Pollo Asado (Chipotle Copycat Recipe)

5 Mins read
Pollo Asado (Chipotle Copycat Recipe)

Pollo Asado (Chipotle Copycat Recipe) is one of the most flavorful grilled chicken dishes. Tender chicken packed with flavor from a chipotle based marinade with lime and orange juice!

If you are a fan of Chipotle Mexican Grill then you know that 2022 marked the first time in 30 years that they added a new chicken item to their menu! 30 YEARS!!! That can only mean this is an extra special and delicious chicken dish.

This copycat recipe features tender and juicy chicken that has a smoky flavor with a bit of spice. The chicken is perfect for tacos, salad and burrito bowls served with Cilantro Lime Rice, Corn Salsa and Black Beans just like Chipotle serves!

Not only is the chicken perfectly seasoned and tasty… it is so easyto make! The marinade comes together in a flash in a blender or food processor and you can prep it a day in advance. Leave the chicken to marinate in the fridge overnight and the next day you will be enjoying a delicious grilled chicken dinner.

What is Pollo Asado?

Pollo Asado is a classic Mexican grilled chicken dish. Pollo Asado (Chipotle Copycat Recipe) The Spanish word “pollo” translates to chicken and “asado” translates to grilled. Simply put, pollo asado is grilled chicken, but it is far from a simple dish!

The pollo asado marinade is packed with flavor from chipotle peppers in adobo, garlic, onion, oregano, smoked paprika, cumin, cilantro, lime juice and orange juice.

The chipotle peppers give the marinade its signature deep red-orange color and a rich smoky flavor with a bit of a spicy kick!

chipotle pollo asado copycat recipe on a white platter with lime and orange wedges

What to Serve with Pollo Asado?

For a classic Chipotle style burrito bowl at home, serve this pollo asado with:

  • Cilantro Lime Rice
  • Chipotle Corn Salsa
  • Black Beans

Meal Prep Pollo Asado

This pollo asado recipe is perfect for meal prep! Make a batch of chicken for the week and pair with rice, salsa, and your favorite taco toppings!

You can also prepare the marinade and freeze the marinated chicken for future use. I love having a few batches of marinated pollo asado in the freezer for easy weeknight meals!

chipotle pollo asado copycat recipe in a meal prep container

What is in Pollo Asado?

bowls with chicken thighs, onion, orange juice, lime juice, garlic, oregano, chipotle peppers, smoked paprika, cumin, salt, pepper and lime juice
  • Chicken Thighs – any cut of chicken can be used for pollo asado but my personal favorite is boneless skinless chicken thighs. They are perfect for cutting up into bite sized pieces for tacos and burrito bowls!
  • Onion – the best part about this marinade is you barley have to prep the ingredients. Just peel the onion, cut it into quarters and pop it into a food processor or blender with the rest of the ingredients.
  • Garlic – lots of fresh garlic is blended into the marinade that gives this chicken it’s signature garlicy flavor!
  • Orange Juice and Lime Juice – the combination of orange and lime juice gives the marinade a unique citrus flavor that pairs perfectly with the smoky chipotle peppers in adobo.
  • Cilantro (not pictured) – this adds a freshness to the marinade but you can omit this if you are not a fan of cilantro.
  • Chipotle Peppers in Adobo – a secret weapon in the kitchen! If you are looking to INSTANTLY kick up the flavor of a marinade add in some chipotle peppers in adobo. They have a rich smoky flavor and a bit of spice! They also add a beautiful red-orange color to the marinade.
  • Smoked Paprika – I love smoked paprika as it instantly adds a smoky flavor to a dish without needing to actually bbq or grill it. This is perfect for year round marinades as you can pan fry or air fry the chicken without missing out on that classic grilled flavor.
  • Oregano – if you can find Mexican oregano I recommend using that variety. It has a richer earthy flavor but any variety of dried oregano will work great.
  • Cumin – a rich earthy spice often used in Mexican cooking.
  • Salt and Pepper

marinated chipotle copycat pollo asado in a ziploc bag

How to Make Pollo Asado

Full Printable Recipe at Bottom of Page

Pollo Asado Marinade

Add all of the marinade ingredients to a blender, food processor, or a large bowl to purée with a handheld immersion blender. Blend the ingredients until evenly combined and the sauce is smooth.

In a large air tight container or Ziploc bag add the chicken thighs and the marinade. Mix until the chicken is evenly coated in the marinade.

Transfer to the fridge and let marinate for up to 24 hours (marinating overnight is optional but not required).

Grilled Chicken

  • Preheat grill to 350°F-400°F. Coat the grill with olive oil.
  • Grill the chicken for 15-30 minutes, flipping, and until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Serve and enjoy!

chipotle pollo asado copycat recipe on a white platter with lime and orange wedges

Pan Seared Chipotle Pollo Asado

  • Heat a skillet or grill pan on medium-high heat with olive oil.
  • When hot, add the chicken along with all of the sauce/marinade. Searing the chicken in all of the sauce will keep it from drying out.
  • Cook for 5 minutes and then flip and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Once the chicken has cooked, drizzle the leftover sauce from the pan over the cooked chicken. This enhances flavor and keeps the chicken juicy. While the chicken is searing, if you notice the sauce is starting to dry out in the skillet add a splash of water.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Air Fryer Chipotle Pollo Asado

  • Coat the air fryer basket with olive oil.
  • Add the chicken to the air fryer basket.
  • Air fry the chicken at 400°F for 8 minutes. Open the air fryer and flip the chicken. Cook for an additional 6-7 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Chipotle Pollo Asado Copycat Recipe Air Fried

Tips for the Best Pollo Asado

  • Chicken – the pollo asado marinade keeps the chicken moist but to ensure the most tender and moist chicken use boneless skinless chicken thighs. Thighs are fattier than chicken breast so they stay moist while cooking. If you plan on having left overs or meal prepping the chicken I recommend using chicken thighs to avoid the meat drying out when reheating.
  • Marinade – the marinade is so flavorful that you can get away with a short marinating time but I would recommend at least letting the chicken marinate for 30 minutes. If you have the time, plan ahead and let the chicken marinate overnight. The chicken will be more flavorful and will stay moist thanks to the lime and orange juice.
  • Cooking Method – to get the best flavor grilling the chicken is ideal. The marinade chars up perfectly and gets a nice smoky flavor. However, for a year round recipe the chicken is delicious pan fried or air fried.
  • Prep Time – save time on prep by marinating the chicken 1 day in advance and leaving it to marinate in the fridge overnight. You can also prep a double batch and freeze one batch of marinated chicken for future use!

FAQs Pollo Asado (Chipotle Copycat Recipe)

How to store pollo asado?

Store the cooled pollo asado in an air tight container or Ziploc bag in the fridge for up to 5 days.

How to freeze pollo asado?

Freeze uncooked marinated pollo asado in a freezer safe container or Ziploc bag for up to 6 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight and then continue with your preferred cooking method (grilled, pan fried or air fried).
Freeze cooked pollo asado in a freezer safe container or Ziploc bag for up to 6 months. To reheat, thaw in the fridge overnight and then reheat for 2 minutes in the microwave or in a frying pan with a tablespoon of oil for 2 minutes on each side.

How to reheat pollo asado?

Reheat in the microwave for 2 minute with a splash of water, or in a frying pan stove top over medium high heat for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until the chicken is warmed through.

Is pollo asado healthy?

Yes, pollo asado is a healthy grilled chicken dish. You can use boneless skinless chicken thighs or for a healthier option use boneless skinless chicken breast.

What cut of meat is pollo asado?

You can use any cut of chicken – boneless skinless chicken thighs or chicken breast, bone in chicken thighs or chicken breast, chicken drumsticks, or chicken wings.

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