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    Qdoba Chicken

    I love Qdoba, and my easy Qdoba Chicken recipe is the perfect copycat. And let me tell you, it’s also one of the most versatile things you can cook.

    I usually stuff it in burritos, tacos and bowl meals, but it’s also great in salads, on sandwiches, or even as an add-in to pastas and soups.

    Qdoba in a rice bowl with corn, avocado and salsa.

    Sadly, there is no Qdoba near me. In college, I practically lived off of their giant burritos. There was a location right across the street from my dorm, and I made many late night trips there. Now, rather than driving an hour and a half to the nearest Qdoba, I decided to replicate it myself.

    My recipe comes very, very close to the taste of the original. Plus, the recipe also scales well, which makes it great for meal prep. Give it a try, and let me know what you think!

    Ingredient Notes

    • Chicken – I always use boneless, skinless thighs for this recipe. You can use breast if you like, but cook them to 165 degrees instead of 180 degrees, which is my recommended doneness for thighs.
    • Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce – These give that characteristic smokiness. If you’re not familiar with them, you can find them in small cans in the Latin section of most supermarkets.
    • Garlic – Minced.
    • Lime juice – For a little tang, and to help tenderize the chicken as it marinates.
    • Spices – Chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper.

    Qdoba Chicken Recipe

    The first, and most important step, is to marinate the chicken. Combine it with the other ingredients in a bowl (covered in cling wrap) or a large zip top bag. I like to start my marination in the morning, then cook the chicken in the evening. In a pinch, you can marinate it for 30 minutes or so, but it won’t be quite as tasty.

    Chicken along with a red colored marinade in a zip top bag.

    From there, it’s just a matter of searing the chicken. My preferred skillet here is cast iron. Heat up a little oil in the pan over medium high heat, then cook the chicken, flipping it from time to time, until it’s done. It takes me about 12-15 minutes, depending on how big the thighs are.

    Seared chicken thighs on a cutting board.

    Once it’s done, allow the chicken to rest for 5-10 minutes on a cutting board. I usually dice it all up so even the leftovers are ready to go.

    Diced chicken on a cutting board.

    Now for the fun part, deciding how to serve it! It’s, of course, perfect for burritos. That’s what Qdoba is most famous for. And let’s not forget the tacos and burrito bowls, this chicken is equally great there.

    Three chicken tacos.

    But as I mentioned, you can also use this chicken in a variety of other ways. Want a great leftover idea? Toss it with fettuccine alfredo. Yes, it’s amazing!

    Let me know how you like my Qdoba chicken by leaving a star rating and a comment below the recipe card. And if you discover any new great uses for, please pass them on, because I’m addicted to this stuff.

    Chicken burrito bowl.

    Qdoba Chicken, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!

    Chicken burrito bowl atop the Gypsy Plate.
    Featured image for Qdoba chicken recipe.

    Qdoba Chicken

    Yield: 4 servings
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 15 minutes
    Total Time: 25 minutes

    My copycat Qdoba Chicken recipe is so easy to make, and is a super versatile meal prep contender.


    • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
    • 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped
    • 1 Tbsp adobo sauce
    • 2 tsp chili powder
    • 1 tsp cumin
    • 1 tsp oregano
    • 1.5 tsp salt
    • ½ tsp pepper
    • juice of 1 lime


    1. Combine chicken, 2 Tbsp olive oil, garlic, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, seasonings and lime juice in a bowl (covered in cling wrap) or a large zip top bag. Marinate for at least 30 minutes, or better yet, overnight. If marinating for longer times, refrigerate the chicken and remove it from the fridge 30 minutes prior to cooking.
    2. Heat remaining Tbsp olive oil in a skillet (I use cast iron) over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning occasionally, until it reaches an internal temperature of 180°. This should take about 12-15 minutes, depending on the size of the thighs.
    3. Remove to a cutting board and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes. Dice it up and serve in burritos, tacos or bowl meals, or see the main post for some other creative uses.


    1. If you're unfamiliar with chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, they're available in small can in the Latin section of most supermarkets.
    2. Leftover can be refrigerated for 3-4 days in an airtight container or zip top bag. Reheat on stovetop or in the microwave.

    Nutrition Information
    Yield 4 Serving Size 1
    Amount Per Serving Calories 485Total Fat 29gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 21gCholesterol 277mgSodium 1389mgCarbohydrates 4gFiber 1gSugar 1gProtein 56g

    Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

    Picture of Alpana, blogger and recipe developer at GypsyPlate

    Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.

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