These Baked Chipotle Chicken Burritos are smoky and bursting with flavor. They are easy to assemble and covered with chipotle sauce and melty cheese before they are broiled for just a few minutes in the oven, served on a plate just like at your favorite Mexican restaurant. Plus, you can make these ahead of time and freeze or refrigerate until you are ready to cook them!
I was inspired to make these “wet burritos” after watching The Kitchen this past weekend, in which Sunny Anderson whipped up a batch of these delicious looking burritos. Does anyone else love this show as much as I do? I usually don’t like talk shows in any form, but this has become something I really look forward to watching on the weekends. So many delicious recipes and kitchen tips and tricks!
While Sunny used cooked rotisserie chicken and honey chipotle flavored beans, I instead marinated the chicken and cooked it from scratch, making a smoky chipotle sauce from the leftover marinade, and kept it bean-free.
Goodness. These are good. I don’t know if I can resist making them again next week already!
So. I cooked the chicken from scratch and made these in one evening for dinner. But there are some shortcuts you can take to make these easier for a weeknight meal:
- Use precooked chicken, such as rotisserie. Buy a chipotle flavored salsa and mix a bit in with the chicken, and use it as a substitution for the sauce.
- Use microwave style rice, or leftovers from another meal, so you don’t have to cook it from scratch.
- Assemble the burritos and refrigerate them ahead of time, storing them in the refrigerator for up to three days (or freezer for up to 3 months). Instead of broiling when you are ready to eat them, bake in a 400 degree oven until the cheese is browned and melty (otherwise, the inside will still be cold). If freezing, defrost completely before baking.
- If you have extra ingredients, assemble burritos without the sauce and cheese on top for easy lunches during the week! Eat them cold or microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
To make these extra healthy and nutritious, use whole wheat or sprouted grain tortillas and brown rice. I used my recipe for cilantro lime brown rice, which gives the burritos an extra bright and tangy flavor that compliments the smokiness of the chipotle peppers very nicely. You can certainly use plain rice- just make sure to season it with salt.
You can use any baking dish to cook these. My favorite ceramic baking dish developed a crack, and out of fear for it exploding in my hands as I take it out of the oven, I’ve decided to retire it. So, an oven proof skillet worked just fine for these! You can even sear them before putting them in the oven if you want (but it’s not necessary).
Recipe for Baked Chipotle Chicken Burritos below!
Baked Chipotle Chicken Burritos
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts and/or thighs, cut roughly into 2-3 inch pieces
- 3 canned chipotle peppers in adobo chopped, plus 2 tablespoons of the adobo sauce
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- juice of one lime
- 1 cup chicken stock/broth
- 2 cups cooked rice such as cilantro lime brown rice
- 8 oz. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 4-6 burrito-sized flour tortillas
- chopped fresh cilantro and red onion for serving (optional)
- Marinate the chicken in the peppers, adobo sauce, garlic powder, salt, pepper, olive oil, and lime juice in a large plastic bag or container, for at least two hours or as long as two days in the fridge.
- In a heavy skillet (such as cast iron), cook the chicken on medium high heat for 5 minutes on each side, or until seared on each side and fully cooked on the inside.
- Remove chicken from skillet and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes, then shred with two forks into small pieces.
- Meanwhile, deglaze skillet with chicken stock, scraping up the peppers and brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer for a few minutes, allowing the liquid to reduce by about 25%.
- Transfer liquid and all the peppers and bits from the bottom of the pan to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth (or transfer to a measuring cup or small bowl and do the same thing with an immersion blender).
- Assemble each burrito as follows: layer rice, cheese, and chicken, and a little bit of the pureed sauce. Roll each by folding over one side, tucking over the edges, and finishing rolling. Make sure you leave some cheese and sauce for topping the burritos after assembling.
- Lay each burrito seam size down in an oven safe pan or baking dish.
- Top each burrito with remaining sauce and cheese.
- Broil in oven for 4-8 minutes, depending on how hot your broiler is, until cheese is bubbly and browned (keep an eye on it!).
- Remove from oven and serve topped with fresh cilantro and onions, if desired.
Assemble any extra assembled burritos (without the sauce and cheese on top) for an easy microwave lunch for later!
Make ahead- assemble the burritos in your baking dish up to three days before baking for an easy weeknight dinner- just pop in a 425 degree oven until cheese is browned and melted (don't broil if you make ahead, since the inside will still be cold).