

223 calories 4.5g fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 0g sugar, 42g fiber (calculated with My Fitness Pal)

5 Points Plus (calculated using My Score Plus)

60 Comments

  1. I can’t wait to try this! It’s going on the menu ASAP! Not sure I’d survive with out all your delicious stuff! Thanks for being amazing!!

  2. Tricia Flanery

    Yesss! I’m so excited to try this! Chipotle is my fav! One question though. How much chicken breast do you use for this recipe?

  3. Excellent and SO exciting! Thanks for your dedication to our taste buds and tummies! 🙂 About how many chicken breast will this marinade work for? I like to do a lot of meal prepping and cook large batches…especially when it comes to deliciousness! 🙂

  4. Ooooh, I love chipotle peppers and to add it to chicken is a double bonus! This will be made (and devoured) in my home very soon! With those tantalizing pics, I am a fan already!

  5. Is this chicken really spicy (hot)? I’ve never had Chipotle. Thanks.

    • No it’s really, really not. It has a tiny bit of undertone of spicy, but not nearly enough where I would call it spicy in the least. I hope you love it! Really the only reason it’s called Chipotle Chicken is because it’s inspired by the chicken from the restaurant!

  6. I have tried several of your recipes lately, and we love them! I can’t find the amount of chicken in this recipe? Thanks for all your hard work!

  7. Hi Star
    In the actual recipe you never include chicken, how many chicken breast did you use?

  8. azsundevil2012

    Can’t wait to try it! Do you cut the breasts in half so they aren’t so thick? Or lengthwise so they are more like a chicken tender?

  9. Lisa El-asmar

    Made this tonight along with the pinto beans, cilantro lime rice and the southwest ranch dip. OMG what an amazing dinner. I have five teenagers who couldnt stop eating it! Im putting another batch of marinade together to cook up for lunches during the week. This was a really huge hit at my house. Thanks so much for all of your hard work getting this recipe together.

  10. I made this tonight and it was the best chicken I ever made. My husband said it was better than Chipotle’s and he couldn’t stop eating it. The chicken was super moist, tender and such a wonderful flavor. I am looking forward to lunch tomorrow.

  11. I made this and it came out great! I used 3 chicken breasts and marinated them for about 24 hours. It’s definitely a keeper, thank you!!!

  12. I meal prepped this chicken with the chipotle pinto beans as well, I made the cilantro lime rice but I used cauliflower rice to save some points but it ALL IS AMAZING!!!! Everything was so flavorful and I will definitely be making all of this again!!!!! Thanks Star for all your hard work in bringing great recipes!

    • Thank you so much, Shelly! I am so happy to hear that it worked well with cauliflower rice too. Thanks so much for letting me know! On a completely unrelated note, I saw your email address and it made me smile. I’ve called Pepper “baby bug” since she was in the belly! haha

  13. If I wanted to use ground chicken for this, should I still marinate it?

  14. This was AMAZING!! It may or may not already be on the menu for next week!!

  15. Absolutely delicious! I LOVED the chicken, the rice and the beans. And the POINTS! I’m already thinking I’ll add the chipotle ranch dressing for lunch to replace the R/F sour cream and guacamole I used at dinner for a 4 Point amazing lunch. Yahoo! Star, you are truly a star!

  16. I can’t seem to pin this in Pinterest (though I see a symbol to do so). And I LOVE this…

  17. I think the professional term is “CHAR” I’m excited to try this, I try to take my lunch/dinner to work daily and this looks awesome

  18. danita watson

    Oh my, i never write reviews, and i usually dont love cooking nor am i a “good” cook, this chicken is spectacular!!! I followed directions to the letter except i had to use a nutri bullet which DDOP told me i could, im so proud of my chicken, i sent a pic to all my daughters, i tell anyone that will listen to follow this Instagram, im so excited to try all the recipes, they all look so yummy, thanks to people like DDOP, i can be a success in the kitchen!

  19. This was SO delicious. Simply phenomenal. Thank you Star!! I will make this again and again!!

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  21. This chicken, I agree, is the BEST CHICKEN I’VE EVER MADE!! And so low in points, GET OUT I’M DYING OVER IT!! So I let my teenage daughter try it to see if she was as amazed as me and she was all over it big time!! So now I’ve hidden it in the fridge so I can enjoy it all week!! I’m hosting a dinner party on Tuesday and I’m going to make it again for that! Along with the cilantro rice MMMMMM and the Chipotle ranch dressing which is all so amazing. I can’t get enough!! Your recipes are the best find in a long time!!

    • Thank you so much for all your comments & ratings. (on the other recipes too! It was such a fun thing to wake up to and check this morning. I am so very happy to hear that my recipes are helping make your weight loss journey a bit more delish! AND the whole fam is enjoying. I hope the dinner party goes well and everyone loves the chicken n rice!

  22. Pingback: Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowls - Daily Dose Of Pepper

  23. I absolutely LOVE your recipes! Although I am getting 2 point on the chicken? The only thing that is pointing for me is the two Tbs of oils which each come up to 4 points and divided by 5 servings the app says 2 points… help

    • Hi Kate! I’ll be sure to talk about this in the post so it’s not confusing. I do not count the tablespoon of olive oil that is in the marinade because barely any of the marinade is actually cooked with the chicken. I hope that helps. It’s up to you if you’d like to count it, of course, but I personally don’t think it actually sticks enough to the chicken.

  24. Amy Binstein

    This was amazing! I was a little nervous after I took it out of the pan and it didn’t have the color/char from the picture. But after dicing it and putting it back in the pan it turned out perfect! Such a good trick!

  25. Natalie ybarra

    Deliciousness on a WHOLE NEW LEVEL!!!!! Just made this chicken with the cilantro lime rice and chipotle beans let’s just say I cannot wait to eat my lunch tomorrow and my leftovers for dinner. Thank you Star from the bottom of my heart for all your recipes you have made weight watchers so easy to stick to with all your delicious food. Keep the recipes coming

  26. Let’s just say I’m on my third batch of making this chicken in 2 weeks. I love, love, love it. So versatile! I love it in burrito bowls, on nachos, in salads. So yummy!

  27. Hi! cannot wait to make this! just wanted to clarify….you discard the marinade right ? (do not pour into the pan with the chicken?)

    • You discard the marinade. There’s a little that clings to the chicken, but most of it gets thrown out. I hope you enjoy!

  28. This is such a fantastic dish!!! I’m making it for the second time tonight for my small group. I’ve wanted to make it every night for the past two weeks it’s that good!!!!! Yum yum yum. I hope that no one shows up and I have left overs for days!

  29. I loved the chicken so much but I felt the chicken didn’t hold most of the marinade. The marinade was possibly too chunky??? Maybe I should have blended more.

    • So glad you loved. It the marinade should definitely be like… a thin milkshake consistency? I know that’s a weird comparison, but it’s all I could think of. Definitely not chunky. I hope that helps!

  30. Thank you for this recipe! I am just finishing up my last batch of it and ready to make another! Wondering if you think I could make the chicken in a crockpot and shred it?? I’m thinking make the marinade the same and then just add with the chicken to the crockpot? I’m no expert at this though … I just like my chicken shredded vs in chunks. What do you think?!?

    • Hi Kelly! You totally could do this all in crockpot for a lot more easy. I’ll be honest though I tested this recipe with multiple methods of cooking (oven, skillet, air fryer) and nothing beat the skillet. I think the charred bits really make the chicken, HOWEVER I could just be weird. Let me know if you try it out in the crockpot and how it goes!

  31. So yummy i felt like i was cheating even eating it in salad. Hubby loved it too! Thank you!

  32. Could the marinade be made a day or two ahead of time before you add chicken?

  33. Fantastic! It will be a weekly meal me! Thank you

  34. I love the chicken at Chipotle grill, so I decided to give the Chipotle Skillet Chicken recipe a try.
    It was EXCELLENT! I had to force myself to not overeat. Amazing stuff, and so close to Chipotle Mexican Grill. Loved it! Thanks so much for sharing!

  35. SO GOOD! I only marinated the chicken for four hours and it came out wonderful so I can’t imagine how it would taste being marinated longer. I will be making this again and again.

    • So happy you loved it, Katy!

      • Have this marinating in my fridge since yesterday and I took some of the marinade and marinated it with some shrimp for about an hour and grilled it and it was AMAZING. My husband said it was the best shrimp ever!

        • Yay! So happy you and your husband enjoyed the marinade multiple ways. I’m not a big fan of shrimp, but i’ll have to try that out for company!

          • You should! I’m definitely going to use it on other stuff. And making this again right now, I don’t get sick of it!

  36. Added the marinade and chicken to the crock pot and it made the most delicious shredded chicken!

  37. Delicious chicken!! I grilled it instead of cooking on the stove and it turned it great! And makes really good leftovers!

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