Chipotle Vinaigrette – Chelsea’s Messy Apron

Susan S. Johnson

Salad Dressings

This Chipotle Vinaigrette is the most incredible dressing — a touch spicy with a hint of sweetness and loads of flavor. We love whipping up a batch at the beginning of the week to dress salads, add some flair to roasted veggies, or to drizzle over chicken in a burrito bowl. So many ways to use this vinaigrette — heck, it’s so good you may even want to drink it!

If you’re wondering, “does Chipotle® restaurant sell their vinaigrette?” the answer is no; they don’t currently offer it in grocery stores. But because everything always tastes better homemade and you can perfectly control what goes in it (plus, how spicy or sweet it is), this is all the more reason to make this recipe!

Image of the Chipotle Vinaigrette

Chipotle Honey Vinaigrette

If you happen to be a super-fan of Chipotle’s Vinaigrette (oh, hey, let’s be friends!), you are going to go crazy for this copycat! 

It’s spicy and sweet with just the right amount of tang and flavor. It’s got a hit of freshness and vibrancy from the lime juice and blends to a beautiful thick consistency — perfect for so many applications. In fact, here are our favorite ways to use it:

Chipotle Vinaigrette Recipe Uses

  • Salads: Yes, an obvious choice, and if you don’t think you like salads, wait til one is topped with this dressing! We use it in this Chipotle Chicken Salad which is a household favorite.
  • Over Roasted Vegetables: If you’re craving more zip and spice on your veggies, a touch of this will liven them right up. We especially like this Chipotle Vinaigrette on Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Roasted Cauliflower, or Roasted Butternut Squash.
  • In a Burrito Bowl: Liven up a bowl of grilled chicken and rice with a hearty dose of this dressing. Try it over this Taco Bowl or these Chicken Burrito Bowls.
  • As a Chicken Marinade: I love to use part of the vinaigrette to marinate chicken in, reserving some of it to drizzle on top once it’s grilled and chopped up.

QUICK TIP

All about chipotles: Chipotles are a type of hot pepper, commonly used in Latin cooking. This may surprise you, but chipotles are actually jalapeño peppers that have been allowed to ripen(where they turn red) and are then smoked and dried! Most chipotles come in an adobo sauce, which is a spicy blend of chili powder, vinegar and seasonings. Chipotle is pronounced chi-POTE-lay.

Overhead image of the ingredients in a blender

What is Chipotle’s Vinaigrette Made Of?

The ingredients for Chipotle Vinaigrette featured at Chipotle restaurants include red wine vinegar, honey, chipotle peppers, spices, and oil. A few ingredient notes:

  • Oil. Chipotle restaurant uses rice bran oil, but I prefer to use extra-virgin olive oil for taste and nutritional reasons. That said, you can use rice bran, vegetable, or canola oil just fine here.
  • Honey. This sweetener offsets some of the tanginess of the vinegar and spiciness of the chipotles. For a sweeter dressing, add additional honey, slowly, and to taste. Spicier dressing — use less.
  • Chipotles. Grab a can of chipotles in adobo (La Costeña® brand is my fave) in the international aisle of the grocery store. Use in this vinaigrette and save the rest for later (they freeze beautifully — see “quick tip” bow below).

QUICK TIP

Freeze leftover chipotle peppers! Here’s how to freeze them:

  • Spoon out peppers with the surrounding sauce, 1/2-inch apart, on to a parchment-paper-lined pan. Placethe  pan in the freezer until the peppers are frozen, ~1 hour.
  • Once frozen, peel the peppers off the tray, add to a freezer-safe bag, seal, and store in freezer for up to 6 months.
  • To thaw, take as many peppers as needed out of the bag and let stand at room temperature for 15-20 minutes or until thawed through (or pop in the microwave for 10-15 seconds).

Image of the freshly blended Chipotle Vinaigrette

How To Make Chipotle Vinaigrette

All you do is add everything to a blender and give it a whirl until smooth! Perfect honey chipotle vinaigrette in seconds!

A few tips:

  • We love zesting the lime with a microplane and then juicing with this citrus juicer. 
  • Use a small, powerful blender to quickly prepare this vinaigrette. We love this mini “Twister” jar for all sauces and dressing!

VARIATIONS

Spice Levels

For a milder vinaigrette, start with the smallest possible chipotle pepper. You can also add a touch more honey.

For more spice, add more chipotles or the surrounding sauce in the can! Add slowly, tasting frequently. 

Overhead image of the dressing in a container

STORAGE

How Long Does Chipotle Vinaigrette Stay Fresh?

When stored airtight in the fridge, this dressing will stay good for a week (or even a couple days longer). Note that it does get spicier as it chills!

Heads up: Leftover dressing may separate and solidify a bit (because olive oil solidifies at cold temperatures). Simply let the dressing stand at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes and then vigorously shake (or stir) to re-combine. Then it’s ready to use again!

Similar Recipes To Love:

Chipotle Vinaigrette

This Chipotle Vinaigrette is the most incredible dressing — a touch spicy with a hint of sweetness and loads of flavor. We love whipping up a batch at the beginning of the week to dress salads, add some flair to roasted veggies, or to drizzle over chicken in a burrito bowl. So many ways to use this vinaigrette — heck, it’s so good you may even want to drink it!

Chipotle Vinaigrette

This Chipotle Vinaigrette is the most incredible dressing — a touch spicy with a hint of sweetness and loads of flavor. We love whipping up a batch at the beginning of the week to dress salads, add some flair to roasted veggies, or to drizzle over chicken in a burrito bowl. So many ways to use this vinaigrette — heck, it’s so good you may even want to drink it!

Instructions

  • DRESSING: Add all the dressing ingredients to a small blender (We love this mini “Twister” jar for all sauces/dressing.) Season to taste with salt & pepper. (I add about 3/4 tsp fine sea salt & 1/4 tsp pepper, but add to your preference.) Blend until smooth, taste and adjust any flavors to personal preference.
  • STORAGE: Pour dressing into a jar, seal, and store in the fridge until ready to use. (The heat from the chipotle pepper will intensify as this dressing sits.) This dressing will stay good for a week (or even a couple days over). (See Note 3.)Heads up: Leftover dressing will separate and may even solidify a bit. This is because olive oil solidifies at cold temperatures. Simply let the dressing stand at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes and then vigorously shake to re-combine. Then it’s ready to use again!

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Oil. Chipotle restaurants use rice bran oil, but I prefer to use extra-virgin olive oil for more flavor and nutritional reasons. That said, you can use rice bran, vegetable, or canola oil just fine here.
Note 2: Chipotles. Grab a can of chipotles in adobo (La Costeña brand is my fave) in the international aisle of the grocery store. Don’t use the whole can — just 1 heaping tablespoon (usually 1 pepper and the surrounding sauce) and save the rest for later. They freeze beautifully!

  • Here’s how to freeze them: Spoon out peppers with the surrounding sauce, 1/2-inch apart, on to a parchment-paper-lined pan. Place pan in freezer until peppers are frozen, ~1 hour. Once frozen, peel off tray, add to a freezer-safe bag, seal, and store in freezer up to 6 months.

Note 3: Storage: When storing the dressing, be sure to use a container that won’t stain. Most plastic containers will turn red and may not come clean when washed. Those chili peppers have strong pigment! I recommend a glass container.
Chipotle Vinaigrette nutrition information is based on 2 tablespoons of the dressing.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 78kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 0.03g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 6mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 0.5mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 0.1mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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