Honey Chipotle Marinated Chicken is irresistibly sweet and spicy, featuring marinated and grilled chicken that can be assembled as a healthy bowl meal with sticky rice or zucchini rice, stir-fried veggies, and drizzled with creamy avocado cilantro sauce. Adobo chicken chipotle makes the perfect simple summer lunch or dinner!
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About this chicken with chipotle recipe
Celebrate Summer with this sweet and spicy Honey Chipotle Marinated Chicken! This dish combines juicy skewered chicken that’s flavored with an easy marinade and grilled for subtle smokiness.
The creamy avocado sauce is the ideal complement to the tender chicken, delicately drizzled over assembled bowls of rice, zucchini rice, stir-fried veggies, shredded cabbage, or microgreens for a healthy and filling lunch or dinner!
The two main components of this dish – chipotle adobo chicken and avocado sauce – are mouthwatering on their own. But, they make an incredible duo when brought together with your favorite side dishes or healthy bowl ingredients! I love serving this chipotle chicken with my favorite fresh herbs, a few slices of avocado and jalapeno pickle, and a drizzle of honey.
Why this chipotle honey chicken works
It’s hard NOT to love this honey chipotle chicken, but here are my top reasons for wanting to share this grilled chipotle chicken recipe with you today:
- Enjoy any time. Chipotle marinated chicken is perfect for lunch, dinner, and Summer entertaining. The ingredients are easy to source, so you can serve this dish throughout the year!
- Nutritious and delicious! This chipotle adobo chicken dish is healthy and light while also very filling and flavorful!
- Ridiculously easy! This chicken with chipotle recipe is seriously easy to make. Simply marinate the chicken in the ingredients listed, cook it, and serve it how you desire with the creamy avocado cilantro sauce!
- Perfect for making ahead. The longer you marinate the chipotle chicken, the better (up to a certain point, of course!).
Ingredients for honey chipotle chicken
Many of these items, especially for making the marinade and sauce, are likely already in your pantry. Besides, fresh chicken isn’t hard to come by or expensive. Here’s exactly what you’ll need:
Chipotle marinated chicken
- Chicken – Boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed.
- Substitution: Boneless skinless chicken thighs.
- Olive oil – Use quality olive oil for the marinade.
- Substitution: Vegetable oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil.
- Chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce – Finely chopped.
- Garlic cloves – Minced. This provides the right amount of bite to this chipotle marinade chicken and the avocado sauce.
- Substitution: Jarred minced garlic or bottled garlic powder.
- Honey – More for brushing the chicken with.
- Substitution – Herb-infused honey is a lovely option for adding more flavor to the chipotle honey sauce and brushing the chicken.
- Kosher salt and black pepper – Popular savory dish staples!
- Other seasonings – I’ve also used cumin, paprika, and chili powder to flavor the chicken chipotle marinade.
- Substitution: Cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, or smoked paprika.
- Avocado – Halved and pitted.
- Greek yogurt – I’ve used the strained variety for a thicker consistency when making the creamy avocado sauce.
- Substitution: Sour cream (regular or low-fat) is a great alternative to yogurt, especially for a tangy flavor.
- Lime juice – Freshly squeezed.
- Substitution: Bottled lime juice or lemon juice.
- Cilantro – Freshly chopped for the avocado sauce. Add more if you like.
- Optional garnishes – Fresh herbs, avocado, spicy peppers, a drizzle of honey, and lime wedges.
Adobo chicken chipotle variations
- Marinade. Easily adjust the spices and seasonings used to make the chipotle chicken marinade.
- Chicken. Apart from the option to use boneless skinless chicken thighs in this chipotle chicken breast recipe, you could also marinate the chicken breast whole and cook it whole on the grill or in the oven.
- Avocado cilantro sauce. Use strainer Greek yogurt or sour cream in the sauce recipe. The sour cream will provide a tangier flavor. Low-fat yogurt or sour cream is an option to reduce calories.
How to make chipotle honey chicken?
Honey chipotle chicken is easy to make! Here’s what you’ll do:
- Marinate the chicken in a mixture of oil, peppers in adobe, honey, garlic and a couple pantry dried seasonings.
- Drain the chicken from the chipotle in adobo and then cook it on the grill.
Of course, there is a key to the success of this chicken with chipotle recipe.
- Make sure you let the chicken hang out in the marinade for at least one hour, or up to 12 hours for maximum flavor. If you are in a pinch, you can give it as little as 30 minutes. However, the marinade doesn’t just flavor the chicken, it also tenderizes the chicken. Takeaway: The longer you allow the chicken to soak, the better! (Well, up to a certain point. You don’t want to soak chicken for days or anything crazy.)
Tips for the best honey chipotle chicken dinner
- While the recipe below calls for white meat chicken, you can substitute boneless, skinless chicken thighs if you prefer. As well, if you are pressed for time and don’t feel like cubing and skewering the chicken, you can marinate and grill whole chicken breasts or thighs.
- Using wooden skewers for your honey chipotle chicken kebabs? Then make sure you soak the skewers in water for at least 30 minutes prior to using.
- If you would like to make the creamy avocado cilantro sauce in advance, mix the yogurt, lime, cilantro and garlic in a bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Once ready, transfer the yogurt mixture to a food processor and add in the avocado. If you make the sauce in its entirety, with the avocado, too far in advance, the avocado will turn brown.
- You can use either used Greek yogurt or sour cream for the chicken avocado sauce. If you are looking for a tangier flavor, use sour cream.
FAQ: chipotle adobo chicken
What does honey chipotle sauce taste like?
This chipotle marinated chicken recipe is sweet and spicy with a slightly smoky flavor from grilling the chicken. The honey in the marinade adds sweetness, while the spices and peppers add a kick of heat to this dish.
The avocado sauce adds creaminess, freshness, and a citrusy zing!
What can you use chipotle honey marinade for?
The chipotle adobo chicken marinade is ideal for tenderizing the cubed chicken breast in this chipotle adobo chicken recipe and adding flavor.
You can also use this marinade to flavor other types of meat, tofu, and veggies. However, never reuse marinade that has been in contact with raw meat on other ingredients.
Does honey chipotle taste like honey BBQ?
In a way, yes! Like BBQ sauce, honey chipotle sauce (or marinade) is also sweet and spicy.
What do you eat with honey chicken?
You can enjoy honey chicken with a wide variety of side dishes. However, I love it with rice or quinoa, crunchy raw veggies or roasted veggies, corn on the cob, fresh dinner rolls, or hearty green salads.
How spicy is honey chipotle?
Honey chipotle can be quite spicy, depending on how many chipotle peppers in adobe sauce are added to the marinade and the amount of spices added.
You can increase or decrease the spicy heat in this chicken chipotle recipe by adjusting the spices and amount of chipotle peppers in adobe sauce.
Serving chipotle chicken adobo
Chipotle chicken breasts can be enjoyed as a healthy bowl, added to salad, or enjoyed with other tasty side dishes.
How to serve this chipotle glazed chicken?
Divide this sweet chipotle chicken in serving bowls over rice, stir-fried vegetables, hearty grains, or a fresh salad with a drizzle of creamy avocado sauce.
What to serve with chipotle honey chicken?
I love serving this chipotle chicken adobo bowl style, drizzled with creamy avocado sauce. However, this grilled chicken is very versatile. Below are some delicious ideas to help get the creative juices flowing:
- Sticky white rice or wild brown rice
- Cauliflower or zucchini rice – Great as a low-carb option!
- Grains – rice or quinoa
- Roasted seasonal veggies
- Refreshing green salad, like this Green Salad with Peas.
How long does this grilled chipotle chicken recipe keep?
- Place chipotle peppers in adobo sauce chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.
- Store the avocado cilantro sauce in a separate airtight container in the fridge for a few hours. However, the fresh avocado sauce will start to oxidize shortly after combining into contact with oxygen.
Can you freeze it?
Yes! Store chicken with chipotle sauce in an airtight container in the freezer for 1-3 months. Thaw it overnight in the fridge, and reheat it in the microwave.
Store the avocado sauce in a freezer bag for 3 months. When ready to eat, thaw the sauce in the fridge before giving it a good stir and using. This avocado sauce must be used with 5 hours of defrosting.
Reheat leftover chipotle honey chicken in the microwave, oven, or stove-top until warm throughout.
The avocado cilantro sauce, stored separately from other foods and ingredients, should be stirred well and served within 5 hours of assembling from fresh or from being defrosted.
Honey chipotle marinated and grilled chicken is delicious and healthy – perfect for a healthy summer bowl meal for lunch or dinner!
More easy chicken recipes!
- Easy Chicken Hummus Bowls
- Thai Peanut Chicken
- Buttermilk Grilled Chicken
- Grilled Lemon Chicken Skewers
The best Grilled Honey Chipotle Chicken recipe 👇
Chipotle Chicken in Adobo
- 1 Large Bowl - for marinating chicken
- 1 Food Processor - for making sauce
- 1 Outdoor Grill or Grill Pan - for grilling chipotle chicken
- 1 ½ pounds Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts cut into 1’’ pieces (can substitute boneless, skinless chicken thighs)
- ¼ cup Olive Oil
- 2 large Chipotle Peppers in Adobe Sauce finely chopped (about 2 heaping TBS)
- 2 TBS Honey plus more for brushing chicken
- 2 cloves Garlic minced
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 1 tsp Chili Powder
- Kosher Salt & Ground Black Pepper
Avocado Cilantro Sauce
- 1 Avocado halved & pitted
- ½ cup Strained Greek Yogurt or Sour Cream (I used lowfat)
- 1 lime juiced (2 TBS)
- 2 TBS Cilantro chopped or more to taste
- 1 clove Garlic minced
- Optional Garnishes: Chopped Cilantro, Sliced Avocado, Microgreens, Sliced Jalapenos, Drizzle of Honey, Lime Wedges
- Optional Serving Suggestion: Zucchini Rice
- Marinate the chicken: In a large bowl combine the oil through chili powder. Season with a teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Whisk until well combined. Add in the chicken and toss to coat. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to allow the flavors to marry, at least 1 hour or up to 12 hours.
- Make the sauce: Place all the ingredients for the sauce in the bowl of a food processor. Add ¼ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary. Taste and adjust for seasoning. If a thinner sauce is desired, stream in a bit of olive oil, 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is achieved. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.*
- Once ready to grill: Thread the chicken on to skewers*, discarding marinade. Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Grill chicken skewers until all sides are lightly charred and chicken is cooked through, turning once or twice during grilling, about 10-12 minutes. OPTIONAL: Brush chicken skewers with honey during last minute or two of grilling.
- Assemble the bowls: Divide the zucchini rice among serving bowls (if using), top with chicken skewers, and dollop with sauce. Serve with optional garnishes as desired. Enjoy!
- While the recipe indicates chicken breasts, you can absolutely use boneless, skinless chicken thighs if desired! As well, if you are pressed for time and don’t feel like cubing and skewering the chicken, you can marinate and grill whole chicken breasts or thighs!
- If using wooden skewers, make sure you allow them to soak in water for at least 30 minutes prior to use to prevent them from burning. (I used 6 large wooden skewers in all)
- Avocado sauce will oxidize if stored for too long in the refrigerator. If you make the avocado sauce in its entirety, use it within 5 hours. To make the sauce in advance, whisk together all the ingredients EXPECT the avocado. Process in the avocado once ready to use.
- You can use either Greek yogurt or sour cream in the sauce recipe. If you are looking for a tangier flavor, use sour cream.
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