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This copycat Chipotle Steak recipe tastes even better than the real thing. The marinade is quick and easy and full of the smoky, spicy flavors you love!

A bowl of Chipotle steak, pinto beans, cilantro-lime rice, and pico de gallo.

Chipotle Steak has all the same flavors as Chipotle’s famous Chicken, but here it’s applied to your favorite inexpensive cut of steak like sirloin, round steak, or flat iron steak.

It’s a tasty way to add protein to your burritos, bowls, tostadas, and more. Or serve it like they do in Mexico: Tacos on corn tortillas with just grilled onions, fresh cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Recipe FAQs
  6. Chipotle Steak (Copycat) Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for Copycat Chipotle Steak.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Adobo sauce: To make your own adobo sauce, whisk together 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 1 tablespoon cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon chipotle powder (or ½ teaspoon EACH smoked paprika and cayenne powder), ½ teaspoon ground cumin, and a pinch EACH of oregano, garlic powder, and salt.
  • Ancho chile powder: You can buy ancho chile powder online or buy dried ancho chiles and grind them to make your own ancho chile powder or soak them and add straight to the marinade (Culinary Hill may earn money if you buy through these links).
  • Olive oil: Chipotle uses rice bran oil, but olive oil is more widely available (and probably already in your pantry).
  • Oregano: Chipotle uses Mexican oregano, but you can use Italian oregano if that’s all that you have. They have different flavors (Mexican oregano tastes more like marjoram) but both taste great in this recipe.
  • Steak: According to Chipotle’s customer service, the “beef” in their steak could be any number of cuts including part of the loin, ball tip, round steak, flat iron steak, top butt, clod, or knuckle.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. To make the marinade, in the bowl of a food processor or blender, add garlic, adobo sauce, ancho chile powder, olive oil, cumin, dried oregano, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Blend until smooth (add water if needed to fully blend the marinade).
A blender full of the marinade for Chipotle steak.
  1. In a large zipper-top plastic bag or bowl, add steak and marinade, tossing to coat. Let the beef marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes or up to 12 hours in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
Steaks marinaded in Chipotle flavors.
  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil until shimmering. Add marinated steak to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the temperature reaches 135 degrees for rare or 145 degrees for medium-rare. Depending on the size of your skillet, you can cook the steak in batches.
Cooking chipotle copycat steak in a skillet.
  1. Remove to a cutting board and tent with foil for 10 minutes. Chop into small pieces.
Chopping Chipotle copycat steak on a cutting board.
  1. Season to taste with salt. Serve with your favorite burrito toppings such as rice, beans, guacamole, and salsa.
Cooking chipotle copycat steak in a skillet.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes 20 generous servings, about 1/2-cup each.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered for up to 4 days.
  • Make ahead: The steak can be marinated the day before you need it. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.
  • To substitute dried ancho chiles:
    1. Remove stems and seeds from dried chiles (wearing gloves is recommended).
    2. In a dry skillet over medium-low heat, toast the chiles until fragrant but not smoking, about 5 minutes.
    3. Transfer to a medium bowl and add 4 cups (1 quart) water and 2 Tablespoons adobo sauce. Microwave on HIGH for 6 minutes. Drain well, then add the chiles to the food processor in step 1.
A bowl of Chipotle steak, pinto beans, cilantro-lime rice, and pico de gallo.

Recipe FAQs

What can I do with leftover chipotle chilis and adobo sauce?

Transfer to a bag or glass jar and freeze for future use, or 1-2 tablespoons with ½ cup mayo for a delicious Chipotle Mayonnaise. Or, use in Chipotle ChickenChicken Tinga, or Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers.

Chipotle Burrito Bowl

Tonight, stay in and build your own Chipotle Burrito Bowl with the copycat recipes you know and love. Fluffy rice, black beans, tender chicken, sweet corn salsa, tomato salsa, and lots of guacamole. It’s great…

50 minutes
View Recipe

More Chipotle copycat favorites

A bowl of Chipotle steak, pinto beans, cilantro-lime rice, and pico de gallo.

Chipotle Steak (Copycat)

This copycat Chipotle Steak recipe tastes even better than the real thing. The marinade is quick and easy and full of the smoky, spicy flavors you love!
5 from 78 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Servings 20 servings (about ½ cup each)
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Calories 210

Ingredients 

For the steak:

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons adobo sauce (see note 1)
  • 2 tablespoons ancho chile powder (see note 2)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or rice bran oil, plus more for the cooking surface (see note 3)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano (see note 4)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 pounds steak such as sirloin, round steak, or flat iron steak (see note 5)

Instructions 

  • To make the marinade, in the bowl of a food processor or blender, add garlic, adobo sauce, ancho chile powder, olive oil, cumin, dried oregano, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Blend until smooth (add water if needed to fully blend the marinade).
  • In a large zipper-top plastic bag or bowl, add steak and marinade, tossing to coat. Let the beef marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes or up to 12 hours in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil until shimmering. Add marinated steak to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the temperature reaches 135 degrees for rare or 145 degrees for medium-rare. Depending on the size of your skillet, you can cook the steak in batches.
  • Remove to a cutting board and tent with foil for 10 minutes. Chop into small pieces. Season to taste with salt. Serve with your favorite burrito toppings such as rice, beans, guacamole, and salsa.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Adobo sauce: To make your own adobo sauce, whisk together 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 1 tablespoon cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon chipotle powder (or ½ teaspoon EACH smoked paprika and cayenne powder), ½ teaspoon ground cumin, and a pinch EACH of oregano, garlic powder, and salt.
  2. Ancho chile powder: You can buy ancho chile powder online or buy dried ancho chiles and grind them to make your own ancho chile powder or soak them and add straight to the marinade (Culinary Hill may earn money if you buy through these links).
  3. Olive oil: Chipotle uses rice bran oil, but olive oil is more widely available (and probably already in your pantry).
  4. Oregano: Chipotle uses Mexican oregano, but you can use Italian oregano if that’s all that you have. They have different flavors (Mexican oregano tastes more like marjoram) but both taste great in this recipe.
  5. Steak: According to Chipotle’s customer service, the “beef” in their steak could be any number of cuts including part of the loin, ball tip, round steak, flat iron steak, top butt, clod, or knuckle.
  6. Yield: This recipe makes 20 generous 1/2-cup servings.
  7. Storage: Store leftovers covered for up to 4 days.
  8. Make ahead: The steak can be marinated the day before you need it. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.
  9. To substitute dried ancho chiles:
    1. Remove stems and seeds from dried chiles (wearing gloves is recommended).
    2. In a dry skillet over medium-low heat, toast the chiles until fragrant but not smoking, about 5 minutes.
    3. Transfer to a medium bowl and add 4 cups (1 quart) water and 2 Tablespoons adobo sauce. Microwave on HIGH for 6 minutes. Drain well, then add the chiles to the food processor in step 1.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 210kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 18gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 370mgPotassium: 270mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 261IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 17mgIron: 2mg
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Executive Chef and CEO at | Website | + posts

Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.

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Comments

  1. Hi – We love your copycat recipes and this one is a favorite. Chipotle recently ran a “Carne Asada” as a limited item. I am curious if you have tried to copy that one? It appears in the commercial that they grill (flat top) some form of sliced beef and then season it with lime, cilantro and some form of spices.5 stars

    1. Hi Michael, thank you! I haven’t, and it looks like I missed the boat on that promotion, I don’t see it on their site anymore. I’ll give it a go once it comes back around. Thank you again! Take care! – Meggan

  2. AMAZING RECIPE! I’ve been using it for a few years now, soo sorry it’s late. YOU GUYS ROCK! KEEP THEM GREAT RECIPES COMING! ❤️5 stars

  3. Why does recipe not have onion listed for marinade but video shows this being included? Has the recipe been updated or is that ingredient missing?

    1. Hi Ellen, Chipotle doesn’t use red onion in their recipe but I felt that it tasted better with the red onion. To keep this a true copycat recipe I took the red onion out but feel free to add it! Hope this helps. – Meggan

  4. I don’t usually write reviews for recipes but this recipe deserves to be tried out for sure! I never tried cooking Mexican style dishes and it was my first time but turned out great! I added a mix of salad from tomatoes and cucumbers with sour cream, beans and white rice as carbs. My husband and I both loved it😍

  5. My daughter is the pickiest eater I know. She loved this recipe and stated that it was even better than Chipotle. High praise!

  6. I have not made this yet but plan to because I love the chicken. In the comments it says you add cloves but it’s not in the recipe??

    1. Hi Melissa, sorry about that! There are no cloves, it’s a typo. Thank you for pointing that out! – Meggan

  7. In one place in your posting of this recipe, it says it has 20 servings. In another place it says 8 generous servings. That’s quite a difference. Before I make this yummy recipe, I need to know what the correct serving is – one-twentieth or one-eighth? Thank you.

    1. Hi Susan, thank you so much for pointing this out! This full recipe using 4 pounds of raw steak makes about 10 cups of cooked steak total, so 20 (1/2-cup) servings. There is a slider in the recipe card so you can easily reduce the recipe to yield as much as you like! Thank you again! – Meggan

  8. The directions say to put cloves into the food processor, but there are no cloves in the ingredients. Is this a typo? If it isn’t, how many cloves do we put in?

    1. Hi Toni! It’s a typo, so sorry about that! Thank you for the comment, I’ve fix the instruction. – Meggan

  9. I love this recipe and have been using it a lot over the last year – but why in the world have you just NOW updated it and removed the red onion in the recipe??? This recipe was posted September 18, 2017 & Updated February 13, 2022, I thought I was going crazy until I saw the block text still references it…used to call for half a red onion and it is GREAT, no idea why it’s removed now lol5 stars

    1. Hi, as I said in that block text Chipotle doesn’t use red onion in their recipe but I felt that it tasted better with the red onion. To keep this a true copycat recipe I took the red onion out but feel free to add it! Hope this helps. – Meggan

    2. I’m so glad you wrote this – I thought I was losing my mind! I love this recipe but thought I’d somehow lost the original since I didn’t see the red onion or the add enough water to make a cup of marinade. Was anything else taken out (want to make as originally posted)? Thanks!5 stars

  10. How long can I let meat marinade? Husband had to leave last minute and I want to wait till he is back to make it

    1. Hi Mary, you can safely leave marinated steak in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Hope this helps! – Meggan

  11. Amazing! Used in tacos, salad, quesadillas. So tender and flavorful. Marinated over night, put on gas grill for about 4 min per side. Perfecto!!!5 stars

  12. I used about 1/3 of a red onion instead as my family isn’t huge on onion taste
    And instead of filling it with water to make a cup I filled it with lime juice instead.
    Came out so good, thank you

  13. Thank you for the recipe. I would like to make it for a large crowd. 50 people but would need to make ahead of time. Do you have any suggestions for how I could prepare this I had of time? Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Lisa, you’re welcome! I would make the marinade and have it sit with the steak overnight. I would put my oven at about 200 degrees, and after cooking the steak, cover it with foil and place it in the oven until it’s time to serve. Repeat with the remaining meat. I would then pull it out, slice it and serve. I worry if you were to slice it first before putting it in the oven to hold its heat, it would dry out. – Meggan

  14. I absolutely love this recipe & so does my boyfriend & the 6 other people that have tried it after i made it.I make my own Adobe Sauce but without the spicy part.I also make it with chicken breast along with the steak.It is also amazing!!!!!Thank you so much for this recipe you are truly amazing!!!!!!My boyfriend says i put the Mexican Restaurants around here to shame with it when i make it.5 stars

  15. The flavor was excellent. My family and I loved this recipe. I did add 2 of the chipotle peppers from the adobo sauce. I will definitely make this again.5 stars

  16. I freaking love it. We dont have any ancho chilli here in Indonesia, hence I substitute it with regular chilli powder. I also cant thank you enough that you put recipe for adobo sauce substitution. All ingredients were easily found in here.5 stars

  17. can you sous vide the steak after the marinade and then grill? would you advise doing this?

    1. Hi Margaret, yes that should work just fine. Sous vide it to your desired temperature and then finish it on the grill. Sounds perfect! Thanks. -Meggan

  18. I just tried this recipe. Does it taste like chipotle? Not really, but that’s ok because it’s delicious. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I definitely will be keeping this recipe. I can’t wait to make it again.5 stars

  19. Hello! Question! Is this marinade per pound of steak? Or for all 4 pounds? If for all 4 pounds, do you put it all in one Ziploc bag? Thanks! Excited to try it out!

    1. Hi Vic, this marinade is for all 4 pounds of steak. You can put it all in one bag and just mash the marinade to distribute it evenly. -Meggan

    1. Hi Aliha, it looks like each serving has 10g of fat, not 17g. I played around with the nutrition label and it has a few different options for which tofu brand/kind to select, and the fat content varies depending on that. So I could pick a generic tofu and it would show 7.9g fat, or I could pick “Vitasoy USA Organic Nasoya, Tofu Plus Extra Firm” and it shows 9.6g. If I pick a softer tofu (firm or silken) then the fat increases slightly, to 12.2g or 14.6g. So, I think it really depends on which brand you pick. I’m also not a nutritionist so maybe there is something else happening there that I don’t understand. But, the only other source of fat here is the olive oil, and the recipe is reflecting 1 tablespoon of that. I hope this is helpful! Sorry for the confusion. -Meggan

    1. Hi Joel, it’s half an onion, probably around 1 cup. But, I list it as “half an onion” because you put it in a blender as part of the marinade. So, there is no reason to chop it up much (just quartered or whatever you need to make it blend evenly). The marinade makes enough for 4 pounds of steak. I hope this is helpful! If you have any other questions, just let me know. Thanks. -Meggan

  20. Thanks for the recipe. Looking forward to try it. What kind of loin steak would you recommend? Would top sirloin steak worK? Any other advice on what kind of steak to use? Thx

  21. My kids want to eat at chipotle everyday. I followed instructions made steaks taste just like Chipotle but tender. Thank you very much for the recipe and instructions!5 stars

    1. Hi Jessica, sorry I didn’t have that written out! It’s 1 ounce of dried chiles. When I buy them, it’s usually a 2-ounce package and 3-4 chiles in it depending on the size. I’ve updated the recipe notes. Thanks for pointing that out, and sorry again! If you have any other questions, just let me know. -Meggan

  22. This is awesome.. As someone who is just getting into cooking this was simple and easy to follow and was exactly what I was looking for. Thank you so much for sharing this!5 stars

    1. Hi Vanessa, I don’t think so. I’ve let this marinade for 4-5 days and the flavor does not get significantly spicier. You should be fine! Thanks.

  23. Do you think I could cook the steak and the chicken version the day before and re- heat? Having a lunch graduation party.

    1. Hi Jane, yes absolutely. With the steak, you just don’t want to cook it too much because you don’t want it to be tough and dried out. So cook it medium rare, perhaps, or medium if that’s more your taste. Does that make sense? And if you want to reheat in the oven, I would cover your pans with foil to keep the chicken and steak from drying out. Or, you could toss it in a hot skillet to heat it up. Thank you so much and please let me know if you need anything else.

  24. To make the steak:
    Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet until shimmering (or preheat a grill over medium high heat). Add “CHICKEN ????” to the pan and cook, turning occasionally, until the temperature reaches 135 degrees for rare or 145 degrees for medium rare. Depending on the size of your skillet, you can cook the steak in batches.5 stars

    1. D’OH!!! Thanks for being my proofreader, your check is in the mail. But seriously I appreciate you.

    2. John,
      This author stole this recipe from Browneyedbaker. Browneyedbaker’s recipe was chicken that why it said chicken in the first place. If you’re going to steal something, make sure you don’t literally COPY & PASTE IT.

    3. FALSE.

      Exhibit A: I first posted my Chipotle Chicken recipe on January 21, 2014 as documented by the Wayback Machine: https://web.archive.org/web/20140130023928/www.culinaryhill.com/chipotle-chicken/

      I later changed the recipe to offer a version that used the ancho chile powder instead of working with the dried chiles since readers had trouble locating them. I still discuss how to work with the dried chiles in my post, though, since some people prefer this method.

      Exhibit B: Brown Eyed Baker posted her version in May 2016 which was documented by the Wayback Machine in early 2017:
      https://web.archive.org/web/20170519100906/https://www.browneyedbaker.com/chipotle-chicken-recipe/

      As you can see from the record, she previously cited me as her source since SHE ADAPTED HER RECIPE FROM MINE (you’ll find it in the gray box marked “Did you make this recipe?” under her recipe). She doesn’t cite me as her source anymore. I don’t care either way.

      While it’s true I had a typo and wrote chicken instead of steak in this post, it’s because I copied the steak marinade FROM MYSELF. So sorry for the typo. I also removed your sentence with f-bomb from your comment; there is really no reason to use that language on my site. Especially when you’re WRONG. And so very rude.

  25. Is there a recipe for the adobo sauce? Would prefer to make it myself after reading the ingredients. And also would rather not waste the Chile’s. Thanks!

    1. Hi Melissa! Sorry for my delayed reply. There are homemade adobo sauce recipes on the Internet and I’ll be posting my own in the next few weeks (thanks to your request!). In the meantime if you check google you might find one that looks good to you. Thanks for the question! I’m also going to make a homemade chili powder recipe which someone else requested. Take care.

  26. chipotle steak recipe copycat is so delicious and yummy.I loved your way of cooking and recipes.Before this i made Chicken Keema Paratha for my husband its taste also funny and delicious.

    Thanks for the recipe.5 stars