Chipotle Chicken Marinade

64 Comments 4.7

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Jump to Recipe

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!

Save The Recipe

Want to save this recipe?

Enter your email and I’ll send this recipe right to your inbox! Plus, I’ll send you new recipes every week!

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.

Get New Recipessent to your inbox!
We never share your information with third parties and will protect it in accordance with our Privacy Policy.
Chipotle Marinade

Chipotle Chicken Marinade

4.72 from 14 votes
Smoky chipotles, garlic, and honey are combined in this Chipotle Marinade. This simple marinade is packed with awesome smoky southwestern flavor.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6 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 chicken breasts, thighs, drumsticks, bone-in or boneless


  • Place all ingredients, except chicken, 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
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!

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

Chipotle Marinade for Chicken

Filed under: , , , ,

Tagged with:

Share this Article


Related Posts

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.

Reader Interactions

64 Comments Leave a comment or review

    Rate & Comment


  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.