Chicken Adobo Recipe

By Rena Awada | Updated On November 28, 2022

Flavorful Chicken Adobo is a Filipino-inspired recipe made with chicken thighs simmered in a sweet and savory sauce. It’s an easy dinner option made in one pot with minimal ingredients. Serve over a bed of rice for a meal the whole family will enjoy!

top view of seared adobo chicken thighs in a black skillet

If you love tasty chicken recipes, then this is hands down for you. Like our chicken Milanese, it’s easy to make with simple ingredients and is incredibly delicious. From the juicy, perfectly cooked chicken thighs, to the tangy, slightly sweet, and spicy sauce, this dish is a guaranteed people pleaser.

Why you should make this recipe

  • Super flavorful: If you want to take chicken from boring to incredibly delicious, this is your recipe! One bite and you’ll be enjoying amazing, complex flavors. Chicken adobo is perfectly savory from the coconut aminos and garlic, slightly sweet from the honey, and a bit tangy from the vinegar.
  • Easy, quick one-pan recipe: This chicken recipe is made with minimal ingredients and simple methods in one skillet on the stovetop. It’s ready in less than 30 minutes with quick cleanup!
  • Versatile: This pairs well with a variety of sides, with vegetables, mashed potatoes, or over a steaming pile of white or brown rice. So good!
Chicken thighs covered in a sauce cooking in a skillet.

Ingredients needed

Enjoy restaurant-quality chicken adobo with basic ingredients and less than 30 minutes of your time. Here are some notes about the ingredients:

  • Chicken thighs: We’re using boneless skinless chicken thighs to keep this recipe light. You can use chicken thighs with skin and bones for extra flavor. You can also use drumsticks, however, we wouldn’t recommend chicken breast.
  • Avocado oil: For searing the chicken. Feel free to use any oil you have available.
  • White vinegar: This is where the signature tang comes from. We use regular white vinegar, but you could substitute it with apple cider vinegar.
  • Coconut aminos: A gluten-free alternative to soy sauce that gives the dish that classic salty, savory flavor.
  • Chicken broth: To give the sauce the perfect consistency.
  • Garlic: For a boost of savory flavor.
  • Honey: For subtle sweetness.
  • Spices: Smoked paprika and cayenne pepper give this dish a kick of smoky heat. Feel free to omit the cayenne pepper if you’re sensitive to spice.
Raw chicken thighs on a plate and other ingredients in small bowls.

How to make this recipe

  • Cook the chicken: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken thighs until golden on both sides. Set aside.
  • Make the sauce: Add all the remaining ingredients to the skillet and stir to combine. Once the sauce begins to bubble, return the chicken back to the pan, and frequently baste with the glaze while cooking.
  • Simmer chicken in the sauce: Reduce the heat and allow the chicken to cook in the sauce until cooked through and the internal temperature shows 165F.
  • Serve: Plate chicken over rice or alongside another side of your choice and enjoy.

Expert Tips

  • If you prefer to use bone-in chicken thighs you can. Follow the same instructions as you would with this boneless chicken thigh recipe but double the time of cooking. Bone in chicken thighs takes much longer to cook and do not worry that they will dry out. The longer you cook them the more tender they will turn out.
  • We used honey to sweeten the sauce, but if you do not have honey try using maple syrup or agave.
  • Be sure to sear the chicken. This creates color and lots of flavors.
  • While the chicken is cooking, frequently brush the simmering sauce over the chicken thighs to help it form a nice glaze over the meat.
close up seared thighs in a black skillet

Frequently asked questions

What is adobo chicken made of?

Chicken adobo is made with chicken, typically with thighs or drumsticks in a sauce made up of vinegar, soy sauce (or coconut aminos), garlic, and a sweetener like honey or sugar.

What is the taste of chicken adobo?

The chicken is nice and tender and the sauce has a bold taste that is wonderfully tangy, salty, garlicky, slightly sweet, and spicy. 

Why is it called adobo chicken?

This dish is one of the most popular recipes in the Philippines, in fact, many Filipinos consider it the national dish of the Philippines. The name adobo comes from the use of vinegar to marinade the meat.

top view chicken thighs in a black skillet

Serving suggestions

Chicken adobo is delicious and served with rice. For a low-carb option, try serving the chicken over cauliflower rice. Any side dish that soaks up the sauce is great, such as quinoa or mashed potatoes. We also like to serve a green vegetable on the side such as green beans, broccoli, or asparagus.

top view chicken thighs in a black skillet

Storage recommendations

  • Storing leftovers: Place any leftover chicken in an airtight container. It will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Freezing: Once completely cool, transfer to an airtight container and store in the freezer. It will last about 4 months.
Using tongs to serve chicken adobo out of a skillet.

More delicious chicken recipes

Chicken adobo garnished with fresh parsley in a pan.

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top view of seared adobo chicken thighs in a black skillet

Chicken Adobo Recipe

Flavorful Chicken Adobo is a Filipino-inspired recipe made with chicken thighs simmered in a sweet and savory sauce. It's an easy dinner option made in one pot with minimal ingredients.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian, Filipino
Diet: Gluten Free
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 376kcal
Author: Rena

Ingredients

  • 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs or 4 chicken breasts, sliced thin to 8
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup coconut aminos
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 4 garlic cloves pressed
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken thighs until golden on both sides. Set aside.
  • Add all the remaining ingredients to the skillet and stir to combine. Once the sauce begins to bubble, return the chicken back to the pan, and frequently baste with the sauce while cooking.
  • Reduce the heat and allow the chicken to cook in the sauce until cooked through and the internal temperature shows 165F.

Notes

  • Storing leftovers: Place any leftover chicken in an airtight container. It will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Freezing: Once completely cool, transfer to an airtight container and store in the freezer. It will last about 4 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 376kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 215mg | Sodium: 890mg | Potassium: 613mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 405IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 2mg
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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Kait says

    5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe! It is delicious and so easy! My boyfriend and I both finished our plates so fast. Yum!

  2. Versace says

    This doesnt look like chicken adobo at all!
    Where are the peppercorns or bayleaves? Why is there honey and chicken broth?

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