If you're craving Chipotle steak at home, we've got you covered with our copycat recipe. The marinade is quick and easy, and the steak cooks in 10 minutes; can't get more simple than that! This steak is smoky, a tiny bit spicy, full of flavor, and lip smacking good.
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According to the Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant's website, the 9 ingredients that they use are:
- Chipotle chili peppers
- Rice bran oil
- Black pepper
We used 11 ingredients with the addition of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and yellow onion. Rice bran oil is hard to find at the grocery store, so we substituted classic olive oil.
What kind of steak is used at Chipotle?
Chipotle restaurant uses different cuts of beef, but for grocery shopping ease it's best to stick to round, loin, or sirloin.
How is it cooked?
Apparently, it is cooked sous vide at one site, then shipped, marinated, and grilled at the restaurant.
What's in a steak bowl at Chipotle?
Chipotle orders normally start with cilantro lime rice (white or brown), beans (black or pinto), then the meat or meat alternative (steak). Next would be the fajita veggies and the salsas: mild tomato, green or hot red, or the corn salsa. Your order will finish with your choice of toppings: sour cream, guacamole, grated Monterey Jack, and shredded Romaine lettuce.
Is the steak good at Chipotle restaurants?
Yes, it is! If you can't make up your mind between ordering the chicken and the steak, here are a few nuggets of trivia for you to chew on. The chicken and the steak are marinated in the same sauce, so they have a similar flavor. The steak has a 10 more calories than the chicken, so if you're on a diet, that could be the deciding factor. The steak is low in fat (6g) and low in carbs (1g), so it's good choice if you're on a low carb diet.
Another piece of advice is to go with the meat that looks the freshest, so it will be more juicy and less dried out.
What's the difference between carne asada and Chipotle's steak?
The marinade for the carne asada is made with freshly squeezed lime juice, cilantro, and a better cut of beef (flank or skirt steak). Chipotle's steak recipe uses chipotle and ancho chili peppers with cumin and oregano.
How do you know when your steak is done?
The best way to tell your steak is done cooking is to use a thermometer. For rare meat, the internal temperature is 130 F, and for medium rare it's 145 F.
Can't find dried ancho chili powder?
It's easy to make your own. Start with 2 dried ancho chiles, which are ripened (red) poblano peppers that have been dried. Cut the stems off, then slice it open and remove all the seeds. Cut into smaller pieces and place in an electric spice grinder or food processor. Process in batches until finely ground, then store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Can you make this recipe in advance?
Yes and no. You can make up the marinade a few days in advance and store it covered in the fridge. You can also marinade the meat 24 hours in advance, but it is best to cook the meat just before using it on a grill or in a cast iron skillet.
How many calories are in one serving?
For a serving size of 4 ounces, there is 300 calories and 3.1g of carbs. For more nutritional information, please scroll to the end of the recipe card.
What other meat can you marinate in this sauce?
Chicken thighs or chicken breast would taste amazing marinated in this sauce.
Can you freeze leftovers?
Yes, you can freeze leftover cooked steak in an airtight freezer container for up to one month. When ready to use, thaw in the fridge and reheat in a cast iron skillet heated with oil. If you have any leftover marinade that has touched raw meat, discard it.
What can you serve this recipe with?
If you want to keep it authentic, serve it with other Chipotle Mexican Grill dishes.
- Rice bowl
- Soft tacos
- Nachos (chips, steak, corn salsa, tomato salsa, queso blanco, and shredded Monterey jack)
- Salad (Romaine, baby kale, baby spinach, corn salsa, guac, and Chipotle's honey vinaigrette)
How to Make
Gather all the ingredients for the marinade. Chop up the Chipotle peppers, onion, and garlic, then measure out the spices and oil.
Dump the ingredients into a food processor or high powered blender. Start with the chipotle peppers and the adobo sauce.
Add the onion and garlic.
Add the dried spices.
Add the salt, pepper, and olive oil.
Blitz until the ingredients are broken down and blended, then scrape the sides down with a spatula.
Add a bit of water (¼ to ½ cup) to thin the marinade.
Pour the marinade into glass measuring cup. You should get roughly 1 cup.
Place the top sirloin steaks in a large zip-top bag and pour or spoon the marinade over top, making sure both sides of the meat are covered.
Put the steak in the fridge to marinade for 8 to 24 hours. For this photo shoot, we marinaded the meat for 24 hours.
When ready to cook, take the meat out of the fridge 30 minutes before grilling so the meat can slowly warm up to room temperature.
Cook on a very hot outside grill or heat up oil in a cast iron skillet at medium high heat until it shimmers, then cook the steaks roughly 5 minutes per side. After two minutes, lower the heat and flip only once. Cook the meat in batches if it doesn't all fit in the skillet at the same time.
Make sure the meat is at the correct temperature for your desired doneness. 135 F is rare, and 145 F is medium rare.
Place the meat on a grooved wooden cutting board and tent with foil. Let the meat rest for 10 minutes.
Cut against the grain, then rotate the meat and make cuts again so the meat is bite sized.
Enjoy while it's still hot.
- Like it spicier? Add red pepper flakes.
- Can't find rice bran oil? Use classic olive oil.
- Don't have yellow onion? Try red or white.
- Can't find dried ancho chile powder? Make your own with dried ancho chiles and a food processor. See directions above.
- Marinate with the meat in a bag or a covered bowl.
- Use a meat thermometer to know when it's done.
- Let the meat rest under a foil tent.
- Cut against the grain.
Looking for more Chipotle copycat recipes?
Other Main Course Meats
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Copycat Chipotle Steak Recipe
For the Marinade
- ½ yellow onion, chopped
- 4 large garlic cloves
- 5 tablespoons adobo sauce
- 3 tablespoons chipotle peppers, roughly chopped
- 1 ½ tablespoons ancho chile powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼-1/2 cup water, to thin marinade
For the Steaks
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 pounds top sirloin steaks
Marinating the Meat
- Put all the ingredients for the marinade in the food processor and pulse until blended.
- Scrap down the sides of the processor with a plastic spatula, then add a bit of water to thin the marinade and run the processor again. You should have 1 cup of marinade.
- Place the top sirloin steaks in a large zip top bag and pour the marinade on top. Mush the liquid around, making sure to get it on both sides of the steaks.
- Seal the bag and place it in the fridge overnight or up to 24 hours.
- When ready to cook, take the meat out 30 minutes before cooking so it can warm up to room temperature.
Cooking the Meat
- In a 10 inch cast iron skillet, heat up ¼ cup of olive oil over medium high heat until it is shimmering. Place two steaks in the pan and let them cook for a minute or two before turning the heat down to medium. Cook for 3 more minutes, then flip the steaks over and cook for 5 minutes.
- To check if the meat is done, use a digital thermometer. 135 F is rare, and 145 F is medium rare.
- Move the steaks to a wooden cutting board with a groove and tent with foil for 10 minutes. The steaks will continue cooking and the juices will redistribute.
- Slice in bite sized pieces against the grain, and then slice again in the opposite direction. Serve hot with other Chipotle inspired recipes.
- Use a zip-top bag or a bowl to marinade the meat and store in the fridge.
- To know when it's done, use a meat thermometer.
- Make a foil tent and let the meat rest for 10 minutes.
- For the best texture, cut against the grain.