Honey chipotle chicken is a family favorite Tex Mex dinner made with a quick chicken marinade. Make this recipe for an unforgettable meal!
Chicken is an easy choice when you need to throw together a quick meal. It’s extremely versatile and can be combined with a wide variety of flavors.
When you want to make a quick meal with Mexican or Tex Mex flavors, you can’t go wrong with my recipes for Grilled Chicken Tostadas and Chicken Stuffed Poblano Peppers. Today’s recipe fits right into the “quick and easy chicken recipe” category too.
It’s a sweet and spicy chicken breast dinner, with smoky flavor from chipotle chiles. There’s a simple marinade to add great flavor and keep the meat moist. I hope you love it as much as I do!
Honey Chipotle Chicken
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
Note: This is just a partial list of ingredients. For the full ingredient list, see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Chicken breasts – Use boneless, skinless breasts and slice them in half horizontally if they are extra large. This helps them cook faster and more evenly. If you prefer dark meat, the recipe works well with boneless thigh meat, too.
- Olive oil – If you need a substitute, any neutral flavor of oil with a high smoke point will work, like grapeseed, canola, or avocado oil. You could even use ghee or clarified butter if you’d like.
- Chipotle chili powder – This seasoning is made a base of ground chipotle peppers, so it has more smokiness than regular chili powder, which is a blend of different spices. Homemade chili seasoning can be used in a pinch, or try a mix of chili powder and cayenne powder for additional spicy heat.
Tex Mex Marinated Chicken Recipe Video
Want to see the process of marinating and cooking the meal from start to finish? Watch the video located in the recipe card at the bottom of this post!
First, soak the meat in a blend of honey, lime, and spices. Then, cook the citrus marinated chicken in a pan on the stove. It’s that simple!
- Make the marinade.
Mix together the marinade ingredients until well combined, and be sure to reserve some of the marinade in a separate bowl. Just set it aside for later in the recipe.
- Marinate the chicken breasts.
Unlike beef and pork, which have connective tissues that require tenderizing, marinating chicken is solely to add flavor. The marinating time doesn’t have to be long either; 30 to 60 minutes tops is more than enough.
- Cook and serve
Be sure to let oil heat up completely before you add the food. It isn’t hot enough, you won’t be able to form a nice golden color on the outside of the meat.
Recipe Tips for Honey Chipotle Chicken
- Storage – Transfer leftover honey chipotle chicken to an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Or, wrap in plastic, place in a storage bag, and freeze for up to 6 months.
- Reheating – Heat in the microwave or in a pan on the stove until the chicken is warmed through.
- Save time – If you’re in a hurry, this dish works just as well without the hour-long marinade. Between the basting and reserved marinade for spooning over at serving, there’s still plenty of flavor.
- Discard marinade – For food safety, never reuse any marinade that has touched raw meat. Even the reserved amount used to baste the chicken should be tossed once it’s no longer needed.
Alternate cooking methods
Whichever method you choose, be sure to let the meat rest before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute so each bite is tender and juicy.
- Oven: Remove the chicken from the marinade and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees F for 18-20 minutes, flipping and basting halfway through.
- Grill: Heat the grill and oil well, then cook the chicken for 10-12 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F. Flip halfway through and baste several times throughout.
What to Serve With Tex Mex Chicken
You can serve this as a stand alone Tex Mex meal with side dishes like Mexican rice, black beans, borracho beans, or even oven roasted potatoes.
But if you’d like to make other meals with it, shred the meat! It is delicious in tacos, sliced over a salad, and in sandwiches.
Honey Chipotle Chicken + Video
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless chicken breasts (See NOTE 1)
- 3 tbsp olive oil separated
- 1/2 cup lime juice
- 1 tbsp lime zest
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tsp chipotle chili powder
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 1/8 tsp salt
- In a medium size bowl, stir together 2 tablespoons of olive oil, lime juice, lime zest, honey, chipotle chili and garlic powders, cumin, cilantro and salt until well combined. Reserve 1/3 cup of the marinade.
- Add chicken breasts to a glass baking dish or gallon size zip top bag. Pour marinade over chicken breasts and transfer to the refrigerator to marinate for at least 30 minutes, but no longer than 1 hour. (See Note 2)
- Add remaining tablespoon of oil to hot skillet. Cook chicken for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown on medium-high. Baste with marinade, then turn and cook the other side for 1-2 minutes. Baste again, cover and cook on low for 10 minutes (and discard any remaining marinade). Transfer to plate, cover loosely with foil to keep warm until serving.
- Slice to top salads or in tacos or keep whole and serve with a side dish or in a sandwich. Spoon reserved marinade over at time of serving.
- If chicken breasts are very large, slice each breast horizontally to make two pieces. Feel free to use boneless skinless thighs if desired.
- I find that after 1 hour of marinating, the chicken starts to develop a “skin” due to the citrus juice slowly “cooking” it. Some people marinate for 2-4 hours, but it’s up to you. With the marinade to baste while cooking and the reserved to spoon on top after, the flavors are definitely there.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.