This easy Chipotle Chicken Marinade combines some of my favorite Mexican flavors, chipotles in adobo sauce and fresh lime! Add some staple spices and you have a delightful flavor combined and ready to really take a simple piece of chicken to fiesta-worthy heights!
Chipotle Chicken Marinade Recipe
Making anything Mexican-inspired is always a hit with my family! We absolutely crave the zesty, tangy flavors of our favorite Mexican food dishes all of the time!
Since I have yet to find anything even resembling authentic Mexican food here in rural Minnesota, that leaves it up to me to recreate all of the wonderful foods we know and love. And then some!
This easy chicken marinade combines the spicy chipotle peppers in adobo sauce with lime juice and seasoning. It's a great way to meal-prep for the week or weeks ahead, as you can package the chicken in freezer storage bags I have here!
Now my flavor-packed chicken is ready to make on-demand any day of the week! Alternatively, you can cook the chicken and refrigerate it for use later in the week as well. The marinade helps the chicken cook up tender, and stay that way when stored!
Ingredients You'll Need
Some really basic ingredients that will make a super-flavorful marinade in no time at all! If you don't have adobo sauce, you can usually find it in the ethnic foods section of your local grocery store.
- Adobo Sauce - your adobo sauce with chipotles is found canned or in a jar. Finely chop the chipotle peppers, or use a food processor to combine your marinade.
- Olive Oil - my favorite cooking oil to use with this Mexican-flavored marinade! You can use whichever oil you prefer but do think ahead to how you plan on cooking the chicken later. *Consider the smoke point of your intended oil if you will be cooking the chicken over high heat.
- Lime Juice - is definitely needed! Not only for the fantastic flavor that goes hand-in-hand with any Mexican-flavored cooking but also for the acidity! It will start to break down the muscle fibers in your chicken, yielding a super tender piece of chicken no matter how it is cooked.
- Cumin - one of the trademark flavors of Mexican cuisine! If you've ever tried to make homemade taco seasoning, cumin is the flavor that will pull everything together and make your spice mix amazing!
- Onion Powder - onion powder or dried minced onion can be used to add just the right amount of onion flavor!
- Garlic Powder - or minced garlic will combine with your spicy chipotle peppers for even more great flavor. If you happen to have some roasted garlic, it pairs superbly with the chipotle!
- Salt & Pepper - the basics of flavor! Keep the amount minimal, and season to taste when cooking later.
How To Make Chipotle Chicken Marinade
Combine these wonderful flavors to make a marinade that adds a not-too-spicy flavor to your chicken! Marinades are also a tasty way to make sure that your chicken turns out tender and moist no matter how you prepare it!
- Finely chop the chipotle peppers or pulse in a food processor. Combine the adobo sauce with chipotles, olive oil, lime juice, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper in a small mixing bowl or the bowl of your food processor.
- Transfer the marinade into a plastic storage bag, add the chicken, and then squeeze out all of the excess air when sealing the bag.
- Massage the marinade into the chicken to evenly coat your pieces of chicken.
- Refrigerate or freeze the bagged chicken with marinade.
Allow your chicken to marinate for at least 20 minutes before cooking. The longer you can let the chicken marinate, the more flavorful it will be!
I would usually recommend at least 4 hours for marinating. 24 hours is best, and you can marinate the chicken for up to 2 days refrigerated. This is the maximum amount of time that I would marinate chicken with any citrus-based marinade!
While frozen chicken pieces can usually be stored in the freezer for 6 months or more, I recommend a maximum of three months. Transfer the frozen marinated chicken to your refrigerator and allow the chicken to thaw overnight.
Your chicken marinade will seep into the chicken while thawing. Yum!
Check out all of my flavorful chicken marinades in one place! The marinades are absolutely perfect for grilled, pan-fried, or oven-baked chicken breasts, thighs, wings, skewers, and more!
Chipotle Chicken Marinade
- 2 Tbsp adobo sauce (with chopped chipotle peppers)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil (extra virgin)
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp each, salt & pepper
- Combine adobo sauce, olive oil, lime juice, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a small mixing bowl. Stir together.
- Pour marinade in a Ziplock bag.
- Add the chicken and press out any air in the bag and seal.
- Massage the marinade into the chicken through the bag.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before use. A 24-hour marinade will yield the best results for marinade flavor.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!