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chipotle cilantro lime chicken-1

Chipotle Cilantro Lime Chicken

Chipotle came out with a new chicken on their menu called Pollo Asado so today we will be making it at home and even better! The smokey chipotle chicken is fresh and tangy from the cilantro and lime and it turns out absolutely juicy. Enjoy in a rice bowl, salad, or even tacos – the delicious possibilities are endless!

Cilantro Lime Pollo Asado Marinade

The marinade is super simple that you probably already have everything on hand. The only ingredient you might be missing is the can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.

  • Olive Oil: Feel free to use any oil you typically cook or marinade in like avocado oil or vegetable oil. Just avoid extra virgin olive oil as it tends to smoke up when cooking or grilling over higher temperatures. 
  • Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce: We will only use the adobo sauce, NOT the chipotle peppers. The peppers are spicy! See note below if you don’t know where to get this ingredient.
  • Fresh Garlic: Make sure it’s finely minced. This can be swapped for garlic powder but fresh makes all the difference here especially if you have time to let it marinade overnight.
  • Spices: Chili powder, smoked paprika, onion powder, salt, coriander, oregano, black pepper, and cumin. These are good spices to always have on hand.

To make it just like Chipotle, we’re using boneless & skinless chicken thighs. They’re super juicy because of their higher fat content! If you would like to make this with chicken breast, it’s totally possible too. But for the authentic Chipotle experience, use chicken thighs.

The Baste

While the chicken cooks, it gets basted so it comes out super juicy and flavorful!

You only need 3 ingredients:

  • unsalted butter
  • lime juice
  • cilantro

Melt down the butter and combine it with lime juice and finely chopped cilantro. Reserve for when it’s time to cook! If you would like to skip the butter, just add lime juice and cilantro after chopping the chicken and mix it all together.

Cooking the Chicken

Once the chicken is marinated, it’s time to get cooking!

Since I don’t have a BBQ, I like to cook the chicken in a cast iron grill skillet. Feel free to cook it on a regular pan, regular skillet, or even on the BBQ to make it just like Chipotle.

Make sure to grease the grill or pan with a little oil and add the chicken. Sear on one side over medium-high heat for 5 to 6 minutes until golden and then flip over. Baste with the cilantro lime butter as it cooks. Cook on the other side 5 to 6 minutes. Lower the heat and cook for an additional minute or two until the chicken is cooked through.

Take off the grill or pan and brush with any remaining cilantro lime butter. Chop into small pieces and then it’s ready to enjoy! The chicken is super juicy and packed with flavor.

Tips & Notes

  • Chicken thighs are a lot more juicy and the cut that Chipotle uses! However, you can also make this with breast meat.
  • To save time on a busy day, marinate it the day before or the morning of so all you have to do is cook it when it’s time to eat.
  • To store any leftovers for meal prep, just transfer it to an airtight container and keep in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.


What is Adobo Sauce?

This is a secret weapon in the kitchen! It’s packed with sooo much flavor and it’s a really cheap ingredient to buy. You can find it in the international section of a supermarket or at local Latin or Hispanic stores. They’re sold in cans like this brand that can be found online or in Target too. Inside the can, there’s chipotle peppers and adobo sauce. We will ONLY be using the adobo sauce in this recipe since the chipotle peppers are very spicy. You can use the chipotle peppers in a dish or sauce that you want to impart a spicy and smokey flavor in. 

Besides marinading meat, I love using the adobo sauce to make a chipotle sauce. I just mix mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice, adobo sauce, chili powder, and some honey. Try it out!

How to Enjoy Cilantro Lime Chicken

The possibilities are endless!

Homemade Chipotle Bowls: Make some cilantro lime rice or Spanish rice and add the chicken along with your favorite fixings. Some options are grilled bell peppers and onions like Chipotle fajitas, corn, lettuce, sour cream, avocado or guac, cheese, beans, pico de gallo, hot sauce, and salsa. 

Salad: Add your favorite greens as the base and top it off with chicken and anything else you fancy in the perfect salad.

Tacos: This chicken is delicious for tacos! I added some shredded lettuce, tomatoes, and a cilantro sauce if you need some inspo.

If you tried this recipe and loved it, drop by down below and let me know how you liked it with a rating and comment! Feel free to also leave a question there about this recipe and I’ll get right back to it. 

To see more recipes and behind the scenes, follow along on Instagram! I’m also now on Pinterest pinning away so stop by and see what’s up.

Chipotle Cilantro Lime Chicken

Chipotle came out with a new chicken on their menu called Pollo Asado so today we will be making it at home and even better! The smokey chipotle chicken is fresh and tangy from the cilantro and lime and it turns out absolutely juicy. Enjoy in a rice bowl, salad, or even tacos - the delicious possibilities are endless!
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4



  • 1 pound chicken thighs boneless and skinless
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons adobo pastee
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder more to taste to make it spicy


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter melted
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons cilantro finely chopped


  • To a large bowl, add the chicken thighs, olive oil, chipotle adobo paste, garlic, chili powder, smoked paprika, salt, coriander, cumin, oregano, onion powder, black pepper, and cayenne powder. Mix all together to coat the chicken evenly in the marinade.
  • To make the basting liquid, combine the melted butter, lime juice, and cilantro.
  • Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once it's hot, add a drizzle of oil to the pan. Add the chicken in, making sure not to crowd them. Cook in two batches if needed. Once golden brown on one side, about 5 to 6 minutes, flip over. As it cooks, baste the chicken with the lime cilantro butter. Allow the other side to get golden brown, about 6 minutes. Then drop the heat to low and cook for 1 to 2 more minutes or until the chicken is cooked through to the center.
  • Take the chicken off the skillet and allow to cool slightly for 5 minutes. Then chop into small pieces. If there is any basting liquid left, add in now and mix.
  • Enjoy over rice, in a taco, or in a salad!


Keyword 30 minute dinner, chicken, chipotle, restaurant remake
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