Qdoba Cholula Chicken Recipe

Qdoba Cholula Chicken Recipe

Do you ever crave the flavors of your favorite Mexican restaurant dishes, but don’t want to head out or order takeout? We’re sharing an at-home made copycat Qdoba Cholula Chicken Recipe for a simple yet scrumptious chicken dish inspired by Qdoba’s trademark flavors and spiced up with zesty Cholula hot sauce.

This easy skillet meal will satisfy your cravings and spice up your dinner routine.

Cholula Chicken

Why You’ll Love This Zesty Chili-Lime Chicken

If you’re a fan of Qdoba’s signature spices, Cholula hot sauce, and citrusy flavors, you will absolutely love this easy chicken skillet recipe. It has everything you’d want for Taco Tuesday or any Mexican-inspired meal:

  • Savory chicken seasoned with a bold blend of cumin, chili powder, paprika, garlic, and lime
  • A perfect heat level from the iconic Cholula hot sauce
  • Quick prep and cook time – ready in under 30 minutes
  • Endless serving possibilities – tacos, burritos, bowls, salads, and more
  • Complements your favorite Mexican toppings and sides
  • Customizable spice level to suit your tastes

With minimal ingredients and steps, you’ll be enjoying southwestern flavors reminiscent of your go-to Mexican grill in no time. Keep reading for how to make it.

How to Make Qdoba Cholula Chicken Recipe

Part of what makes this such an easy, weeknight-friendly recipe is that it uses just one pan. Simply marinate the chicken, then sauté it right in the same skillet you’ll finish it off in.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup Cholula hot sauce (adjust according to your spice preference)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional, for garnish)

Kitchen Tools

  • Cutting Board and Knife
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Skillet or Pan
  • Spatula or Wooden Spoon
  • Small Bowl

Step-by-Step Cooking Instructions

Step 1: Marinate the Chicken

In a bowl, mix together the olive oil, minced garlic, cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken pieces to the marinade, ensuring they are well coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

Step 2: Cook the Chicken

Heat a skillet or pan over medium-high heat. Add the marinated chicken pieces and cook until they are fully cooked and browned on the outside. This should take about 6-8 minutes.

Step 3: Prepare the Sauce

In a small bowl, combine Cholula hot sauce and lime juice. Adjust the ratio according to your preferred level of heat. If you like it spicier, add more hot sauce.

Step 4: Combine and Simmer

Pour the Cholula-lime mixture over the cooked chicken in the pan. Stir well to coat the chicken evenly. Allow the chicken to simmer in the sauce for an additional 2-3 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.

Step 5: Garnish and Serve

If desired, sprinkle chopped cilantro over the chicken for a fresh and vibrant flavor. Serve the Cholula chicken over rice, in tacos, or as part of your favorite Mexican-inspired dish.

Qdoba Cholula Chicken

Special Notes

There are so many possibilities when cooking with Cholula Chicken! Here are some top tips for adapting this recipe to your tastes:

  • Spice Level – Like it hot? Pour in some extra Cholula sauce or add a pinch of cayenne pepper. For milder flavors, use less marinade or skip the hot sauce altogether.
  • Veggie Power – Healthy add-ins like sautéed bell peppers, onions, corn, and zucchini taste amazing when folded into the finished chicken.
  • More Citrus – Add extra tang by squeezing more lime juice over the chicken right before serving. Lemon juice also makes a tasty substitution.
  • Toppings & Sides – Cool, creamy ingredients help balance the heat. Top with avocado, Greek yogurt, queso fresco, or Monterey jack. Serve alongside cilantro lime rice or street corn.
  • Meal Prep – Cook a big batch of Cholula Chicken to stock up the fridge. Repurpose leftovers in tacos, sandwiches, salads, and more all week!

Leftovers & Reheating

One of the best parts about whipping up a batch of saucy Cholula Chicken is leftovers! Here are some storage and reheating tips:

Storage

Let leftover chicken cool to room temperature before transferring to an airtight container. It will keep well in the fridge for up to 4 days. The flavors continue developing, making it even more delicious each day!

Reheating

Stovetop: For the best texture, heat leftover chicken in a skillet over medium heat with a splash of water or broth to restore moisture.

Microwave: Microwaving causes some rubberiness but it’s still quick and convenient. Heat in 30 second bursts, stirring between each until piping hot.

Oven: Bake in a 400 deg F oven for 10-15 minutes if crisping up leftover chicken for tacos or tostadas.

Freezer

Freeze extra chicken for longer term storage. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating. Add to soups, stir fries, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have some lingering questions about making irresistible Cholula Chicken at home? Here are helpful answers to some frequently asked questions:

What cut of chicken works best?

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs both work wonderfully. Breasts cook a bit faster but thighs have a rich, savory flavor. Either way, cut into 1-inch pieces so the marinade penetrates quickly.

Can I use dried spices instead of fresh garlic and cilantro?

You can, however, the flavor won’t be quite as vibrant. We suggest using jarred minced garlic for convenience if you don’t have fresh on hand. For the cilantro garnish, either fresh or dried works.

What oil should I use to cook the chicken?

Opt for a high smoke point neutral oil like avocado, vegetable, canola, or light olive oil. Reserve extra virgin olive oil for making the marinade.

Do I really need Cholula hot sauce or can I sub something else?

While the smoky, tangy Cholula flavor is iconic, any Mexican-style hot sauce like Tapatío, Valentina, or Tuong Ot Sriracha would also taste great.

Is this recipe gluten-free/dairy-free/keto/paleo?

Yes! This recipe is gluten, dairy, and sugar-free. Omitting the oil and using coconut aminos instead of soy sauce also makes it paleo and keto friendly.

How long does the cooked chicken keep in the fridge?

Store leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days. The flavors continue to develop, making it even tastier with time. Reheat gently before serving.

Qdoba Cholula Chicken Recipe

Qdoba Cholula Chicken Recipe

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Satisfy your Tex-Mex cravings at home with this easy copycat Qdoba Cholula chicken recipe loaded with mouthwatering Mexican spices, hot sauce & fresh lime juice.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup Cholula hot sauce (adjust according to your spice preference)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional, for garnish)

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, mix together the olive oil, minced garlic, cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken pieces to the marinade, ensuring they are well coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  2. Heat a skillet or pan over medium-high heat. Add the marinated chicken pieces and cook until they are fully cooked and browned on the outside. This should take about 6-8 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, combine Cholula hot sauce and lime juice. Adjust the ratio according to your preferred level of heat. If you like it spicier, add more hot sauce.
  4. Pour the Cholula-lime mixture over the cooked chicken in the pan. Stir well to coat the chicken evenly. Allow the chicken to simmer in the sauce for an additional 2-3 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.
  5. If desired, sprinkle chopped cilantro over the chicken for a fresh and vibrant flavor. Serve the Cholula chicken over rice, in tacos, or as part of your favorite Mexican-inspired dish.
Nutrition Information:
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 170Total Fat: 5gCarbohydrates: 0gProtein: 26g

Conclusion

There you have it – an easy, weeknight-friendly chili-lime chicken recipe bursting with the crave-worthy flavors of Qdoba and signature spice of Cholula. With simple prep and ingredients you likely have on hand, you can satisfy those southwestern food cravings without leaving home. Adjust the heat to your tastes and top it however you enjoy Mexican dishes.

Now grab some tortillas or taco shells and get ready to enjoy one sensational, customizable dinner. Just don’t forget the Cholula! We hope this Qdoba Cholula Chicken Recipe adds some welcomed heat to your regular dinner rotation.

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