Chipotle Chicken Marinade – Barefeet in the Kitchen


Smoky chipotles, garlic, and honey are combined in this Chipotle Chicken Marinade. This simple marinade is packed with an awesome smoky southwestern flavor.

Chipotle Marinade for Chicken

Chipotle Chicken Marinade

My friend Tricia shared a Chipotle Chicken Salad the other day (almost ten years ago now!) and the chicken marinade sounded so good, that I couldn’t resist trying it that very same night.

I had chicken in the refrigerator and everything else I needed for the recipe was in the pantry. Well, the chipotle marinade was a huge hit and I’ve been making this recipe for over ten years now!

The Chipotle Chicken is awesome on the Southwest Chicken Salad and it’s also terrific with Cilantro Lime Rice or this Creamy Pasta Salad.

Chipotle Marinade

It takes less than 5 minutes to make up this marinade and get the chicken marinating in it!

First, you’ll combine the oil, honey, garlic, chipotle peppers, cumin, salt, and pepper in the blender. Puree for just a moment to combine.

Next, you’ll pour the marinade over the chicken and refrigerate the chicken for a few hours or overnight. That’s all there is to it!

You can also combine the marinade and chicken in a freezer-safe zip-close bag and freeze it that way. Just thaw when you’re ready to cook the chicken. (I almost always have some marinated chicken stashed in the freezer this way.)

Chipotle Marinade

Chipotles in Adobo Sauce

Did you know that chipotle peppers are simply smoked or dried jalapeno peppers? Adobo is a Spanish sauce made from stewing the chipotles with tomatoes and a handful of other spices.

Canned chipotles in adobo are an easy way to add a lot of great smoky flavor to Mexican food. There are easy to find in most grocery stores and I love the convenience!

That said, I don’t always use the full can of peppers, so I have a great method to share for freezing them. Check out the chipotle pepper storage tips if you’re like me and hate to waste the rest of the leftover peppers.

Chipotle peppers provide a good amount of heat. If you aren’t a huge fan of spicy foods, reduce the number of peppers in this recipe to 2-3 peppers and enjoy the smoky southwestern flavor without quite so much heat.

For what it’s worth, my non-spice-loving son really enjoys this chicken. I made this last week to reshoot the photos and all of my boys have already asked when we could have this again.

Chipotle Chicken Recipe

If you’re looking for a few more recipes to use up those chipotle peppers (or if you’re like me and just plain love using chipotle peppers when cooking) try the Creamy Chipotle Pasta with mildly spicy angel hair pasta tossed with vegetables in a very light cream sauce. This recipe makes my tastebuds so very happy.

Chipotle Mushrooms can be served as an appetizer or a side dish, these mushrooms truly deserved the title “meaty.” The bites of mushroom are so flavorful and the smoke from the chiles balances them so well, this is one of the most memorable mushroom dishes you can make.

Spicy bites of this Chipotle Chicken are mixed with seriously flavorful rice to create this churched-up version of Chipotle Arroz con Pollo.

Chipotle Lime Salmon is marinated in smoky chipotle and tart citrus and quickly broiled for an easy weeknight dinner. The chipotle flavor is present, without any real heat. The lime keeps it fresh and light.

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Servings: 6 servings

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  • Place all ingredients into the blender or small food processor and puree for a few moments. Pour the marinade over chicken in an airtight container or large ziploc bag and shake to coat each of the pieces.

  • Place in the refrigerator and turn the chicken (or flip the bag) a couple times over the next few hours. I let mine marinate for about 6 hours.

  • When you are ready to cook the chicken, remove from the refrigerator about 30 minutes prior to cooking. Enjoy!

These peppers provide a good amount of heat. If you aren’t a huge fan of spicy foods, reduce this to 2-3 peppers and enjoy the smoky southwestern flavor without nearly so much heat.

Calories: 305kcal · Carbohydrates: 7g · Protein: 14g · Fat: 25g · Saturated Fat: 5g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g · Monounsaturated Fat: 15g · Trans Fat: 1g · Cholesterol: 54mg · Sodium: 246mg · Potassium: 154mg · Fiber: 1g · Sugar: 6g · Vitamin A: 105IU · Vitamin C: 2mg · Calcium: 15mg · Iron: 1mg

{originally published 6/1/12 – recipe notes and photos updated 5/30/22}

Chipotle Marinade for Chicken



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