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Passionate mom of three…Finding balance between life as a mom and running small home businesses

Chipotle’s copycat recipes

Salam to all,

As we approach further into Ramadan, I’m starting to have these mini craving sessions, where I go crazy just craving all kinds of foods at once. I think it’s a mental problem lol. Anyways, today’s craving was chipotle’s chicken burrito bowl… And that is exactly what I made 🙂

I got all the recipes online from other fellow chipotle fans as myself, since I don’t have a clue when it comes to Mexican cooking.

I still managed to tweak the recipes to the ingredients I had, and it still turned out delicious! I give them 5 stars for being as close to chipotle as I can ever get, without leaving the house..
Enough with the chitchat and on to the recipes…

Chipotle’s grilled chicken marinade:

The original method of cooking the chicken is to marinate it overnight and grill it flat (lay a brick wrapped in foil on it).. Since it was a last minute decision (see: cravings above) it was already 3pm when I took the chicken breast out of the freezer, so I needed a plan B.

I made the marinade, added water. And threw it in a crock pot on high for 5 hours..
Let me just say I wish you were here to smell how good it was :)…..

My tweaked version:
– 1 7oz can of chipotle pepper in adobo sauce. Remove the peppers and keep the sauce. (I left in one pepper)
– 6-7 dried red chili peppers
– 1 small onion
– 2 tsp cumin
– 2 tbsp dried oregano (all I had on hand)
– 2.5 tsp salt
– 1 tsp black pepper
– 6 chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
– 1/4 cup canola oil
– 2 cups water
Throw everything in food processor, blend and cover chicken, throw in crock pot, check on it 5 hours later.
Since my chicken was still kinda frozen when I put it in, it took longer than I anticipated, so when Maghrib was approaching I moved everything to a pot and cooked it on the stove on medium heat for around 20 mins to give it a boost and make it really soft. 

Again, feel free to check the original recipe here and follow their directions as well. (i used recipe #1)

Corn Salsa:
This was super good and easy to make, and wouldn’t be a real chipotle dish without it .. 
Ingredients: original recipe
My tweaked version:

1 lb bag of frozen corn, cooked
1/3 bunch of cilantro, chopped finely
2 green jalepenos, finely diced
1/2 red onion, diced finely
Juice of one lime
Salt pepper to taste
1  pablano pepper, roasted in the oven, diced finely 
(I was too scared it would be spicy since I’ve never used it before, and it’s huge!! Let me just say the jalepenos were spicier…)

Chop chop chop, and mix all together. and your done 🙂

Pico de gallo : (original recipe found in the comments)

What I used:
6 ripe Roma tomatoes, finely diced..
2 tbsp chopped cilantro

1/2 red onion, diced finely
1/2 tsp salt
Juice of half a lemon
1/2 jalepeno, finely diced

Dice everything and combine.. And enjoy 🙂
You will also need shredded lettuce as a topping. So cut some up and put it in a seperate bowl.


Cilantro lime rice: original (used recipe #2 and doubled it)

2 cup basmati rice
4 cups water
Bay leaf
1 tsp salt
Juice of a lime
2 tbsp cilantro, minced

2 tbsp oil

Saute the rice in oil until almost translucent.  Add bay leaf and water, bring to a boil.

As soon as the water begins to boil, turn the heat down low.

Simmer, covered for 15-20 minutes, or until all water is absorbed.

Turn off heat.  Leave covered for 30 minutes. This is the “steaming” part, this is what makes the rice fluffy.

Once done, It may be helpful to transfer rice into a mixing bowl for the next step.

Mix salt and juice of lime together until salt is dissolved.

remove bay leaf, pour it over rice, fluff with a fork.

Sprinkle in cilantro, and toss well to evenly coat with cilantro and lime mixture. And you’re done!

 Sour cream sauce:
Just get sour cream, add some water to make it a smooth consistency, and mix well. thats it!

Espinaca (spinach and cheese dip) similar to Jose peppers… 


16 oz 1/3 fat cream cheese
8 oz hot pepper cheese (not same as pepper jack) 
4 oz frozen spinach
1 onion, chopped
1 10 oz can rotel, drained
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
2 Maggie cubes (equivalent to 4 small bouillon cubes) 

Add all in crock pot (or on stovetop on the lowest heat) until melted and combined (around at least 30 mins)  Stir and serve hot with chips.
 Just for fun i put it in a chocolate fondue bowl, to keep it from getting cold.

Once you are ready to eat, just pile some of everything in a bowl and go for it! or you can make soft tacos 🙂

And that was our Mexican Chipotle dinner for that night.. hope you enjoyed it as much as i did! 



  1. I will be trying all of these! Thanks so much!

  2. Absolutely LOVE this 🙂 I'm hundreds of miles from the nearest Chipotle and now am very happy!

  3. Don't add water to the sour cream you simply whisk it until it comes to the correct consistency (I worked at Chipotle for 3 years).

  4. Looks tasty! I will need to try a few of these recipes the coming week!

    The Dilettante Chef

  5. Anyone know how to make the yummy dressing for the salad??

  6. do you know the recipie for the steak or the hot sauce??? my hubs is addicted..

  7. holy-amazingly awesome!

  8. A friend of mine pinned this to Pinterest and since I used to work at Chipotle, I figured I'd take a look. Your rice is pretty close – add in an equal amount of lemon juice too. I really enjoyed your salsa recipes too, because those we didn't make in store – they can pre-packaged.

  9. FYI :)….some Chipotle rinse their uncooked rice in a strainer until the water runs fairly clear through it then they cook it… it makes it less sticky…. Love Chipotle food… thanks fot the blog!

  10. LOVE this! Thank you! My Chipotle doesn't have espinaca. I will have to try this!

  11. Just shared this with my Sister-In-Law who is pregnant and in Germany where she can't get any Mexican food! Great for those cravings! Cheers!

  12. Thanks so much for the recipe! Saw it on Pinterest. Can't wait to try it. 🙂

  13. I made the chicken, pico, and rice for dinner and they were awesome! I think next time I will plan further ahead and cook chicken on low for longer so I can shred it. I over cooked it on high in the crock pot because I was in a hurry. Really great stuff! Thanks!

  14. what stuck out about your post was your mention of Jose Pepper's! I thought this was just a kansas city thing?? and of COURSE thank you for the chipotle recipes!

  15. Actually, I am in the KC metro area lol. Maybe that's why 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by 😀

  16. I'm so glad u loved it !

  17. Thanks for stopping by, let me know how it goes 🙂

  18. That's awesome!! Hope she tries it!

  19. Mine doesn't either, it's from another reasturant called Jose peppers here in KC. But it's a must try and very easy to make

  20. Yes, I usually do that but failed to put that up. Thanks for the reminder 🙂

  21. Thanks so much for your feedback 🙂 truly appreciated

  22. You're missing one detail on the chicken – they use leg and thigh meat, not breast meat.

  23. How much juice is in a lime? I dont have any limes, just lime juice

  24. I would love their black beans recipe.. Fresh or canned?? Anybody know??

  25. That's good to know!! Thanks!!

  26. I love that chipotle offers brown rice too!!

  27. 2 T. equals juice of one lime.

  28. Love, Love, Love Chipotle. One thing was missing from your recipes and maybe one of the people that used to work there will tell us and that is the Margarita recipe. It is absolutely the best, not as sweet as most. Thank you

  29. Steak is the same marinade as the chicken, just twice as much so it's spicier.

  30. Whoops! Meant to post that under the steak question!

  31. Thanks! I'm excited to try these!

  32. They come to us in bags. We add a little salt and lime juice right before we take them off the stove

  33. The hot sauce comes to us in bags. All we do is add a little bit of hot tobasco sauce to it and stir

  34. For that you would need our adobo that we also use to marinate our steak and chicken

  35. How do they make the carnitas??? That is simply my favorite place to get it from!!!

  36. I made it all tonight and It was a hit! It really did taste just like chipotle!

  37. I don't work at Chipotle or anything, but I make some black beans I think are pretty close… Take a can of black beans, add about 4 tbsp. cumin, 1 tbsp. minced garlic or 1 tsp. garlic powder, and a couple of bay leaves, add a little bit of water, and simmer until the water is gone. And I guess add salt and lime juice, because anonymous above me says so. 🙂

  38. I can't wait to try these! We don't have a Chipotle's in our area so this will be a real treat.

  39. For such a small portion (one can) the salt an lime juice is probably useless. Our huge stock pots that we cook the bags of beans in only get a little bit of juice and salt (I mean, compared to the amount of beans). As a manager, I had to know all the ingredients IN the prepackaged bags, so yes, your recipe is pretty close =)

  40. Carnitas just come to us in a bag – heat and shred is all the restaurants do.

  41. What about the Guac? I need that recipe! 🙂

  42. And what about the Barbacoa? I could eat my weight in it. :). Excited to try these recipes!

  43. you said you add 4 Tbsp (that is 1/4 cup) cumin to a can of black beans. Is it tablespoons or teaspoons? Sounds like a lot but that depends on the size of the can of beans.
    We love Chipolte and I can't wait to make some of these recipes.

  44. Salam,
    Silly question but how do you make the guacamole & does it have to be basmati rice? I have basmati but I'm liking jasmine a lot more right now.. I'd love to see what you come up with next! 🙂


  45. has anyone ever tryed this for a wedding?

  46. Made these beans tonight and they sucked. 4T cumin seemed like alot do I only did 3T. Beans ended up very bitter. Not sure if it was the bay leaves or cumin??

  47. That may of something to do with the fact that the person who created this post is Muslim. In other words, Muslims don't drink alcohol.

  48. OMG Chipotle's is my fave!!!! I was going there for lunch today and it didn't work out… but I have all the ingredients at home so I will just satisfy my craving for dinner!!!! 🙂

  49. The guac is 48 avocados, 2 cups of cilantro, 2 cups red onions, 1/3 cup jalapeños, 3 tablespoons of salt, 1/4 cup lemon lime juice. Mash avocados thoroughly, then fold in the remaining ingredients. I haven't worked there in over a year, but that's pretty close. To make a smaller amount, I'd go to a recipe converter.

  50. salam 🙂
    u dont have to use basmati i guess, thats all ive experimented with. jasmine rice tastes good too!

    i found this recipe to be very good for the guacamole

    let me know how it goes

  51. is there a recipe for the medium salsa (the green tomatillo, I think, one)?

  52. I love all this, I'm in Hawaii now, not a Chipotle on the whole island, and i'd been bragging about it to friends and family. Can't wait to try all these. 🙂

  53. has a great carnitas recipe that I think tastes very similar!!!

  54. I'm definitely trying this! The closest Chipotle is 5 hours away, and I need my fix!!!

  55. Sounds delish !
    What is hot pepper cheese for the espinaca ? Is that what it's called ? Is there a brand name ? Does this go on the bowl as well ?

    Sorry for all the questions .
    Thanks in advance !

  56. Friendly FYI. The sour cream is Daisy sour cream and you only mix it well. There is no added water…

  57. I want to know how the medium sauce is made and what cheese it is. I have done great with the beans and rice but wish i had that medium recipe .i could eat at chipotle everyday,soo good.

  58. margaritas can be made without alcohol.

  59. The green salsa comes in a bag, we just add cilantro, onions and oregano.

  60. Just a tip since I used to work at Chipotle. we didn't add water to the sour cream, we just whisked the HECK out if it! And the cheese is a white chedder/jack mix.

  61. Also, the guac is just fresh avocado, lime juice red onions, cilantro and a little salt.again used to work there

  62. 1/3 cup of honey
    1/2 cup of red wine vinegar
    1 tablespoon of adobo (can be found at international food stores)
    1 tablespoon of oregano
    2 tablespoon of kosher salt
    1 teaspoon of black pepper
    1 1/2 of oil

    Blend all ingredients, exept oil, in blender. Then pour oil into the blender little by little.

    I, too, used to work at chipotle this is the only recipe I remember. I use it all the time. Delicious!!

  63. What about the pork? That is what I usually get, since it's least spicy.

  64. We have Jose Pepper's here in Wichita, KS also. 🙂

  65. I still haven't seen the barbacoa recipe on here, if you can post it here or direct me to it, I'd really appreciate it!

  66. Here's one that I found, haven't tried it yet though.

  67. Which adobo? There are so many. I normally keep one of each kind I can possibly find on hand, but for some reason have trouble finding the pepper one with the red lid and it is by far my fave..

  68. My notes: I prefer to grill the meat after it marinates. I do mine in a cast iron skillet that's either flat, or is a grill type skillet. I think the meat comes out better and fresher, and it's more like the restaurant that cooks theirs on the grill. Another note, the fresher the ingredients, the better. My rice is much simpler. While cooking the meat, I use Minute rice, and when it's done, I add freshly chopped cilantro and squeeze a wedge of lime over the rice and it tastes exactly the same to me. One huge factor to keep in mind, Chipotle buys all organic and/or local, so if you can use fresh ingredients – do it.

  69. How do you make the grilled fajita peppers? The marinade for them is bomb!

  70. This is great! I just moved away from my KC chipolte, and have been craving it like crazy! I use a lot of pinterest recipes, and i know by far this will be my favorite!

  71. Again – has a FANTASIC barbacoa recipe that is almost a direct copy and is AMAZING !

  72. I have made the barbacoa recipe from It can be made in either a pressure cooker or a crock pot and it is AMAZING. I love Chipotle and I have made this at home and it is almost dead on!

  73. Nothing is EVER packaged or frozen its part of food with integrity, their very policy, I was working there and know it all in and out. Very close in some areas, as he said need lemon lime juice, rince an drain tomatoes a bit before making pico de gayo-it looked a bit mooshy, there is typically double the amount of black pepper to salt ratio (except in the rice), bay leaves are in the meat marinades, and finally the big one, there is no sour creme sauce, the packaged plain sour cream is thoroughly kneaded in package and stirred before served to make it smooth. ps- they always rinse rice until clear before cooking, not just 'some locations' the ones not doing so will be in trouble eventually! You didnt hear it from me! For brown rice do not add lemon-lime juice! 🙂

  74. Cherie,

    I have a recipe for the pork (Carnitas) on my blog:

    Super easy and much healthier than fried carnitas.

  75. I have a carnitas recipe on my blog that works great for homemade Chipotle night!

  76. All these yummy recipes and all I can think about is their chips! Wish I could make those!! Yum!

  77. Yes!! I want the marinated veggie recipe! Anyone know it?? 🙂

  78. I worked there and we never added water to the sour cream

  79. Made the marinated chicken. It's definitely a keeper, as well as the Cilantro Lime Rice — perfect !!! Thanks for sharing. Personally, I think there can be a little tweaking of the chicken marinade… just not sure what is missing. Most importantly, thanks for sharing ! I will definitely be making this weekly.

  80. I made the pico de gallo, the corn salsa and the cilantro rice; yum! Thank you so much for sharing these. So that we could make our own Chipotle-type burritos, I made a roast in the crock pot like I normally do (pepper, salt and garlic powder then on low for 6-8 hours no added liquid) and then shredded it. My hubby added some taco seasoning to give it a hint of flavoring. I know it isn't their barbacoa, but it worked in a pinch. For the sour cream, I did add a little water and it worked just fine. It was an awesome dinner!

  81. Does anyone know how they make their vinaigrette dressing? I would really appreciate it. Thank you.

  82. The rice and salsa look good. The chicken however…. well… crockpot chicken comes out nothing like properly charbroiled chicken. Maybe yours is good, but it I guarantee it is nothing like they make at Chipotle – it can’t possibly be. If you want to get close without firing up the grill, a cast iron pan with grill “ridges” in the bottom comes close. Slow cooking the chicken in liquid is about as opposite of Chipotle-style chicken as you can get.

  83. Forgot to mention, putting frozen chicken into a slow cooker is a no-no, as any bacteria will love the temperature as it thaws and comes up to a cooking temp., and multiply like crazy!

    • Seth, the bacteria eventually die when the temp reaches 130+. It doesn’t matter how many you start with. They all die. It is a function of time and temp. At 130 it takes several hours hours. At 170F it is instant.

  84. Thanks so much for posting this recipe! And thanks to everyone for the comments. I took notes, and made the chicken, the rice, the beans, the pico, and the corn salsa. It was absolutely amazing. It was even better than Chipotle, at least my memory thinks that it was! I live in Germany and we have a few wannabe Chipotle restaurants, but nothing even comes close. So this is much appreciated! It was a pain trying to find adobo sauce and jalapeño peppers in this area, but it was so worth it.


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