Skip to Content

Pollo Asado Recipe

This Pollo Asado Recipe includes all of the spices, seasoning, and marinade you will need to make tender, juicy chicken with tons of flavor. Love the new Chipotle chicken? You’re going to love this copycat version.

Chipotle pollo asado bowl with cilantro lime rice in a bowl

This post contains affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure here.

What is Pollo Asado?

In Spanish, pollo means chicken and asado can mean grilled or barbecued. The dish can be found in Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Cuban cuisine. It’s also sometimes called red chicken because of its beautiful bright color from the spices and marinade. For the purpose of this recipe, the dish is more Mexican inspired and closely aligned with the taste of the dish from Chipotle restaurant.

The chicken is known for being tender and juicy and doesn’t lack any flavor, thanks to the marinade. Until recently, Chipotle hadn’t changed its menu in 30 years as it pertains to their chicken. In their version, you can taste a blend of chilies, cumin, and garlic for sure.

chipotles in adobo sauce, limes, oranges cilantro, onions, and spices on a flat surface

Asado Marinade

The star of this recipe comes from the marinade which is a combination of fresh citrus juices and a small handful of spices. Below you will see I like to use chicken thighs for this recipe. Because of that, you don’t have to marinate the meat in advance or overnight, unless you want to.

Marinating meat in liquid tenderizes the meat which always results in tender and juicy meat. You can’t go wrong when you do it, but if you use chicken thighs and you are in a time crunch, trust me you don’t have to.

For the marinade you will need:

Another spice I love to use sometimes is chili powder. It isn’t a must for this dish, because the chipotles in adobo sauce provide immense flavor. But feel free to sprinkle it in if you wish!

collage of 4 photos with pollo asado marinade and raw chicken thighs

What Type of Chicken to Use

I’m using boneless skinless chicken thighs. Chicken thighs are really juicy, especially in comparison to something like chicken breast. Bone-in thighs are juicier than boneless and usually have a longer cook time. I like to add this chicken to a rice bowl, so boneless works better for me. Feel free to use any chicken you wish including breasts or drumsticks.

boneless skinless chicken thighs in a glass bowl

Is it Spicy?

Chipotle pepper comes from the Nahuatl word chilpoctli meaning “smoked chili”. These peppers are smoke-dried jalapenos preserved in adobo sauce. They have a distinct, smoky, spicy, slightly sweet flavor. If you are someone who is opposed to spicy, you will find the dish spicy.

As someone who loves spicy, it’s on the mild side for me. Feel free to add red cayenne pepper to take it up a notch.

How to Make Pollo Asado

  1. Add the ingredients for the marinade to a blender, food processor, or a large bowl to use with a handheld immersion blender.
  2. Blend the ingredients until it creates a thick sauce.
  3. Coat the chicken thighs in the marinade.
  4. Grill, sear, bake, or air fry.

How to Cook the Chicken

The dish is typically grilled. If you don’t have a grill you can also use a cast iron skillet or cast iron grill pan and cook it on the stove. You can also bake or air fry the chicken.

To sear the chicken on the stove, cook for 10-12 minutes on medium-high heat.

Grill on 350-400 degrees for 15-30 minutes.

To bake pollo asado, bake on 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes for boneless chicken. Bone-in chicken thighs will need 10-20 minutes additional time.

Air fry the chicken on 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes. Bone-in chicken thighs will need 5-10 minutes additional time.

pollo asado in a cast iron skillet

How to Tell When the Chicken Has Finished Cooking

Chicken must be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees. Be sure to test if the chicken is done by inserting a meat thermometer into the thickest parts of one of the pieces of chicken.

pollo asado on a plate
pollo asado on a cutting board

How to Store Leftovers

Leftovers can be stored tightly covered and sealed for 3-4 days.

How to Reheat

The best way to reheat the chicken is in a pan on the stove or in the air fryer (350 degrees until warm). You can use the microwave if you wish.

Freezer Tips

You can freeze leftovers tightly sealed and covered for 3 months.

pollo asado on a cutting board with sauce

What to Serve with the Dish

Instant Pot Black Beans
Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice
Smoked Salsa
Air Fryer Tortilla Chips
Homemade Queso Cheese

Oven Baked Roasted Corn on the Cob

pollo asado on a cutting board with sauce

More Copycat Recipes

Bang Bang Shrimp Pasta
Taco Bell Creamy Jalapeno Sauce
Taco Bell Breakfast Crunchwrap
Chick-Fil-A Chicken Sandwich
Red Lobster CopyCat Shrimp Scampi
Instant Pot Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup
Keto Low Carb Zuppa Toscana Soup
Panera Autumn Squash Soup
Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Big Mac Casserole

Chipotle pollo asado bowl with cilantro lime rice in a bowl
Print Pin
5 from 20 votes

Pollo Asado Recipe

This Pollo Asado Recipe includes all of the spices, seasoning, and marinade you will need to make tender, juicy chicken with tons of flavor. Love the new Chipotle chicken? You're going to love this copycat version.
Save this recipe here.
Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword chicken asada, Chipotle pollo asado, pollo asado, pollo asado marinade
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 306kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs See notes.
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons water Optional

Marinade

  • 7 oz Chipotles in Adobo Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice I juiced an orange.
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Marinade

  • Add all of the ingredients for the marinade to a blender, food processor, or a large bowl to use with a handheld immersion blender.
    7 oz Chipotles in Adobo Sauce, 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice, 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, 3 garlic cloves, 1/4 cup chopped onions, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, salt and pepper to taste
  • Blend the ingredients until it creates a thick sauce.
  • Coat the chicken thighs in the marinade. (Marinating overnight is optional and not required).
    1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs

Pan-Seared Chicken

  • Heat a skillet or grill pan (I use a cast iron) on medium-high heat with olive oil.
    1 teaspoon 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.
    For boneless chicken thighs, cook for 5 minutes and then flip and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
    For bone-in thighs use an oven-safe skillet (like a cast iron), Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Sear the chicken on each side for 4 minutes each to get the skin crispy. Once crisp, bake the chicken for 18-20 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
  • Remove and cool before serving.
  • Once the chicken has cooked, I like to drizzle the leftover additional 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 the optional water. Drizzle the sauce over the cooked chicken.
    2-3 tablespoons water

Air Fryer Chicken

  • Coat the air fryer basket with olive oil.
  • Add the chicken to the air fryer basket.
  • Bone-in Thighs: Air fry the chicken on 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Open the air fryer and flip the chicken. Cook for an additional 10-12 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
    Boneless Thighs: Air fry the chicken on 400 degrees 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 degrees.

Grilled Chicken

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

Notes

  • Chicken thighs are really juicy, especially in comparison to something like chicken breast. Bone-in thighs are juicier than boneless and usually have a longer cook time. I like to add this chicken to a rice bowl, so boneless works better for me.
  • Feel free to use any chicken you wish including breasts or drumsticks. 
  • This recipe makes enough of the sauce marinade to drizzle over the chicken after it has been cooked. My favorite way to make this dish is on the stovetop for that reason. If you opt to make it in the air fryer or on the grill, if you wish, you can reserve half of the sauce marinade to drizzle over the chicken after it has cooked.
  • Adjust the spices and ingredients in the marinade to suit your taste and needs. If you like spicy chicken, add red cayenne pepper.
  • If pan searing I recommend a cast iron skillet or stainless steel pan. A non-stick pan likely won’t give you the crust on the chicken you want for a dish like this.
Recipe Tools Used in this RecipeAs an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition (displayed with net carbs)

Serving: 6oz | Calories: 306kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 13g
Do you struggle with staying consistent at meal prepping?If you get tired of your Meal Prep Meals by Day 2 our Big Boss Meal Prep Guide is for you!
Need help planning keto friendly meals?Grab your 21 Day Keto Meal Plan here.!
Need Keto Recipes for the Summer?Access our 21 Day Summer Meal Plan here!
Looking for new ways to use your air fryer?Snag your 14 Day Air Fryer Meal Plan here!
Tried this recipe? Mention @Stay_Snatched or tag #StaySnatched! The recipe instructions noted here are the property of Stay Snatched and subject to copyright. Please do not screenshot and share this recipe on social.
Subscribe to our YouTube ChannelCheck out our YouTube Channel!
Join our Air Fryer and Instant Pot Facebook GroupClick here to join our Facebook Group!
Join our Keto Recipes Facebook GroupClick here to join our Facebook Group!
Nutrition DataMacros are provided as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. This information is calculated using MyFitnessPal.com. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.
Recipe Rating




Jacqueline

Monday 30th of May 2022

Hit it out of the park with this one! Super easy to put together with great flavor. It was a hit at our family dinner

staysnatched

Monday 30th of May 2022

Wonderful! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

Alicia H.

Monday 30th of May 2022

This recipe was so easy to pull together and delicious! I'll be eating this every day this week 😍

staysnatched

Monday 30th of May 2022

Wonderful! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

Kayla

Thursday 26th of May 2022

Loved it!! I served with cilantro lime rice and black beans. So dang good.

staysnatched

Thursday 26th of May 2022

Glad you enjoyed it!

Skye

Thursday 26th of May 2022

BANGING! So simple and flavor was unreal. Glad to add this one in the mix. Thanks again

staysnatched

Thursday 26th of May 2022

You're welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Melissa Piermarini

Monday 9th of May 2022

Another hit! The chicken was perfect! Full of flavor, juicy and delicious. It was so easy to make. I marinated tenders overnight and it was perfection!

staysnatched

Thursday 12th of May 2022

Wonderful! I'm glad you enjoyed it.