Chipotle Chicken Marinade

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Chipotle Chicken Marinade recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

This simple marinade is packed with smoky southwestern flavor. I saw Tricia post her Chipotle Chicken Salad recipe last week and I could not resist making it that very same night. Her timing was perfect.

I had chicken in the refrigerator and I already had the peppers in my freezer; everything else I needed was in my pantry. It took me less than five minutes from start to finish to get this made and onto the chicken and then get the chicken back into the fridge.

I already have more chicken in the freezer with this marinade waiting to be grilled next week. I can hardly wait. Even my non-spice loving son really liked this chicken. Both of my older boys have already asked when we could have this again.

Chipotle Chicken Marinade recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen


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Chipotle Chicken Marinade

5 from 5 votes
Recipe adapted from and with thanks to Tasty Kitchen via Saving Room For Dessert
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Servings: 4 -5 servings


  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • 4-5 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce* I put frozen peppers directly into the blender
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lbs of chicken I used breasts, but any part of the bird would be excellent with this marinade


  • 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.
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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Jenn says

    I love using chipotle in marinades for chicken. The smokiness it brings is wonderful! The chicken looks perfectly done too!! YUM!

  2. Tricia @ saving room for dessert says

    I'm just going to add this comment here because you may have an answer. Have you (or any of your readers) had a problem with posting comments on a WordPress sponsored blog? I can't see to comment on many that I have read for a long time. Just wondering if it's just me :0

    • Mary says

      It seems to be hit or miss for me with Word Press, Tricia. I've had a few people tell me that they can not comment on blogger blogs some of the time too. I just give it a shot whenever I have the chance.

  3. Jennifer Cornejo says

    I tried this recipe last night. It's delicious! My husband kept commenting on how he really liked it. Great chipotle flavor, almost sweet with that heat that comes after the initial taste. I will definitely be making this again. I just baked pieces of chicken breast in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30-45min. I guess you can broil at the end to get a nice sear.

  4. Jennifer says

    I love any marinade recipe that uses a food processor. Easy:) And I was going to make a recipe for voodoo chicken this week, which is essentially beer can chicken with a special name, and I've run out of beer (egads!) but I have plenty of chipotle peppers.

  5. Mike in KY says

    I've made this so many times and it's one of my favorite chicken marinades. I have a question, though. What do you think about substituting corn syrup for honey in this recipe? Honey is a bit pricey and I have a jug of corn syrup left over after using a small amount in some other recipe.

    • Mary says

      The honey does provide a unique flavor, but I think that just 2 tablespoons of corn syrup will be fine. I'm all in favor of saving money when possible. I hope that helps!

  6. Blair says

    Couple of questions:

    What kind of olive oil do you recommend (extra virgin, mild, etc.)?
    Also, do you think the marinade would keep for a while in a sealed container?

    • Mary Younkin says

      I use a mild olive oil for this recipe, Blair. I typically just make it up when I’m ready to use it. I’ve never kept it for more than a day. That said, you should be able to freeze a batch without any problems.

  7. Brooke says

    My gosh this is delicious!!! I marinated breasts for longer than I meant to – about 15 hours. I had slightly pounded them so they were universal thickness before putting in marinate. Grilled on Medium-high heat (~300 although a little hotter to start). I think I will reduce the peppers by 1 next time per your rec – it’s pretty zippy, but that might be because I slightly over marinated them. Really really good. Wow! Thank you!5 stars

    • Kari says

      We are trying this for the first time today! It’s also the first time I’ve ever used the chipotle in adobo and can’t get over how good it smells. I did use fewer peppers because our granddaughter doesn’t like spicy but still excited to experience the flavors!

  8. Katherine says

    Hello. I would really like to try this recipe. Would you recommend cooking the breasts in the oven? I would like to stay away from the grill for this. Thanks in advance.

  9. theenemytoad says

    My husband made this and it was AWESOME! What a great find at the start of grilling season : )5 stars

  10. Jen Ryan says

    This was just the simple recipe I was looking for! I originally was looking for a bean and chipotle recipe so I used your recipe and divided the marinade between the chicken and some cannellini beans. The beans are so delicious! Will cook the chicken later. Thank you for a great recipe!5 stars

  11. Nykki says

    Wow, so delicious! We love to get Chipotle chicken from the local market, but they were all out. Good thing they were, because this recipe was so much better, and so simple! The only thing I did different was add a little lime juice. Thanks for the great recipe! I will never buy the pre-marinaded stuff again.5 stars