Chipotle Grilled Chicken with Avocado Sandwich

Grilled chicken with avocado sandwich, seasoned with chipotle. The fire of the chipotle chile powder is balanced out by the creamy cooling flavor of the avocado.

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

We were, until recently, a family of non-grillers. While other Americans are happily firing away during the hot summer, filling up their neighborhoods with juicy aromas, we would tend to stay inside and think of what we could make for dinner that didn’t use the stove or oven. The problem is that Sacramento summers start early and go on forever, and cold food just gets tiring after a month or two. Which is why I brought home a grill a few weeks ago. Today’s grill experiment was this chipotle grilled chicken with Monterey Jack cheese and avocados on hamburger buns. I loved it, as did my guinea pig recipe testers Molly and David. By the way, I know there are probably some mayo haters out there. I tried it without mayo, and it was too dry. If you don’t like mayo, then mash up the avocados into a guacamole. You need the creaminess of either the avocado or the mayo to balance the spiciness of the chile and the roughness of the grilled bun.

Chipotle Grilled Chicken with Avocado Sandwich Recipe

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  • Yield: Serves 4.

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbps olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder (less or more depending on how much heat you want)
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 breast halves)
  • 4 small slices of Monterey Jack cheese
  • 4 sets of hamburger buns
  • 1 avocado, peeled, seeded and sliced
  • Iceberg or lettuce of preference
  • Mayonnaise

Method

1 In a shallow bowl, stir together the olive oil, lime juice, and chipotle chile powder.

2 Place the chicken breasts between two sheets of wax paper. Use a meat pounder to pound the breasts to an even thickness of about 1/2 inch. Cut off excess fat. If you are starting with 2 half-pound chicken breast halves, cut each one in half so that you have 4 pieces (to better fit the buns). Place the chicken breasts in the marinade, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap. Let marinate for at least 15 minutes, preferably an hour.

3 Heat your grill on high heat if you are using a gas grill, or prepare coals for direct heat if you are using charcoal. You can also use a cast-iron grill pan on your stove if you do not have a grill. Grill the chicken pieces a couple minutes on each side, until cooked through. Once you have cooked the chicken pieces on one side and flipped them, add a slice of cheese to the chicken. Cover the grill for half a minute to melt the cheese. Toast the buns on the grill as well.

4 Assemble the sandwiches - bun bottom, chicken with melted cheese, avocado and lettuce, mayonnaise on the top bun.

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Showing 4 of 38 Comments

  • Todd

    I was trying to find something new to grill tonight for dinner. I think my nephew would actually eat this! Going to try it tonight. We’ll see. :)

  • Dan

    You can add a little (maybe a Tbsp) of tequila to the marinade to make a chipotle magarita chicken, I’ve made such a thing before, and the tequila gives it another dimension of flavor (and then you have an excuse to have magaritas while you grill). You can also add a little ancho chile powder to turn up the heat.

  • Elise

    Hi Lydia – Great question! If you are only marinating a few minutes then I would probably do it at room temp. If half an hour or longer, I would probably put the chicken in the fridge.

    Hi Teebopop – These are just regular hamburger buns that we get from the grocery store. Not whole wheat, not particularly crusty. Though they do get a bit crusty once they’ve been toasted on the grill.

    Hi Michael – Love the idea of the honey. I too would use the canned chipotle chiles if I happened to have some around and was making a big batch. The good thing about the powder is that if you are only grilling one chicken breast, you don’t have to open a whole can of chiles.

    Hi Gary – I love that Tabasco chipotle sauce. Best invention ever.

    Hi Speltbaker – great reminder on the solar cookers. I agree, they are ideal for Sacramento summers.

    Hi Jonathan – thanks for the link about Elote, looks great! I love Cotija cheese.

    Hi Jeff – When it is 115°F outside and your AC is running full blast and it is still 85°F inside, you definitely don’t want to use the stove. We had that weather for a couple of weeks last summer. Yikes!

    Hi Linda -love the burger muffin idea, thanks!

    Dan – Doh! Now why didn’t I think of that? Adding tequila to the marinade. Perfect.

  • Kaya

    Also for Jamie, your recipe sounded so interesting I had to look it up. Wow! Thanks for turning me on to something very new (to me).

    http://www.chow.com/recipes/10922

  • dksbook

    Great picture Elise! Glad to see another griller born, too.

    Re: the mayo. Try putting a little of that lime and chipotle in the mayo. Here in San Antonio, we can buy Knorr chipotle cubes, like bouillon cubes. Can you get those? I squeeze some fresh lime juice on a cube, let it set a minute, then mash it up and put it in a 1/4 C mayo. Yum.

    Re: the Elote (grilled corn) recipe. It calls for cotija cheese, but if you live in an area that doesn’t have it readily available, you can substitute well-crumbled feta. They are very similar, so much so that Mexican restaurants here in San Antonio will make the substitution readily.

    Happy summer y’all.

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Chipotle Grilled Chicken with Avocado Sandwich