Chicken breasts marinated in a spicy chipotle marinade in a baking dish.

Spicy Chicken Marinade

  • Author: Kristen Stevens
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Marinate Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: North American


This spicy chicken marinade has the best smoky heat, and the spiciness can be customized to your liking. Make the spicy chipotle marinade in just minutes then use it to flavor your favorite cut of chicken.

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  • ¼ cup neutral-flavored oil (like avocado or canola)
  • 1 12-ounce can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (see notes)
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon EACH: onion powder and garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon EACH: oregano, sea salt, and pepper
  • 2 lb. chicken (see notes) 


  1. Add the oil, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, vinegar, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and pepper to your food processor and blend for 1 minute. It’s ok if the marinade is still a little chunky.
  2. Pour the marinade over the chicken and let it marinate in your fridge for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours. Choose one of the methods below for cooking the chicken.

Baked: This is the simplest method. Put the marinade-covered chicken into a pan and pop it into your oven at 420 degrees Fahrenheit. Boneless thighs – 12-15 minutes. Boneless breast – 20-30 minutes. Bone-in thighs and wings – 35-40 minutes. All cuts should be cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Stovetop: Chicken breasts or boneless thighs work best for this method. Put the chicken, marinade, and ¼ cup of water into the pan, cover it and let it simmer gently for 8-10 minutes for thighs and 15-20 minutes for breasts. Add more water, if needed.

Grilled: If you want to grill your spicy chicken, a grill mat will help keep your bbq clean. Boneless chicken thighs are your best option as they cook quickly so you won’t risk burning the marinade.

Slowcooker: skinless breast or thighs work best for a crockpot. Add the chicken, marinade, and ¼ cup of water and set the timer to cook for 2-3 hours on high or 4-5 hours on low.


This marinade makes enough for 16 boneless chicken thighs, 8 boneless chicken breasts, or 4 lbs. chicken wings.

For a less spicy experience, use ½ can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. 

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